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Sour cream may be used in place of heavy cream.

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Heavy cream is a popular component in many recipes and a staple product in many kitchens. Since it is derived from the high-fat component of milk, it has a larger fat content than many other kinds of cream and is generally used to add richness and flavor to pasta, soups, and desserts.

Heavy cream is an undoubtedly versatile dish that is always useful to have on hand. But, there may be occasions when you reach for it just to find that you don’t have any. Due to the dairy presence of heavy cream, which is undesirable for persons who cannot tolerate it, you may also want a healthier option or a vegan substitute.

As a consequence, a substitution that won’t damage your recipes or change the taste of your food will be required. Sour cream is one of these possibilities, and it may be substituted for heavy cream in most recipes. There are, however, alternative possibilities, and all of them function well when employed in the right replacement ways, resulting in a superb flavor in a variety of dishes.

Sour Cream Vs. Heavy Cream

Sour cream is a kind of dairy product prepared by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is either purposely or unintentionally inserted, thickens and soured the cream. Souring refers to the process of bacterial fermentation that creates lactic acid.

Sour cream is often used as a condiment on foods or as dipping sauces when mixed with other ingredients. Instead of milk, it may thicken and cream soups and sauces, as well as increase the moisture content of baked products.

Heavy cream, on the other hand, is the milk fat that develops on fresh milk that has not been homogenized. Homogenizing milk is a process that turns milk fat into small droplets that float in the liquid. Heavy cream is described as a cream that has at least 36% milk fat, according to FDA labeling requirements. Heavy whipping cream is another name for it.

Several recipes call for heavy cream, which might range from a dash to several cups. It may be used in pastry fillings, spaghetti sauces, ice cream, and a variety of other dishes.

Sour Cream Nutrition Facts

Substituting Sour Cream and other Options for Heavy Cream in Recipes

Heavy cream (also known as heavy whipping cream) is used in a variety of dishes, including savory sauces and sweet sweets such as ice cream. Yet, whether you are on a dairy-free diet or you are in the midst of preparing a dinner and realize you are out of heavy cream, you may want a heavy cream alternative at some point.

Fortunately, many foods may be substituted for heavy cream when a recipe asks for it. Sour cream is one of these alternatives, and in terms of flexibility, it competes with heavy cream. Explore how the following alternatives to heavy cream may be used in recipes:

Sour Cream

Sour cream is gluten-free and keto-friendly, with a fat content of around 20%. As long as the sourness does not overshadow the tastes of the dish, it may be used in place of heavy cream in a variety of recipes.

It may be used in place of the heavy cream asked for in the recipe. It goes well with sweet meals or as a topping for sweets, and it may even be spooned on top of sweet dishes like crepes. Instead of whipped cream, sour cream might be sweetened with confectioners sugar and served.

If you want to use sour cream in recipes like white chili or sauces, add it after the stew has completed cooking; otherwise, the sour cream may curdle if the stew is still hot.

Half and Half

In equal parts, half milk and half cream may be used to substitute heavy cream. The combination of these components, however, has a lower fat content than heavy cream. As such, it is a fantastic choice for those seeking a nutritious option. Like heavy cream, this combination adds richness to dishes and may be used in desserts, sauces, and soups.

To boost the fat content, add butter to the half-and-half combination. The finished product may be utilized in a number of recipes. Unlike many other heavy cream substitutes, this one may also be used for whipping.

Evaporated Milk

A heavy cream replacement may be made by substituting equal volumes of evaporated milk. Since it is thicker and creamier than regular milk, evaporated milk has characteristics similar to heavy cream. Yet, since it has fewer calories, it may be used as a healthy substitute.

If vanilla essence is used in baked sweets, you may wish to add a little amount. Although this is a great alternative for heavy cream in meals and recipes that call for it, it may not be as effective when whipping. As a consequence, your dessert’s taste will be improved and it will be somewhat sweeter.

Coconut Cream

Coconut milk is a good choice for vegans or others who want a dairy-free diet. Although coconut milk has a sweet taste, it also has the same richness and consistency as heavy cream. Despite the fact that it does not rise as much as heavy cream, it may still be used as a cake topping or in baked goods.

Create a whipped topping using cooled coconut milk, and then dump the liquid contents into a separate container. The thicker and stiffer pieces may then be scooped out and used as a heavy cream alternative. In recipes, coconut cream and heavy cream may be replaced in equal proportions, including a 1:1 replacement ratio.


Yogurt, particularly thicker varieties like Greek yogurt, may be a great substitute for heavy cream for topping sugary meals like pancakes. Yogurt is a great healthy choice since it is high in protein. It may also be used with milk to make a thinner concoction.

It’s similar to cottage cheese in that it may be eaten alone or mixed with milk. Adding milk thins the mixture and gives it a feeling similar to heavy cream, allowing it to be used in sauces and soups.

It is crucial to note, however, that this alternate choice has a tangier taste and may not be suitable for all meals that call for heavy cream. Also, although it may be used as a replacement for heavy cream in baked goods, it is not recommended for whipping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs

Can I substitute sour cream for heavy cream in Quiche?

It is possible to make Quiche without using heavy cream. Just use sour cream, but bear in mind that it is heavy in calories.

What can you substitute for heavy cream in a frittata?

Substitutes include whole milk, sour cream, yogurt, and crème fraiche. But bear in mind that anything less than a full-fat product will provide a less-unctuous frittata.

Does sour cream taste like buttermilk?

Commercial buttermilk, like sour cream, is pasteurized, with bacteria added after heating, and it has a tangy taste similar to sour cream.


There’s no reason to despair when you go for your can of heavy cream and discover it’s empty. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to heavy cream in your recipes, you’re in luck.

Sour cream and our other recommended alternatives may work well in a variety of recipes that would normally call for heavy cream. As long as the proper quantities and procedures are followed, these solutions function effectively without sacrificing taste or flavor. Your best bet is to experiment and see what works best for you.


Can you use sour cream as a substitute for heavy cream?

Sour cream has a high enough fat level (about 20%) to replace heavy cream in several savory dishes, such as soups or chili.

What can I use if I don’t have heavy cream?

Half-and-Half and Butter are the best heavy cream substitutes. The greatest all-purpose heavy cream alternative is a mixture of half-and-half and butter. … Evaporated Milk…. Coconut Cream…. Cream Cheese…. Greek Yogurt and Milk…. Soy Milk and Olive Oil.
Mar 30, 2022

What is the difference between sour and heavy cream?

In conclusion

Sour cream and heavy cream are not the same thing. They’re both created from cream, but the former is fermented, whilst the latter is marketed fresh and has far more fat. Sour cream has a thick and spoonable texture, but heavy cream is very thin (thicker than milk, of course) and pourable.

How do you make sour cream taste like heavy cream?

Commercial cultured sour cream is prepared by infusing heavy cream with lactic acid cultures, which gives it a thick texture and acidic taste. Sour cream is created with just two ingredients: heavy cream and an acid, such as freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar.

What can I substitute for 2 tbsp of heavy cream?

Greek yogurt is another low-fat alternative that may be diluted with a few tablespoons of milk to simulate the smoothness of cream. Sour cream, crème fraîche, mascarpone, and even cream cheese may all be substituted for cream in a rush, particularly in savory applications.

Does adding sour cream thicken?

Heavy cream, sour cream, and yogurt are all wonderful for thickening soups and sauces, but they must be cooked carefully or they may break and curdle.

Is half-and-half the same as heavy cream?

Heavy cream has a high fat content, often approximately 35%. Stabilizers are often used to improve texture and make whipping simpler. Half and half cream is made by combining equal parts heavy whipping cream and milk. It has a light creamy texture and is normally approximately 10% fat, however light varieties with less fat are available.

Is heavy cream different from evaporated milk?

Milk that has been evaporated

Both have the richness and taste of heavy cream but are lower in calories and fat. Whipping cream is essentially comparable, with just 5% less milkfat.

Can I substitute sour cream or yogurt for heavy cream?

Use a mixture of equal parts Greek yogurt and whole milk in lieu of the same quantity of heavy cream. This alternative may thicken meals like soups and sauces, but it should not be used in recipes that call for whipping.

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