12+ Substitutes for Heavy Cream (Vegan & Non-Vegan)

substitutes for heavy cream - vegan & non-vegan
22 min reading time

When you’re preparing a delicious dish or decadent dessert, heavy cream can make all the difference. Unfortunately, not everyone has it on hand – and even those that do may be looking for a lighter alternative. Whether you’re substituting for dietary preferences, don’t have any in the fridge, or simply want to avoid the extra calories and fat from heavy cream, we’ve got your back!

In this post, we’ll share our 9 favorite substitutes for heavy cream so you can still enjoy your favorite dishes without sacrificing flavor. Let’s get started!

What is Heavy Cream?

Heavy cream, also sometimes referred to as whipping cream or double cream, is a dairy product made from the highest-fat part of cow’s milk. It typically contains 36%-40% butterfat and has a thick creamy consistency when compared to other types of milk. Heavy cream is used in a variety of different dishes and recipes ranging from sauces, soups, desserts, and even whipped toppings. Due to its high-fat content, it adds richness and flavor to whatever dish it is added to and can often stand in as a substitute for vegetable oil or other fats commonly found in baking recipes.

Heavy Cream also contains protein which makes it less dense than whole milk but still much thicker than skimmed varieties; so it can be used instead of buttermilk when making waffles or pancakes for example. The protein content helps with creating perfectly light fluffy items which are often hard to achieve with only other milks or oils alone when baking.

Heavy cream is excellent for creaming custards, making chilled soufflés, baking cakes with extra moist crumb texture, and producing fluffy frostings. It’s also great in sauces such as Alfredo or Beurre Blanc because it won’t curdle like light whipping creams do when heated. It can be used to thicken chowders and gives added richness to ice creams and frozen yogurt recipes.

Whipping heavy cream produces more stabilized air bubbles due to its higher fat content than other types of liquid dairy products such as buttermilk or skim milk; the added fat traps tiny gas bubbles which leads to increased volume upon beating.

Health Benefits of Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can enhance a wide range of dishes, from savory to sweet. But did you know that it also comes with a variety of health benefits? For starters, it’s a great source of vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy vision, immune function, and skin health.

It’s also rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fatty acid that has been linked to several health benefits, including lower inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Additionally, heavy cream contains nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are important for strong bones and teeth.

While heavy cream may have some health benefits due to being naturally high in certain crucial vitamins (A & D) as well as antioxidants like vitamin E that protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals – these are outweighed by possible drawbacks posed by consuming too much fat present within them.

As such they should be consumed sparingly unless otherwise instructed as part of an existing diet plan tailored around nutrition deficit issues closely monitored by your doctor/nutritionist etc.

12 Substitutes For Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a staple ingredient in many recipes, adding richness and depth of flavor to dishes such as sauces, desserts, and soups. However, for those looking to reduce fat and calories in their diet, finding a substitute for heavy cream can be a game-changer. Whether it be for dietary, health, or ethical reasons, there are numerous plant-based options that can mimic the texture and taste of heavy cream.

From coconut milk to cashew cream, these substitutes not only offer a healthier alternative but also provide a new level of versatility in cooking. So, whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply looking to switch up your recipes, there is a substitute for heavy cream out there to meet your needs.

Given below is the list of 12 substitutes for heavy cream (Vegan & Non-Vegan) that you can use.

5 Vegan Substitutes for Heavy Cream

1. Coconut Cream

cocunet cream: Substitutes for Heavy Cream
Source: thespruceeats.com

Coconut cream is a great substitute for heavy cream and can be used in many recipes to improve flavor, texture, and nutrition. It has a thicker consistency than regular coconut milk, but it’s still very creamy and rich. When using coconut cream as a substitute for heavy cream in recipes, you’ll want to use an equal amount of the product as you would with traditional heavy cream.

When substituting it’s also important to consider the differences in taste between the two products. Heavy whipping cream has a sweet buttery flavor while coconut cream has a more subtle sweetness combined with fragrance from natural oils like lauric acid that are found in coconuts. The end result will depend both on preference and recipe requirements when deciding which one works better for what you’re making.

Coconut Cream is prized for its nutritional value compared to traditional dairy-based creams since it contains fewer calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium than other options on the market. As an added bonus it’s also vegan-friendly being 100% plant-based! Coconut Cream also provides your body with essential vitamins like Vitamin A & E as well as essential minerals such as calcium & magnesium so if you’re looking to transition towards healthier cooking methods this could be just what you need!

Overall using Coconut Cream instead of traditional heavy cream can really boost the health benefits of dishes without sacrificing much flavor or texture making this substitution one worth trying out!

2. Soy Milk & Olive Oil

Soy milk used as an alternative to heavy cream

Soy milk and olive oil are both viable substitutes for heavy cream when baking or cooking. Soy milk has a creamy texture, which makes it great for desserts, soups, sauces, and other recipes that call for heavy cream. Olive oil is perfect in savory dishes like egg dishes, casseroles, pizzas, and pasta dishes where the texture of the dish may not be as important as the flavor.

When substituting soy milk for heavy cream in a recipe, use an equal amount (1 cup of soy milk for 1 cup of cream). If you’re looking to lower fat content in a recipe then you can reduce the amount of added fat by adding an additional teaspoonful or two of olive oil instead. The olive oil will add richness without having to replace all the heavier ingredients with lower-fat alternatives.

It’s important to note that soy milk does not have as much fat as cow’s milk or heavy cream; therefore some recipes may need more liquid than originally called for if using only soy milk in place of these ingredients. Additionally, soybeans contain lecithin which helps thicken liquids naturally so keep this factor in mind while substituting and add enough extra liquid slowly until desired consistency is reached. And since olive oil has no lecithin it should be used sparingly; think one tablespoon at a time until your desired results are attained!

3. Tofu

Tofu used as a substitute for heavy cream

Using tofu as a substitute for heavy cream is an excellent way to make your recipes healthier while still keeping them delicious and creamy. Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, making it a good choice if reducing animal products in your diet is important to you. It can also be an affordable alternative to heavy cream.

Tofu can provide the needed fat content that many recipes require when replacing dairy or other fats such as butter. The exact amount of tofu needed will depend on the recipe, but typically 1/4 cup of soft or silken tofu replaces 1/2 cup of heavy cream in baking and savory dishes. Depending on how long it gets cooked, the texture may differ from that of regular cream; some find that its texture works better than others’ taste preferences.

For sweet dishes, like puddings and desserts with sauces, try blending in some silken tofu when adding liquid ingredients like soy milk or almond milk instead of cow’s milk for even more velvety smoothness.

4. Cashews

Cashews are a great plant-based alternative for replacing heavy cream in recipes. Cashew cream is rich, creamy, and decadent, making it particularly well-suited for dishes like lasagnas, pasta sauces, and soups that call for heavy cream.

To make cashew cream at home, you’ll need 2 cups of raw unsalted cashews (soaked overnight or quickly boiled on the stove). Once they’re softened, either strain them or use the cooking water to blend with the cashews until you get a smooth creamy consistency. A high-speed blender tends to work best as it breaks up all of the little pieces of nut into a fine paste quicker than other methods.

Cashew cream has so many uses beyond replacing traditional dairy products in vegan versions of classic recipes; it also makes an excellent topping for cakes and pies instead of whipped topping and can be sweetened with sugar or maple syrup when used to top desserts.

5. Hemp Milk

Hemp milk - a great substitute for heavy cream

Hemp milk is one of the best substitutes for heavy cream for vegans. Not only does it provide some nutritional benefits, but it also acts as a suitable alternative for many recipes without sacrificing taste or texture.

Hemp milk is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant and consists of hulled hemp seeds soaked in water. It contains plenty of healthy fats, like omega-3s, amino acids, and minerals that are beneficial to our diet and help us maintain balance in our bodies. This type of milk has a nutty flavor which makes it a great choice for baking or making smoothies.

One great benefit of using hemp milk instead of heavy cream is its low-calorie content. et another advantage is that whereas conventional dairy products contain lactose sugars which can be difficult for those with lactose intolerance due to their sensitivity towards the sugar; Hemp milk contains much lower levels allowing such people some degree of indulgence and relative peace from gastrointestinal discomfort!

So if you are looking at cutting down on unhealthy ingredients while keeping flavor intact don’t think twice about trying out using Hemp Milk today as a substitute for heavy cream.

6. Oat Milk

Oat Milk - one of the best substitutes for heavy cream

Oat milk can be used as a substitute for heavy cream in some recipes, however, it is important to understand the differences when making substitutions.

Heavy cream typically contains 36-40% butterfat, whereas oat milk contains about 0.5-2%, so the substitution will generally not work well when a recipe requires a certain level of fat content, like ice cream or custards where richness and texture are key elements. If a recipe calls specifically for heavy cream, look for an alternative non-dairy option such as coconut cream or coconut milk with full-fat content instead of oat milk.

When looking to reduce your calorie and saturated fat intake while maintaining flavor in savory dishes like creamy pasta sauces or mac n cheese you may be able to get away with using oat milk depending on how much flavor is already present in the dish which will help compensate for the lack of fats provided by heavy cream. Just note that it won’t thicken quite as nicely either since there is less butterfat involved making it potentially runnier than if using dairy options such as heavy or light cream (hence why cooking time may need to be adapted too).

If needing thicker textures without adding much more calories then consider reducing other ingredients such as vegetable stocks whilst simultaneously increasing seasonings/spices – this way you’ll still get great flavors but benefit from lighter calorie counts!

Substitutes For Heavy Cream (Non-Vegan)

8. Milk and Butter

Milk and butter - one of the non-vegan substitutes for heavy milk

Milk and butter are the classic substitutions for heavy cream in both savory and sweet dishes. To make a sub that’s 1 cup of heavy cream, combine 3/4 cup whole milk with 1/3 cup melted butter. This should yield around one cup of creamy substitute that you can use in your recipe.

When using this blend as a substitute for whipping purposes (like when making whipped topping), keep in mind that the mix will not whip up quite as light or fluffy as traditional whipped cream would since commercially sold whipping creams have been stiffened with stabilizers like carrageenan or guar gum to help them hold their shape better once beaten.

Regular cow’s milk works best here since the high-fat content helps mimic the effect of real heavy whipping cream but other non-dairy milks may work too – just give it a try! You can also use almond milk or oat milk.

No matter what combination you choose to go with – whether it’s regular cow’s milk and butter or plant-based milk like oat milk or almond milk – remember that substituting these ingredients won’t yield an identical result; however, they will provide satisfactory results specifically in baking texts where heavier textures are desired!

9. Evaporated Milk

Evaporated Milk used as an option to replace heavy milk

Evaporated milk is often used as a direct substitute for heavy cream in recipes such as custards, sauces, and soups. It works as an excellent substitute because it is already thickened and contains about 60% of the fat content of heavy cream.

The greatest advantage that evaporated milk holds over heavy cream is its longer shelf life. Heavy cream can go bad quickly, while evaporated milk can keep unrefrigerated for up to six months when stored properly in an airtight container.

Evaporated milk also has nutritional benefits compared to heavy cream due to its lower calorie and fat contents – just 50 calories per 1/4 cup serving of evaporated milk versus 200 calories per 1/4 cup serving of heavy cream, and 2g of fat per 1/4 cup servings versus 20g respectively. So if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to use in your favorite recipe without compromising on taste or consistency, then switching out the heavy cream with some evaporated milk will definitely do the trick!

When making a substitution, however always bear in mind that the texture may be slightly different between the two ingredients since it’s missing some of the proteins found in dairy products like butterfat which give heavier creams their thicker consistency. To make up for this difference you could add more cornstarch or other thickeners – but remember that this will also affect both taste and nutrition facts so use sparingly!

10. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese - One of the non-vegan substitutes for heavy cream

Cream cheese can indeed be used as a substitute for heavy cream when making certain dishes. Some recipes, such as custards and ice creams, require the higher fat content of heavy cream in order to provide the proper texture. However, when making other recipes like soups or sauces that don’t require the same level of richness as cream, cream cheese is an acceptable alternative.

When using cream cheese in place of heavy cream you should take into account a few important considerations. First, because it contains more solids than liquid, you will need to adjust your recipe accordingly. You can still use the same volume measure when substituting but you will need to add additional liquid (such as milk or water) to make up for what would normally be provided by a greater volume of heavier cream.

Secondly, due to its higher fat content and tart flavor profile (provided by lactic acid), some minor adjustments may also be needed with respect to seasoning and/or adding more flavorful ingredients such as vegetables or herbs depending on what type of dish you’re preparing.

To summarize: while cream cheese can serve as a substitute for heavier creams in certain recipes it shouldn’t be treated like an exact replacement; instead one must make minor adjustments while cooking in order to achieve desired results since each product has its own unique set of characteristics which affect how they perform within specific dishes.

11. Greek Yogurt & Milk

Greek Yogurt - a non-vegan alternative to heavy cream

Greek Yogurt is an extremely popular and one of the healthiest substitutes for heavy cream. It has a thick, creamy texture which makes it suitable for use as a substitute in recipes that call for cream or other dairy products. Greek yogurt is high in protein and fat, making it a nutrient-rich substitute for heavy cream. Compared to the calories in regular plain yogurt, Greek Yogurt contains double the amount of protein and triple the amount of fat. Additionally, Greek Yogurt contains more probiotic bacteria than regular plain yogurt, which helps with digestion while also boosting immunity against infections and diseases.

Substituting heavy cream with Greek yogurt can also affect the taste of some dishes negatively due to its sourness; however, there are several ways to combat this issue! You can add sweeteners like honey or maple syrup if you would like something sweeter tasting but still healthy. Another option would be to add powders such as cocoa powder or vanilla extract to neutralize the sourness of the yogurt while still maintaining its thicker consistency. If you’re looking for a savory flavor instead of sweetening your dish then adding herbs and spices is another great way to go about doing so!

Greek yogurt provides many benefits that are worth exploring over using heavy cream when cooking up delicious meals- not just nutritionally but from a financial standpoint as well! Generally speaking, greek yogurt tends to be cheaper than buying even reduced-fat versions of traditional creams which could save money in upcoming grocery bills down the road! Overall it is clear that switching out expensive ingredients like heavy cream with much healthier alternatives such as Greek yogurt will provide both nutritional advantages along with cost advantages- giving two thumbs up when considering substitutions into everyday cooking routines!

12. Sour Cream

Sour Cream - one of the best non-vegan substitutes for heavy cream

Sour cream, too, is an excellent substitute for heavy cream. It’s lower in fat, but still adds a creamy texture and rich flavor to dishes.

When using sour cream as a replacement for heavy cream, there are several things you should keep in mind: Sour cream is thicker than heavy cream and so it works best when added at the end of the cooking process or in too-cold dishes. This helps it maintain its structure and prevents it from curdling. Start by substituting half of the amount of heavy cream with sour cream – because sour cream is thicker you can adjust as needed depending on desired consistency. Try adding more as needed to achieve desired richness, sweetness, thickness, etc.

Reduce liquid in the recipe- since sour cream has higher moisture content than heavy cream; reduce other liquids accordingly or increase solids for desired outcome/texture/consistency (e.g. flour).

Be aware that acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar can cause curdling – if baking with acidic ingredients add more baking soda & powder to help neutralize any resulting acidity & counterbalance this reaction which will make your batter rise higher too!

Overall, using sour creams as a substitute for heavy creams can work great! You just need to know what adjustments are needed and how much exactly needs replacing depending on the dish being prepared. With some experimentation and practice you’ll be able to master this fantastic substitution!

13. Creme Fraiche

Image with creme fraiche.

Creme Fraiche is an increasingly popular substitute for heavy cream. It’s a type of cultured cream, and it’s becoming more widely available in stores. But what makes Creme Fraiche such an attractive replacement? Let’s explore how the two ingredients differ and how we can use them to our advantage when cooking.

Creme Fraiche is made by adding a starter culture to cream that has been slightly soured with buttermilk or yogurt. This fermenting process develops lactic acid bacteria which thickens the cream into a dense and creamy texture without having to rely on butterfat like regular heavy whipping cream does. The result is a velvety smooth product that adds rich flavor to dishes like sauces, soups, desserts, etc without being overly cloying or heavy on the palate since it contains about half as much fat as regular whipping cream (about 28 percent vs 36 percent).

The unique combination of rich density and tart flavor offered by Creme Fraiche makes it perfect for use in recipes that call for unwhipped creams or lightened versions of heavier sauces. Its consistency also makes it well suited for dishes served cold; try it in panna cotta, ice-cream bases, or warm drinks like hot chocolate where you would normally be tempted to add double-thickness whipped creams!

Additionally, its mild tanginess gives salad dressing and dips additional complexity while still providing the same creamy mouthfeel provided by traditional creams. By acting as both emulsifier and thickening agent at once – making liquids smoother while also locking in moisture – Crème fraîche has become an extremely versatile kitchen staple for many cooks who are looking to reduce calories but not compromise flavor profiles!

14. Mascarpone

Mascarpone cheese - an alternative to heavy cream

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese, made from cream and usually used as a spread or an ingredient in desserts. It has a similar consistency to heavy cream, but it does not contain any added fat like cream does.

When it comes to substitute for heavy cream in baking, mascarpone can be used as an alternative to achieve the same rich texture and flavor of a traditional recipe when cooked. While both are dairy products, mascarpone is much dense than heavy cream—which means that less volume should be used when making a substitution. That being said, it may require some experimentation on your part while using this substitute since there will likely be different ratios required depending on what you are baking!

It’s important to note that even though mascarpone consists mostly of pure fat (ranging typically between 72-80%), this cheese contains almost no protein compared to regular heavy cream (which contains around 3-4% protein). This will make an impact on how light your final product turns out—so make sure you adjust your ingredients accordingly if using this substitution!

In terms of taste profiles between the two products, due to its lack of additional ingredients found in heavy whipping creams such as stabilizers and emulsifiers, mascarpone produces a smoother tasting result with very little tangy aftertaste whereas heavier creams may produce slightly acidic dishes due to their higher levels of lactic acid content. Therefore if you don’t care about the thickness or richness provided by the heavier creams and only want something more subtle then mascarpone might work well for you!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What cream is the same as heavy cream?

One common option is whipping cream, which has a similar fat content to heavy cream and can be whipped up just like its heavier counterpart. Another alternative is half-and-half, which is a combination of milk and cream. While it’s not as rich as heavy cream, it can still provide a similar texture and flavor to your dish.

Is heavy cream bad for health?

It’s important to note that heavy cream, like most foods, can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. In fact, heavy cream can provide important nutrients like vitamin D and calcium that are essential for bone health. It’s all about finding the right balance and incorporating it into a diet that is rich in whole foods and low in sugar and processed foods. So don’t feel guilty about indulging in a dollop of whipped cream on top of your dessert once in a while – just remember to enjoy it in moderation.

What are some vegan substitutes for heavy cream?

Coconut cream and cashew cream can both be used in place of heavy cream for a creamy and rich texture. They are also versatile and easy to prepare, making them great options for any recipe. Other substitutes include almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk, all of which can add a creamy and slightly sweet flavor to your dishes.

How can I make my own heavy cream substitute?

Making your own heavy cream substitute at home is surprisingly easy. All you need is whole milk and butter. Simply melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature. Then, mix equal parts of the melted butter and whole milk together until fully combined. It is a great way to customize the fat content to your liking.

How do I use heavy cream in baking?

Heavy cream is a richer and thicker option, which can lead to a creamier, more indulgent dessert. You can also whip heavy cream to use as frosting for cakes or a topping for pies. Alternatively, you can reduce the heavy cream on the stovetop to create a thick and luscious caramel sauce.

Is there a dairy-free substitute for heavy cream?

You can use coconut cream, cashew cream, or even silken tofu, there are plenty of options to meet your needs.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking to mimic the effects of heavy cream in a recipe, there are numerous possibilities to explore. From the classic use of butter, and yogurt to vegan options such as coconut cream, these nine substitute ingredients contain drastically fewer calories and less fat than heavy cream. Each alternative brings its own unique taste and texture; experiment with different variations until you find the one best suited to your needs. Plus, most of these products are likely already stocked in your pantry or kitchen.

Not only will this save you from consuming excess calories, but it also helps reduce your overall intake of saturated fats—making it a win-win for both your tastebuds and health. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the best option that suits your recipes and dietary plans. Whatever substitution you choose, always thoroughly mix it into your dishes for uniform texture throughout as this will result in a more pleasant culinary experience overall. Bon Appetit!

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