Looking to substitute heavy cream while you bake? Here’s what you can use

Looking to substitute heavy cream while you bake? Here’s what you can use

With these baking alternatives, save a trip to the store and save a recipe as well!

What are baking substitutes for heavy cream? Read on… Image Credit: Shutterstock

Is your recipe calling for heavy cream? Well, if it is, you know that it is bound to turn luxurious, rich and not to mention, delicious. Whether it is making date pudding with hot caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream or Indian churros with saffron rabri, or just ice cream at home, the silky and almost magical ingredient of heavy cream in baking and desserts is as essential as sugar is to tea.

However, what really is the difference between cream and milk? Yes, it comes from milk but there’s actually more than just what meets the eye. When milk is initially collected and allowed to stand for a bit, the cream settles on top, which is then skimmed off as it gets pasteurized and processed.

It is this decadent cream which gives your cake that extra richness, but what happens when you run out it?

Fear not; we do have a few solutions to substituting heavy cream – including vegan options – so that the next time you want to make creamy risotto, butter chicken or a hot cup of coffee, you’ll be prepared!

1. Milk + Butter

Milk and butter work perfectly as a substitute for heavy cream Image Credit: Shutterstock

Using milk and butter as a substitute for heavy cream is one of the easiest substitutes for heavy cream. For this, you will have to melt ¼ cup of unsalted butter and gradually whisk ¾ cup of whole milk or half-and-half.

What is half-and-half? 
To keep it simple, it is a mix that uses equal parts of whole milk and cream. Bakers often use it when they need something thicker than milk, but less than cream, especially because the percentage of fat in whole milk is at 3.25 per cent. When you use half-and-half, you would find out that the percentage varies between 10.5 and 18 per cent. You’re wondering why that happens, right? It’s because cream can be 36 to 40 per cent fat. You’d often find it in soups, the creamiest butter chicken, and even your coffee.

With equal parts of milk and butter, you’d end up with one cup of a cream substitute.

2. Coconut cream

Coconut milk is a vegan option! Image Credit: Shutterstock

This is more of a vegan option for those looking to substitute heavy cream. However, you do have to note that coconut milk and cream of coconut are two different things, and we need coconut milk here. For that, you’ll have to refrigerate coconut milk for several hours. Once done, open it and skim the fat from the top to get the cream. Heavy coconut cream can also be whipped till stiff peaks.

You can also use soy milk, but it takes a different process altogether. If you are using soy milk, you will have to combine two parts soy milk with one part olive oil. But using it could result in a taste of olive oil. And it most definitely can’t be whipped. Another vegan option is cashew cream, where you will need to soak cashews and then blend them until smooth.

3. Evaporated milk

A canned bottle of evaporated milk goes a long way... Image Credit: Shutterstock

Maybe it isn’t good for your tea, but a canned bottle of evaporated milk has other benefits as well. It has twice the fat of whole milk with 60 per cent of its water content removed, making it great for soups, however it does add a slightly cooked, caramelised flavour along with the creaminess.

4. Sour cream

Sour cream on cheesecake? Why not! Image Credit: Supplied

Sour cream is just cream that's been treated with lactic acid to thicken it and create a sour flavour, with a fat content of 20 per cent. It does make for a great substitute for heavy cream, but make sure that you don’t add too much of it as it could offset the flavours of the dish in itself. When you add sour cream, you also have to make sure it doesn’t curdle, especially if the dish is being prepared over a flame. If you’re looking for a sweeter outcome like for cheesecake, add confectioner’s sugar to it and whisk away!

5. Yoghurt

Use full-fat Greek yoghurt to add body to soup recipes and sauces Image Credit: Shutterstock

Who said yoghurt wouldn’t make for a great substitute for heavy cream? You can use full-fat Greek yoghurt to add body to soup recipes and sauces as well. However, you have to add whilst your dish is off the flame, because it could curdle. If you are looking for a thinner solution, you can add whole milk so that it resembles the texture of heavy cream. Adding sugar to yoghurt does make it sweeter for desserts, although avoid using Greek yoghurt in dessert recipes that require whipping.

6. Cream cheese or Mascarpone

Cream cheese works like a charm if a sweet frosting is what you're looking for! Image Credit: Shutterstock

Did you forget to restock the fridge with heavy cream? Well, maybe cream cheese or mascarpone can help! While it has a tangy taste, these two work wonders as substitutes for heavy cream, especially because it melts into a creamy pool when stirred into a hot recipe. If you want a thinner version, add milk into it or add confectioner’s sugar if what you’re looking for is a sweet and frosty topping for that carrot cake recipe that you’ve been meaning to try out this weekend!

If you’re still struggling to find heavy cream, you could check out Amazon’s one-day delivery option and get yourself some heavy cream or whipping cream!

Do you know of any substitutes to heavy cream? Tell us all about if on food@gulfnews.com

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