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What Are The Best Substitutes For Light Cream?

Maria Foster
Last Updated on
by Maria Foster

Light cream is a common staple for use in many desserts, ladled over the top of cake, pie, cheesecake, or fruit such as peaches or strawberries.

This cream contains a lot of fat, which might be an issue if you are trying to cut back on calories.

What Are The Best Substitutes For Light Cream

But luckily for you, there are plenty of replacements that you can get for light cream. There are substitutes that will have an increase in fat and there are those that have less fat.

You can also get dairy-free alternatives to light cream which are just as delicious as the real thing.

So where can you find the best substitutes for light cream? How do they differ in terms of flavor and texture?

Well, have all the information that you need for light cream substitutes and have compiled a list of some of the best, so keep reading to find out more.

Light Cream Substitutes

Here is a quick list of light cream substitutes, with nutritional information and how much you should substitute for your light cream.

Heavy Cream (Half A Cup)

Protein3 grams
Fat43 grams
Carbs3 grams
Vitamin A35% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin D10% of the RDI
Vitamin E7% of the RDI
Calcium7% of the RDI
Choline4% of the RDI
Phosphorus7% of the RDI
Vitamin K3% of the RDI

Substitute ratio: 2:1

Evaporated Milk (252g)

Total Fat19g
Saturated Fat12g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.6g
Monounsaturated Fat5.9g
Total Carbohydrates25g
Dietary Fiber0g

Whipping Cream (Half A Cup)

Protein3 grams
Fat43 grams
Carbs3 grams
Vitamin A35% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin D10% of the RDI
Vitamin E7% of the RDI
Calcium7% of the RDI
Choline4% of the RDI
Phosphorus7% of the RDI
Vitamin K3% of the RDI

Sour Cream (30g)

Total fat5.8 grams
Saturated fat3 grams
Carbs1.3 grams
Protein0.7 grams
Calcium3% of the Daily Value (DV)
Phosphorus3% of the DV
Potassium1% of the DV
Magnesium1% of the DV
Vitamin A4% of the DV
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)4% of the DV
Vitamin B123% of the DV
Choline1% of the DV

Half And Half Cream (30g)

Total Fat3.5g
Saturated Fat2.1g
Trans Fat0.1g
Total Carbohydrate1.3g
Dietary Fiber0g
Total Sugars1.2g

Light Cream Nutritional Value (30g)

Total Fat5.7g
Saturated Fat3.1g
Trans Fat0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat1.4g
Total Carbohydrates0.9g
Dietary Fiber0g

What Does Light Cream Taste Like?

It should go without saying that light cream has a very light and creamy texture. It has a tinge of vanilla, and some brands have a little bit of a sour aftertaste. Other brands add sugar, which gives it that extra sweetness.

Around 20% of the content of light cream is fat, which means that it is not as thick as the usual heavy whipping cream, but it is much thicker than something like half-and-half whipping cream.

Best Light Cream Alternatives

1. Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a great substitute for light cream if you do not mind upping your fat content. This will result in a much thicker and creamier end product, with an increase of around 30%-60% fat.

If you are going to be using heavy cream in your curry or soup, then you’ll have to make sure that you use less, as it might end up making your final meal way too stodgy. Heavy cream also needs more whipping as there is far less moisture in it.

If you are going to mix in heavy cream, then we would recommend blending it up in a food processor first to make sure that there are no lumps in it and that the final cream is smooth.

This cream does not mix that well if you are trying to make a creamy sauce to go over your meat dish. It is very hard to pour and will be too heavy for the tender meat that you are serving it with.

2. Evaporated Milk

This is a great substitute for light cream, as it has a similar texture but slightly less fat content. If you are looking to cut back on calories in your dessert, then try evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk is just regular milk but with around 60% of the fat content taken out. The milk is usually heated to the point where most of this moisture is evaporated.

This type of milk is great for mixing with soups and casseroles, as it is just the right consistency.

This is also great for adding to other dishes as it does not come with much of a flavor, so it will not overwhelm some of the more subtle tastes.

This is also a great source of vitamin D and healthy fats. The only time you should not use this as a substitute is for heavy cream, as it does not have the same thick consistency.

3. Whipping Cream

Whipping cream has a similar fat content to light cream, coming in at around 30%-60%, which is great for cooking and decorating sweet desserts.

You won’t have to worry about whipping this one, as it has just the right texture in that it will not cause any air bubbles, which can often ruin the texture of a lot of food.

Whipping cream is great for desserts, as it usually comes in a can that is easy to spray over the top of your fruit. Whipping cream will also hold its shape for a very long time, so you can use it to adorn a lot of cakes and pies.

4. Sour Cream

If you don’t mind your food tasting a little sour, then sour cream is a great choice. This can be added to most desserts and is a great option for spicy curries, as it helps to reduce the heat levels.

This has a sharp and acidic flavor, so it isn’t as neutral as light cream. However, it does have a great consistency and you will be able to use it in most of the same dishes as light cream.

The only thing you need to bear in mind about sour cream is that it cannot be whipped.

5. Half And Half Cream

This is a great substitution for light cream, as it comes with the exact same consistency. It also has a neutral flavor profile, which means that it will not overwhelm the taste of any of the other ingredients in your dish.

However, if you are trying to cut down on calories, you should be aware that half and half does contain some fat.

But this is a great addition to curries and soups as it will thicken them up if you are struggling to evaporate any excess moisture.

1. Slow Cooker Chicken Laksa

This is a creamy chicken dish that contains chicken thighs, coconut cream, light cream, and lemongrass. This has a rich and zesty flavor.

2. Light Cream Biscuits

This is a very easy recipe to make, containing only a few ingredients including flour, baking flour, heavy cream, and kosher salt.


Light cream is a great addition to a variety of dishes including curry, dessert, and soup. However, if you are out of light cream, then hopefully some of the substitutes we have listed above will be suitable for your dish.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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