Although it may not be the healthiest ingredient, heavy cream is an essential component of many recipes—especially during the holidays. But it’s not an item most of us regularly have in our refrigerator—which can be frustrating if you come to a recipe that calls for it and realize you don’t have any on hand. Good news—it turns out you can actually make your own heavy cream from just two simple ingredients you probably DO have in your fridge right now.
Surprisingly, heavy cream is a breeze to make. All you need is whole milk, butter and a little bit of elbow grease. To make 1 cup of heavy cream, mix 2/3 cup of whole milk with 1/3 cup melted butter. Really, it is that simple. As an alternative, if you don’t have milk on hand, you can also use 1/6 cup butter and 7/8 cup half-and-half.
There are also a number of other substitutes for heavy cream if the rich stuff isn’t your thing.
Greek yogurt is a lighter option, but it tends to have a little more tang and thickness than regular heavy cream.
You can also add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1 cup of skim milk. The cornstarch helps to thicken up the skim milk, but you skip all that added fat.
And if you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, you can even make your own homemade blend using tofu and soy milk. This substitute is low in fat and high in protein, and it won’t bother your tummy if you are sensitive to dairy.
Other no-prep options include cream cheese and evaporated milk. Whatever the substitute you choose, remember to experiment when you use them in recipes. Because they all have a different texture and consistency, be prepared for some variation in the end product.