10 Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

Need a last-minute heavy cream substitute? These best ten ingredient alternatives will get you out of trouble.

Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

Heavy cream is a dairy product that’s a staple in so many baking recipes. The problem is that it is often expensive and difficult to find. So what do you do if you don’t have any to hand? Or if you simply don’t want its high fat content in your recipes?

These ten best alternatives to heavy cream are all up to the job. Each can replicate the flavor, consistency, and function of heavy cream, allowing you to use them seamlessly in your cooking. Let’s get into it.

Milk & Butter

If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use milk and butter in place of it. Sometimes your recipe may need cream, but you may not have it. As such, butter and milk are more likely to be in your fridge. Heavy cream is made of milk, and as such, milk makes a good substitute for it. However, you cannot use it on its own. You will need to add butter. 

The best milk to use in place of heavy cream is full cream. To get 1 cup of heavy cream, you can whip together butter and milk. Start by melting ¼ cup of butter, and then slowly mixing it with ¾ cup of milk. This combination works great, especially for recipes where heavy cream is needed for cooking. 

Pros

  • It has the creaminess of heavy cream
  • It’s an easy substitute

Cons

  • It will not be able to develop stiff peaks.

Coconut Milk

If you’re vegan, this will be an excellent option for you. Coconut milk is made from the flesh of a matured coconut. It makes a great substitute for heavy cream because it is thick and rich and heavy, just like cream. As such, you will get a similar taste as when you would use heavy cream for your recipe. 

When you whip coconut cream, you can use equal amounts as you would heavy cream. This is because the consistencies are very similar. 

Pros

  • In addition to being just like cream, it has a beautiful flavor
  • You can whip heavy coconut cream 
  • It has a similar texture and consistency

Cons

  • The coconut flavor may alter your recipe. 

Whole milk

You can use whole milk as a substitute for heavy cream for some recipes, especially in cooking recipes. The downside is that whole milk is not as thick as heavy cream. As such, you may need to add in some flour or cornstarch. You can substitute whole milk by mixing two tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of milk. The cornstarch will thicken the milk and give it a similar consistency to heavy cream. 

Sour Cream

This is a dairy product that is produced through the fermentation process of regular milk. Safe bacteria is introduced to milk. The lactic acid in the sour cream gives it a tangy taste, and as such, this may alter your recipe. If this will be detrimental to your dish, consider using another alternative. Also, adding sour cream to a stew may cause it to curdle, so make sure to add it when cooking. You can use equal amounts of sour cream as you would heavy cream. 

Creme Fraiche

This is another dairy product that has a tangy taste. This is because of some of the cultures in it. It is a sour cream that has butterfat and also a pH level of about 4.5. it is heavier than heavy cream. You can use it in recipes that require a tangy or sour taste. To a certain extent, it tastes much like sour cream. If you are using it in a sweet recipe, you may need to m

Pros

  • It has a lower chance of curdling. 

Cons

  • It’s heavier than cream.

Greek Yogurt

All types of yogurt are made from fermented milk. They have cultures and buttermilk introduced. However, Greek yogurt is different. The liquid is strained out, making it a thicker option than regular yogurt and closer to heavy cream in terms of consistency. It also makes a good substitute because it is tangy. But this also means that you need to consider the tart taste in your recipe. 

To come up with an accurate substitute, use equal amounts or thin it by adding whole milk, a bit at a time, until the consistencies match with what the heavy cream would have looked like. 

Mascarpone

This is a soft cheese often used in various recipes. It is pretty similar to cream cheese and also heavy cream. The similarity in the consistency is what also makes it a good substitute for heavy cream. It has a higher fat content than cream, and so if a diet is high on your list of priorities, then this may not be the best substitute for you. 

While it may be of similar inconsistency, it is slightly sweeter than sour cream and, as such, works great as a heavy cream substitute in sweeter dishes such as dessert. Use it in equal amounts as you would heavy cream.   

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk, is as it sounds, milk that has been vaporized. Whole milk works better in this instance. This is because it is creamier and will be closer to heavy cream. When you evaporate milk, you remove about one and a half the milk amount in the milk. It works well as a substitute in dishes that need a less thick consistency. 

The downside with evaporated milk is that it may taste like being cooked, which can be off-putting in some dishes. It is better suited to substitute heavy cream with evaporated milk in recipes that call for liquid cream. You can use equal amounts to substitute evaporated milk in decadent cream recipes. 

Silken Tofu and Soy Milk

This is another great vegan option. Silken tofu, which is made of condensed soy milk and then formed into blocks,  is much softer than regular tofu and will often easily crumble in your hand. The consistency can easily resemble heavy cream. Crumbling the tofu is easy, but it may not give you a smooth texture. That’s what soy milk is for. It keeps it soft and smooth. The tofu gives you the same consistency as heavy cream. 

To substitute, you can blend 1 cup of pureed tofu and use the milk to soften it by adding it a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. The downside with this substitute is that it will not work well for recipes that need whipped cream.  

Cottage Cheese and Milk

Cottage cheese is a soft cheese that can easily replace heavy cream. It is made of cheese curd, and as such, it is also known as curds and whey. Its softness makes it a worthy substitute for heavy cream. Its mild taste also works in its favor. You can use the consistency of cottage cheese in the same way that you would use heavy cream to thicken stews and soups. 

You can use the milk to make it lighter or softer to match the consistency of the cream you would ordinarily use. Equal amounts will do the trick to substitute heavy cream with cottage cheese. The milk will also help you blend smoothly and even out the lumps the cottage cheese may have

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