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The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Cream

Light cream is an important ingredient in many recipes, mainly because of its creamy flavor and texture.

For people who are lactose intolerant or want to reduce their fat intake, it can be difficult to find a replacement for light cream.

However, several substitutes will create similar results in your recipe-ready dish.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the flavor and texture of light cream, as well as possible substitutes for this ingredient.

What is Light Cream?

what is light cream

Typically, light cream has a mild creamy flavor and a slightly sweet taste.

The texture can vary depending on how it’s whipped or its fat content.

Light cream generally has about 20% of its volume content of fat, which makes it slightly lower in fat than half and half, and slightly higher in fat than heavy cream.

Light cream is best known for its use over fruit and desserts, such as strawberries or peaches.

It can be used for making sauces, soups, and even baked potatoes.

The flavor of light cream makes it a popular option for those looking to reduce the calorie count of their day yet still enjoy a sweet treat.

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The lightness in light cream comes from its fat content, not caloric intake.

It is frequently used in moderation to balance out heavy, high-calorie meals while allowing for a sweet treat.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Cream

If you find yourself without access to light cream, the following substitutes can be made up for their unique texture and flavor.

1 – Heavy Cream

heavy cream

Heavy cream is essentially light cream with slightly more fat content.

It has between 30 – 36% of its volume in fat content.

As such, it has a much richer flavor than light cream and can be used for baking or cooking any meal that would benefit from this added richness.

It’s important to note that heavy cream does not whip as easily as light cream and will not hold its form as well.

The best way to use heavy cream is in a food processor or an immersion blender.

As such, this isn’t the best choice for those looking to serve their desserts or fruit over top of it.

Heavy cream also doesn’t work if you’re making sauces to go over chicken or fish.

After you’re finished baking with it, stick your bowl in the fridge until you’re ready for it again.

2 – Evaporated Milk

evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is a staple to have around if you have children or don’t use much milk throughout the week.

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It’s a great substitute for heavy cream because it has a thicker consistency but doesn’t have as strong a flavor.

Evaporated milk is whole milk with 60% of its water content removed.

The milk is heated, and the water content evaporates to achieve this.

This leaves you will a much thicker and richer dairy product than regular milk can provide.

Evaporated milk doesn’t work as a heavy cream substitute in every case because it does have a very distinct flavor to it compared to light cream.

This is why evaporated milk works best for those looking to make casseroles, soups, and other dishes where this richer flavor will enhance the meal instead of overpowering it.

3 – Whipping Cream

whipping cream

Whipping cream is similar to light cream in that it contains between 30-36% of its volume in fat content.

This is why it’s sometimes referred to as heavy whipping cream.

Whipping cream is very similar to light cream, although not as rich.

It has a texture that allows for easy incorporation of air and won’t leave you with large bubbles within the liquid.

Whipping cream also lends itself well to cakes and desserts.

This is because this dairy product’s whipped and unwhipped forms will hold their form for a long time and create the perfect cake and frosting.

It’s important to note that although whipping cream can be used as a substitute for light cream, it cannot be substituted one-to-one in all cases.

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You should use slightly less whipping cream if you are looking for a similar consistency to light cream.

4 – Sour Cream or Yogurt

sour cream or yogurt

In a pinch, both sour cream and yogurt can be used in the place of light cream.

They’re often used in sweet dishes when whipped cream is called for.

Sour cream is a dairy product that has an acidic quality to it.

This makes it unique because most other substitutes are neutral rather than acidic.

The acidity adds a sharpness to the flavor that light cream lacks.

Whipped sour cream or yogurt can also be used in light whipped cream to top off dishes like cakes and pies.

It’s important to note that while sour cream and yogurt can serve as substitutes for light whipping, they do not work well in situations where you are whipping them.

Instead, please keep it in its solid state when using sour cream or yogurt.

Both sour cream and yogurt have a thick texture comparable to heavy cream.

This makes it excellent for adding richness without changing the flavor of your dishes too much.

5 – Half and Half Cream

half and half cream

Half and half cream is a dairy product containing between 10-18% butterfat, making it thicker than whole milk but not as thick as heavy cream.

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Half and half make an excellent substitute for light cream because of its consistency.

It doesn’t add too much richness to your meal while at the same time giving you the smooth texture you need to make sauces for chicken or fish.

Half and half does contain some fat, however, so it can’t be used in every situation where light cream is called for.

This dairy product will provide the perfect consistency that you’re looking for casseroles and baked goods.


Light cream is a dairy product often used in dishes like casseroles and soups.

It comes in both heavy and whipping forms, and it lends itself to baked goods and desserts when whipped.

You can use several substitutes in place of light cream: evaporated milk, whipping cream, sour cream or yogurt, half and half cream, and heavy cream.

Depending on the recipe, heavy cream may not be a viable substitute for light cream because it has a much higher fat content and will change the flavor of your dish.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Cream

The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Cream
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Heavy Cream
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Whipping Cream
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt
  • Half and Half Cream


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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