The Best Simple Cream Substitutes

Cream Substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Cream? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Cream substitutes both dairy and dairy-free.

What is Cream?

Cream is a dairy product made by separating out the creamy fat component of milk.

Different types of cream vary in the fat content from about 18% for light or single cream to double cream which contains around 50% fat.

The most common types of cream also called heavy whipping cream are typically 35% fat.

The Best Cream Substitutes – Dairy

1. Butter

Unsalted butter which is 80% fat is much richer than cream but can be melted and used to give richness to creamy sauces to replace cream. You won’t need as much butter to get a similar result. Unsalted butter can be whipped to give a rich alternative to whipped cream.

2. Double Cream

Double cream will be richer so you won’t need as much to get a similar creamy impact.

3. Sour Cream / Cream Fraiche

These cultured creamed are thicker due to the thickening nature of the acid from the cutlure. The flavour will be more tart and tangy – which may or may not be a good thing.

4. Greek Yoghurt

Greek yoghurts contain a less fat (approx 10%) compared to cream (approx 35% fat) so it will be lighter and more acidic. Just be careful if your recipe requires the double cream to be cooked as yoghurt will curdle if brought to the boil, so best to add it at the last minute.

The Best Dairy-Free Cream Substitutes

1. Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream

While the flavour is different, coconut milk or it’s richer cousin coconut cream is the closest dairy-free alternative you’ll get to cream.

2. Cashew ‘Cream’

I love making this fresh creamy sauce as a dairy-free alternative to sour cream. You can use the same recipe but just use water instead of the lime and use unsalted cashews to give you an approximation of cream.

3. Pine Nut ‘Cream’

A similar idea to the cashew sauce above using pine nuts instead. Recipe here. Again for a sweet option you’ll want to skip the garlic and use water instead of the lemon.

4. Tahini

This ground sesame paste has a completely different more nutty flavour profile to cream. But it can be drizzled over dishes to give some of the richness you would get from cream.

4. Almond Butter

Will work in a similar manner to tahini.

How to Store Cream

Double Cream is best stored in the refrigerator. I generally ignore he best before date and eat it even a week after it is out of date. As long as there’s no mold growing on it. Don’t freeze as the fat crystals go all grainy when defrosted.

Whats the difference between whipping cream and double cream?

Double cream is whipping cream which as had less of the watery component remaining. Meaning double cream contains more fat (typically around 48% or higher) where as whipping cream only contains around 35% fat.

Cream Goes with…

  • Coffee & Cream
  • Chocolate & Cream
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Raspberries & Cream
  • Strawberries & Cream
  • Cake & Cream

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x