The 8 Most Effective Heavy Cream Substitutes

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Go no further if you’re looking for fast, simple, vegan, or healthful heavy cream substitutions. This article will teach you all you need to know about heavy cream and why you should consider replacing it with one of our top eight alternatives.

Heavy cream, also known as double cream or whipping cream, is a versatile ingredient that may be used in a number of recipes. It is often created from the fatty layer that develops on top of milk and is thicker and includes a larger proportion of fat than other creams such as light cream or single cream. It is also distinct from other varieties of cream in that it may be whipped.

Is it healthy (or unhealthy)?

Regrettably, although being versatile and tasty, heavy cream is not the healthiest ingredient available. Heavy cream has a high fat and calorie content, with up to 40g of fat (23g saturated fat) and 350 calories per 100g. This isn’t the meal to choose if you’re on a diet, but it does contain some redeeming qualities, including modest levels of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and a trace of protein. The nutritional breakdown of 100g heavy cream is shown below.

Nutritional Analysis

sour cream

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

345 kcal

17 %

Fat in total

37 g

56 %

Saturated fatty acid

23 g

115 %

Cholesterol

137 mg

45 %

Salt

38 mg

1 %

Protein

2 g

4 %

Calcium

65 mg

6 %

A vitamin

1,470 IU

30 %

D vitamin

27 IU

6 %

E vitamin

1 mg

6 %

(On the basis of this variety.)

In what recipes is heavy cream used?

Heavy cream is incredibly flexible and may be used in a broad range of dishes, including soups, sauces, salads, casseroles, ice cream, icing, whipped cream, and a number of other desserts. It may be used to make a thick, creamy foundation for sauces and soups, as well as a rich, creamy topping for desserts.

It may also be whipped into whipped cream or combined with other ingredients and churned in an ice cream machine to create a delectably creamy dessert dish. Heavy cream is a fundamental component in many regions of the globe, whether it’s a hot creamy soup or a cold complimentary spoonful of cream for your sweets.

Why are heavy cream alternatives required?

As we grow more concerned of our health and the environment, more of us are replacing heavy dairy cream with low-fat or non-dairy substitutes. Becoming dairy-free is better for animals, the environment, and our stomachs. Lactose intolerant people need non-dairy options as well if they don’t want to cause havoc on their digestive systems.

Maybe you just forgot to pick up some heavy cream at the supermarket and are seeking for a fast and simple substitute. No need to be concerned about your cream-free sauces, soups, or ice creams. This article discusses the top eight heavy cream alternatives, their benefits and drawbacks, and the meals that work best with each.

Note:

= vegan

= Dairy and vegan alternatives


1. Milk and butter 🥛 / 🌱

Soups, sauces, casseroles, and certain dessert dishes benefit the most from it.

Overview

This milk-butter mix, made from two basic home products, is ideal if you just forgot to add heavy cream to your shopping list.

Advantages

This heavy cream alternative is one of the most handy on our list since most of us will have these two items on hand. It’s also simple to create, taking just a few minutes to prepare.

This alternative, like heavy cream, has a beautiful thick, creamy texture and rich taste, making it ideal for soups, sauces, and casseroles.

Whilst it is not the healthiest choice on our list, it does include a lot of calcium (approximately 100mg per 100g) and is somewhat lower in saturated and total fat than heavy cream (30-33g compared to the 40g in heavy cream). You might also replace ordinary dairy milk and butter with vegan or low-fat alternatives to boost the health element even further.

Disadvantages

Nevertheless, if you’re searching for a healthier option to heavy cream, this isn’t the one for you. True, it has somewhat less fat, but not enough to significantly reduce calories or improve health.

According to our study on this alternative, many individuals end up with a lumpy consistency.

This approach requires 3 cups of butter. There is also a lot more information online on how to create your own. 4 cup milk, and 1TIP: To guarantee a smooth and lump-free milk-butter combination, first melt the butter in a pot and then let it to cool fully before mixing it with the milk. We suggest using three.

We also don’t advocate using this as an ice cream alternative. While it is possible to make it work, there are smoother, more effective alternatives on our list.

Nutritional analysis

Cream with milk and butter

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

240 kcal

12 %

Fat in total

30 g

44 %

Saturated fatty acid

15 g

73 %

Cholesterol

62 mg

20 %

Salt

36 mg

1 %

Protein

3 g

5 %

Calcium

80 mg

8 %

A vitamin

700 IU

14 %

D vitamin

20 IU

4 %

E vitamin

(I used 1% fat dairy milk. About a 7:3 milk-to-butter ratio.)


2. Milk and cornstarch 🥛 / 🌱

Low-fat soups, sauces, and casseroles are ideal.

Overview

Another excellent heavy cream alternative using just two common home components. It’s less rich and flavorful than other alternatives, but it’s also lower in fat and calories.

To get the most out of this alternative, we suggest using 2 teaspoons of cornstarch for 1 cup of milk. Go online for additional information on how to create your own.

Advantages

The most obvious benefit of this replacement is that it is so simple to prepare. Most of us have milk and a package of cornstarch on hand, and it just takes a few of minutes to stir the cornstarch into the milk.

The end result? A thick but healthful combination that works much like heavy cream to thicken soups and sauces.

With fewer than 60 calories and 3g of fat per 100g (based on 100g of a mixture of 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 cup 1% fat milk), this substitution is ideal if you want a quick, healthy alternative to heavy cream. It is also higher in calcium and protein than heavy cream, providing additional health advantages with less fat.

This alternative is also beneficial since it enables you to choose the sort of milk you wish to use. Use a higher fat milk for a fuller taste. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, just substitute nondairy milk for the dairy milk.

Disadvantages

Clearly, because of the decreased calorie and fat level, you will be sacrificing some taste here. Since the combination is mostly made of thickened milk, the taste will be milky rather than rich and creamy.

If a thick consistency is your major concern, this isn’t much of a drawback. But, if you want to use it in dessert dishes, we suggest going with a somewhat richer alternative.

This substitution will also not whip as effectively as heavy cream, so if you prefer a fluffy, whipped topping or filling for baked products, look to other solutions on our list.

Nutritional analysis

Cream of milk and cornstarch

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

60 kcal

3 %

Fat in total

3 g

3 %

Saturated fatty acid

0.6 g

2 %

Cholesterol

5 mg

1 %

Salt

42 mg

1 %

Protein

3.3 g

6 %

Calcium

115 mg

12 %

A vitamin

0 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

(I used 1% fat dairy milk.)


3. Milk and olive oil 🥛 / 🌱

Sauces, soups, casseroles, and certain dessert dishes benefit the most from it.

Overview

A 2:1 milk-to-olive-oil ratio, like the last two solutions on our list, will provide a fast, easy, and convincing replacement for heavy cream. Nevertheless, whipping is not an option here. There’s more information online on how to create your own, so give it a go.

Advantages

A milk-oil combination is a speedier and simpler variant of the previously described milk-butter combination. This substitution, like the milk-butter mixture, produces a thick, somewhat creamy, and convincing substitute for heavy cream. Nevertheless, unlike the milk-butter combination, there is no need to spend prep time heating or chilling butter before combining. Just pour in 1 cup of olive oil for every 2 cups of milk, stir, and you’re done.

Since olive oil is a common household product, it is simpler to get than vegan heavy cream or butter substitutes, making it a perfect dairy-free choice if you don’t have much to work with. Dairy milk may be readily substituted with dairy-free alternatives like soy or almond milk, which work just as well.

The milk content delivers a healthy dosage of calcium as well as a little quantity of protein. Nevertheless, as you’ll see below, if you’re avoiding heavy cream for health reasons, you’d be better off using a different replacement.

Disadvantages

However, the simplicity and efficacy of this alternative come at the expense of several health advantages. While olive oil is healthier than some of its competitors, it is still 100% fat and rich in calories. As a consequence, this alternative has at least 30g of fat per 100g and about 320 calories.

This may seem familiar, since it has 37-40g of fat and 345 calories, similar to classic heavy cream. Hence, although this substitution is marginally better than heavy cream, we suggest looking into other options if you want to reap even larger health advantages.

This is also not a good choice if you want to produce whipped cream, since it does not whip as well as heavy cream.

Nutritional analysis

Cream with milk and olive oil

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

320 kcal

16 %

Fat in total

30 g

42 %

Saturated fatty acid

5 g

25 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

30 mg

1 %

Protein

2.5 g

5 %

Calcium

70 mg

8 %

A vitamin

0 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

(With a milk-to-olive-oil ratio of 2:1)


4. Non-dairy heavy cream 🌱

Vegan sweets, soups, sauces, ice cream, and whipped cream are the best uses for this product.

Overview

This is a wonderful choice if you’re more concerned with finding a convincing vegan substitute for heavy cream than with finding healthier options. Nondairy heavy cream is somewhat healthier than regular versions and almost as tasty.

Advantages

One of the nicest things about this choice is that you can get it in the form of whipped cream in a can, so you don’t have to waste time making your own. This also makes it one of the greatest choices for a heavy cream alternative to use as a dessert topping or whipped, creamy filling.

If not, you’re still in luck since nondairy heavy cream comes in a variety of flavors that are suitable for a wide range of culinary applications. With so many options, you’re sure to find one that’ll work just for whatever you’re looking for.

This alternative is 100% dairy-free, as you may have guessed from the dairy-free portion, making it ideal for both vegans and lactose sensitive persons.

While there are so many dairy-free cream products to select from, the health advantages and downsides are equally as varied. Dairy-free heavy creams, on the other hand, are often healthier than their conventional counterparts, with less calories and fat. Always read the label before you purchase to avoid unpleasant surprises after you get home.

Dairy-free heavy cream has a longer shelf life than dairy-based heavy cream, which is always a plus.

Disadvantages

There will be lots of low-fat dairy-free creams, but also many with rising fat and calorie levels. While these substitutions will have much fewer fat and calories on average, the majority will still have more than many of the other choices on our list. Thus, if you’re just interested in the health advantages, you may want to choose a different replacement.

Similarly, since there are so many brands and kinds of alternatives available, it may be difficult to tell how well they will work in your recipe. Examine the label for the suggested usage of the kind you choose.

Lastly, although there are several dairy-free creams available, they might be substantially more difficult to get than ordinary heavy cream. If you’re fortunate enough to have a plethora of businesses nearby that offer them, do some research before you arrive to discover where your best selections will be.

Nutritional analysis

Heavy nondairy cream

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

290 kcal

14 %

Fat in total

31 g

45 %

Saturated fatty acid

18 g

95 %

Cholesterol

Salt

0.1 g

1 %

Protein

0.6 g

1 %

Calcium

80 mg

8 %

A vitamin

41 g

6 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

1.33 mg

9 %

(On the basis of this variety)


5. Silken tofu 🌱

sweets with a reduced fat content Ideal for: Vegans

Overview

Tofu? As an alternative to heavy cream? You heard it first here, people! Silken tofu, also known as soft tofu or Japanese-style tofu, is softer and silkier than firm tofu, making it an excellent choice for vegan or low-fat desserts.

Advantages

Silken tofu is up to 15 times less fatty than heavy cream, with just 2.7g of fat per 100g. This makes it an excellent choice if you want to shed weight or eat better. It also has up to four times the protein of heavy cream, making it an excellent choice for a high-protein, low-fat diet.

To top it all off, silken tofu has just 62 calories against 196 calories in heavy cream. You simply can’t go wrong here if you’re replacing for health reasons.

Silken tofu is also devoid of dairy since it is derived from soybeans. This makes it an excellent vegan and lactose-free substitute for dairy-based cream.

This alternative eliminates the need for lengthy preparation times. Silken tofu may be mixed in a matter of seconds to get the desired creaminess.

But is it really effective as a heavy cream substitute? Indeed, it does in many ways. Blended silken tofu has a thick, creamy texture similar to heavy cream and may be used in a number of dessert dishes. Hey, hey, if it’s good enough for Jamie Oliver’s puddings, we’ll take it.

Disadvantages

The primary drawback of using blended silken tofu is that it does not whip as well as heavy cream. But, if you’re not going to use it as a whipped topping or filling, there’s nothing to worry about.

Silken tofu will always lack the taste of heavy cream. But, we believe that if used in conjunction with other substances rather than on its own, you will scarcely detect a difference.

Lastly, silken tofu is far more difficult to get than heavy cream. But, as nations throughout the globe store more and more vegan foods, this is becoming less of a concern.

Nutritional analysis

Tofu that has been silken

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

62 kcal

3 %

Fat in total

2.7 g

4 %

Saturated fatty acid

0.4 g

2 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

36 mg

1 %

Protein

7 g

14 %

Calcium

66 mg

7 %

A vitamin

0 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

(On the basis of this variety.)


6. Crème fraîche 🥛 / 🌱

Soups, sauces, dressings, and certain dessert items.

Overview

Because it has a tangier flavor than heavy cream, crème fraiche is an excellent option for a comparable basis for sauces or a creamy touch to soups.

Advantages

Crme frache is an excellent heavy cream alternative since it needs no extra preparation and has a comparable consistency to real heavy cream (which is no surprise, as its made from heavy cream and a bacterial culture). It is also commonly accessible in the majority of grocery shops, making it simple to go and get it even if you are short on time.

With calorie counts varying from 100 to 400, the health advantages and cons of crme frache vary greatly depending on the variation. Nonetheless, crme frache has somewhat fewer calories and fat than heavy cream, making it a feasible healthier choice, particularly if you choose for low-fat variations.

Whilst it is not the healthiest option on our list, it strikes a good compromise between being somewhat nutritious and accurately imitating the texture and richness of heavy cream. In addition, 100g of crme frache will supply around 70% of your daily necessary vitamin C consumption, which is a really pleasant bonus.

Disadvantages

Yet, the taste of crme frache does not compare to that of heavy cream. This won’t be an issue if you don’t mind a tangier flavor or aren’t adding much to your recipe, but it may throw things off if you want a richer, more neutral flavor.

On the other hand, if you’re going to add a few drops of lemon or another sour ingredient anyhow, this may be considered as a benefit. Using crme frache in lieu of heavy cream and sour ingredients effectively kills two birds with one stone (or, in this instance, feeds two birds with one scone!).

Crème frache, however, is not for everyone. Crème frache is typically not suitable for vegetarians or lactose sensitive persons since it is nearly entirely manufactured from dairy ingredients. There are some dairy-free alternatives available, however they are typically more limited than dairy-free heavy cream choices.

Nutritional analysis

Crème Fraiche Full-Fat

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

302 kcal

15 %

Fat in total

31 g

45 %

Saturated fatty acid

22 g

106 %

Cholesterol

135 mg

44 %

Salt

0 %

Protein

3.6 g

10 %

Calcium

70 mg

8 %

A vitamin

2,500 IU

50 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

C vitamin

40 mg

70 %


7. Full-fat coconut milk 🌱

Ice cream, whipped cream, salads, sauces, and soups work well.

Overview

Do you need a thick, nondairy heavy cream alternative for your favorite ice cream recipe? Then this is the one for you. With a great rich taste and the ability to whip up like conventional whipping cream, this is a genuine pleasure for vegans and lactose intolerant people. Further information on making your own wonderful coconut whipped cream or ice cream may be found online.

Advantages

If you’re searching for a non-dairy substitute to utilize in an ice cream recipe, this is one of your finest possibilities. Although many of the other alternatives on our list fail to match heavy cream’s rich taste and creamy mouthfeel, coconut milk does not.

It may be used in lieu of heavy cream in ice cream recipes and churned in an ice cream machine much like heavy cream. There are several vegan ice cream recipes online that utilize coconut milk instead of heavy cream, so look around for your favorite to fulfill your sweet taste.

Unlike some other non-dairy options, coconut milk is readily accessible in many supermarkets worldwide, making it easy to pick up anytime you have a coconut hankering.

Coconut milk is particularly useful since it can be used in both sweet and savory meals. It makes a rich, savory whipped cream or ice cream as well as a beautifully thick and creamy curry sauce.

It also has a little more protein than heavy cream and a good quantity of calcium (16mg per 100g).

Disadvantages

Yet, don’t be misled by its non-dairy status: although this alternative is vegan-friendly, it also has one of the highest calorie counts on our list. This alternative, with 230 calories per 100g, is just 30% less calorific than heavy cream (which contains 345 calories per 100g).

This isn’t always a drawback, but coconut milk will give your foods an unique coconut flavor that heavy cream would not. Although this isn’t a big deal for most people, if you’re not a big lover of coconut, you may want to try something else.

Despite its health risks, it is nevertheless a wonderful choice (and one of my personal favorites) for a treat.

Nutritional analysis

Coconut milk in its entirety

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

230 kcal

11 %

Fat in total

24 g

36 %

Saturated fatty acid

21 g

104 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

15 mg

0 %

Protein

2.3 g

4 %

Calcium

1 %

A vitamin

0 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

(On the basis of this variety.)


8.  Greek yogurt 🥛 / 🌱

Low-fat soups, sauces, and dressings are ideal.

Overview

If you’re looking for the healthiest replacement available, go no further. Greek yogurt is thick and creamy, and it is the healthiest choice on our list in practically every way.

Advantages

We just cannot discuss Greek yogurt without mentioning its incredible health advantages. To begin with, nonfat Greek yogurt is significantly lower in fat and calories than heavy cream, with just 0.4g of fat and 60 calories per 100g. Let that to sink in that heavy cream has up to 40g of fat and 350 calories per 100g. That’s right: heavy cream has 100 times the fat of nonfat Greek yogurt.

Even if it doesn’t taste exactly the same, you have to realize that it’s a very compelling distinction if you’re health aware. Moreover, with 10g of protein and 110mg of calcium per 100g, Greek yogurt outperforms virtually all of the other alternatives on our list in terms of protein and calcium content. But, keep in mind that the health advantages will be less obvious if you choose a fattier kind (albeit it will taste good!).

If you choose a kind that contains living cultures of bacteria, you will also improve your gut health, which is beneficial for losing weight and feeling your best. As you can see, this replacement is a true all-rounder in terms of health, and we would strongly suggest it to anybody trying to reduce weight or enhance their general wellness.

Greek yogurt’s flexibility makes it an excellent substitute for heavy cream in sauces, soups, marinades, and salads. It has a thick, creamy texture similar to heavy cream and only varies in flavor.

Another advantage of Greek yogurt is that it is readily accessible practically anywhere in the globe, making it simple to get without much investigation.

Disadvantages

The primary downside of using Greek yogurt, particularly nonfat variants, is that it lacks the rich, creamy taste of heavy cream. The tangier flavor of Greek yogurt, on the other hand, might be considered as a plus if it is to your favor.

You may need to add a little milk to Greek yogurt to make it more authentically cream-like, which adds a few minutes to the preparation time. Even with the addition of milk, Greek yogurt does not whip as well as heavy cream, so avoid using it in dessert recipes that call for whipped cream.

Non-dairy versions of Greek yogurt, including crme frache, might be much more difficult to locate. Depending on where you reside, this may make it less convenient or much more difficult to pick up.

Nevertheless, vegan Greek yogurt seems to be more commonly accessible than vegan crème fraiche at the moment, so it’s worth looking online to see if there are any places selling it near you.

Nutritional analysis

Greek yogurt without fat

Amount (per 100 g) (per 100 g)

% Daily intake recommendation

Calories

59 kcal

3 %

Fat in total

0.4 g

1 %

Saturated fatty acid

0.1 g

1 %

Cholesterol

5 mg

2 %

Salt

36 mg

1 %

Protein

10 g

20 %

Calcium

110 mg

9 %

A vitamin

0 %

D vitamin

0 %

E vitamin

0 %

(On the basis of this variety.)


In conclusion

Heavy cream is a beautiful and versatile product, but it’s not ideal if you’re vegan, on a diet, or just don’t have any on hand.

Yet, happily, there are many of heavy cream replacements that are as similar to the genuine thing as possible. Moreover, most of the substitutions on our list have less calories and fat than full-fat heavy cream, making them excellent choices if you’re trying to lose weight.

Before we go, here’s a rundown of our favorite selections for vegans, health, convenience, and likeness to heavy cream.

Best vegan selections

All of our alternatives are vegan, but if you don’t want to search the planet for specifically created vegan substitutes, full-fat coconut milk or silken tofu are your best choice. If it’s available in your area, nondairy heavy cream is also a good alternative.

Best healthy options

If health is your first priority, we recommend nonfat Greek yogurt, milk and cornstarch cream, and silken tofu. These options are almost 5x less calorific than heavy cream and have much less total and saturated fat, ranging from 59 to 62 calories.

Best selections for convenience

If you’re looking for a fast and simple alternative to heavy cream, milk and butter, milk and cornstarch, and milk and olive oil cream are all excellent choices. Yet, if you have the other solutions on hand, they might be just as handy.

Top compelling selections

Nondairy heavy cream and full-fat coconut milk are excellent vegan substitutes that function and taste just like the real thing. Unlike many of the other alternatives on the list, both nondairy heavy cream and full-fat coconut milk may be used in ice cream and whipped cream recipes.

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