Do you love the taste of heavy cream in your coffee but don’t like the high-calorie count? Or maybe you’re lactose intolerant and can’t enjoy one of America’s favorite drinks. No problem!
There are plenty of substitutes for heavy cream that will give you the same great taste without all the extra fat and calories. In this blog post, we will discuss 25 delicious substitutes for heavy cream that you can use in all your recipes!
Table of Contents
What is heavy cream?
Heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is a thick, high-fat dairy product. It has a fat content of at least 36%, which gives it a rich and creamy texture.
Heavy cream is commonly used to make desserts, such as pies, cakes, and mousse. Additionally, it can be whipped into peaks or added directly to savory dishes to add richness and flavor.
Because it is high in fat, heavy cream should be used sparingly to ensure health and wellness. However, when consumed in moderation, it can make a delicious addition to any meal or dessert.
Substitutes for Heavy Cream.
When it comes to baking, heavy cream is a crucial ingredient. Luckily, if you don’t have any heavy cream on hand, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.
1. Alt milk and oil.
For a substitute for heavy cream, you can use a combination of alt milk like almond or coconut milk, and oil. The ratio should be 1/4 cup of oil to 3/4 cup of alt milk.
For example, if you need 1 cup of heavy cream, use 3/4 cup alt milk plus 1/4 cup oil. This substitution will give you a similar texture and creaminess as heavy cream, without the added calories or fat.
Just make sure to use an oil with a neutral flavor, such as canola or vegetable oil. You can also experiment with different alt milk varieties to find one that works best for your recipe.
2. Almond and coconut milk creamer.
For those looking for a dairy-free alternative, almond and coconut milk creamers are a great option. They’re made from almonds or coconuts that have been ground into a thick, creamy paste.
The resulting product is high in protein, unsaturated fats, and vitamins. When used as a heavy cream substitute, they add richness to desserts, soups, and sauces without the added fat and calories of heavy cream.
Additionally, almond milk creamer is a great choice for those with lactose intolerance or who follow a vegan diet.
How to substitute.
When substituting almond or coconut milk creamer for heavy cream, it’s important to remember that they have different consistencies.
Almond and coconut creamers tend to be thinner than heavy cream, so it may be necessary to reduce the amount of liquid in a recipe when using one of these substitutes.
Also, because they add less fat and richer flavor, it’s important to season dishes with additional spices and herbs when using them.
Finally, almond and coconut creamers can be used in place of heavy cream in both savory and sweet recipes, but they are not suitable for making whipped cream.
3. Canned coconut cream.
Canned coconut cream has a thick consistency, making it an ideal substitution for heavy cream.
It is much higher in fat than dairy-based creams and can add a rich flavor to dishes when used in moderation. Coconut cream is suitable for vegan diets and also provides a lactose-free option.
How to substitute.
When substituting canned coconut cream for heavy cream, add an equal amount of the product.
The dish may have a slightly more pronounced coconut flavor when using canned coconut cream in place of heavy cream.
4. Canned coconut milk.
Canned coconut milk is a great substitute for heavy cream. It has a rich and creamy texture that stands up well to cooking and can be used in any dish that requires heavy cream.
Coconut milk also adds sweetness and flavor to dishes, making it an ideal choice for desserts. For savory applications, unsweetened canned coconut milk is the best option.
It’s important to note that coconut milk can separate when heated and need to be stirred together before using.
How to substitute.
To substitute canned coconut milk for heavy cream, use an equal amount of coconut milk and add a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken it.
This will help give dishes the same creamy consistency as heavy cream. Alternatively, you can mix equal parts of full-fat coconut milk and water to create a lighter version of heavy cream.
5. Cashew cream.
Cashew cream is a great way to make vegan or dairy-free versions of dishes that traditionally call for heavy cream. To make cashew cream, you’ll need to soak raw cashews in water overnight.
Once they’ve soaked, drain off the water and blend the cashews with some fresh water until it’s completely smooth.
You can use this cashew cream as a substitute for heavy cream in soups, sauces, and custards. It’s also great for making vegan ice creams or mousses.
How to substitute.
For every cup of heavy cream called for in a recipe, you can use ¾ cup of cashew cream. Cashew cream is much thinner than heavy cream, so it’s best to add it toward the end of the cooking process so that you don’t overcook your dish.
6. Coconut Cream.
Coconut cream is a great heavy cream alternative for those avoiding diary. It has a rich, creamy texture and can be used as a 1:1 substitute in recipes that call for heavy cream.
Coconut cream is made from a combination of coconut milk solids and water; it has more fat content than regular coconut milk, giving it a thick texture that makes it perfect to use as a heavy cream substitute.
It also has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, which pairs well with many dishes. When using it as a substitute for heavy cream, be sure to look for canned coconut cream that is unsweetened for the best results.
7. Cottage Cheese and Milk.
Cottage cheese and milk make for a great substitute for heavy cream. To use this combination, blend one cup of cottage cheese with 1/4 cup of whole or low-fat milk.
This substitution will add texture and body to your recipe while keeping the fat content low. You can also use Greek yogurt in place of cottage cheese or increase the amount of milk, depending on the desired consistency.
Cottage cheese and milk can be used in many dishes such as soups, sauces and desserts.
8. Cream Cheese.
Cream cheese is a delicious and creamy substitute for heavy cream in many recipes. Not only does it have a similar consistency, but it can also be used to add an extra layer of flavor to dishes.
Cream cheese can be used in both sweet and savory dishes to create a new level of richness and depth.
Swap out the heavy cream for cream cheese in mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or a creamy soup. It can also be used in desserts like cheesecakes and other baked goods for an extra creamy texture.
How to substitute.
To substitute cream cheese for heavy cream, simply use a 1:1 ratio. So if the recipe calls for one cup of heavy cream, you can use one cup of cream cheese.
For best results, it is recommended to let the cream cheese come to room temperature before using. This will make it easier to incorporate into the dish and help ensure that it blends evenly.
Additionally, it is important to note that cream cheese does have a slightly tangier flavor and can affect the overall taste of the dish. Be sure to adjust other ingredients accordingly if needed.
9. Creme Fraiche.
Creme Fraiche is a type of cultured cream that has been thickened with bacterial cultures. It’s tart and slightly sweet, and has a richer flavor than heavy cream. Creme fraiche can be used as an excellent substitute for heavy cream in soups, sauces, desserts, and more.
How to substitute.
When substituting creme fraiche for heavy cream, use a one-to-one ratio. If the recipe calls for one cup of heavy cream, use one cup of creme fraiche instead.
10. Evaporated Milk.
Evaporated milk is a thick, creamy dairy product that has had about 60% of its water content removed. This concentration process makes it much richer than regular milk and creates a texture similar to heavy cream.
To make a half-cup of heavy cream substitute, mix ½ cup evaporated milk with 1 tablespoon melted butter. This combination will provide the same richness as heavy cream but will not whip.
11. Greek Yogurt and Milk.
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for heavy cream because it has the same thick and creamy texture. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Just mix one cup of Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of milk for every cup of heavy cream called for in a recipe.
However, Greek yogurt does have slightly more tartness than heavy cream, so it’s best used in savory dishes like casseroles, soups and sauces. Greek yogurt also contains probiotics which can help improve gut health.
12. Half-and-Half and Butter.
Half-and-half is a combination of 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 light cream. It has 10 to 12 percent butterfat content, which makes it suitable for many recipes that call for heavy cream.
Adding butter to your recipe can also give you the same creamy texture with a slightly different flavor profile.
For every cup of heavy cream a recipe calls for, you can use 1/2 cup of half-and-half and 1/4 cup melted butter. This combination is not suitable for recipes that require whipping the cream, as it is too low in fat.
13. Heavy cream powder.
Often used in baking, heavy cream powder is a great substitution for liquid heavy cream when making whipped cream.
It’s easy to use and adds lightness to your dessert. Simply dissolve the powder in water and whip until it reaches desired consistency.
How to substitute.
It is best to combine heavy cream powder with other ingredients such as butter, evaporated milk or buttermilk in order to achieve the same consistency and flavor of heavy cream.
The ratio of these ingredients will vary depending on what you are making, though it is typically a 1:2 ratio of heavy cream powder to liquid.
For example, if you are making a decadent chocolate dessert, you might use equal parts of heavy cream powder and evaporated milk.
The combination of the two will create a creamy texture that is similar to that of liquid heavy cream.
14. Homemade Chicken Stock.
If you don’t want to use heavy cream, a great substitute for it is homemade chicken stock. This can be used in sauces and soups, adding more flavor and nutrition than just using cream alone.
To make the stock, simply simmer chicken bones and vegetables in water for several hours until the liquid is reduced and flavorful.
You can then strain the broth and use it to replace the cream in your recipe. If you don’t have time to make stock from scratch, store-bought low-sodium chicken broth is a great option too.
Mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese made from cream and citric acid or tartaric acid, can be used as a substitute for heavy cream.
This type of cheese has a rich and creamy texture similar to that of heavy cream, making it ideal for use in sauces, desserts, and other dishes.
When substituting mascarpone for heavy cream, it’s important to remember that it should be used in the same quantity as the heavy cream called for in the recipe.
Additionally, mascarpone will add a slightly sweet flavor to dishes, so you may need to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
16. Milk and Butter.
Milk and butter can be used as a substitute for heavy cream. To create the same creamy texture, use 1/4 cup melted butter combined with 3/4 cup milk. This substitution works in recipes such as mashed potatoes, soups, and sauces.
17. Milk and cornstarch.
To make a substitute for heavy cream, combine 1/4 cup of milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons cornstarch.
Whisk together until the mixture is smooth and thick. This can be used in place of heavy cream in soups and sauces as well as baked goods. It adds moisture and helps thicken the dish without adding fat or calories.
18. Plain yogurt.
Plain yogurt is an excellent substitute for heavy cream because it has a creamy texture and slightly tangy taste that works well in savory dishes like sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, and curries.
Greek yogurt is especially effective as a substitute because of its thicker consistency. You can also use Greek yogurt to make whipped cream or replace the dairy component in baking.
How to substitute.
Use the same amount of plain yogurt as you would heavy cream. To lighten the texture, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
19. Plant-based milk and cornstarch.
For a plant-based substitution for heavy cream, try mixing 1 cup of unsweetened plant-based milk (such as almond or coconut) with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and heating the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until it thickens.
This substitute is lower in fat than heavy cream but will still add richness to your recipes. Soy milk can also be used in the same way, although it may have a more distinct flavor than other plant-based milk.
20. Plant-based milk and oil.
Plant-based milk such as almond, coconut, oat or soy milk can be mixed with oil and used in place of heavy cream. The ratio to use is roughly three parts plant-based milk and one part oil, depending on the desired consistency.
This substitute works best in recipes that call for light whipping, such as sauces and soups. Plant-based milk and oils such as coconut, olive, or avocado oil are also a good way to replace heavy cream in baking recipes.
The fat content of these substitutes is similar to that of heavy cream, so they will produce the same creamy texture.
However, it should be noted that this substitute may not work well for recipes requiring stiff peaks, such as mousses and whipped cream. It is also not a good replacement for cheese-based sauces, as the fat content is too low.
21. Sour cream.
Sour cream is made by combining cream with lactic acid bacteria, which gives it its characteristic tangy taste.
It is a good substitute for heavy cream in sauces and soups because it has the same rich, creamy texture.
However, keep in mind that sour cream contains about 10-20% less fat than heavy cream so you may need to use more of it to achieve the desired consistency.
How to substitute.
To substitute for 1 cup of heavy cream, use 3/4 cup of sour cream plus 1/4 cup of milk.
22. Soy Milk and Olive Oil.
Soy milk can be used as a substitute for heavy cream in almost any recipe. It is low in fat and contains no cholesterol, making it a healthier alternative to cream.
To make a creamy sauce or soup with soy milk, heat the soy milk on medium heat before adding other ingredients.
Olive oil also works as a great replacement for heavy cream when making sauces and soups. Heat the olive oil on low heat until it starts to simmer, then add other ingredients as desired.
By using olive oil instead of heavy cream, you can reduce the amount of saturated fat in your dish while still achieving a delicious flavor.
How to substitute.
To substitute heavy cream with either soy milk or olive oil, replace the amount of heavy cream called for in your recipe with an equal amount of your chosen alternative.
If a recipe calls for 1 cup of heavy cream, use 1 cup of either soy milk or olive oil instead. For extra richness and flavor, consider combining both soy milk and olive oil in a 1:1 ratio to replace the heavy cream.
This will help you maintain the original flavor and texture of your dish while achieving a healthier, more balanced diet.
23. Tofu and plant-based milk.
If you’re looking for a substitute for heavy cream that is vegan, one option is to use tofu or plant-based milk.
Silken or soft tofu can mimic the texture of heavy cream, and it can be blended with other ingredients like plant-based milk (almond, coconut, oat, etc.) to create a creamy texture without using dairy.
This substitute for heavy cream works well in soups, sauces, and desserts, or to create plant-based versions of foods like Alfredo sauce and ice cream.
Plant-based milk can also be used as a direct replacement for heavy cream and work best in recipes that have other non-dairy ingredients already present.
They are also great for adding creaminess to coffee and tea. However, keep in mind that plant-based milk will not thicken like heavy cream when boiled or heated.
How to substitute.
The amount of substitution will depend on the recipe. For soups, sauces, and desserts, about a 1:1 ratio works best; that is, if the original recipe called for one cup of heavy cream, use one cup of tofu or plant-based milk in its place.
If you’re using plant-based milk directly as a replacement for heavy cream, you may need to adjust the quantity depending on the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of heavy cream, try using ½ cup of plant-based milk and ¼ cup of vegetable oil.
24. Whole milk and butter.
This combination is a great substitute for heavy cream because it provides the same richness without all of the fat and calories.
To use this as a substitute, mix one cup of whole milk with 1/3 cup melted butter. This mixture should be used immediately or refrigerated until needed.
25. Whole milk.
If a recipe calls for heavy cream, whole milk or half-and-half are the most similar substitutes. Both of these options contain significantly less fat than heavy cream, but still add some richness and body to recipes. For every 1 cup (240 ml) of heavy cream, you can use ¾ cup (180 ml) of whole milk and ¾ cup (180 ml) of half-and-half.
How to make heavy cream with milk and butter.
The process of making heavy cream with milk and butter is actually quite simple. To make it, you’ll need one part melted butter and two parts cold milk.
Start by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat until it is completely melted. After that, add the cold milk to the pan in two equal parts and stir gently until completely combined.
Once the mixture is combined, turn up the heat and bring it to a low simmer until the milk starts to reduce. This should take between 10-15 minutes depending on how much you have in the pan.
As the cream reduces, it will start to thicken; when it reaches a gravy-like consistency it is ready. Finally, remove the cream from the heat and allow it to cool before using or storing in the refrigerator.
Heavy cream made with milk and butter provides a richer flavor than what you’d find in store-bought versions. The color might vary slightly depending on the type of milk used but should have a light to medium yellow hue. Additionally, homemade heavy cream will have a slightly higher fat content than store-bought varieties due to the higher butter content.
- Alt milk and oil
- Canned coconut cream
- Canned coconut milk
- Cashew cream
- Coconut Cream
- Cottage Cheese and Milk
- Cream Cheese
- Crème Fraîche
- Evaporated Milk
- Greek Yogurt and Milk
- Half-and-Half and Butter
- Heavy cream powder
- Homemade Chicken Stock
- Milk and Butter
- Milk and cornstarch
- Plain yogurt
- Plant-based milk and cornstarch
- Plant-based milk and oil
- Sour cream
- Soy Milk and Olive Oil
- Tofu and plant-based milk
- Whole milk and butter
- If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative, try using canned coconut cream or canned coconut milk as a substitute for heavy cream. Both are thick and creamy, so they will provide the same texture in your recipes.
- For a vegan heavy cream substitute, mix equal parts plant-based milk and either oil or cornstarch. The oil will provide a creamy texture, while the cornstarch will help thicken and stabilize the mixture.
- If you’re looking for a lighter option, try using half-and-half and butter as a substitute for heavy cream. This combination is slightly lighter than heavy cream, but still provides a creamy texture.
- For an even lighter option, try combining plain yogurt and milk as a substitute for heavy cream. This will give your recipes a slightly tangy flavor, but it’s still a good alternative if you need to cut back on calories or fat.
- You can also use evaporated milk as a substitute for heavy cream. It’s slightly thinner than heavy cream, but it can still provide a creamy texture and flavor to your recipes.
- If you have trouble finding any of these substitutes, try making your own with heavy cream powder. This is a powdered version of heavy cream that you can mix with water or milk to create a thick, creamy mixture that can be used in place of heavy cream.
- Lastly, if you’re looking for a richer substitute than heavy cream, try mascarpone or crème fraîche as substitutes. Both are slightly thicker and richer than regular heavy cream, so they will add a bit more flavor and texture to your recipes.