How To Transform All-Purpose Cream Into The Cream You Need

All-purpose cream is so versatile, you can make other dairy products from it.

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Take a look at most kitchens and you'll be sure to find all-purpose cream. 

All-purpose cream is a versatile ingredient. It's used in a number of different ways to transform dishes, whether a dessert or a savory dish, into creamy ones. However,did you know that you can transform the cream itself to be the cream that you need for your recipe? 

You can! Here are ways you can transform all-purpose cream into a different dairy product that makes it even more useful in the kitchen: 

Photo by Majoy Siason

1 Chilled all-purpose cream = a substitute for whipping cream and heavy cream

This is the most basic way of using all-purpose cream. When all-purpose cream is chilled, it thickens in consistency. It becomes stiff and can hold its shape. This is the quality that makes it ideal as the easy ingredient to use for many refrigerator cakes and no-bake desserts. It's easy to do, too. Simply store in the refrigerator at least 4 hours to completely chill through and use as needed in the recipe. 

If you need whipped cream, simply whisk the chilled cream to a stiffer consistency. 

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Photo by Bianca Laxamana

2 Add lemon juice = sour cream or substitute for yogurt

Basically, sour cream is cream that has been fermented or treated so the taste becomes tangy, sour. You can easily make this using all-purpose cream and a soruing sour ingredient. This also makes a great substitute for yogurt which has also been fermented or treated with friendly bacteria and allowed to thicken but using milk. Either of the two can easily be made. 

We suggest you use lemon juice (or even calamansi juice) instead of vinegar since citrus juices have a more flavorful tang than vinegar. Here's what you can do to all-purpose cream to make sour cream or as a substitute for yogurt: 

  1. 1 Combine 1 cup all-purpose cream and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a jar. Close the jar and let sit until thickened, about 5 minutes. 
  2. 2 Whisk the mixture and then place the lid on loosely. Store in the refrigerator overnight for better flavor. Whisk before using.  
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3 Add vinegar = thick homemade buttermilk

Here's how you make a thick homemade buttermilk that will coat your chicken when you want excellent fried chicken: 

  • 1¬†In a jug or bowl, mix 1 cup all-purpose cream¬†and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Set aside for about 5 minutes. (You'll notice the cream begins to curdle and a layer of liquid begins to form on top. This is normal.)
  • 2¬†Stir the now-thickened mixture. Use in your recipe as directed.
Photo by Riell Santos

4 Add milk or water = cooking/culinary cream 

What's interesting about cooking or culinary cream is that it has less butterfat than heavy cream. It's lighter and more liquid which makes it the ideal cream to use when you need to simmer or bring a dish to a boil since it won't break or curdle at high temperatures. 


The good news is that all-purpose cream is already treated to be stable at high temperatures. You just need to change the consistency. Here's what you do:

  1. 1 Dilute 1 cup all-purpose cream with 2 tablespoons fresh milk or water. 
  2. 2 Use as recipe directs.
Photo by Unsplash/Alice Pasqual

5 Whisk it until it separates = butter 

Butter is basically milk fat or butterfat and guess what? All-purpose cream does contain milk fat if you check the ingredients. That's because cream is not cream without the milk fat in it. It's this fat that separates a creamy tasty full-cream milk from a lighter-tasting low-fat or even skimmed milk. 


It should be noted that you may not make as much butter as you think you would from 1 pack of all-purpose cream. If you need a full cup, you may need to use more than two or more packs. However, you can still make a few tablespoons full plus real buttermilk. (Real buttermilk is not the buttermilk you think it is.)  

How do you make butter from all-purpose cream? Here's what you do: 

  1. 1 Place 1 250-gram pack chilled all-purpose cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. (You can do this with an electric hand mixer, too. Hand whisking while possible is not advised as the process takes a long period of time.)  
  1. 2 Begin whisking at low then increase speed until it's whisking vigorously. It will turn from semi-solid to stiff peaks. Keep whisking. 
  1. 3 Let it whisk until the mixture starts to form clumps around the whisk wires. Keep going until the mixture separates into clumps and a liquid in the bowl. (The butter is the clumps. The water is buttermilk.)
  1. 4 Stop the mixer and gather the clumps from the whisk. Strain or squeeze out any liquid from the butter using a cheesecloth and a strainer. Keep chilled. Reserve the liquid and use as buttermilk. 

Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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