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Double Cream Substitutes

Ingredient Swaps
Bowl of freshly-whipped double cream next to a bag of Billington's sugar

Double cream is a popular ingredient in sweet and savoury recipes, like homemade cakes, ice cream, soups, sauces and more.

Double cream, also known as heavy cream in the US, is made from fresh milk - the fresh cream that rises to the top is scraped off. It contains at least 36% fat, which sounds like a lot, but this high-fat content makes it great for baking.

If you prefer a lower-fat or dairy-free alternative, or whether you’ve simply run out of cream or it’s out of date, you can see our favourite double cream replacements below.

What is double cream used for in baking?

There are plenty of creative uses for cream in baking. The most simple one is pouring it directly over your hot and cold puddings. You can’t beat cold cream poured over warm apple pie or sticky toffee pudding. You can also whip it up into a light, smooth whipped cream to top trifle or tiramisu, or even shape into a fancy quenelle on top of a warm brownie.

Cream is also used to add texture, smoothness and richness to bakes, and can form the base for desserts like a posset or blended with cream cheese to make creamy cheesecakes. The higher the fat content in cream, the better it is for holding recipe ingredients together. Recipes containing a higher-fat cream will be less likely to split or curdle whilst baking. Cream with a higher fat percentage will also make a better whipped cream.

Double cream replacements containing dairy

Milk and butter

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 25g of butter and 75ml of full-fat milk

Milk and butter make a good cream alternative for cooking and baking, but not for making whipped cream. It will add a creamy flavour and texture to your recipes, but won’t whip well.

Adding butter to milk will create a mixture with a fat percentage similar to double cream. We’d recommend full-fat milk, but if you’re using low-fat, you can also use flour to thicken the liquid.

Milk and cornstarch

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 100ml of full-fat milk and 10g of cornstarch

Adding cornstarch to milk can thicken it to replicate the texture of double cream. This alternative will work well in cooking recipes, but isn’t the best for creating a smooth texture in baked goods or whipped cream, due to the lower fat content.

Single cream and butter

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 90ml of single cream and 10g of melted butter

You can use single cream on its own instead of double cream when baking, however, you’ll struggle to get the same richness and texture as if you’d used double cream. Your recipe is also more likely to split or curdle whilst cooking. Single cream, which contains a lower fat percentage, works well on its own in sauces and soups, but not for baking.

Single cream contains about one-third the amount of fat as double cream. You can add butter to low-fat cream to increase the fat percentage, which makes it a good alternative for baking and even making whipped cream.

Greek yoghurt and milk

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 50ml of yoghurt and 50ml of full-fat milk

Greek yoghurt is thicker than cream, although it contains less fat. Mixing Greek yoghurt with milk will create a mixture with a thickness similar to that of double cream, making it a good replacement if used to thicken soups and sauces.

However, this mixture won’t contain as much fat as double cream, so it won’t be the best replacement for baking or making whipped cream.

Evaporated milk

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 100ml of evaporated milk

If you need double cream to pour over a dessert, evaporated milk will work just fine. You can also add a dash of vanilla extract to sweeten it. Although evaporated milk is thicker and fattier than milk, it isn’t as fatty as double cream so it isn’t suitable for making desserts or whisking into a whipped cream.

Cream Cheese

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 100g of cream cheese

Cream cheese is used in lots of baking recipes, notably cheesecake. It also makes a good substitute for cream when making frosting, as well as being used to thicken soups and sauces. However, it’s not a good alternative for making whipped cream.

Bear in mind that the cheesy flavour may not work as well in some recipes.

Dairy-free double cream substitutes

Soy milk and olive oil

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 65ml of soy milk and 35ml of olive oil

This vegan alternative to double cream mixes fatty olive oil with smooth soy milk, to get a mixture with a fat percentage close to double cream. This mixture can function similarly to double cream and add tenderness to your bakes. This replacement however will not whisk well into whipped cream.

Silken tofu and soy milk

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 50g of silken tofu and 50ml of soy milk

Silken tofu is a softer version of regular tofu. It is made from condensed soy milk which has been solidified. As silken tofu is softer than regular, it can easily be blended to be used as a cream replacement, especially when mixed with soy milk or another type of dairy-free milk.

Blending silken tofu with soy milk will also help to remove any lumps remaining, to get that smooth, cream-like texture. You can mix silken tofu and soy milk in equal parts, then use a hand blender to get the perfect consistency. You can use this mixture in savoury recipes, bakes and even for whipped cream.

Coconut cream

Replacement ratio: Replace 100ml of double cream with 100ml of coconut cream

You can buy pre-made coconut cream, or make it yourself using coconut milk. All you need to do is leave coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then pour it into another container. You can then scoop out the thicker, hardened liquid to use as a coconut cream or double cream replacement.

Coconut cream can be baked, cooked and whipped. However, it will also leave a coconut flavour in your bake, so be sure to think whether this will work with the rest of your recipe.