When on the hunt for the best whipped cream without heavy cream, it was definitely a challenge to recreate that perfect, fluffy consistency we all know and love. To give this idea a fair shot, I tested 5 recipes with replacement ingredients and ranked how well the hacks worked online. Some are dairy-free and some are healthier than others, so there are options depending on your dietary needs. While the first few could work if you’re mixing it into a cake or dessert, options ranked #1 and 2 are the best for how to make whipped cream without heavy cream.
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5. Almond Milk and Canola Oil
Starting pretty horribly we have the almond milk and canola oil mixture. To be fair, during my research many posts claimed that this one doesn’t whip well, but can work in baking as a substitute for heavy cream. I can attest that this definitely did not whip well. The texture did not change at all it was completely liquid and did not resemble whipped cream whatsoever.
I guess I could have continued this one and added the powdered sugar and vanilla, but it seemed like a complete lost cause so I called this one quits. I’ll have to test this one baked into something at a later date to see if it can be a heavy cream substitute at all, but it doesn’t feel promising to me
4. Greek Yogurt and Milk
When you go searching for how to make whipped cream without heavy cream this Greek yogurt and milk combination will show up a ton. I looked through several articles and most had a similar consensus that you should combine equal parts Greek yogurt to milk in your stand mixer and whip. So that is exactly what I did.
I combined about a half cup of Greek yogurt with half a cup of whole milk and began to whip. I let this whip for about 10 minutes and saw no change in the consistency. The end result was a soupy yogurt that neither tasted nor looked good. This recipe for how to make whipped cream without heavy cream was a total flop.
3. Milk and Butter
Next up on our recipe list for how to make whipped cream without heavy cream we have milk and butter. This recipe made sense to me because butter was once cream and then you use the milk to lower the fat content just a bit and bring it back to a more cream-like consistency.
To make this variation I combined equal parts milk and butter to by stand mixer and began to whip. At this point in my testing process, this combination was definitely the closest to classic whipped cream, but it was too buttery. After adding the vanilla and powdered sugar to this attempt it really just tasted like sweet butter.
2. Coconut Cream
The coconut cream is when we started to get a little closer on our journey of how to make whipped cream without heavy cream. To make this I put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This allowed the coconut cream to separate from the coconut milk and rise to the top. I carefully opened the can and scooped ONLY the coconut cream from the top of the can and put it into my stand mixer to beat.
This method doesn’t require any extra sweeteners because the coconut cream is plenty sweet. If you are a fan of coconut this method would definitely work for you and I could see enjoying a slice of pie with a dollop of this on top. However, if the question is does this mimick whipped cream, the answer is not quite.
1. Evaporated Milk
In our number one spot for how to make whipped cream without heavy cream we have evaporated milk. Through all my testing evaporated milk stood high above the rest and was by far the closest thing to the real deal. It was smooth, perfectly sweet, and whipped into soft peaks.
The biggest thing to remember in this recipe is to freeze both your stand mixer bowl and your can of evaporated milk for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t allow these to get cold then the evaporated milk will not whip properly. Once you have the evaporated milk and the bowls sufficiently cold pour the milk into the bowl and begin to beat. You can add vanilla if you like, but sugar is not necessary.
This method worked perfectly for me and I will continue to use it if I run out of heavy cream. Specifically, anytime I’m using evaporated milk I use the Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk and I’ve never had a problem.
Here’s a side by side comparison of all 5 test batches:
Depending on if you’re making the switch due to a missing ingredient or if you’re trying to be healthier, we definitely recommend trying coconut cream or evaporated milk as the best replacements for heavy cream. This is great because both cans can sit in your pantry for sometime before use whereas heavy cream needs to be refrigerated. It was certainly a fun food science experiment to see how to make whipped cream without heavy cream.