I’ve tried to whip up many vegan heavy cream substitutes since going vegan, and most don’t work, or don’t work well.
The only vegan alternatives that actually whip up well are coconut cream and aquafaba.
I’ll go over how to whip each effectively, and how the results compare to actual whipped cream.
Using Coconut Cream as a Whipping Cream Substitute
This is the ideal option when you need a whipped cream alternative.
It has the closest taste and texture. There’s a reason that all the frozen vegan whipped creams in grocery stores are all mainly made from coconut ingredients.
Here’s how to make whipped coconut cream:
- Put can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least an hour (the thick part will separate from the thin liquid).
- Open the can and scoop out the thick coconut cream. (Alternatively, flip the can upside down before opening and just pour out the thin liquid).
- Put it in a mixing bowl that has been in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- (Optional) Add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar.
- Whip using a hand mixer for 3-5 minutes.
- Add in sugar and vanilla as desired.
I make it myself quite often, but my pictures always look pretty bad (I’m not a recipe blogger).
Instead, check out this video by Minimalist Baker to see those instructions in action:
The taste is very comparable to “regular” whipped cream. You can also put it in the fridge or freezer without having much impact on the quality of the cream.
Using Aquafaba as a Whipping Cream Substitute
I’ll start by saying that you can whip up aquafaba quite easily.
However, the taste and texture of aquafaba is not nearly as good as coconut whipped cream.
Even with a lot of sugar, there’s always a bit of a “beany” taste. The texture of whipped aquafaba is also more airy, which is good for certain recipes (like meringues), but not so good for whipped cream (for pancakes or whatever else).
It also doesn’t store well. If you put it in the freezer, it gets a similar texture to a frozen banana. You have to essentially scrape it out at that point, which isn’t great.
So just use it right away if you make it.
Here’s what you do to make whipped aquafaba cream:
- Drain the liquid from a can of chickpeas (or another bean) into a bowl.
- Add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar.
- Use a hand or stand mixer to whisk for 3-6 minutes until peaks form.
- Whisk in sugar and 1 tbsp of vanilla.
It’s actually a bit simpler than coconut cream because you don’t need to worry about separating anything or freezing your mixing bowl.
Here’s what some aquafaba that I recently made looks like:
Appearance wise, it does the job. But again, the taste and reusability isn’t as good as coconut cream.