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Which is the Best Milk and Butter Substitute for Heavy Cream?

When a recipe asks for heavy cream, you should expect it to be rich and decadent. Heavy cream makes everything velvety and wonderful, whether it’s a savoury egg dish like Ree Drummond’s sausage & kale quiche or something sweet like her homemade vanilla ice cream. What if you don’t have any heavy cream on hand, though? Substituting whole milk with the rich stuff isn’t always a good idea: Because heavy cream has ten times the fat content of normal milk, it gives meals a silkier, creamier texture. But don’t worry: in a pinch, these heavy cream replacements will suffice!

If you’re looking for a milk and butter alternative, several options are available. You can use Half-and-half, Greek yogurt, or Sour cream. The next time you need a thick, creamy frosting, these alternative options will be just what you need. Whether you’re cooking for one or serving a crowd, these options are perfect for various recipes. But which one will suit your specific needs best?

Which is the Best Milk and Butter Substitute for Heavy Cream


What is Heavy Cream?

Do you think heavy cream and whipping cream are the same thing? Reconsider your position. These seemingly similar cream variants contain varying quantities of milkfat, resulting in quite different products.

Heavy cream is a versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Heavy cream (also known as heavy whipping cream) is thicker than light cream, whipping cream, half-and-half, whole milk, and evaporated milk and contains between 36 and 40 percent milkfat. Because of its high-fat content, heavy cream does not curdle when heated and is ideal for whipping into firm peaks.

Other Ingredients that can be used in Heavy Cream in Place of Butter and Milk

1. Olive oil and soy milk

Mix soy milk with olive oil for a vegan, dairy-free alternative to heavy cream.

Olive oil adds fat to soy milk, similar to milk and butter, providing a flavour and function similar to heavy cream.

Combine 2/3 cup (159 mL) soy milk with 1/3 cup (79 mL) olive oil to achieve the flavour and thickness of 1 cup (237 mL) heavy cream.

This alternative works best for adding tenderness and flavour to cooking and baking, but it should not be used in whipping dishes.

2. Soy milk and silken tofu

Silken tofu, like regular tofu, is manufactured from condensed soy milk that has been solidified into white blocks.

On the other hand, silken tofu has a softer texture and may easily be blended into a high-protein, dairy-free alternative to heavy cream.

It’s easier to get a smooth texture by blending it with soy milk. Instead of soy milk, you can use ordinary milk or plant-based milk.

In an immersion blender or food processor, combine equal parts silken tofu and soy milk and blend vigorously until the mixture reaches a smooth, thick consistency. Then use it to thicken your favourite recipes, such as soups or sauces, instead of an equal amount of heavy cream.

Because it can be whipped like heavy cream, you may make a homemade vegan whipped topping for desserts by adding a dash of vanilla essence or a sprinkling of sugar.

3. Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is a versatile ingredient that can replace heavy cream in vegan recipes.

It can be bought ready-made, but it’s also easy to create at home with coconut milk.

Simply chill a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight, open it and pour the liquid contents into a separate container. The thick, firm coconut cream left in the can then be scooped out and used as a heavy cream substitute.

Replace an equal amount of heavy cream with coconut cream in your favourite sweets and baked goods recipes. It can also be used to make coconut ice cream or whipped into a wonderful dessert topping.

Although coconut cream has qualities similar to heavy creams, bear in mind that it may change the flavour of your finished product and should only be used in recipes that call for it.

4. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a fresh cheese that is prepared with milk and cream. Though it’s most commonly used as a bagel spread and a major ingredient in cheesecakes, it can also be used as a heavy cream substitute in some recipes.

Cream cheese, in particular, is a useful substitute for butter in frostings and can thicken cream-based soups and sauces. However, it should not be used in place of heavy cream in recipes that call for whipping.

Cream cheese can be used in place of heavy cream at a 1:1 ratio.

Remember that cream cheese can change the flavour and texture of the final product, so use it only in recipes where the flavours will complement each other, such as creamy soups or cheesy sauces.

5. Greek Yogurt

To avoid curdling, add full-fat plain Greek yogurt to recipes like mashed potatoes and creamy soups and sauces after they’ve been removed from the heat. To make it more match the texture of heavy cream, thin it with whole milk. Use Greek yogurt in desserts that call for whipping, but if you need a fast sweet topping, sweeten Greek yogurt with a pinch of confectioners’ sugar.

What are the Common Uses of Heavy Cream?

The arguments for employing normal heavy cream in your cooking routine vary, ranging from pastry chefs to pasta-making gurus (and can turn an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one).

Cream of Tartar

Buttermilk, heavy cream, or half & half are all you need to make sour cream. Sour cream made with heavy cream is thicker and may be used to top everything from soups to tacos.

Creamy Whipped

Whipped cream is, of course, one of the most common uses for heavy cream. Combine chilled heavy cream, a pinch of sugar, honey or maple syrup, and a dash of vanilla in a mixing bowl, and whisk on high until firm peaks form. Serve it with fresh fruit or a cup of coffee in the morning.

A scoop of ice cream

Large bowls of gorgeous ice cream are also made with heavy cream. After making your ice cream, serve it with these Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies for a delectable after-dinner treat.

Fraîche Crème

Heavy cream and buttermilk are all you need to make crème fraîche, one of France’s most famous and luscious creams. Add a dollop to smoked salmon, cobblers, or spaghetti sauce.

Scones and Biscuits

Use heavy cream in biscuits and scones for a creamy and fresh flavour with a wonderful texture. To make Bob’s Old Fashioned Biscuits, simply replace the milk with cream and watch the baking magic happen.

Seafood Bisque & Chowder

Heavy cream gives a rich, thick texture to chowder and seafood soup. For a delicious meal, top your bowl with fresh herbs.

Soups and broths

If you want a different take on mussels, consider adding heavy cream to the soup. It’s also great in cream-based soups like broccoli, potato, and mushroom cream.

Sauce Caramel

Heavy cream is frequently employed as the secret ingredient in caramel sauce, which is an unexpected inclusion. Before spreading it over apples or ice cream, try adding a dash to this recipe for Homemade Caramel Sauce.

When you Require a Lot of Creams?

To increase fat, heavy cream is utilized, and it adds a rich, creamy texture to cakes, scones, and pastries.

You can also whip it (very well), making it quite useful for producing ice cream. Buttermilk has a lower fat level than heavy cream and does not whip (meaning it makes stuff lighter and fluffier than heavy cream does).

In many circumstances, buttermilk or heavy cream can be substituted for one another with little know-how. If you’re employing them for the attributes listed above, “near enough” isn’t always adequate.

Is it Possible to Freeze Heavy Cream?

We were pleasantly surprised to hear that heavy cream may be frozen. While heavy cream keeps for about a month in the refrigerator, you may find yourself with an excess of heavy cream, especially during the holidays.

Heavy cream can be frozen in the following ways:

Freeze 1 tablespoon of heavy cream in each ice cube in an ice tray.

For added creaminess, defrost the cream cubes ahead of time or add them straight to the boiling soup.

You can also freeze a whole pint or quart of heavy cream in its package; simply drain out about 12 cups of heavy cream to make room for the cream to expand when frozen.

When to Use Half-and-Half?

Half-and-half is a good fat substitute if you’re attempting to lose weight. However, don’t try to make whipped cream with half-and-half; the product lacks enough milkfat to generate beautiful crisp peaks that keep their shape. Use heavy cream instead of homemade whipped cream (or whipping cream if you prefer a Cool Whip-like texture).

Half-and-half is a smooth richness that goes well with creamy mashed potatoes, quiches, and caramel sauce. It also makes a delicious coffee creamer. Heavy cream and half-and-half can be used interchangeably in savoury recipes like potato-parsnip soup or Joanna Gaines’ asparagus and fontina quiche.

Keep in mind that depending on the sort of cream you choose, the consistency and richness of these meals may differ. If you add half-and-half to a boiling liquid without tempering it first, it will separate and curdle.

Half-and-half can be tempered in the following ways:

In a half-and-half bowl, softly whisk together a small amount of hot liquid; repeat two more times.

Return the tempered half-and-half to the original mixture slowly. This will gently raise the temperature of the half-and-half, preventing it from curdling.

How to Make Heavy Cream at Home?

Heavy cream is an essential component of many recipes, especially during the holidays, even though it is not the healthiest ingredient. However, it’s not something most of us keep in our refrigerator regularly, which can be inconvenient if you’re trying to make a recipe that calls for it and finds you don’t have any.

However, there is some good news. You can produce your own heavy cream with just two things you probably already have in your refrigerator.

Heavy cream is surprisingly simple to produce, and whole milk, butter, and a little elbow grease are all you need. Combine 2/3 cup whole milk and 1/3 cup melted butter to make 1 cup heavy cream. That’s all there is to it. If you don’t have any milk on hand, you can use 1/6 cup butter for 7/8 cup half-and-half.

If the richness of heavy cream isn’t your taste, there are various other options.

Greek yogurt is a lighter alternative to heavy cream, but it has more acidity and thickness.

2 tablespoons cornstarch to 1 cup skim milk is another option. The cornstarch thickens the skim milk, but you don’t get any of the extra fat.

You may even build your own homemade blend using tofu and soy milk if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant. This dairy-free replacement is low in fat and high in protein, and it won’t upset your stomach if you’re lactose intolerant.

Cream cheese and evaporated milk are two other no-prep possibilities. Remember to experiment when using substitutes in recipes, no matter which one you choose. Prepare for some variety in the ultimate product because they all have various textures and consistency.


Heavy cream, often known as heavy whipping cream, is a simple ingredient that adds a lot of flavour to dishes. A dash of heavy cream can enhance the flavour and texture of a sauce or soup, and whipped cream can be made by combining heavy cream with a little whisking to create a delicious addition that can be used in pastries, puddings, and other sweets. If your heavy cream stash has gone bad, don’t worry: you can obtain the same effect with one of these heavy cream replacements.

Because different ingredients have varying strengths, think about how you’ll utilize your heavy cream alternative. One alternative, for example, may work well as a thickening in soups and sauces but will not whip properly. Examine your recipe and select the most appropriate substitution.