What Do I Use if I Don't Have Whipped Cream?

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whipped cream is light, airy and creamy. Made from beaten heavy whipping cream, whipped cream can top desserts, frost cupcakes or adorn a plate of fresh fruit. When substituting whipped cream you need something that offers a soft, creamy taste to your palate and adds moisture to your dish.

Egg Whites

Whipped eggs whites have the same soft and fluffy white texture as whipped cream, but with a slight eggy taste. To top dishes or for folding into desserts you need to whip the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks -- meaning the eggs whites hold their peaks straight up even when you move the whisk. Whip egg whites by hand or using a mixer and add a few teaspoons of granulated sugar to the egg whites for sweetness. Use eggs whites in equal portions to whipped cream.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is rich and luxurious and it can be whipped up to replace whipped cream. To make, refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight. Scoop the coconut fat at the top of the can and set aside the coconut water left at the bottom. Whip the coconut milk by hand or by using a mixer until it's thick and creamy. Use the whipped coconut milk in equal parts to whipped cream. There is a distinct coconut flavor, so use in recipes that benefit from the coconut flavor.


American buttercream is light, fluffy and adds sweetness to desserts. Traditional buttercream is made from whipped butter, powdered sugar, and milk. You can substitute whipped cream on pastries with buttercream. For a creamier flavored buttercream use heavy cream instead of milk during preparation. Only use buttercream as a replacement for pastries, such as topping cupcakes or filling layers of a cake.

Other Dairy

Other dairy products can be used to replace whipped cream when topping off items. For example, instead of a dollop of whipped cream you can use a dollop of plain yogurt. Cream cheese beaten with powdered sugar can be used to top desserts and fruits. If you don't have time to make whipped cream, store-bought whipped cream can be used to top off dishes or be folded into pudding and creams.