Heavy Cream Substitute

heavycream2.jpg
Heavy Cream. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
  • Prep Time
    2 min
  • Cook Time
    5 min
  • Total Time
    7 min
  • Yield
    1 cup

Need heavy cream for a recipe you're making? Use this cheap and easy stand-in, so you won't have to run to the store for any. It requires just milk and butter -- two ingredients you probably have in your fridge.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter

Preparation

1. Melt the butter. You can melt the butter on the stove, stirring constantly over medium heat, or melt it in the microwave by heating it for 10 seconds at a time. Cut it into small pieces, so it melts faster. Butter burns easily, so remove it from the heat when most of the butter has melted, and stir until the remaining portion has melted. 

2. Pour the melted butter into the milk, and stir.

3. Then, use your substitute in place of one cup of heavy cream.

Tip: If you use low-fat milk, your mixture will be a bit thinner than you want it to be. Add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it.

Note: This substitute will not whip. If your recipe calls for whipping cream, you'll need to buy the real thing.

Another Option: If the heavy cream is being used to add a thick, creamy consistency and flavor to a sauce or pot of soup, half and half can be used in place of the cream. It's just half whole milk and half light cream, so it makes a good stand in. To make this substitution, replace the heavy cream with an equal amount of half and half. It'll cut the calories and fat in your recipe, without sacrificing flavor.

Half and half can also be whipped, but because it contains a lot less fat that heavy cream, it needs to be ice cold to whip, and even then it won't hold hard peaks, and will be quick to deflate. For the best results, chill the bowl and whisk that you'll be using in the freezer first.

You can even stick the half and half in there, too. Just don't leave it in long enough for it to freeze.

Looking for a Heavy Cream Substitute Because Yours Has Been in the Fridge for a While?

Heavy cream has a pretty long shelf life, so it may actually still be good. Here's the scoop.

Never Run Out of Heavy Cream Again

If you never seem to have heavy cream when you need it, buy a carton and freeze it. Here's the best way to freeze cream. Another option is to add powdered heavy cream to your pantry. It works just like powdered milk. Just add water, and you're off and running. While you probably won't find this product at the grocery store, it's readily available online.

Buy Powdered Heavy Cream on Amazon

You Have to Try This

The next time you buy heavy cream, use some of it to make your own sour cream. It puts the store-bought version to shame.

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