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Substitutions

Advice On: Substituting Cream in Dessert Recipes

My go-to substitution for heavy cream in sweet recipes is coconut cream. Despite the name, coconut cream contains no dairy. It’s made purely from pureed coconut, but has a rich, creamy texture.

Like dairy cream, coconut cream is high in saturated fat, allowing it to solidify at cooler temperatures. Thus, coconut cream can be whipped, and maintains a rich and creamy texture when frozen.

Coconut cream is suprisingly easy to locate; you’ll find it in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores under the guise of canned coconut milk. Coconut cream is simply the rich part of full-fat coconut milk. As the coconut milk rests, the cream rises to the top to form a very thick layer that can be scooped out like soft ice cream.

In fact, the sign of a good canned coconut milk is one that separates into a watery base with up to 3/4 cup of “stand a fork in it” cream on top. During warmer months, chill the coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours to assist in the separation.

*A Note on Coconut
Coconut is technically a fruit. While most allergists do not consider it a tree nut, if you are nut allergic, ask your doctor if coconut is safe for you.

Alisa Fleming is Allergic Living’s Senior Editor and the founder of the Godairyfree.org website.
Recipe first published in Allergic Living magazine

More Allergy-Free Cooking Advice: 

Baking with No Milk or Eggs
Secrets to a Better Buttermilk
Substituting Butter in Baked Goods

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