I saw this on my wafers the other day: "Wafers with cream flavoured cream". This sounds horribly recursive to my ear. How can you rephrase it or use a synonym without losing the original meaning?

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    What’s the “original” meaning?
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 3:32
  • This bugged me, too. Although the version I saw was probably more a translation issue.
    – sq33G
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


Makers of mass-produced dessert snacks in the United States struggled with this problem for years, a problem exacerbated in their case by the fact that the "cream-flavored cream" filling might in fact contain no cream. Their solution was to popularize terms such as "creme" and "creme-filled"—without the grave accent over the first e—and the even more heavily processed-sounding "kreme" and "kreme-filled." Dunkin' Donuts, for example, currently offers a Vanilla Kreme Filled Donut and a Boston Kreme Donut whose debt to any living cow (or kow) is unknown to me. A marketer might confidently claim that a wafer contained "cream-flavoured creme," without having to go into detail (on the front of the package, anyway) about what industrial substances made up the creme.

If you wanted to stay away from creme and kreme, the simplest way to avoid the repetition of cream in your example would be to replace the second cream with filling: "Wafers with cream-flavoured filling." In the context of a mass-produced sweet treat, U.S. readers would immediately interpret "filling" to mean "squishy or pasty (and very sugary) partially hydrogenated goo." But I don't know whether filling carries the same instantly recognizable sense outside the U.S. that it does here.

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    I often wondered about "kreme" and "creme" and now I know. Thank you!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 7:51
  • I thought "crème" was just the French word for "cream", and they used the French spelling to seem fancier (dropping the accent because Americans don't like letters they can't easily type on a standard US keyboard). Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 15:02
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    It feels like "creme" is used more as a contraction of crème pâtissière than a straight synonym for cream
    – Useless
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 15:19
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    @Mari-LouA Kreme is like how you sometimes see things made with “artificial crab”, which is actually surimi, labelled as being made of krab. The c-to-k swap is a “faked” meme, with the mnemonic connection to the k in fake. There may be some legal niceties about truth in advertising at work here, since in many jurisdictions you cannot pretend something has that thing in it by putting the thing in its name if does not actually have it. However, Grape Nuts cereal was specifically exempted from this regulation despite having neither.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 5:53
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    In the UK, I wouldn't necessarily expect a filling to be a "squishy or pasty (and very sugary) partially hydrogenated goo." But I'd expect a cream-flavoured filling to have a sort-of-creamy texture, which would fit that description. So "cream-flavoured filling" would make me imagine the right substance. Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 21:21

Cream has multiple meanings in cookery, and especially in baking and confectionery.

Besides being literally the thick fat that rises to the top of milk, it’s also used for other similarly-textured pastes and fillings, especially ones which were originally mostly cream-based but whose composition shifted over the years according to fashion and taste. This isn’t just modern commercial euphemism: it’s happened for centuries. For instance, violet creams are chocolates filled with a paste of sugar, cream, and violet extract, while custard creams are a biscuit whose filling consists just of sugar mixed into butter or margarine.

So two different meanings of cream are involved for your wafers: they are filled with cream [in the sense of a sugary paste] that has been flavoured with cream [in the sense of milk fat]. (Or, perhaps more likely, flavoured with synthetic cream [sense of milkfat] flavour.)

Depending on the specific filling used, a less redundant wording might be something like cream-flavoured fondant, cream-flavoured ganache, or simply cream-flavoured filling if no more specific culinary term fits the bill.


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