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Can Greek Yogurt Be Used in Place of Heavy Cream in Baking?

by Julie Christensen

You can -- and should -- replace heavy cream with Greek yogurt in baking. Greek yogurt is healthier and more versatile. It can't be whipped, but it can be used interchangeably in doughs and batters. Use Greek yogurt at the same ratio you would heavy whipping cream for moist, tender baked goods.

Thin Down

Greek yogurt makes an excellent stand-in for heavy cream in baking, but its consistency is much thicker.. Thin it down with milk before you add it to a batter or dough. Spoon some Greek yogurt into a bowl and add milk. Whisk the two together until you get a smooth product about the consistency of heavy cream.

Fatten Up

In baking, heavy cream not only adds moisture to a batter, but the fat content in heavy cream keeps baked goods tender and light. Heavy cream has around 35 percent milk fat, while most Greek yogurts have between zero and 14 grams of fat per cup. For the best results, opt for a whole milk or low-fat Greek fat, rather than a non-fat version. Using non-fat Greek yogurt works, but your baked good might not be quite as tender.

Taste Test

Heavy cream has a neutral flavor that doesn't overpower the other ingredients in a baked good. When choosing a Greek yogurt as a substitute, be sure to choose a similarly neutral flavor, such as plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. Another thing to consider is the sugar content. Sugar provides sweetness and tenderness to baked goods, but too much sugar makes for a mushy, crumbly end result. Avoid flavored Greek yogurts high in sugar when baking.

End Results

Greek yogurt works surprisingly well in baked goods. With fewer calories and less fat than heavy cream, it gives baked goods a moist, fine texture. Similar to buttermilk, the tanginess of the yogurt balances the sweetness in many baked goods. You can use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream and buttermilk too.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."

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