No more heavy cream? Don’t give up on your half-cooked meal! Check out these heavy cream substitutes that will save your cooking project in a jiffy.
Whether for whipping, making baked goods, or in sauces, heavy cream is a vital cooking ingredient.
But what if you’ve run out of it? Or you’re lactose intolerant? Or following a vegan diet and can’t have dairy products?
If you’ve found yourself in need of a heavy whipping cream swap, this is the right place to be.
Here are the top 15 heavy cream alternatives to use in place of heavy cream that will give you the same texture and moisture as this fat-loaded dairy staple.
1. Sour Cream
If you’re making something that won’t be affected by the sourness of the sour cream, then using this dairy product with a higher fat content as a heavy cream alternative is probably the best.
Sour cream has a fat content of about 20%. And with that much fat, it can easily provide that dairy texture that heavy cream offers.
Best for sauces and baked goods, or even as a sweetened whipped cream where tanginess is welcome.
Don’t let your extras go to waste! Make these recipes with leftover sour cream!
Although it is much thicker than sour cream, mascarpone is another substitute for heavy cream that you can definitely try thanks to its high fat content.
With about 44% of fat, it can provide creaminess to your sauces, soups, stews and other savory recipes.
And If you’re looking for a whipped cream alternative, even better.
Since it is already super thick, sweetened mascarpone can be used instead of whipped cream without any trouble.
Besides, if you haven’t tried it as a frosting before, well, now is your chance to catch up.
3. Coconut Cream
If you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan alternative, coconut cream is one of the best substitutes.
You can use it just as you would sour cream. And it will be perfect for your cooking and baking projects. It is also great in stews in smaller quantities.
However, be careful! Know that coconut cream has, well, coconut flavor. If that’s something that will hurt the taste of your meal, look elsewhere.
4. Half and Half and Butter
Although you can technically use equal amounts milk and butter as a heavy cream substitute, half-and-half will be much more similar to the original to create a creamy texture.
Half-and-half is half milk and half cream, so you already have that one part.
The butter is what gives much more fat. And with that one part milk in half-and-half, it balances out into heavy cream. Or at least, it comes super close.
As far as consistency goes, this is a great substitute.
Just melt ¼ cup of butter, whisk ¾ cup of half-and-half inside, and that gives you a cup of heavy cream.
5. Heavy Cream Powder
If you use heavy cream on a regular basis, it is probably wise to have some heavy cream powder in your pantry. Just in case you need a good substitute.
This is dehydrated cream powder, which is referred to as “sweet.” It is not sweetened. It is just not sour, either.
Mix this powder up with water, and voila. Heavy cream straight from the shelf ready for a whipped topping!
Put that heavy cream to work with these fall soup recipes.
6. Milk and Cornstarch
Mixing milk and cornstarch, basically, just thickens the milk. But if you need it for sauces or stews, this will most likely do the trick. And your meal will turn out to be just as delicious.
Keep in mind though that this does not give you the same amount of fat.
Also, make sure to mix up well and get rid of any clumps. For best results, use two tablespoons of cornstarch per cup of milk.
You need to cook it to make it thick. Simmer for a minute while constantly whisking will do the trick.
7. Evaporated Milk
Okay, evaporated milk comes nowhere near the thickness of heavy cream. But comparing it to regular milk, it is indeed thicker. So, why not try it if you have no better options?
It can be a 1:1 substitution, and it will work well with baking goods.
Plus, it can give your soups, stews, and sauces a touch of creaminess.
8. Soy Milk and Olive Oil
Soy milk and olive oil, or any type of oil and plant-based milk, for that matter, are another decent option for a dairy-free substitute.
The main concern with this alternative, though, is the taste.
Olive oil has a strong fruity taste, which can hurt the flavor. Especially if you’re dealing with sweet baking goods.
Soy milk also has a distinctive flavor. The same goes for oat or nut milk.
Vegetable oil, on the other hand, is pretty tasteless, so that should work, too.
For best results, use 1/3 cup of oil and 2/3 cup of soy milk to make a cup of a heavy cream substitute.
9. Greek Yogurt and Milk
Just like with sour cream, not all dishes will benefit from a plain Greek yogurt and milk substitute.
The yogurt brings a much tangier taste.
But if that’s not a concern, then, by all means, go for it for a good alternative.
You should mix equal parts of both milk and yogurt, to nail that desired consistency.
So, if you need to substitute a cup of heavy cream, mix ½ cup of milk with ½ cup of yogurt.
Have extra greek yogurt? Try these yummy yogurt bowl ideas.
10. Cream Cheese
Just like with mascarpone, cream cheese can also work in some cases. For instance, if you want a tangier alternative to whipped cream, sweetened cream cheese will work well.
You can also add it to sauces and stews for added creaminess. And a bit thicker texture.
For baking projects, though, you might want to consider thinning it with milk. However, it will still end up tasting tangy. Just keep that in mind.
11. Milk and Butter
If you don’t have half-and-half, a milk-and-butter combo can work too.
Follow the same rules as if you’re using half-and-half.
That means melting ¼ cup of butter and mixing it up with ¾ cup of milk.
12. Cashew Cream
Looking for dairy-free options? Then cashew cream can be a creamy alternative you can use instead of heavy cream.
The result is a bit time-consuming, so probably not best for heavy-cream emergencies.
You cover ¾ cup of cashews with water and let it soak for two hours. Then you simply drain and blend. After that, you mix in ¼ cup of clean water. And that’s it.
This is best used as a whipped cream alternative.
13. Cottage Cheese and Milk
What you do is, you mix equal parts of milk and cottage cheese. Then you blend them until super smooth and lump-free.
If the flavor will not be impaired by the cheese, you can use it as you would heavy cream. So, equal ratios!
It may not be suitable for whipping, but it is great for savory baking goods and sauces.
Use your cottage cheese to make these best cottage cheese recipes!
14. Plant-Based Milk and Arrowroot powder
This heavy cream substitute is much lower in fat. But if that’s what you were going for, it should work fine.
All you have to do is simply whip up the plant-based milk from the grocery store with arrowroot powder.
This option is also Keto-friendly as it is super low in carbs.
If you don’t mind the carbs, you can combine the milk with cornstarch, too.
Just like with regular milk, you need two tablespoons of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) for every cup of milk.
You can easily use this alternative to bulk up these smoothie recipes.
15. Tofu and Plant-Based Milk
With some milk added, tofu can be a great heavy milk substitute.
All you have to do is place the silken tofu in a blender or food processor, add a generous splash of milk, and blend. Process it until it starts resembling heavy cream.
You can then use this substitute in sauces, soups, stews, or even baked goods.
15 Best Heavy Cream Substitutes
Here are the best heavy cream substitutes if you’re looking to replace it with a lower-fat or dairy-free alternative. We have options to keep you covered for any type of recipe.
- 1. Sour Cream
- 2. Mascarpone
- 3. Coconut Cream
- 4. Half and Half Butter
- 5. Heavy Cream Powder
- 6. Milk and Cornstarch
- 7. Evaporated Milk
- 8. Soy Milk and Olive Oil
- 9. Greek Yogurt and Milk
- 10. Cream Cheese
- 11. Milk and Butter
- 12. Cashew Cream
- 13. Cottage Cheese and Milk
- 14. Plant-based Milk and Arrowroot
- 15. Tofu and Plant-Based Milk
- Choose the substitute from above.
- Use these heavy cream substitutes to make your favorite dishes!