What Can You Substitute for Whipping Cream?

Published Categorized as Food
What Can You Substitute for Whipping Cream?Daniel Timothy Allison /123RF

You can make a whipping cream substitute from ingredients lying around your kitchen. Plus, there are also some great vegan options.

Whipped cream can also be called ‘Chantilly cream.’ And before you ask, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are one and the same!

There are quite a few ways to substitute whipping cream, but I would be cautious to call any of them perfect. Whipping cream typically has between 30-40% fat content which is hard to replicate.

And in the end, you might not be able to whip it up, which could make it useless to you, so pay close attention.

You will often have to add something to get closer results to whipping cream and even then, it might not be ideal.

Coconut Cream (and Coconut Milk)

Coconut cream is the simplest and perhaps one of the more surprising substitutes for whipping cream. If you have coconut milk, you can make coconut cream by chilling it in the fridge overnight.

Coconut cream is a smart choice for those who can’t eat dairy and is also healthier than most whipping cream alternatives—and whipping cream itself—containing useful vitamins and fiber.

How to make it work: Coconut cream can be substituted one for one with whipping cream. You may want to add something to overcome the coconut taste or simply avoid certain recipes.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip and whipping cream are remarkably similar in that they are both thick dairy creams that can be used on desserts.

The key differences are that whipping cream is made of high-fat cream while Cool Whip is made with cooking oils and corn syrup with cream and skimmed milk.

How to make it work: Cool Whip can substitute whipping cream on a one-for-one basis, but it cannot be done for a cream that is yet to be whipped—in such cases, you’ll need to find another sub.


Lower in fat content, buttermilk is fermented milk. It’s a great substitute for whipping cream because it can be made in so many ways with ingredients likely in your kitchen (a substitute for a substitute!).

Two of the most common ways to create buttermilk, if you can’t get it from the store, are to milk a cup of buttermilk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.

How to make it work: Buttermilk can’t be whipped, so it can only be used when you don’t need it whipped. You may also want to add something to make it thicker.

Double Cream

Double cream is essentially the British version of heavy or whipping cream, though, it generally has a higher percentage of fat—around 48%, that’s 8-18% higher.

If you find yourself at a British food store or outside the US, know double cream is whipping cream’s closest relative. It is perhaps the best if you need to do some whipping.

How to make it work: As the closest alternative, double cream can be used one for one with no changes or extra ingredients but do bear in mind the higher fat content.

Milk with Butter

Different from ‘buttermilk’ mentioned above, mixing milk and butter is another very easy way to substitute whipping cream, and likely two ingredients you already have.

But, just like buttermilk, milk with butter cannot be whipped up like whipping cream, so its use as a substitute is limited.

How to make it work: To get a result closer to whipping cream, use fatter milk (though, lower fat can also work). Mix one-third butter and two-thirds milk.

Dry Milk

Dry milk, or powdered milk, may be a bit of an odd choice, but when whipped up correctly, can work pretty well.

Most likely, you’ve raided your kitchen cupboard to consider dry milk, and it does need a bit of help to get to a whipped cream alternative.

How to make it work: Add dry milk to water to get to liquid form, then add lemon juice and sugar. Beat until the consistency begins to resemble whipped cream.


Yogurt can work as a top substitute for whipping cream in many scenarios. Lower in fat and still quite thick but unfortunately, though, you can’t whip up yogurt in the same way.

Greek yogurt is often cited as the best yogurt alternative to whipping cream, and it works best when used in sauces and soups.

How to make it work: Add a bit of milk to closer mimic the texture of whipping cream and add sugar if you plan to use it in a dessert.


Half-and-half is the child of whipping cream and whole milk so understandably, it’s close to whipping cream, but it’s not perfect—you’ll struggle to whip it up.

Aside from that, you’ll also notice that half-and-half is not as high in fat as whipping cream, though, you can usually add half-and-half to desserts and no one will notice, but not when baking.

How to make it work: Half-and-half can work as a one-to-one substitute, though, adding butter can increase the amount of fat and get it closer to whipping cream.

Cream Cheese

At over 33% fat, cream cheese is quite close to whipping cream—probably the fattest alternative behind double cream.

Cream cheese is the best whipping cream substitute if you’re making something cheesy. But obviously, it’s made of cheese, so there will be a clear difference in taste.

How to make it work: Use one-to-one if cooking, but if you need something closer to whipping cream, add some milk. Sugar can also be added 

Soy Milk

Ever-popular soy milk is a top choice for those who can’t eat dairy, but some may find this alternative a little pricey.

The best thing about using soy milk in place of whipping cream is that it can be easily made into ‘soy whipped cream’ with little effort.

How to make it work: To transform soy milk into whipping cream blend it with oil, add a bit of cornstarch, and refrigerate.

Almond Milk

Just like soy milk, almond milk can be turned into a whipping cream substitute in the same way, but it can also cost up to twice as much as cow milk.

If it comes down to soy milk or almond milk, know that soy milk is higher in protein while almond milk is lower in calories.

How to make it work: The same method for soy milk can be used—blend with oil, add cornstarch, and refrigerate.

What Is a Vegan, Dairy-Free Substitute for Whipped Cream?

As whipped cream is dairy, it isn’t surprising that the majority of substitutes listed above are too—but there are plenty of vegan substitutes.

Perhaps coconut cream, whether store-bought or made from coconut milk is the simplest way to make a dairy-free whipped cream substitute. It’s also pretty healthy.

However, if you can’t stand the taste of coconut the best possible alternative is using soy milk or almond milk, but it takes a little more effort—you’ll need to add oil and cornstarch.

Other alternative milk can also be used in a similar way, such as cashew milk and oat milk, but to list them all would be a bit like cheating.

Which Whipping Cream Substitutes Can Be Whipped?

So, throughout this short list of whipping cream substitutes, some can’t be whipped up, and obviously, that’s a big blow for some, so here’s a reminder of which subs can be whipped, and which can’t.

Can whip:

  • Coconut cream.
  • Cool Whip.
  • Double cream.
  • Dry milk.
  • Half-and-half.
  • Cream cheese.
  • Soy milk.
  • Almond milk.

Can’t whip:

  • Buttermilk.
  • Milk with butter.
  • Yogurt.

By Craig Britton

As children, we’re told not to play with our food. But I find that food tastes best when you experiment with it. I love trying out new recipes and cooking techniques almost as much as I love eating the end result.

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