The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

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Heavy cream is an ingredient used to make all kinds of flavorful foods. You can use it to prepare ice cream, homemade Alfredo sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, and so much more. When added to a recipe, it tends to make the food creamier and more flavorful. Whether you’re preparing a savory dish or something sweet, it’s convenient to have heavy cream in the fridge. 

So, what if you run out? If you need it to make something and you don’t have heavy cream, you might not feel like rushing over to the grocery store to find it. Luckily, there are several ingredients you can use as heavy cream substitutes. Check out this list of the best replacements to use when a recipe calls for heavy cream. In case you missed this post, 5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

You may want to invest in a Non-Electric Hand Beater in case we lose power.

The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

Whole Milk and Butter

One of the easiest and best substitutes to use when you don’t have heavy cream is a blend of whole milk with butter. You’ll need to grab a stick of butter and melt it by heating it in the microwave. Once you’ve melted the butter, add ¼ cup of it to a mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup of the whole milk into the bowl with the butter and mix the ingredients until blended. If you don’t have whole milk and you’re planning on using low-fat or fat-free milk, you’ll need to add a pinch of flour to thicken the consistency before you can use it.

You can use traditional milk or lactose-free milk, depending on which one you have available in the fridge. If you’re trying to create a heavy cream substitute or a sweet dish, such as baked goods that you’re preparing, you can add a bit of powdered sugar to the milk and butter mixture. It will give the mix an added touch of sweetness, while leaving it with the perfect consistency to enhance the taste and texture of your baked goods. If you’re going to try this, add a pinch of powdered sugar at a time. You can always add more of it if you need to.

Cottage Cheese and Whole Milk

Do you have cottage cheese and milk in the fridge? If these staple ingredients are available, you’ve got yourself a convenient substitute for heavy cream. You’ll add a ½ cup of cottage cheese into a large mixing bowl and then add a ½ cup of whole milk into the bowl with the cottage cheese. You’re going to need to whisk it well enough for several minutes to get rid of any lumps. It should take about three minutes to mix it well enough to get the mixture as smooth as possible.

If you’re struggling to get rid of some of the lumps, it’s OK to add a tablespoon of water into the mixture. It can help break those cottage cheese curds down a bit, making it easier for you to reach the right consistency with your combination. Once you have a smooth texture, you can add the mixture to different recipes, including pasta dishes and baked goods. If you have an immersion blender, use it! The immersion blender makes blending those lumps as easy as it gets. You can get it done within a minute or less with the right tools.

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Half-and-Half with Butter

If you run out of milk but happen to have some half-and-half that you usually use in your coffee, you can combine it with butter to create a heavy cream alternative. Suppose you’re preparing a sauce for pasta or a homemade soup. In that case, you can add half-and-half to the recipe without adding any extra butter, especially since most soup and pasta sauce recipes call for salted or unsalted butter.

When your recipe calls for a cup of heavy cream, add ⅞ of a cup of half-and-half to a bowl and then melt your butter and add ⅛ cup of it to the bowl with the half-and-half. Mix well, and you’ll have the perfect substitute for heavy cream that will work great in both savory and sweet recipes.

Full-Fat Coconut Cream

Need a vegan-friendly heavy cream substitute that you can use in several recipes? If so, full-fat coconut cream is an excellent choice. It’s not the right choice for every single recipe calling for heavy creams, such as those with a more savory taste, but it’s great to use when you’re preparing sweet treats. You can buy it at the store or prepare it at home using full-fat coconut cream.

You’d place a can of coconut cream in the fridge, allow it to sit there for a minimum of 12 hours, and then use it in your recipe. It’s that simple. The coconut cream can easily enhance the texture and flavor of some of your favorite desserts. I had to order it online, my small town doesn’t carry this. I like that’s it’s shelf-stable. Full-Fat Coconut Cream

Evaporated Milk

If you happen to have a can or two of evaporated milk, use the milk as a heavy cream alternative. The measurements are the same, meaning a ½ cup of evaporated milk is equivalent to a ½ cup of heavy cream. While the ingredient doesn’t whip nearly as well as heavy cream, making it less than a perfect choice for preparing whipped cream, it has the same thicker consistency. The thick consistency will come in handy when you’re preparing different types of cakes, pies, and baked goods.

Greek Yogurt With Whole or Low-Fat Milk

Substitute the heavy cream with a combination of Greek yogurt and whole or low-fat milk. If you’re going to use this combo, you can add equal parts of each ingredient into a bowl before mixing them and adding them to your recipe. It won’t work well for any recipes you’d need to whip, so don’t use this if you’re trying to make a homemade whipped topping for ice cream or cake. However, it is a great substitute to use when preparing pasta sauces and various soups.

Heavy Cream Substitutes

5 from 5 votes
The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes
Heavy Cream Substitutes

If you need HEAVY CREAM try these substitutes!

Cuisine: American
Author: Linda Loosli
Instructions
Whole Milk & Butter
  1. You'll need to grab a stick of butter and melt it by heating it in the microwave. Once you've melted the butter, add ¼ cup of it to a mixing bowl. Add ¾ cups of the whole milk into the bowl with the butter and mix the ingredients until blended. If you don't have whole milk and you're planning on using low-fat or fat-free milk, you'll need to add a pinch of flour to thicken the consistency before you use it.

Cottage Cheese & Whole Milk
  1. You'll add a ½ cup of cottage cheese into a large mixing bowl and then add a ½ cup of whole milk into the bowl with the cheese. You're going to need to whisk it well enough for several minutes to get rid of any lumps. It should take about three minutes to mix it well enough to get the mixture as smooth as possible.

Half-in-Half with Butter
  1. When your recipe calls for a cup of heavy cream, add ⅞ of a cup of half-and-half to a bowl and then melt your butter and add ⅛ cup of it to the bowl with the half-and-half. Mix well, and you'll have the perfect substitute for heavy cream that will work great in both savory and sweet recipes.

Full-Fat Coconut Cream
  1. You can buy it at the store or prepare it at home using full-fat coconut cream. You'd place a can of coconut cream in the fridge, allow it to sit there for a minimum of 12 hours, and then use it in your recipe. It's that simple. The coconut cream can easily enhance the texture and flavor of some of your favorite desserts.

Evaporated Milk
  1. The measurements are the same, meaning a ½ cup of evaporated milk is equivalent to a ½ cup of heavy cream. While the ingredient doesn't whip nearly as good as heavy cream, making it less than a perfect choice for preparing whipped cream, it has the same thicker consistency. The thick consistency will come in handy when you're preparing different types of cakes, pies, and baked goods.

Greek Yogurt With Whole or Low-Fat Milk
  1. Substitute the heavy cream with a combination of Greek yogurt and whole or low-fat milk. If you're going to use this combo, you can add equal parts of each ingredient into a bowl before mixing them and adding them to your recipe. It won't work well for any recipes you'd need to whip, so don't use this if you're trying to make a homemade whipped topping for ice cream or cake.

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Final Word

Heavy cream is the perfect ingredient to add to various dishes, but you have options if you don’t have it available when you need it. These are some of the best ingredients to use as substitutes for heavy cream when you’re preparing different meals. Be sure to choose the most suitable alternative for the specific type of dish you’re preparing to ensure that it turns out great. If you’re aware of other quality heavy cream substitutes please let me know so I can pass the information on to my readers, we all really appreciate new ideas. May God Bless this world, Linda.

21 thoughts on “The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

  • June 22, 2021 at 7:33 am
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    5 stars
    I love this list! So many great alternatives to use to make heavy cream 🙂 I had no idea! I’ve used coconut cream before and it was delicious 🙂 Thank you for sharing!❤️

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 7:46 am
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      Hi Camille, thank you for the 5 stars, we can always use ideas for substitutes, right? Life is so good! Linda

      Reply
      • June 23, 2021 at 5:56 pm
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        Hi Linda, good ideas! Trader Joe’s also has the shelf stable heavy cream in 8 oz. cartons. I keep them in a bin in the back of the fridge and have used them several months out of date that way(forgot they were there and then could not waste!) Just remember if you put them in an ice chest, to put them sealed in something waterproof! The boxes get really mushy otherwise. Thanks again for more great ideas!

        Reply
        • June 23, 2021 at 7:44 pm
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          Hi Jan, we are begging Trader Joe’s to come to Southern Utah!! I will look for that milk when I visit one up north! Great tip! Linda

          Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 7:39 am
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    This is a great post! Thank you.!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 8:10 am
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    5 stars
    These are great! Thank you, Linda. This is good to have handy. You never know when you might need this and the stores are closed.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 8:28 am
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      Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars! I’m trying to make printables for people to print out and file. You are so right, if the stores are closed we need options! Linda

      Reply
      • June 23, 2021 at 6:54 am
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        Printables will be GREAT! I have a notebook that I’m making into recipes. I’ve been working on it for a while. I just need to find all my printed recipes. LOL I’m a sucker for a good recipe. I can thumb through a recipe book for hours.

        Reply
        • June 23, 2021 at 8:28 am
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          Hi Deborah, I know, right? I’m going to put these at the front of my cookbook that has a pocket. I love going to thrift stores and looking through cookbooks. Life is so good! Linda

          Reply
          • June 23, 2021 at 3:44 pm
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            My notebook has page protectors so I can take one out and not get it all messy when using it. I’m putting my favorite recipes in it for future generations. I do make some notes on the pages or another page. I have sons and grandsons that love to Cook. Also daughters and grand daughters. I have some of my Mother’s, and Mother-in-laws as well as my grandmother’s recipes in it. Some are hand written, some I’ve typed out. I also have dividers for different categories. Appetizers, Bread and Rolls, Beef, Chicken, Desserts, Soups and Salads, Crock Pot and Instant Pot.

          • June 23, 2021 at 4:13 pm
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            Hi Deborah, your family will be so grateful for those recipes! I wish I had some of my mom’s recipes. I did make recipe books for all my daughters and grand daughter’s. I love those page protectors, I did that as well. Linda

  • June 22, 2021 at 9:15 am
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    5 stars
    Great ideas! I have a recipe that calls for chilled evaporated milk to be whipped into a partially set jello like cream so I’ve thought it might be a good substitute in other recipes. It works great!

    I love coconut cream and coconut milk – there is a big difference so be careful. You can get both at Trader Joe’s if you live by one or like me drop by when I go to the “big city”. I make a coconut syrup for pancakes that is divine with it.

    There are a few places like Gossner Foods in Logan, Utah that make shelf stable milk and cream I buy to have some on hand. I’ve also found it in a few grocery stores. I like to get the cream to have on hand along with some of their delicious flavored milks (banana milk is awesome!) and cheeses. Talking about this makes me think it’s time for a trip to Logan! They have a lot of food industries like ice cream (Fat Boy & Aggie Ice Cream!), cheese, honey, cookies (Pepperidge Farm), chocolates, etc. and it’s fun to take a day long “food tour”. Anyway, maybe there is some place local you can get shelf stable dairy products?

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 10:18 am
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      Hi Kay, thank you for the 5 stars!! Oh my gosh, I love Gossners Foods in Logan! They have the best shelf-stable milk and cream!! I totally understand the term “big city”, I live in a small town that does carry very many items we all like to buy. I want to make a trip to Logan now!! Great memories, Linda

      Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 11:55 am
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    I have used evaporated milk for so long now, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have any on the shelf. It is my go to when I make potato soup, alfredo sauce, and ice cream!!

    You can also make homemade sweetened condensed milk with evaporated milk. I use 1 can with 1/2 cup of sweetener (sugar or non-caloric granulated sweetener of your choice). Mix both in a heavy sauce pan and gently heat to just below a boil – bubbles along the rim is ok. Stir constantly until it is thickened and reaching a creamy slightly golden color. Remove from heat and cool completely.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 3:48 pm
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      Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, my mom had evaporated milk in her pantry, I have gotten out of the habit. I need to pick a few cans up the next time I go to the store. I would love to make my own sweetened condensed milk. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Linda

      Reply
  • June 23, 2021 at 12:29 pm
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    5 stars
    Kudos from a fan in Ephraim!! This is so practical and easy to do. I never considered using butter to help thicken milk – but why not? As a kid I used to churn butter by hand, but adding it to milk never occurred to me! Please answer a question: Can this work as a substitute for whipping cream??

    Reply
    • June 23, 2021 at 12:41 pm
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      Hi Elaine, oh my gosh, thank you for the 5 stars! I would try whipping it up for whipping cream! I’ve heard whole milk can make whipping cream if you beat it long enough. Try your stand mixer!! Linda

      Reply
    • June 23, 2021 at 3:47 pm
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      Elaine, did you used to live in Texas? Hawkins, Texas?

      Reply

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