How to Make Heavy Cream

Two Methods:Making Heavy CreamTrying Ingredient Variations

Many popular recipe ingredients have easy homemade substitutions. If your recipe calls for heavy cream and you don't have any, don't worry. You can make your own heavy cream substitute with just a few simple ingredients in a matter of minutes! Note: unlike store-bought heavy cream this recipe will not beat into whipped cream.


  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup butter

Method 1
Making Heavy Cream

  1. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 1
    Melt the butter. Start with butter than has been thawed to room temperature. There are a few different ways to melt the butter. Here are some methods to consider:
    • Melt it on the stove. Put your butter in a skillet and turn the heat on low. Butter melts between 82 and 97ºF (28–36ºC), which can be about room temperature on a hot day. Keep an eye on your butter and remove it from heat when about 3/4 of the butter has melted. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the butter over the bottom of the pan as it melts.
    • Melt it in the microwave. Chop the butter into small pieces (if cold) and place it in a microwave-safe container for about 10 seconds at a time until melted.
  2. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 2
    Pour the melted butter into the milk. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/3 cup butter (melted) and 3/4 cup whole milk. Make sure you have let your butter cool before pouring it into the milk
    • If you prefer to use milk with a lower fat content you'll need to add 1 tbsp of flour to help your cream thicken.[1]
  3. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 3
    Whisk your ingredients together. Whisk together with an electric mixer, handheld whisker, fork, or spoon. Mix for several minutes until the cream is thick and frothy.
    • Be aware that this homemade heavy cream will not whip into whipping cream like store-bought heavy cream will.
  4. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 4
    Store your heavy cream (optional). Place your heavy cream into a covered container in the refrigerator and store for 1 to 2 days.
  5. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 5
    Use your homemade heavy cream. You can substitute this 1 cup (236ml) of homemade heavy cream in baked goods, soups, and savory sauces immediately.

Method 2
Trying Ingredient Variations[2]

  1. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 6
    Try using skim milk and cornstarch. If you only drink skim milk, you can still use this as a basis for your heavy cream substitute. In this case, use one cup of milk and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or unflavored gelatin to allow the mixture to thicken. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients for 3-4 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  2. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 7
    Try tofu and soy milk. If you are looking for a low-fat or vegetarian heavy cream substitute, try blending tofu with unflavored soy milk until the mixture is smooth.
    • This substitute is a healthy alternative for heavy cream.
  3. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 8
    Try cottage cheese and milk. Cottage cheese and non-fat milk powder can be mixed in equal amounts to create a low-calorie heavy cream substitute. Mix the ingredients until there are no lumps in the mixture.
    • If you don't have powdered milk for this recipe, you can use skim milk instead.
  4. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 9
    Try evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Chill the evaporated milk and add vanilla extract to taste.
    • This mixture is a good one for soup recipes that call for heavy cream.
  5. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 10
    Try Greek yogurt and milk. Greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt and can be used as a substitute for heavy cream while reducing the fat in the recipe. Be aware that if you are baking cookies or bread recipes that call for heavy cream, you may want to use half yogurt and half whole milk to preserve some of the taste of the fat.
    • In recipes such as cheesecake where the texture is critical, you may want to use half heavy cream and half Greek yogurt to reduce the fat in your recipe.
    • Yogurt will curdle when heated too fast. Use low heat if you are making a sauce with Greek yogurt.
    • You can even make your own Greek yogurt by wrapping 2 cups of plain milk yogurt in a cheesecloth. Let the liquid drain off for several hours and you will be left with 1 cup of thick yogurt.
  6. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 11
    Try Half-and-half and butter. For each 1 cup of heavy cream in a recipe, you can use a substitute of butter and half-and-half. Melt 1/6 cup of butter and allow it to cool. Be sure it does not solidify during the cooling process. Put 7/8 cup of half-and-half into a bowl and stir in the cool melted butter until they are well blended.
  7. Image titled Make Heavy Cream Step 12
    Try low-fat cream cheese. Substituting low-fat cream cheese will provide the same consistency while reducing the calories and fat in the recipe.
    • If the recipe calls for 1 cup of heavy cream, use only 1/2 cup of cream cheese.
    • The taste of the cream cheese is a little sour. Don’t use it in recipes that need the sweetness of heavy cream.

Things You'll Need

  • Mixer/Blender
  • Saucepan
  • Microwave
  • Spoon


  • Use store-bought heavy cream for recipes that require exact chemistry, such as pastries and other fragile baked goods.
  • For best results, use a chilled metal bowl and chilled metal whisk. Do not use plastic.
  • Making your own heavy cream can sometimes give you a lower fat content.
  • Heavy cream substitutes can sometimes change the flavor of your dish so make sure the substitute is something you will enjoy.
  • The best way to determine which substitute will work for you is experimenting with different ingredients.


  • Allow your butter to cool slightly before mixing it with the milk. Make sure your butter doesn't cool so much that it solidifies.
  • When melting butter on the stovetop, do not allow it to brown or burn. This will compromise the flavor of your heavy cream. If you have accidently burned your butter, discard the batch and start again.

Article Info

Categories: Eggs and Dairy