Are you out of heavy cream but need it for a recipe you’re making? No need to fear! There are a number of substitutes you can use instead of heavy cream no matter what you’re making.
Heavy cream is used in all types of recipes, from breakfast, to dinner, to dessert. And just because you don’t have any on hand doesn’t mean you have to scrap your baking plans.
So what are the best substitutes for heavy cream?
The top heavy cream substitutes are Greek yogurt, butter, evaporated milk, cornstarch, half and half, coconut cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, silken tofu, double cream, and soy milk.
Make sure to read on to learn how to use each of these substitutes in your recipe.
Heavy Cream Alternatives
Heavy cream contains between 36 and 40 percent butterfat. And it provides texture and flavor to your recipe, so the key to replacing it is using an alternative that provides a similar finished flavor and texture.
You will find both dairy-free and dairy heavy cream replacements, so no matter what your dietary requirements are you are covered.
Greek yogurt with milk is an excellent substitute for heavy cream that can be used in any type of recipe.
This combination offers a thick and creamy base that is ideal for dessert, dinner, and even breakfast dishes.
Greek yogurt offers a high protein content similar to heavy cream, but it is a bit thick when used alone. Adding some milk will thin it enough to provide a texture similar to heavy cream.
Greek yogurt with milk is my go to heavy cream substitute in soups, sauces, and desserts. But this combo cannot be used to make whipped cream.
Related: Greek Yogurt Substitutes
Note: Combine equal parts Greek yogurt and milk before adding it to your recipe.
Equivalent1 cup Greek yogurt with milk equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Another excellent heavy cream alternative is combining butter and milk. This combination works well in almost any recipe that calls for heavy cream.
While milk alone is not thick enough to replace heavy cream, adding butter will provide the perfect amount of fat for all sorts of dishes.
While butter and milk are not suitable for making whipped cream, it is an excellent option when a creamy base is needed. It will work in soups and desserts, and provide a rich and creamy texture similar to heavy cream.
Note: Combine 3/4 cup of melted butter for each 1/4 cup of milk.
Equivalent1 cup of butter and milk equals 1 cup of heavy cream
If you need a heavy cream substitute for a dessert recipe, then evaporated milk is a solid option. Thicker than regular milk, evaporated milk is lower in water content making it thicker than regular dairy milk.
While it cannot be used for making whipped cream, evaporated milk will result in great desserts. You can also use evaporated milk in many savory dishes, but I prefer one of the options above when making soups or a dinner recipe.
Equivalent1 cup of evaporated milk equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Milk and Cornstarch
If you are looking for a lower calorie, or lower fat substitute for heavy cream then using milk thickened with cornstarch is the way to go.
This combo creates a thick texture quite similar to heavy cream. It won’t whip but can be used in any type of recipe.
Related: Cornstarch Substitutes
Note: For each cup of milk, stir in two tablespoons of cornstarch.
Equivalent1 cup of milk and cornstarch equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Half and Half
Half and half is composed of dairy milk and cream, therefore it is an excellent substitute for heavy cream. And it can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream.
If you add in butter, it can even be whipped. Though it will not be as stiff as whipped cream made out of heavy cream.
Half and half with butter is the best substitute for heavy cream when making whipped cream.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter for each cup of half and half.
Related: Half and Half Substitutes
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1 cup of heavy cream
If you are looking for a dairy free and vegan friendly substitute for heavy cream, coconut cream is an excellent alternative.
While coconut cream can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream, it is particularly well suited for dessert recipes.
It provides a thick and creamy texture and a wonderful flavor that pairs well in so many dishes.
For more non dairy heavy cream substitutes check out our dairy free heavy cream substitute article.
Related: Substitutes for Coconut Cream
Equivalent1 cup of coconut cream equals 1 cup of heavy cream
If you need a heavy cream substitute for soups, sauces, or non whipped cream dessert recipes, cream cheese is an excellent alternative.
This kitchen staple offers a rich and creamy texture that offers an appropriate fat content. It does offer a more tangy flavor, but for most recipes that will not be an issue.
Related: Cream Cheese Substitutes
Equivalent1 cup of cream cheese equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Cottage cheese can be mixed with dairy milk for a heavy cream alternative that can be used in almost any recipe that calls for heavy cream.
It can not be used to make whipped cream but can be used in other dessert recipes or soups and sauces.
Cottage cheese offers adequate fat content and when blended with milk will produce a texture similar to heavy cream.
Note: Combine equal parts cottage cheese and milk and process in your blender until all the lumps are gone.
Equivalent1 cup of cottage cheese and milk equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Silken tofu is an excellent dairy-free and vegan friendly replacement for heavy cream that can be used in most recipes that call for heavy cream.
While it is not suitable for making whipped cream, it can be use in any other dessert recipe.
Silken tofu mixed with soy milk will create a texture quite similar to heavy cream. Use equal parts silken tofu and soy milk before adding it to your other ingredients.
Equivalent1 cup of silken tofu with soy milk equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Double cream is similar to heavy cream in texture and can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. It is also a great alternative for making whipped cream.
While it is more commonly used in UK recipes, double cream can be found at some grocery stores in the US.
It offers a slightly higher fat content than heavy cream, but no alterations to your recipe will be needed.
Related: Double Cream vs Heavy Cream
Equivalent1 cup of double cream equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Soy milk with olive oil is one more dairy-free replacement for heavy cream. This combo creates a texture a but thinner than heavy cream, but it can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream except for making whipped cream.
Note: Combine 2/3 cup of soy milk with 1/3 cup of olive oil.
Equivalent1 cup of soy milk with oil equals 1 cup of heavy cream
Heavy Cream Replacement FAQ
What is a good substitute for heavy cream in pasta?
When making a pasta recipe that calls for heavy cream, use Greek yogurt with milk, butter with milk, or coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Each of these alternatives will work well in pasta recipes. Use a 1:1 ratio when using any of these alternatives.
How do you use butter and milk instead of heavy cream?
Use 3/4 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of butter for each cup of heavy cream. Before adding your butter to your milk, melt it. Then stir until well combined before adding it to your other ingredients.
Can double cream be used instead of heavy cream?
Yes, double cream can be used in place of heavy cream in any recipe. Double cream should be used at a 1:1 ratio when replacing heavy cream. It can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream.
What is a good substitute for heavy cream when making whipped cream?
The best substitute for heavy cream when making homemade whipped cream are half and half with butter and double cream. Both of these substitutes will produce a rich and creamy whipped cream perfect for topping desserts and beverages.