Heavy cream is the thick, fat-rich part of milk that rises to the top during processing. Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to food. It is among the highest fat milk products. Fat content ranges between 36% for heavy cream and 30% for whipping cream. Some people do not want such high-fat content in their food. Luckily, you can try different whipping cream substitutes in your recipes.
Whipping cream or heavy cream makes its way to homemade cake recipes, winter soups, and many more recipes. Thin of heavy cream as a kitchen staple. It is always nice to have it on hand.
But what happens when you do not have any? Or when you do not want such a fatty recipe? That is when you can try using any of the alternatives for whipping cream on our list.
Flavor and fat content will determine which replacement you can use. For example, milk doesn’t have enough fat. Because of that, milk cannot maintain a structure when whipped.
Can you freeze heavy cream?
If you are a fan of heavy cream, here is a trick you can use. You will never run out of heavy cream again. Heavy cream stays fresh in the fridge for about a month. But if you buy in abundance, you probably won’t use it all. Luckily, you can freeze it.
Freezing is a great way to preserve the product. How can you do it? Pour 1 tablespoon of heavy cream into each cube of an ice tray and freeze. Defrost in advance, or pop them into hot soup for enhanced creaminess.
How to use alternatives to heavy cream?
As a rule of thumb, you can use one cup of your replacement per one cup of whipping/heavy cream. This will deliver the right flavor, thickness, and volume. You can use alternatives in sauces, soups, and casseroles.
Some of these substitutes will not whip. So you cannot use them in whipped cream or in ice cream, for example. Here are some options.
10 Substitutes for Whipping Cream
1. DIY 2 ingredients whipping cream substitute
This is one of the most common substitutes for whipping cream. Simply melt ¼ cup of unsalted butter and whisk slowly in ¾ cup of whole milk or half and half. You will get the same equivalent of 1 cup of heavy cream.
And then use it in most recipes. This recipe will not whip as the real deal. Fat in butter mimics the fat in heavy cream. Milk is a seamless dairy substitute.
2. Soy milk and olive oil
Vegans are always on the hunt for new ways to replace dairy products. And most importantly, animal products.
If you are a vegan, you can try this dairy-free alternative with soy milk and olive oil. Same as with milk and butter, you get the fat amount and works similar to heavy cream in recipes.
Mix 1/3 cup of olive oil with 2/3 cup of soy milk. Works best when you want to add tenderness and taste in cooking and baking. Do not use in recipes that call for whipping.
3. Banana and egg white
Here is another substitute you can use instead of heavy cream. If you want to avoid the dairy, beat one ripe banana and one egg white. Stop beating when the mixture reaches the desired consistency. You can add sugar to sweeten the final product.
But banana contains enough sugar already.
4. Milk and cornstarch
For a low-fat, low-calorie alternative, milk and cornstarch deliver great results. Cornstarch will thicken the milk and help you reproduce the texture of heavy cream.
Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 cup of milk. Stir, and allow the mixture to thicken. After that, add in the recipe to substitute 1 cup of heavy cream.
You can use whole milk or skim milk. It depends on your choices for calorie intake and fat consumption. The mixture works great in cooking but may alter the texture of baked goods. Doesn’t whip as well as heavy cream.
5. Half and half
Why do you use heavy cream in your recipe? Do you need to add a thick and creamy consistency and flavor? Do you need it in sauces or soups? Half and half works great in these scenarios as well.
Half and half is a half whole milk product and half light cream. It works as a great stand-in for heavy cream. Replace it in equal amounts with heavy cream.
You can also whip half and half. But because it doesn’t contain the same amount of fat, you need to use ice-cold half and half for whipping. Here is a trick some cooks use. Put the half and half, the bowl, and then whisk you want to use in the freezer for a few minutes before using.
6. Greek yogurt and milk
If you do not need to whip the heavy cream, this alternative will deliver great results. Mix the same amount of Greek yogurt and milk together. You will get a similar creaminess and thickness as with heavy cream in your recipe.
Use this alternative when you want to cut down on fat.
7. Silken tofu and soy milk
Silken tofu is basically soy milk formed into solid white blocks. But it has a softer consistency. You can easily blend it into a high-protein and dairy-free replacement for heavy cream.
Blend it with soy milk to give it a smooth texture. If you like, you can also use regular milk. Combine equal parts of soy milk and tofu. Blend together until you reach a smooth and thick consistency. Then, add it in place of heavy cream in a 1:1 ratio. You can use it in soups and sauces.
You can also whip this alternative. Add a bit of vanilla extract or sugar and you will get a homemade vegan whipped topping for desserts.
8. Evaporated milk
Evaporated milk contains 60% less water than regular milk. Therefore, you get a thicker and creamier milk version. It works as a low-calorie substitute to heavy cream in recipes.
Use it when you need heavy cream as a liquid ingredient. This applies to baked goods. Use equal amounts of evaporated milk for heavy cream.
9. Cottage cheese and milk
We make cottage cheese from the curds of cow’s milk. It is high in protein and other nutrients. As such, it works as a great alternative to heavy cream.
Cottage cheese will add thickness to your recipes, most notably, sauces. Remove the lumps by blending them with a blender or food processor. Add milk to replicate the smooth and creamy texture of heavy cream in other recipes.
Combine cottage cheese and milk, blend until you remove the lumps, and then add the mixture to the recipe.
We recommend using it only in recipes that can survive the cheesy flavor of cottage cheese. Remember, this cheese has a high sodium amount. If you are salt-sensitive, opt for a different alternative to whipping cream in recipes.
10. Milk, lemon juice, and vanilla
Put 1/3 cup of ice water, 1 and ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla in a bowl and mix them together. Then, slowly add 1/3 of a cup of dry, nonfat milk. Beat at medium speed for five minutes and then check the consistency.
Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of sugar, continue beating, and you have a whipping cream substitute.