substitute for heavy cream
Ingredient Substitutes

The Best Substitute for Heavy Cream: Chef’s Top 9 Picks

Heavy cream is an ingredient made from the fat portion of fresh milk and consists of 35-40% fat. In fact, it is higher in fat than any other cream variety, such as half-and-half, whipping cream, and light cream. As a result, it is one of the most common ingredients in all sorts of recipes. From soups and sauces to ice cream and homemade butter, you’ll need heavy cream to create some of the most popular dishes out there.

However, since it’s such a popular ingredient, you can run out of heavy cream pretty quickly. Fortunately, with so many alternatives available, you can always find a great substitute for heavy cream. Let’s take a closer look at some of those popular replacements.

1. Soy Milk and Olive Oil

Combining soy milk and olive oil is a perfect way to create a reliable substitute for heavy cream. Why? Because olive oil adds fat to the soy milk, which results in a mixture similar in function and flavor to heavy cream. Not only that but this substitute is dairy-free, making it ideal for those with lactose intolerance.

To substitute for one cup of heavy cream, you’ll have to mix ⅔ cups of soy milk and ⅓ cup of olive oil. Keep in mind that this substitute is best for adding tenderness and taste in both cooking and baking and shouldn’t be used in recipes that need whipping.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ⅔ Cup Soy Milk + ⅓ Cup Olive Oil

2. Butter and Milk

Butter adds fat to milk, which increases its fat percentage to a similar level to that of heavy cream. Therefore, you can use a mixture of butter and milk to substitute for heavy cream in most, if not all, recipes. And while this substitution is not great for whipping, it’s still a fast and accessible replacement.

If you want to substitute one cup of heavy cream, all you need to do is add ¾ cups of milk to ¼ cups of melted butter. And if you want to thicken the mixture, you can add some flour, especially if you are using low-fat milk.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ¼ Cup Melted Butter + ¾ Cup Milk

3. Butter and Half-and-Half

Half-and-half is made from whole milk and cream, but only has a third of the fat of heavy cream. By adding butter, you increase half-and-half’s fat percentage, making it a delicious alternative to heavy cream. And best of all, it works in all recipes, even those that require whipping.

Ready to give half-and-half a try? Then you can mix ⅞ cups of half-and-half and ⅛ cups of melted butter to substitute for one cup of heavy cream. You can also use half-and-half without adding butter for particular recipes such as soups and sauces.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ⅞ Cup Half-and-Half + ⅛ Cup Melted Butter

4. Soy Milk and Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is made from condensed soy milk that’s been formed into solid blocks. In contrast to regular tofu, silken has a softer consistency, which makes it easier to blend with any dairy-free and high-protein ingredients such as soy milk. In fact, by mixing them together, you create a smooth, textured compound that can replace heavy cream in most recipes.

When using silken tofu, you want to combine equal parts of soy milk and silken tofu and blend them together until the mixture becomes smooth yet thick. Then, you can use that mixture to replace one cup of heavy cream in sauces, soups, or other recipes.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ½ Cup Silken Tofu + ½ Cup Soy Milk

5. Coconut Cream

Coconut Cream
Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is an extremely versatile ingredient that can replace heavy cream due to its consistency and texture. You can either purchase pre-made coconut cream or make it at home using coconut milk. Yet, while coconut cream and heavy cream have similar properties, the former has a strong flavor and can alter the taste of your final product.

This substitution is easy and accessible, as you can replace heavy cream with coconut cream in a one-to-one ratio. Additionally, you can also use coconut cream to make coconut ice cream or similar delicious desserts.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = 1 Cup Coconut Cream

6. Milk and Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese high in micronutrients and protein that is made from the curds of cow’s milk. Thanks to its texture, cottage cheese is a healthy alternative to heavy cream and can add thickness to recipes such as sauces. However, you’ll have to remove the lumps by blending the cheese with a food processor or immersion blender.

In order to achieve the best results, you should mix cottage cheese with milk, as that will replicate the creamy and smooth texture of heavy cream. Just combine ½ cups of milk with ½ tablespoons of cottage cheese to substitute for one cup of heavy cream.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ½ Cup Milk + ½ Tbsp Cottage Cheese

7. Milk and Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in protein and can be used as a replacement for heavy cream. Not only can it thicken up your dishes, but it can also add a healthy twist to them thanks to the high protein count. But since Greek Yogurt is thicker than heavy cream, you’ll have to add some milk to thin it out.

Therefore, to replace one cup of heavy cream, you need to mix ½ cups of milk and ½ tablespoons of Greek Yogurt. Keep in mind that Greek Yogurt is lower in fat, meaning that it may not add the same tenderness as heavy cream in desserts and baked goods.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = ½ Cup Milk + ½ Tbsp Greek Yogurt

8. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a type of cheese made using milk and cream. And while people usually use it as a spread for bagels, it can also be a great substitute for heavy cream. More specifically, you can use it for frostings, sauces, and cream-based soups. But due to its texture, you shouldn’t rely on cream cheese for recipes that need whipping.

You can use cream cheese as a substitute for heavy cream in a one-to-one ratio. Yet, you should note that cream cheese can alter the taste of your dish, so it isn’t suitable for all recipes.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = 1 Tbsp Cream Cheese

9. Cornstarch and Milk

Finally, by combining cornstarch and milk, you can create a low-calorie, low-fat replacement for heavy cream. How does it work? To put it simply, cornstarch will thicken the milk, creating a similar texture to that of heavy cream.

To replace one cup of heavy cream, you can mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with one cup of milk. Just remember to stir until the mixture thickens and its consistency resembles heavy cream.

1 Cup Heavy Cream = 2 Tbsp Cornstarch + 1 Cup Milk

AboutKashmir Brummel

As a former restaurant reviewer, I’m now dedicated to exploring the story behind the foods we eat, whether it’s the history or a dish or the origin of the ingredients. When I’m not writing about food, you’ll find me on a terrace in Barcelona.

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