8 Best Substitutes For Philadelphia Cooking Cream

Philadelphia Cooking Cream Substitutes
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Philadelphia Cooking Cream Substitutes

Cooking with cream (or crème) has become the latest culinary trend with more recipes including this ingredient for creating delicious creamy food! Philadelphia cooking cream has always been a popular option for many cooks when adding crème to a recipe.

However, it can be hard to find so keep reading as we share eight different Philadelphia cooking cream substitutes in this article!

What You Need to Know About Philadelphia Cooking Cream

Philadelphia cooking cream first came about in the 1930s when it was sold in jars in local supermarkets. It was originally made to replace butter and today’s cooking cream consists of milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.

When Philadelphia cooking cream was readily available, it changed the way people used spreads in recipes! This thick, creamy spread is the “spoon and melt” solution to cooking with cream cheese, making it easier than you ever could have imagined!

Philadelphia cooking cream comes in four mouth-watering flavors:

  • Italian Cheese and Herb
  • Santa Fe Blend
  • Savory Garlic
  • Original

Also known as Philadelphia cooking crème, this product has been improved upon since it first came out many years back. It can be used in various recipes and is wonderful for thickening sauces and soups.

It can also be used as a sauce on its own by heating it up and spooning it over your favorite dish.

When to Use Philadelphia Cooking Crème

Besides spooning the crème into your recipe to give it a creamy, delectable texture and taste, you can use it to add a scrumptious taste to the following dishes:

  • Any meats including chicken, beef, and fish
  • Mashed or baked potatoes
  • Rice or pasta dishes
  • Roasted, steamed, baked, or fried vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs

Philadelphia cooking crème can be used instead of butter on bread or toast. It’s a wonderful ingredient for adding to cookies, pies, waffles, muffins, pancakes, and a range of desserts.

spread marshmallow cream on toast on the kitchen area surrounded by fruit
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The cooking crème can be used as a dip for fresh vegetable crudites, making it a tasty substitute for hummus. Crumble in some feta cheese and you have a taste sensation on your hands!

It can be tossed in with hot vegetables, used together with fillings in a pita, and used instead of sour cream in tacos. You can even add it to hot egg noodles!

The possibilities are endless and every tub of Philadelphia cooking cream includes a recipe for you to experiment with as well. Imagine a dollop of Santa Fe Blend with beef enchiladas! Scrumptious!

Philadelphia Cooking Cream Substitutes

If you run out of a tub of Philadelphia cooking cream at home or your local supermarket is out of stock, you can use these substitutes instead.

  1. Butter and Whole Milk

Large Softened Stick of Butter on Wrapping
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One of the reasons Philadelphia cooking creams was invented was to replace butter as a spread on sandwiches. Finding suitable substitutes can be difficult, if not near impossible!

But you can use this simple recipe using a combination of butter and whole milk. It’s easy to make with the following steps:

  1. Heat the butter and let it melt
  2. Whisk in the whole milk
  3. Mix the melted butter and whole milk together at room temperature

If it starts to create lumps, you can heat it up at a low temperature and keep whisking until you get a smooth consistency. While this substitute won’t be as silky and smooth as Philadelphia cooking cream, it works well as an alternative.

  1. Coconut Milk

Homemade fresh hand traditional hand pressed coconut milk in a coconut bowl
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For the most part, coconut milk is the perfect substitute for Philadelphia cooking cream, especially for vegans and other people looking for a dairy-free alternative. It delivers a similar consistency to Philadelphia cooking crème.

However, you do have to consider the tropical flavor which may not be suitable for some recipes. A quick tip! Chilled coconut cream is an excellent substitute if you’re looking for a simple topping similar to Philadelphia cooking crème.

Being a solidified fat product, chilled coconut cream can be whipped up to a creamy, smooth consistency, making it a perfect topping on desserts, cakes, pancakes, and waffles.

  1. Light Cream

Light cream is another great substitute for Philadelphia cooking cream and contains between 18 percent and 30 percent fats depending on the variant you use. It adds a rich and silky texture to any recipe and is a good substitute for most baking recipes.

Whipped cream white in bowl
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When using light cream with high-fat content, you can whip it up to increase the volume and thickness of the product. Light cream can be found in the dairy section of the supermarket.

  1. Half and Half

If you’ve been cooking for a long time, you’ll know what I mean by “half and half!” But for those of you who aren’t familiar with this term, here is an explanation. It’s a term describing a mixture of equal quantities of cream and milk.

This versatile substitute works beautifully for desserts, soups, and sauces. Furthermore, this mixture has a low-fat content which is great for people on a diet while still giving you the deliciousness you associate with Philadelphia cooking cream!

  1. Sour Cream

A classical ingredient used in many recipes, sour cream has a deep, rich flavor making it a wonderfully easy substitute. No mixing with other ingredients is necessary either!

Sour Cream
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It can be added to mashed potatoes and sauces. Sour cream makes a delicious topping for baked potatoes too. Made from pasteurized milk, sour cream adds richness to the recipes while having a smooth consistency so you don’t have to worry about unpleasant lumps in your sauces or soups.

However, sour cream does tend to curdle when added to hot dishes. Use it to replace Philadelphia cooking cream in soups, stews, and sweet crepes.

  1. Yogurt

While yogurt has a thicker consistency compared to some of the other substitutes, it’s not a popular alternative for Philadelphia cooking crème. We recommend that you use full-fat or Greek yogurt because they have a rich and thick consistency.

In addition, you can opt for Iceland yogurt styles. Yogurt can successfully replace Philadelphia cooking cream as a tasty topping for soups. When using yogurt as a substitute, consider thinning it down a bit with whole milk before adding it to a recipe.

Greek Yogurt
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  1. Evaporated Milk

One of the best Philadelphia cooking cream substitutes for adding to sauces is evaporated milk. It’s equally delicious mixed into cooked oatmeal with its sweet, condensed milk flavor! It’s made by heating up whole milk until most of its moisture content evaporates.

Evaporated milk does have a noticeable “cooked” taste so if you’re adding it to delicate dishes, go easy on the quantity used! Evaporated milk can replace Philadelphia cooking cream in recipes such as gravies, sauces, and baked goods.

  1. Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraiche is a cultured thick cream cheese made from cow’s milk and has a mildly tangy flavor. While resembling cream cheese, it differs in that it has a thicker consistency and richer taste.

The process of making Crème Fraiche entails growing the bacteria in unpasteurized cream and thickening it overnight. When using it as a replacement for Philadelphia cooking cream, it can be added to puddings, stews, and soups giving these recipes a mouth-watering flavor.

Crème Fraiche
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How to Make Homemade Cooking Cream

Using any of the abovementioned substitutes for Philadelphia cooking cream is a great way of getting around the problem of not finding the real product. But here is a recipe for making your own cooking cream using three simple ingredients.

  1. Combine 8 oz of softened cream cheese and half a cup of chicken broth in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir over low heat until the cream cheese has blended with the broth, creating a thicker consistency.
  3. Add your favorite taco seasoning or sauce and that’s it!

You’ve now got a tasty cooking cream to add to any of your savory dishes. You can add Italian herbs or grated Parmesan cheese or simply add some lemon juice for a zesty, fresh flavor.

Get creative with other seasonings and create your own homemade, flavorful Philadelphia cooking crème!

Woman whipping white cream with balloon whisk at wooden table
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Using softened cream cheese, smoothed down with a fork and combined with sour cream to thin it down, you can make homemade cooking cream by adding seared cumin and coriander seeds.

Alternatively, grind peppercorns and kosher salt before adding them to the cream cheese and sour milk mixture. Toss in a dash of lemon or lime juice for a bit of zest! Use this mixture as an appetizer or as a topping for baked fish or vegetables.

It can also be stirred into savory recipes for added flavor and thickness. Alternatively, combine one tub of Philadelphia cream cheese spread with two tablespoons of milk, and there you have it – a simple version of the original cooking cream!

Final Thoughts

Philadelphia cooking cream has been used to turn plain ol’ chicken hot pie into a creamy sensation while adding delectable flavors to fettucine pasta recipes.

It’s been used to whip up mouth-watering dinner meals, being a popular ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. If you can’t find it in a local store near you, try one of our substitutes for Philadelphia cooking cream instead!

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