Types of Milk

Types of Milk
Types of Milk

Ah milk, that delicious ingredient that most people partake in and cook with. Ironically, it causes great confusion and head scratching.

Before you run to the store to pick up a carton, bag,  or jug, make sure you know what you are actually getting. The labels such as Whole, Low-Fat, No-Fat, and Skim are not just buzzwords.

They are important because they ultimately tell you how a milk product will behave in a recipe.

A milk label will include the name as well as a percentage, which shows the amount of milk fat present.

A very common type of milk, 2%, is named this way because of the total amount of milk-fat content. In a 1 litre carton of 2% milk, 20 millilitres of that will be milk fat.

You would think that buying milk would be fairly straight forward. It would be if companies didn’t decide to be creative with their naming conventions. This makes things very complicated when trying to follow recipes. So many people end up searching the Internet trying to figure out what milk is used in a recipe.

We have compiled the most common names found in the dairy section to help clarify things.

Name Milk Fat Content
Butter 80%
Double Cream 48%
Manufacturer’s Cream 45%
Heavy Whipping Cream, Heavy Cream, Thickened Cream* 35%
Whipping Cream, Light Whipping Cream 30%
Medium Cream 25%
Light, Coffee, or Table Cream, Single Cream, Pouring Cream 18-30%
Half-and-Half 10.5-18%
Whole or Homogenized 3.25%
Reduced Fat 2%
Low Fat Around 1%
Skim, Nonfat Milk 0-0.5%

*Thickened cream has additional thickening agents added. If the label says “Thickened”, double check the fat content and what it uses as a thickener.

Points To Remember

  • In general, the higher percentage of milk fat, the thicker and richer tasting.
  • The names sometimes refer to their common use, so Heavy Whipping Cream is primarily used to make whipped cream. Coffee Cream is preferred for … coffee.
  • Anything with more fat than Whole Milk (3.25%) is usually not the best for drinking on its own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: