Heavy cream might not be an option for vegans, but there are quite a few decent substitutes if you’re trying to veganize a recipe.
They focus on 3 main types of ingredients:
Not surprisingly, these are also the main types of non-dairy milks.
1. Mix Soy Milk With Olive Oil
Heavy cream is made from milk and butter, and non-dairy milk is already comparable to dairy milk.
So all that’s left is the butter.
Well, there are quite a few vegan alternatives to butter, so we have a few options.
You could use a vegan butter, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy substitute, just use olive oil. Most good vegan butters are mostly olive oil anyways.
To make this vegan heavy cream, mix soy milk with olive oil in a 2:1 ratio. So if you want 1 cup of cream, use 2/3 cup of soy milk, and 1/3 cup of olive oil.
This cream will replicate the flavor and texture of heavy cream well when baking, but won’t whip up like dairy cream will.
2. Blend Silken Tofu With Soy Milk
We’ve already seen that soy milk is a good base to start with.
It turns out that another soy product, silken tofu (that’s the really soft stuff) can be combined with soy milk to make a heavy cream alternative with lots of protein.
You simply blend together tofu and soy milk in a 1:1 ratio. Depending on the tofu you may need to add more or less milk, so add in the soy milk gradually.
This heavy cream alternative can be whipped if needed.
3. Coconut Cream (or Coconut Milk)
If you’ve ever looked at making your own vegan ice cream, you’ve come across coconut milk or cream as a main ingredient.
Coconut cream is essentially thickened coconut milk. You can buy cans of it, or just buy full-fat coconut milk, put it in the fridge overnight, and scoop out the thick parts (that’s the cream).
You can substitute coconut cream with heavy cream in a 1:1 ratio. It has a lot of the same properties, just has a different flavor.
It’s the best substitute when it comes to being able to whip it well.
4. Non-Dairy Milk and Cornstarch
This is an option if you don’t need to whip up your vegan heavy cream, and uses the most common ingredients.
You start with any non-dairy milk, and then add cornstarch to it to thicken it up.
If you need 1 cup of heavy cream, start with 1 cup of non-dairy milk, then add cornstarch to it and mix as you add. In general, you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch per cup of milk.
5. Vegan Cashew Heavy Cream
The final option is a nut-based version.
This one will take a bit of extra work, and you won’t be able to buy it anywhere that I know of.
It won’t whip great, but is another option for general cooking. Here’s the recipe.
So far, these have been the best heavy cream alternatives that are vegan that I’ve come across. If you try any of these, let me know how it went in a comment below.