The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Cooking & Baking

There are thousands of recipes on our site that call for heavy cream, like penne alla vodka and creamed greens and frozen honey mousse. But do you actually need the cream? Can you replace it with milk? Or coconut milk? Or something else entirely? Toda…

There are thousands of recipes on our site that call for heavy cream, like penne alla vodka and creamed greens and frozen honey mousse. But do you actually need the cream? Can you replace it with milk? Or coconut milk? Or something else entirely? Today, we’re going to answer those questions and more.


But first, an ask-me-anything heavy cream lightning round! Let’s go:

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The 11 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes for Cooking & Baking

Cream cheese adds an all too familiar thick, creamy, rich tang to the cut sides of bagels, in between layers of carrot cake, in bowls of flavorful party dips, and more. But what if you’re halfway into a recipe only to realize that someone used your cre…

Cream cheese adds an all too familiar thick, creamy, rich tang to the cut sides of bagels, in between layers of carrot cake, in bowls of flavorful party dips, and more. But what if you’re halfway into a recipe only to realize that someone used your cream cheese to slather on their cinnamon raisin bread this morning, leaving you several tablespoons short?

While it’s hard to replicate the exact flavor and texture of cream cheese (especially all at once), there are some good substitutes available. Some can be used as is with pleasing results, and others need a few tweaks; some will work well as a spread or in dips, while others can handle more involved applications, like frostings and baked goods. In general, proceed with caution when making full-blown baked cheesecakes and other cream-cheese-heavy baking projects with anything other than full-fat, real-deal cream cheese.

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The Best Shortening Substitutes for Baking

You just finished the most recent episode of The Great British Bake-Off and you want to bake something, stat. Maybe sugar-crusted shortbread, or vanilla bean scones, or double chocolate cake. Whatever the recipe, odds are, you’re going to need shorteni…

You just finished the most recent episode of The Great British Bake-Off and you want to bake something, stat. Maybe sugar-crusted shortbread, or vanilla bean scones, or double chocolate cake. Whatever the recipe, odds are, you’re going to need shortening.

Which might not mean what you think. Technically speaking, “shortening” can be defined any fat that’s used in baked goods. Which is to say, vegetable shortening is shortening, yes, but so are butter, margarine, and lard.

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