Substitute for light cream

Substitute for light cream
Substitute for light cream

Light cream is a European additive in coffee, tea, soup, gravies, etc. It is also known as single cream. Light cream contains 18 to 29.9% butterfat. Therefore, it can be said to be more substantial than America’s additive – half-and-half, which is used mostly in making ice cream and pasta sauces. However, light cream is lighter when compared to whipping cream, which is used in topping hot chocolates and desserts.

Single cream or light cream is defined as any cream with above 18% and below 30% of milk fat. Since it doesn’t have solid fats, single cream cannot be whipped to present a flavor equal to a full-bodied flavor of a whipping cream, which is usually reserved with 36 – 40% butterfat. Whether you are looking for healthy substitutes or just want to try out things, there are quite a number of replacements you can settle for. Some are discussed below.

1. Full fat coconut cream

This is a great substitute to try out. In fact, it is healthy for the vegans who dislike milk products, or those who are allergic or just can’t stand dairy supplements. Moreover, coconut has cardiac health benefits and can co-exist with your body fatty acids. However, coconut has a strong flavor of its own, which you might not want in things like teas.

2. Milk with 2%butterfat

Many people have reservations when it comes to the consumption of 2% milk. However, as much as it has its effects, it is beneficial in even further higher measures. Milk consumption is generally helpful to your body’s immune system and tissue development.

This substitute for single cream is ideal for use in baking. However, it would be great if it had a higher butterfat percentage. This is due to curdling that milk products are prone to undergoing whenever they are heated at a specified high temperature. Therefore, the lower the fat content, the more prone they are to curdling. To prevent this, you can use cornstarch, which is mixed in cold water.

3. Half-and-half cream

The closest you can get to light cream is by using the 40-calories half-and-half cream. However, it does not exhibit the same richness in flavor and perfection as light cream.

4. Pureed tofu

This would be a great choice for those who are dedicated to healthy dairy-free products.

5. Canned milk

You can use this to substitute light cream for baking purposes. Usually, before milk is canned, it is heated to evaporate at least 60% of water. The remaining content is rich in a thick cream which can further be tenderized by adding a few spoonfuls of melted butter. This will also add flavor to your baking and dessert.

6. Coffee creamer

Powdered coffee creamers only work with beverages. It can work with tea and other drinking products but cannot work with anything related to baking. Therefore, this is a good substitute, but it is limited to ways you can employ it.

Summary Table

Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
Full Fat Coconut Cream Rich, Coconutty Creamy Curries, Desserts Coconut Extract
Milk with 2% Butterfat Mild, Creamy Liquid Cooking, Baking Dairy Aisle
Half-and-Half Cream Rich, Creamy Liquid Coffee, Soups Dairy Aisle
Pureed Tofu Neutral Smooth Sauces, Soups Plant-based
Canned Milk Mild, Creamy Liquid Cooking, Baking Canned Dairy
Coffee Creamer Sweet, Flavorful Liquid Coffee, Desserts Dairy or Plant-based


Can you substitute milk for light cream in a recipe?

Yes, you can substitute milk for light cream in many recipes, but remember that the dish’s texture and richness might be slightly different. Light cream has a higher fat content than milk, so using milk might produce a less creamy texture.

Can I substitute Greek yogurt for light cream?

Yes, you can substitute Greek yogurt for light cream in some recipes, especially those that require a creamy texture. However, yogurt has a tangy flavor that might affect the dish’s overall taste.

What is light cream in a recipe?

Light, coffee, or table cream is a dairy product containing around 18-30% milk fat. It is less rich than heavy cream but still adds a creamy texture to dishes.

Is light cream the same as evaporated milk?

No, light cream and evaporated milk are not the same. Evaporated milk has about 60% of its water content removed, resulting in a thicker and more concentrated product. Light cream, on the other hand, is a dairy product with a lower fat content and is not as thick as evaporated milk.

The bottom line

There are plenty of options when it comes to milk products. You can get a perfect substitute by trying them out one by one.

Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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