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The 5 Best Substitutes for Single Cream

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Single cream is the perfect thickening agent to make a sumptuous culinary masterpiece.

However, if single cream is not available, what are the best alternatives?

Understanding the different ways to cook with this type of cream and knowing its substitutes are key steps when wanting to yield impressive results.

Here we will explain how to use single cream and bring together a list of the five best alternatives for single cream.

What’s Single Cream?

Single cream is a light and creamy dairy product used in the kitchen for many purposes.

It’s lower in fat than its relatives, like double or whipping cream, but still has a rich and luxurious taste.

Single cream has a smooth and velvety texture that makes it perfect for topping off a delicious dessert or adding to soups and sauces.

Since it is made with milk, single cream can also be used as an alternative to coffee creamer if you’re looking to make your espresso a little extra special.

While you shouldn’t boil single cream, heating it up will still give you deliciously creamy results – so long as you take it off the heat just before it’s about to reach boiling point.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Single Cream

If you’re looking for a healthier, dairy-free, or vegan alternative to single cream, you may be wondering what your best options are.

Here are five of the best substitutes for single cream.

1 – Heavy Cream

If you think heavy cream and single cream are one and the same, then you’re in for a surprise.

Contrary to what many people believe, heavy cream is thicker and richer than single cream.

It has more fat – around 36%, compared to 18% in single cream – which gives it a wonderfully thick texture and an incredibly indulgent taste.

This makes it the perfect choice for recipes from ice cream to mousse and chowder.

Surprisingly, if you’re ever looking to cut the calories, heavy cream can also be used as a lightning agent in recipes that call for single cream.

2 – Whipping Cream

Whipping cream is a truly perplexing condiment.

The name doesn’t really give away anything about what it is – and that’s because it’s neither cream nor does it need to be whipped up.

In actuality, whipping cream is a thick emulsion of cream containing between 30-50% fat and having been homogenized to have an incredibly smooth texture, as well as being ultra-stable against separation.

Its soft, mild taste makes it ideal for desserts, where it will generally contribute a decadent yet subtle flavor.

If you’re looking for an alternative to single cream, whisk the whipping cream first in order to create a lighter version that is suitable for use in baking and cooking – just remember not to whip for too long, or you may end up with something resembling butter.

3 – Half-half

Half-half is an enigma of sorts – a seldom-seen combination of equal parts heavy cream and whole milk.

This strange concoction, thought to have originated in the British Isles, has long been used as a substitute for richer single cream.

While it may not match the creamy richness and luxurious texture of single cream, what it lacks in that department, it makes up for with an interesting juxtaposition of taste and texture.

Half-half is thinner than single cream, making it slightly easier to pour or spread over food.

The lightness of whole milk is balanced out by the heavy cream, which adds a hint of butterfat sweetness.

If you are ever in need of a substitute for single cream but don’t have any on hand, look no further than some half-half.

It’s got all the versatility you need without sacrificing any flavor.

4 – Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt made from sheep or cow milk.

It has been around for centuries and has remained popular with many health-conscious people due to its rich taste and unique texture.

Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained multiple times to remove the whey, resulting in a thicker, more filling texture.

With double the protein and half the sugar of other yogurts, you are sure to get an added boost of nutrition while enjoying it.

But Greek yogurt has more uses than just being a healthy snack.

When combined with lemon juice and some salt, it can be swapped for single cream in your favorite recipes, which will reduce the calorie content as well as boost your daily protein intake.

5 – Coconut Cream

To say that coconut cream has taken the world by storm would be an understatement.

It’s everywhere, from soups and curries to desserts and drinks.

Despite its increasingly popular status, many still find themselves perplexed by this wonder ingredient.

Nutrient-rich coconut cream is a thick, creamy liquid made from the meat of a mature coconut – the flesh of which gets ground up and infused with water.

Of course, if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, coconut cream provides a suitable alternative single cream as it similarly boasts a rich and luxurious texture when added to any dish.

Not to mention, it tastes delicious too.

If you’re considering substituting single cream with coconut cream, make sure to go for the full-fat version, which will provide better texture and flavor – just be mindful of the additional fat content.


In conclusion, there are many ways to substitute single cream in your culinary endeavors.

Whether you’re looking for something richer and more luxurious or a lighter and healthier alternative – there is an option for everyone.

Heavy cream, whipping cream, Half-half, Greek yogurt, whipping cream, and coconut cream all make great alternatives depending on what type of dish you are preparing.

All that’s left for you to do is experiment with the different options and find out which one suits your needs and tastes best.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Single Cream

The 5 Best Substitutes for Single Cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Heavy Cream
  • Whipping Cream
  • Half-half
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Coconut 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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