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How to Make Heavy Cream Substitute at Home?


I don’t know about you, but my day just doesn’t start without my coffee with cream. But what do you do when you run out of cream for your coffee and you don’t have time to run to the store? You could always make your own heavy cream!

A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of using heavy cream in coffee. A friend of mine who was doing the keto diet started using it and raved about how rich it makes her morning coffee. I tested it out and sure enough, it was incredible!

Unlike half and half or other store-bought coffee creamers, you can actually make an effective heavy cream alternative at home. All you need is milk, butter, and a whisk and you make your coffee decadent and delicious.

How to make a heavy cream

What is Heavy Cream?

After a cow is milked, the unpasteurized raw milk will separate into two layers. The top layer is a higher-fat cream layer and the lower is the milk that we typically buy from the store. 

Cream has a naturally high-fat content, especially when compared to milk because it is essentially the fat removed from milk. This high-fat content is what makes heavy cream solidify when cold and traps air bubbles when agitated.

Using Heavy Cream in Coffee

Heavy cream is considered to be an incredible thickening agent. It only takes 2 tablespoons to turn your coffee into a rich and decadent experience. It pairs beautifully with dark roast coffee!

Even though it is high in fat, it is actually low in carbohydrates, with less than 2 grams of carbohydrates in 2 tbsp. Because of this, heavy cream became a popular coffee creamer alternative for people following the KETO diet. KETO requires a high-fat and low-carb diet and most milks or cream do not meet the requirements.

When making heavy cream

It is important to remember that the heavy cream you buy at the store is naturally derived from unpasteurized raw milk by removing the fat from the milk. To make heavy cream you need to in-essence, reverse that process and add fat back into milk. 

When cream gets over-whipped it breaks down and separates into butter. The fat content of whole milk is around 3.5%, whereas the fat content of heavy cream is approximately 35%. Butter’s fat content is close to 80%. [1]

So with the correct ratios, butter is the perfect way to reintroduce fat to milk and make the cream. 

How to make heavy cream

A guide to making a heavy cream substitute from home to use in your coffee as a healthy alternative to creamer. [2]
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
Author: Victoria Monge


  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar optional binding agent


  • Create a double-boiler by placing a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Place butter inside the bowl and melt it almost completely.
  • When butter is about 90% melted, remove the bowl from heat and whisk the butter until smooth and fully melted.
  • Slowly pour milk into melted butter, gently whisking at the same time.
  • Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. It should take around 2-3 minutes.
    Heavy cream substitute
  • Adding powdered sugar will help thicken (and sweeten) your cream to create more of a foam-like texture. I like to mix it in using a milk frother for more aeration and foam.
    Heavy cream substitute


If the mixture starts to separate while whisking you can try putting the bowl back on the heat and continue whisking there. Once it appears more combined you can remove the bowl from the heat and continue from there. You can also add a spoonful of cornstarch to thicken it up as needed.

To Wrap It Up

Now you know how to make a heavy cream substitute. Keep in mind, the heavy cream that you make at home needs to be used immediately and is not designed to store in the refrigerator. But, when you are in a pinch and need to enrich your cup of coffee, making your own heavy cream is a quick and easy way to do that.

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Victoria Monge

Victoria Monge

As a writer and researcher here at Cool Coffee Talk, Victoria is able to share her knowledge and insights with all of our readers. She is the first to admit that she doesn’t have all the answers, but what she doesn’t know she will learn! Her only hope is that her passion is contagious and her insights are helpful!
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