We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Light Cream?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Light cream is a milk product with a fat content which ranges from 18-30%. It is sometimes known as coffee or table cream, and it is used most commonly in mixed drinks or as a cream for coffee. To put this product in perspective, half and half has around 12% fat, while whipping cream has a fat content of between 30-40%. Generally, a container of light cream will indicate the fat content; many dairies produce versions with around 20% fat.

There are two ways to extract cream from milk. Traditionally, milk was allowed to stand in the dairy for up to a day to allow the butterfat to rise to the top. The butterfat could be skimmed and churned into butter or mixed with varying amounts of milk to create creams of varying thicknesses. Most modern dairies run their milk through a centrifuge to pull the milk out, since standing milk can attract harmful bacteria.

There are a few tricks to working with light cream which cooks should remember. The first is that this cream is not “light” in the sense of “healthy.” It still has a high milkfat content and while it is lighter than whipping cream, it is by no means a great dairy choice for people who are trying to restrict their fat intake. Light cream is also not whippable, because it does not have enough fat to create the necessary emulsion, and it tends to break apart when subjected to stress and high heat. If you use this cream in a sauce, heat the sauce slowly, and do not allow it to boil; the sauce may turn out thinner than expected because of the lower fat content, in which case it can be thickened with flour, cornstarch, or an alternative thickener of your choice.

Many mixed drinks call for light cream since heavier creams can be dense on the stomach when mixed with alcohol. It can also be used in coffee and tea, although half and half is a more common choice for coffee in some parts of the world. Just like other dairy products, light cream can also be flavored with various essential extracts like vanilla, hazelnut, or coffee.

Generally, light cream keeps for around 10 days. Always remember to check expiration dates when you buy dairy products, to ensure that your dairy is within safe limits. In some cases, it may be safe to consume dairy after the expiration date, but you should only do this if the cream has been kept at a consistently chilled temperature. If the cream smells at all questionable or it has become chunky, it should be discarded, as it has soured, and it may not be safe to use.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By WaterHopper — On Jul 22, 2010

@dinoleash: There are two types of cream: long-life cream and fresh cream. Long-life cream undergoes ultra heat treatment (UHT) for the purposes of extending its shelf life. It gets heated at very high temperatures for a short period of time. It usually contains around 35% milk fat. It whips very well when chilled and is often spooned over desserts.

By DinoLeash — On Jul 22, 2010

I was reading an article in a cooking magazine and it made reference to "long life cream" but it didn't go into detail about what it was? Does anyone know?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.