Healthy Substitutes For Heavy Whipping Cream: Milk, Butter & More

Yummylicious desserts are often loaded with heavy whipping cream. Here we have listed healthy substitutes like milk and butter which do not alter the taste.

By Amanda Palmer
Healthy Substitutes For Heavy Whipping Cream: Milk, Butter & More

Heavy Whipping Cream

Whipping cream is one of the most important ingredients used in a majority of desserts. It is regarded as a staple ingredient for a whole lot of savory dishes too like soups, sauces, and sour cream. 

A cup of heavy whipping cream has around 821 calories, 88 grams of fat, 54 of which are saturated and only 5 grams is protein. Healthy daily limits that one should consume is 2,000 calories of which 44 grams can be fat, 16 grams can be saturated fat, and 50 grams should be protein.

Heavy whipping cream contains high amounts of fat. It is made from the high fat in fresh milk. Fresh milk is left to stand, and the heavy cream rises on top which can be collected. Heavy whipping cream contains 30-40% of fat. This amount of fat makes it possible to whip the cream for icings on deserts. The higher the amount of fat, the better the cream whips. There are various types of creams available in the marking depending upon their fat content. 

Heavy whipping cream contains dairy which might not be suitable for all. Some people are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. People who are allergic to lactose products instantly get rashes or similar health issues immediately after consuming lactose in any form. It could be in the form of milk, curd, cream, cheese and cottage cheese. The heavy whipping cream is also very costly. Some people prefer to avoid heavy whipping cream because of the high amount of fat content in it. All these reasons may hamper someone's desire to consume desserts. 

For an alternative or substitute to replace heavy whipping cream with a low-fat option or a non-dairy option, then here we have listed ten healthy substitutes for heavy whipping cream.

Scroll through all the options and indulge in your favorite desserts now without feeling guilty about the fat intake or worrying about your health issues. 

We see many people who avoid eating food items containing heavy whipping cream. Seeing the rising awareness in people regarding healthy food and the rising number of vegans in the world, many retail outlets are selling baked goods and desserts with heavy whipping cream substitutes. They make it so well that one cannot assume that whole fat heavy whipping cream is not added.

One can make such items at home too. It is sometimes really sad to see people who have recently become vegans sulk over the fact that they cannot eat their favorite desserts. But these substitutes make it possible for them to enjoy their favorite desserts.

Now there is no need for you to quit eating your favorite pastries, cakes, and creamy soups. Just add healthier ingredients and relish your favorite delicacies. Below are a few substitutes commonly used for heavy whipping cream.

1. Milk and Butter - Best substitute for whipping cream

As a substitute that is healthy and also easily available, then milk and butter are the best substitutes. Combining butter and milk in a particular consistency is a sure-shot way to substitute heavy cream. It will not alter the taste, and most of you will not be able to make out the difference. The butter adds the extra fat to the milk. The fat percentage equates to that of heavy cream on the addition of butter.
57 gm of melted butter (You can buy Nestle butter)
178 gm of milk (You can use regular cow milk or milk from the market. Also you can use low fat or full-fat milk as you like)
Method: Mix thoroughly to make 237 ml of heavy cream. Add 8 gm of flour to thicken the mixture. You can whip this mixture and use it for cooking and baking recipes which use heavy cream.

This cream will not whip the same way as heavy cream. You can make this cream from scratch at home as no fancy ingredients are required. Milk and butter are almost always present at home. This recipe comes in very handy when you have suddenly run out of your heavy whipping cream stock. You can use full-fat milk or skimmed milk as per your calorie preference.

2. Soy Milk and Olive Oil - Dairy free substitute

Vegans cannot consume any dairy products, but that does not mean that they cannot have their favorite pastries or cakes. Heavy whipping cream can be made with substitutes such as soy milk and olive oil. Soy milk is the best substitute for vegans. Soy milk cannot be made at home. It is commercially bought from the market. On combining olive oil to soy milk, the milk gets the fat content from the oil, and it functions just like heavy cream. Soy milk is often given to children who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products. The taste is slightly different, but one can whip it and prepare any recipe using soy milk and soy products.

Ingredients: 159 ml of soy milk (Nestle) 79 ml of olive oil

Method: Combine the ingredients to give a substitute that adds the similar taste and tenderness to cooking and baking recipes. However, this substitute cannot be used in recipes that involve whipping. Soy milk and olive oil cream cannot be used over cakes or pastries as a topping. One should use commercially available vegan creams for such deserts.

3. Milk and Corn Starch - Makes a good whipping cream

Milk and corn starch is a very good low-fat alternative to heavy whipping cream. The low-calorie substitute is very good for calorie conscious people or for those who cannot consume high fat due to health issues.

Cornstarch is used in many recipes to add thickness to the gravies. Cornstarch, when added to milk, helps to thicken it and this, when whipped, gets the same texture as heavy cream.
19 gm of cornstarch
237 ml of milk

Mix the ingredients and stir continuously allowing the mixture to thicken. Whole milk or skimmed milk can be used in this recipe. This substitute is great for recipes like soups and salads, but when used in baking, the texture may alter. It also does not whip as well as heavy cream. This one also can be made from scratch at home.

4. Tofu and Soy Milk- Dairy-free substitute

It is better to use silken tofu in this recipe. Silken tofu is prepared using condensed soy milk that has been formed into white-colored solid blocks. Silken tofu is very soft as compared to regular tofu and can be churned into a great dairy-free replacement of heavy cream, one that is high in protein. When this silken tofu is blended with soy milk, the result is a very smooth-textured cream. If one can have dairy products, then you can use dairy milk instead of soy milk to get the same consistency.

Equal parts of silken tofu and soy milk (Preferably from good brands like Nestle)
Blend both the ingredients thoroughly in a blender to get a smooth mixture. This is an excellent substitute for thickening soups and sauces. This mixture can be whipped just like heavy whipping cream.

Try a dash of vanilla extract to get the taste of homemade vegan heavy whipping cream. It might not give the same results in baking.

5. Butter and half-and-half - a good substitute for whipping cream

If you do not want to buy heavy whipping cream, then you can buy half-and-half cream and combine it with butter to get a simple substitute. This substitute comes handy when heavy whipping cream is not available. Half-and-half is also made from whole milk and cream just like heavy whipping cream, but the content of fat is one/third as compared to heavy cream. When you add butter, you also increase the fat content thereby making it a perfect substitute for heavy cream.

This mixture can be used in recipes that require whipping. Half-and-half in its own without adding butter in soups and sauces.

Ingredients: (to make 237 ml of heavy whipping cream) 232 gm of half-and-half (You can buy nestle half-and-half) 29 gm of melted butter Method: Combine the ingredients to get the same consistency as heavy whipping cream.

Half-and-half also needs to be bought from the market. So this particular recipe is useful when the deli also does not have heavy whipping cream, and you have to make do with this. Also, the calorie content would be less in this as compared to heavy whipping cream.

6. Milk and Greek Yogurt - A healthy substitute for whipping cream

Greek yogurt and whole milk is also a great substitute for heavy whipping cream. Greek yogurt is in fact, a very healthy alternative as it is very high in protein.

Greek yogurt is thicker than heavy cream and one can dilute the consistency by adding some milk, resulting in a texture that is similar to that of heavy cream and also very healthy.

Equal parts of Greek yogurt and whole milk. Nestle sells good quality Greek yogurt commercially.
Blend them to get a mixture similar to heavy cream. This substitute can add thickness to soups and sauces but it cannot be used in recipes that need whipping.

Greek Yogurt, although higher in protein, is lower in fat content and may not provide the same flavor or tenderness as that of heavy cream used in baking or desserts.

7. Evaporated Milk - An easy substitute for whipping cream

Evaporated milk is a milk product that can be canned and stored on the shelf. Evaporated milk has 60% less water as compared to regular milk. Evaporated milk is also creamier and thicker than regular milk and a better low-calorie substitute for heavy cream in many recipes.

Evaporated milk can be used in recipes such as baked goods, sauces, and soups. It does not whip well and cannot be used as toppings on desserts. This one is a healthy substitute as the fat content is less.

Ingredients: Evaporated milk is unsweetened condensed milk available commercially. Brands like nestle sell good quality evaporated milk. Method: You can substitute heavy whipping cream with an equal quantity of evaporated milk. You can add a few drops of vanilla extract if you are making a dessert.

8. Cottage Cheese and Milk - A healthy substitute

Cottage cheese can be made from scratch at home from cow's milk. It is a very healthy alternative as it is very high in protein and many essential micro-nutrients. When blended with milk, it's texture becomes very smooth.

Cottage cheese alone too can be an ideal substitute for heavy cream. Ingredients: cottage cheese (either make it from scratch at home by curdling the milk or buy it) milk
Methods: Combine equal parts of cottage cheese and milk and blend until smooth to remove lumps. Use this blended mixture as a substitute for heavy cream.

There are many ways of curdling milk to make cottage cheese at home. Some add lemon juice or add vinegar. It can also be done with citric acid. After the milk has curdled, you can wash it to remove the tartness of the lemon or vinegar. This alternative cannot be used in all baking recipes or desserts. It is best compatible with recipes that have a distinct cheesy flavor similar to that of cottage cheese such as soups and sauces.

9. Coconut Cream - A delicious substitute

For all those who love coconut, replacing coconut cream with heavy whipping cream is not only a healthier option but will also add a delicious coconut flavor to your desserts and baked items.

Coconut cream is also a versatile ingredient that is great for vegans. It can be made from scratch at home using coconut milk or purchased. Ingredients: Full-fat coconut milk
Method: Chill the can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. The next day, pour the contents in a bowl.

The thick hardened layer that collects on top is the coconut cream that can be used as a substitute for heavy cream and can be used in baking and desserts. It can be used to make coconut ice cream. Because of its distinct flavor, coconut cream cannot be used in all recipes, and one should use it only in recipes that are suitable.

Coconut cream cannot be used in desserts which contain fruits like strawberry or other such fruits. Coconut pairs well with chocolate, but again one cannot add coconut to any recipe. You should have the preference for it.

10. Cream Cheese

One cannot make cream cheese from scratch at home. Cream cheese can be used as a great alternative for soups and sauces. It cannot be used for whipping. It adds a distinct creamy and cheese flavor that suits best in soups and sauces.  Nestle cream cheese is very good in texture. 

11. Dry milk, lemon juice and vanilla - A simple substitute

It is quite possible to run out of heavy whipping cream just when you are making a recipe that requires it. A mixture of dry milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract also make a decent substitute for heavy whipping cream and these items are almost always available at home.
3/4th cup ice water
11/4th tsp. of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1/3rd cup of dry milk
Using an electric mixer, combine the above ingredients and just when they are slowly mixing, add the dry milk. Continue beating for five minutes and check the consistency. When the mixture begins to stiffen, add 2 tbsp. of sugar and beat for another two minutes.

12. Banana and Egg-White

For those allergic to dairy products, a banana and egg-white mixture is an excellent substitute for heavy whipping cream. It is also very high in protein and calcium and decidedly less in fat content. 
A ripe banana
One egg-white
Beat the mixture using a hand whipper and stop whipping once you get the desired consistency. Add sugar in the end if you find the end product less sweet.

Substitutes for heavy whipping cream should be used more often depending upon your food item. You can opt for healthier alternatives if you want to cut the fat content in your recipe. You can opt for other options like milk and butter which are almost always available at home if you have run out of heavy cream. Try using the healthier substitutes for soups and sauces. Use heavy whipping cream only when you cannot make the item without whipping cream.

Heavy whipping cream is high in saturated fat and calories. It is alright to splurge on such fatty foods once in a while, but if consumed regularly, it might lead to obesity and many other health issues. One should not sabotage one's health by consuming heavy whipping cream at least in food prepared at home. Use any one of the above mentioned healthier substitutes to get a similar taste. These substitutes differ by what you intend to use them for.

Cook and eat healthy!