How to Use Different Kinds of Cream


There are a number of different kinds of cream and they have different uses. The following are those that are usually found in supermarkets, listed in the order of fat content.

Single or Light

This cream has the lowest percentage of fat and has many uses.

Half and Half This cream is a mixture of half whole milk and half cream. It cannot be used for whipping, but can be used as a substitute for a heavier cream in recipes if you want to have less fat but a creamy taste.


This cream has enough fat so that it can be whipped for some uses, but it doesn’t keep its shape as well as heavy cream.

Heavy or Heavy Whipping

Because it has more fat, heavy cream will keep its shape and has twice the volume.


This is the British version of heavy cream, but has a little more fat. For that reason it has to be watched carefully when beating it so it doesn’t get too thick. It is generally not available in the United States.

When you go shopping for cream, you may see it labeled “pasteurized” or “ultra-pasteurized.” The ultra-pasteurized has been heated to a high temperature so it will keep longer. It doesn’t whip as well as pasteurized, as it isn’t as light and doesn’t keep its shape as well. Many people feel regular pasteurized cream tastes better.


There are many ways to use leftover cream that you bought for a recipe and don’t know what to do with the rest. Often it spoils and has to be thrown away. Here are a few suggestions. Replace milk with cream in baking recipes. Make a hot fudge sauce by heating cream and add chopped chocolate or dark chocolate chips, and stir until melted. Add cream to an omelette. Warm cream and add to mashed potatoes. If nothing else, you can combine equal amounts of cream and water (or more water according to your taste) and either use it in any recipe instead of regular milk, or drink it!

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