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Non-Dairy Substitute for Heavy Creamer: 5 Common Alternatives to Use

Lisa Price
Last Updated on
by Lisa Price

Looking for a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream? Many non-dairy substitutes taste amazing and still have the consistency of heavy cream: coconut milk, silken tofu, soy milk, and oat milk are a few of the best dairy-free heavy cream substitutes.

Using a substitute for heavy cream can benefit your health. Whether you have dairy allergies or are trying to adopt a dairy-free diet, using a non-dairy substitute is a good place to start.

Most non-dairy substitutes for heavy cream bring the same creaminess to your recipes. You won’t have to sacrifice flavor either!

Traditional heavy cream made from cow’s milk contains 88.1 grams of fat in just a single cup. If you’re looking to improve your diet to improve your health, that is not a great number for heart health, among other reasons.

The alternative? Replace the dairy option with silken tofu. It has the same consistency with only 3 grams of fat.

Heavy Creamer
Heavy Creamer

That’s a big difference!

But not all non-dairy alternatives are created equal. For instance, coconut milk and cashew cream contain fat and sugar. Check the labels before choosing which one fits your needs.

To swap the heavy cream for the non-dairy substitute, you don’t need to change the measurements. But if you want the substitute to have a thicker, creamier texture and flavor, mix it with some vegan butter or cornstarch.

Here are some dairy-free options that work great as a substitute for heavy cream in recipes:

1. Oat Milk

Oat Milk
Oat Milk

Oat milk is an excellent non-dairy substitute for heavy cream because it has a natural, creamy consistency and is not too sweet but it is high in calories. If this is not an issue for you, oat milk is a brilliant choice.

One cup of oat milk contains 160 calories, five grams of protein, and three grams of fiber. Using Oat milk also has significant health benefits. It’s a superb source of antioxidants and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Oat milk is ideal for dairy-free and vegan diets.

It’s also lactose, soy, and nut-free, which is safe to use if you have allergies or sensitivities to dairy products or nuts. But if you have a gluten allergy, this may not be the best non-dairy substitute for you.

The flavor of oat milk isn’t overpowering, so you can use it in recipes that call for heavy cream.

You can use oat milk in more savory recipes, like soups, Alfredo sauce, or as a milk replacement in pancakes.

2. Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu
Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is a great low-calorie non-dairy option for heavy cream. It contains 150 calories and 15 grams of protein per serving, which is higher in protein than dairy milk.

This makes it an excellent choice for people who are lactose intolerant but still want to enjoy the benefits of dairy products like protein.

Silken tofu is also low in fat, presenting a top dairy alternative for people with heart conditions who need to watch their fat intake.

Silken tofu is dairy, gluten, and nut-free, which makes it safe to use if you have allergies or sensitivities to dairy products or nuts. However, it’s rich in soy which contains a high level of isoflavone.

Isoflavone is an estrogen derived from plants. It can cause weak estrogenic activity once it combines with estrogen receptors in the body.

Silken tofu is also rich in calcium and magnesium. It contains vitamins B12 and D, and potassium. These nutrients are important for maintaining good health.

The flavor of silken tofu isn’t sweet; but boasts a fatty flavor, so it works great in recipes calling for heavy cream.

You can use silken tofu to make a vegan sour cream that can also replace heavy cream. Recipes such as cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and dairy-free frosting come to mind.

3. Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream

Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk

You can use either coconut milk or coconut cream interchangeably in recipes that call for heavy.

Coconut milk is dairy, gluten, and nut-free. It contains a high level of saturated fat and has medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids metabolize differently than other types of fat.

They increase energy expenditure and help with weight loss. Don’t let the fat grams in coconut milk turn you off.

Coconut milk is rich in vitamins and minerals, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin A.

The flavor of coconut milk is sweet, so it’s perfect for baking. Remember to adjust the amount of sugar with coconut milk as a non-dairy substitute, or may end up with a super sweet recipe.

You can also use it in savory dishes like a dairy-free version of Alfredo sauce. It’s delicious!

4. Soy milk

Soy milk
Soy milk

Soy milk as a non-dairy substitute is like silken tofu but not as thick or creamy. This product presents a light-tasting alternative to dairy with a thinner consistency. You can use it comfortably in recipes for sauces and soups that call for heavy cream.

Soy milk contains vitamins B, D, and E. It is also high in protein, so it’s great for those who are lactose intolerant but don’t want to sacrifice their protein intake.

Soy milk is dairy, gluten, and cholesterol-free, and it is vegan with a low glycemic index.

The only downside is lower fat content compared to heavy cream, so the result might not be as creamy. But using soy milk as a substitute for heavy cream is still a delicious dairy-free alternative.

Use soy milk to substitute heavy cream in these recipes: Alfredo sauces, mashed potatoes, and soups like potato soup or tomato basil soup.

You can also use soy milk as a dairy-free topping for your favorite desserts like apple pie, pecan pie, and peach cobbler.

5. Cashew Cream

Cashew cream
Cashew cream

Another vegan alternative to heavy cream is cashew cream.

Cashews are a fantastic source of protein and fiber. They’re also cholesterol-free. They have a creamy texture and, surprise, a nutty flavor. Cashew cream is also dairy, gluten, and soy-free.

Cashews are rich in copper, magnesium, and zinc. These fruit contain vitamins K and E, which are essential for maintaining excellent skin health.

One cup of cashews yields about two cups of cream. To make cashew cream, you’ll need:

  • a cup of raw cashews,
  • two cups of water, and
  • a pinch of sea salt.

Soak the cashews in the water overnight. The next day, blend the cashews and the water until the mixture becomes a smooth cream. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste. You can store cashew cream in the fridge for up to four days. Enjoy!

Do you still have questions about using a non-dairy substitute for heavy cream? Here are some of the most common questions:

Can you use almond milk in place of heavy creamer?

Yes! Almond milk is a dairy-free substitute for heavy cream, but it’s a great deal thinner. If you’re looking for an alternative with a thicker consistency, you may want to skip almond milk.

It’s great in baking, sauces, and other dairy recipes that call for creamer. Be sure you use unsweetened almond milk to avoid the added sugar found in sweetened varieties.

Can coconut milk substitute for heavy cream?

Yes! coconut milk is a great dairy-free substitution for heavy cream. It’s thicker and richer than almond milk, so it works well in recipes that need a higher fat content.

For more nutrient information about coconut milk, please check above under non-dairy substitute for heavy cream.

Can I use oat milk for heavy cream?

Oat milk works well in dairy recipes that call for heavy cream. While oat milk is thinner than coconut or almond milk, it still makes a great dairy alternative because of its high-fat content.

Here’s a pro tip: You can make oat milk thicker by mixing it with vegan butter. This will give your dairy-free recipes the same richness as if you were using dairy heavy cream.

What is the difference between heavy cream and evaporated milk?

The difference between heavy cream and evaporated milk is that heavy cream contains more butterfat than evaporated milk. This means that heavy cream has a richer texture and is often used in desserts or other recipes that call for a high-fat dairy product.

Evaporated milk, on the other hand, is lower in fat but still offers some dairy flavor. Evaporated milk can substitute heavy cream, but it’s still dairy. If you’re looking for a strictly non-dairy alternative, this is not the best option.


If you’re looking for dairy free alternatives to heavy cream, there are several options. Coconut milk, silken tofu, and soy milk, to name a few. They work well in the most recipes, and they have a creamy texture that is very similar to dairy cream.

Swapping out your heavy cream for a non dairy is a great way to reduce your dairy intake, and it can be a great way to make your favorite recipes dairy free.

About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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