This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. See our privacy statement
World Wide Words logo


Q From Orna Alshech: Very often in English recipes I come across the terms single cream and double cream. What I find here in Israel is whipping cream and sour cream. Can you please help in explaining what are these two kinds of creams?

A In Britain, single cream is cream with a fairly low fat content that will not whip. Double cream is a type which has a higher fat content that will whip, but it is a little thicker than our whipping cream (which you can make from double cream by adding a little milk); whipped cream is cream which has been so whipped. (In North America, I believe, the equivalent types are thin cream and thick cream, also known as light cream and heavy cream.) Not to mention clotted cream, which is made from full-cream milk by scalding it, that is, by bringing it slowly almost to the boil and skimming off the clots of thick cream that appear on the surface. Sour cream is different from any of these, being cream which has been made sour with lactic acid.

Page created 17 Oct. 1998
Last updated 19 Oct. 1998

Support World Wide Words.

Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.

Buy anything from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you.

Buy from Amazon UK Buy from Amazon USA

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved. See the copyright page for notes about linking to and reusing this page. For help in viewing the site, see the technical FAQ. Your comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
This page URL:
Last modified: 19 October 1998.