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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.

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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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.