9 Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Vegans

Traditional heavy cream may not be the right choice if you are vegan, dairy-free, or looking for a healthier alternative.

 

Fortunately, in the twenty-first century, dairy-free and vegan products are much more popular and abundant than in the past. Grocery stores are often stocked with entire sections dedicated to vegan and vegetarian foods. It is also easier now than ever before to find plant-based recipes online.

 

With all of this newfound accessibility, it is no surprise that there are so many vegan heavy cream substitute methods and recipes to choose from! The problem now is deciding which one is the best fit for your needs.

 

Are you looking to make a delicious whipped topping, thicken a sauce, or try to replicate your favorite childhood dish? These nine vegan alternatives can help you achieve a thick, creamy consistency without dairy.

 

Continue reading for a comprehensive list of some of the best vegan heavy cream substitutes from both grocery store brands and recipes.

Vegan Heavy Cream Alternative Brands

At the moment, two popular brands make vegan heavy cream substitutes — Silk and Flora. These substitutes are great if your local grocery store carries them and you are in a pinch.

Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream

The first popular plant-based brand that makes heavy whipping cream is Silk. Silk is a plant-based company known for making vegan milk, creamers, and yogurts. It is no surprise that they also offer dairy-free heavy whipping cream.

 

This alternative requires no conversions — use it cup for cup, just like dairy! Use Silk heavy whipping cream to make various desserts, creamy soups, sauces, or simply for whipped cream.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 Tbsp

Calories per serving: 50

Total Fat: 5g

Saturated Fat: 3.5g

Sodium: 0mg

Total Carbs: 0g

Total Sugars: 0g

Protein: 0g

Flora Plant Cream

Another well-known vegan brand that makes heavy whipping cream is Flora. The company Flora is best known for its plant butter alternatives. However, it also ventures into other products like heavy cream.

 

Like Silk, Flora’s heavy cream alternative is also a 1:1 exact ratio to traditional heavy whipping cream. It also claims to yield a 25% higher volume when whipped than regular cream. Use this product when you cook sweet or savory dishes due to its neutral flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Tbsp

Calories per serving: 45

Total Fat: 4.5g

Saturated Fat: 2.5g

Sodium: 5g

Total Carbs: less than 1g

Total Sugars: less than 1g

Protein: 0g

Vegan Heavy Cream Homemade Substitutes

Total Carbs: less than 1g

Total Sugars: less than 1g

Protein: 0g

While plant-based brands are convenient, they are not always widely available to purchase at your local grocery store. Even if they are, they can be expensive.

 

Due to high prices, resourcefulness in the kitchen may be the most beneficial to making your vegan heavy cream at home. Below are several heavy cream substitute methods, their best uses, and nutritional values.

Coconut Heavy Cream

Coconut cream is an excellent go-to vegan heavy cream substitute as long as you don’t mind the faint taste of coconut. Coconut cream works the best as a homemade alternative because it is high in saturated fat, making it whip up similarly to regular heavy cream.

 

Coconut cream is the thickened part derived from coconut milk, making it a great alternative to yogurt and sour cream as well, aside from heavy cream.

How To Prepare

To prepare heavy coconut cream, you can start with either a can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, depending on which is more readily available.

 

If you purchase coconut milk, remember to keep it in the fridge overnight, then scoop out the thick cream on top. The top part is what you can use as the heavy cream alternative.

How To Use

Use the heavy coconut cream as a 1:1 ratio substitute for traditional heavy cream. It is incredibly versatile — whip it up and use it as a topping for dessert, stir it into soups and sauces, or add it to baked goods.

Nutrition Facts

Nutritionally, every can of coconut cream or milk will be slightly different depending on the brand. However, both coconut cream and milk are generally high in saturated fat and low in carbs and protein.

Non-Dairy Milk and Oil

Another good alternative for traditional heavy cream is the combination of plant milk and oil. Milk and butter create heavy whipping cream, which is why this combination works well. You are essentially substituting those with comparable vegan ingredients.

How To Prepare

This recipe is a 2:1 ratio compared to regular heavy cream. To prepare, mix 2/3 cup of your vegan milk of choice with 1/3 cup of your oil of choice. Vegetable oil will work best because it is neutral in flavor, but you can use olive or coconut oil, too.

 

The type of milk you use matters too. Soy, cashew, or oat milk will likely replicate the texture of heavy whipping cream best because they are thicker than almond or coconut milk.

How To Use

It is important to note that this method will not whip up as traditional dairy cream will. However, you can still use it for its creaminess and flavor in soups, sauces, and baked goods.

Nutrition Facts

This recipe is higher in fat content due to the oil in terms of nutrition. It could have a higher protein content than coconut cream, but this depends on which kind of alternative milk you use.

Non-Dairy Milk and Cornstarch

Combining non-dairy milk and cornstarch works well as an option if you do not need to whip your heavy cream, similarly to the milk and oil method. It also uses ingredients typically found in your kitchen pantry, so there is no need to scour supermarket aisles!

How To Prepare

To prepare this method, you will start with 1 cup of your milk of choice. Then, add cornstarch in slowly, mixing to incorporate. Per 1 cup of milk, you will need about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

How To Use

This recipe acts more like a light cream rather than something dense, so, in that respect, it is not a direct comparison to traditional heavy cream. However, for slightly thickening soups and sauces, it can still be handy.

 

This recipe is not meant to be thick, so you don’t have to be as stringent about the type of vegan milk you use. Unlike coconut cream or store-bought products, you cannot whip the non-dairy milk and cornstarch mixture.

Nutrition Facts

This recipe will generally have a lower fat content than some other method suggestions on this list because it does not contain oil or other fatty ingredients. However, the percentage of fat content could change depending on the type of milk you use. Typically, coconut milk contains more fat than other milk alternatives.

Non-Dairy Milk and Tofu

The next suggested method takes two classically vegan staples — plant-based milk and tofu — to make an ultra-silky heavy cream alternative.

How To Prepare

You will need to use plain silken tofu for this method — nothing flavored. In terms of equipment, you will also need a blender.

 

In the blender, add your silken tofu (about one pound) and blend, using milk to thin out the mixture. You will end up using about 1/4 cup of milk.

 

Make sure to add your milk gradually rather than all at once to ensure a nice texture and consistency form.

How To Use

We recommend the non-dairy milk and tofu method for soups, sauces, and baked goods. It is partially whippable, but it will not whip into stiff peaks like other recipes on this page will.

Nutrition Facts

This recipe has a higher protein percentage since it uses silken tofu, a soy product. Soy is a common vegan source of substantial protein. Combine the tofu with soy milk in this recipe to enjoy even more high-quality protein.

Non-Dairy Milk and Brown Rice

This plant-based milk and brown rice blend create a super smooth and creamy sauce. It is an excellent thickening agent and heavy cream alternative.

How To Prepare

You will first need to cook 1 cup of rice in boiling water on the stovetop for this recipe.

 

Add the thoroughly cooked rice to a blender and blend until smooth, pouring milk to thin out the mixture until the consistency becomes slightly thick and creamy.

How To Use

While the brown rice and milk mixture will not whip to stiff peaks, it is excellent to use for general cooking in items such as soups and sauces.

Nutrition Facts

Since this method uses brown rice, it has many health benefits. Brown rice is an excellent source of fiber as well as magnesium. This recipe does not contain any oil or fatty nuts, so it is lower in fat content than many other vegan heavy cream alternatives on the list.

Cashew Cream

This next vegan heavy cream alternative is a nut-based option that takes some more effort and time than the other recipes listed on this page.

How To Prepare

Vegan cashew cream is a 1:1 ratio for heavy cream substitution.

 

For this recipe, you will need about 1 cup of cashews. First, you should soak your cashews in water overnight. Soaking ensures that they are soft enough to blend to a creamy consistency. If you have a high-powered blender, you may be able to skip this step. However, for best results, we recommend soaking the cashews.

 

After the cashews soak, pour them into a blender or food processor with 1 cup of water and blend until you find the right consistency. The mixture should be thick and smooth, similar to a tahini sauce.

How To Use

Cashew cream is another heavy cream method that won’t whip up, but it is an excellent option for cooking and some baking. This method is perfect for creamy soups and sauces.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 2 Tbsp

Calories per serving: 30

Total Fat: 2.4g

Saturated Fat: 0.4g

Sodium: 1mg

Total Carbs: 1.6g

Total Sugars: 0.3g

Protein: 1g

Onion Cream

The last vegan heavy cream alternative is not as commonly used. However, onion cream has some unique qualities that will make your savory dishes creamy and taste packed with extra flavor. Onion cream is also the only recipe on the list that happens to be fat-free!

How To Prepare

To prepare onion cream, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 medium white onions
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your white onions on a baking tray and bake until they are completely soft and squishy. Baking time should take about 45 minutes.

 

After the onions cool, peel the outside layers off and discard them.

 

Blend the remaining onion parts with the lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

How To Use

While onion cream is not ideal for sweet recipes or baking, it is great for savory dishes and general cooking! Add it to your soups and sauces, or even use it to make salad dressings.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 2 Tbsp

Calories per serving: 22

Total Fat: 0g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Sodium: 75mg

Total Carbs: 5.25g

Total Sugars: 2.3g

Protein: 0.6g

Wrapping Up

Substituting traditional heavy cream for vegan heavy cream alternatives has never been as easy as it is today. Whether you purchase a product from the store or make it in your kitchen, there are many options available right now that were not before.

This comprehensive list of some of the best vegan heavy cream substitutes has a solution for all of your cooking and baking needs. There are savory, sweet, and neutral options depending on what you are making. Several different methods are also suitable for whipping, thickening, or simply adding flavor to whatever you create.

While there is no perfect substitute or one meant for every dish, you will certainly find one that works for you out of the 9 discussed above.

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