The 5 Best Ways to Substitute Heavy Cream in Your Recipe

The 5 Best Ways to Substitute Heavy Cream in Your Recipe

heavy cream substitute
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We’ve all found ourselves in a stressful cooking situation before. Perhaps you are preparing dinner for the family or getting ready to go to a potluck event when you discover you’re missing an ingredient in your recipe.

Heavy cream is a common ingredient in a lot of different recipes but it’s not something that people typically have in their home unless they cook or bake frequently. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find yourself missing this important ingredient as you’re working away in the kitchen.

The good news is that there is always a heavy cream substitute and there are a number of options that can step into a recipe in place of heavy cream without changing the flavor of the dish very much.

Keep this article handy or write these tips into your recipe book for the day you’re stuck without any heavy cream.

1. Mix Milk and Melted Butter
milk and melted butter as a heavy cream substitute
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This heavy cream substitute is one of the best solutions when you’re lacking the real deal. Not only does it maintain the flavor of the dish very well but most people have milk and butter in their home at any given time. No need to send someone out to the grocery store.

The best way to substitute heavy cream with milk and butter is to make a mixture of ¾ milk and ¼ melted butter. The total measurement should match the amount of heavy cream required in the recipe. Just mix the milk and butter well then add the mixture to your dish.

This substitute for heavy cream in many different dishes. The only time you can’t use this substitute is when you need to whip heavy cream.

2. Cream Cheese Isn’t Just For Spreading

Cream cheese can take any bagel to the next level but did you know cream cheese is also a great substitute for heavy cream? This soft cheese mixes well into recipes that require heavy cream. However, much like milk and melted butter, cream cheese cannot be whip like heavy cream.

If you are thinking of using cream cheese as a heavy cream substitute then you will get the best results when mixing into sauces or soups to add creaminess.

3. Greek Yogurt and Milk for a Healthy Heavy Cream Substitute

Is there anything that Greek yogurt can’t do? This protein-rich dairy product is pretty common to find in the fridge of any yogurt fan which makes it an awesome, accessible alternative to heavy cream.

Of course, Greek yogurt is much thicker than heavy cream so you will have to thin it out by mixing with milk. Try a half and half mixture and then use the same amount of the mixture that you would use if you were pouring in heavy cream.

The added protein content will be welcome for some but the reduced fat content can make some dishes taste a little more bland than usual. Also, like the other substitutes above, the Greek yogurt and milk mixture cannot be whip and used in place of heavy cream.

4. Soy Milk and Olive Oil for the Vegan Crowd

If you’re a vegan then you may be looking for a heavy cream substitute because you want to stay true to your values and diet. Most heavy cream substitutes use some form of dairy which obviously won’t mesh with your needs.

Mixing soy milk and olive oil is a great vegan-friendly heavy cream substitute that still maintains a lot of the flavor of heavy cream. It’s easy to mix this substitute, just use 2/3 soy milk and 1/3 olive oil in place of your heavy cream measurement.

If you are baking then you will get great results from the soy milk and olive oil mixture. Of course, like all of the other options on this list, soy milk and olive oil cannot be whip and used to substitute heavy cream.

5. Try out a Can of Evaporated Milk


Evaporated milk has much less water content than the milk you keep in your fridge. That makes it a great, creamy alternative to using heavy cream. Simply measure in place of heavy cream and add the evaporated milk to your cooking and baking. If you’re baking you may want to add some vanilla and sugar to give a little more flavor and sweetness to the evaporated milk.

Keep Your Options Open and Experiment
Thinking of different types of heavy cream substitutes
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You never know when you might find yourself in a bind without heavy cream. Try using these alternatives whenever possible to get a sense of the flavor they provide and how well they can step in for heavy cream when needed. Being prepared will make you look like a genius and a hero when the time comes.

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