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Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken? Fried chicken is a very popular dish for everything from picnics to formal seated meals or a casual family dinner in front of the television.

Everyone loves the crunchy texture and savory taste of Southern Fried Chicken, but Southern cooks have traditionally used buttermilk as a marinade for their fried chicken. The buttermilk enhances the flavor and makes the crust super-crunchy.

But what if you don’t have buttermilk and your family develops a sudden craving for fried chicken? Or, what if you’re asked to fry chicken for the church picnic?

You want your chicken to impress, but you didn’t buy buttermilk. What do you do?

There is a solution to this problem, and it may surprise you!

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?

You can use heavy cream instead of buttermilk for fried chicken, however, as heavy cream is thicker in consistency than buttermilk, it needs to be thinned out with water. For one cup of buttermilk, substitute 3/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice or vinegar to get the tangy taste of buttermilk.

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?
Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?

What Can I Use Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Buttermilk is essentially fermented milk. In bygone centuries, when homemakers churned their own butter from heavy cream, there was some liquid left in the bottom of the churn when the process was complete. This was called “buttermilk”, and it was a popular beverage for drinking, baking, or cooking.

Now, buttermilk might not be a household staple for many people. So if you don’t have any available and want to make awesome cakes or fried chicken, it helps to know a few substitutes.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute heavy cream.

You can also substitute milk, non-dairy milk, or sour cream.

Remember, however, that unlike buttermilk, heavy cream or milk doesn’t have a tangy, slightly sour taste. So, if you are substituting milk or cream for buttermilk, you also need to add lime or lemon juice or vinegar to provide the tart flavor your family loves.

Combine three-quarters cup of heavy cream, one-quarter cup of water, one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lime or lemon juice, Let set at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

If you’re using milk or non-dairy milk, omit the water but add the souring agent. If you’re using sour cream, include the water but omit the vinegar or lime or lemon juice.

Adding lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar to milk or heavy cream gives heavy cream or milk that tangy flavor.
Adding lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar to milk or heavy cream gives heavy cream or milk that tangy flavor.

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead of Buttermilk For Cake?

Yes, you can substitute heavy cream instead of buttermilk when you’re baking a cake, but there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of.

Buttermilk’s key characteristic is its slightly sour taste. You’re not going to get that with heavy cream, so you’ll need to add one tablespoon of lemon, lime, or vinegar if you want that buttermilk twang.

Buttermilk also acts as a leavening agent when combined with baking soda because of its acidity. Heavy cream lacks the acidity to react with baking soda, so swap out baking soda for baking powder if you’re using heavy cream as a buttermilk substitute.

Can I Use Egg Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Eggs by themselves do not act as a batter for fried chicken, but when combined with other ingredients, they can help to assure that your chicken is extra crispy.

Many cooks add an egg to their buttermilk or milk batter. The egg acts as a binder and helps the batter to cling to the chicken.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add an egg to a mixture of one cup milk and one teaspoon lemon or lime juice or vinegar. Milk is thinner than buttermilk, and the egg will help to thicken it so that it can cling to the chicken.

Eggs act as a binder and helps batter cling to the chicken.
Eggs act as a binder and helps batter cling to the chicken.

Can I Use Almond Milk Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

If you don’t have buttermilk but want the tangy taste of chicken fried in buttermilk, you can substitute almond milk, or other non-dairy milks such as soy milk, combined with lemon juice or vinegar.

Start with one cup of the milk, then mix in one teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

Almond milk also acts as a tenderizer for your chicken.

Almond milk may be used as a substitute. Almond milk also tenderizes the chicken.
Almond milk may be used as a substitute. Almond milk also tenderizes the chicken.

Can I Use Sour Cream Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

One great substitute for buttermilk is sour cream which, when used to fry chicken, provides that crispy texture and savory taste that you associate with buttermilk fried chicken.

Sour cream has the sour quality that you get in buttermilk, but it’s also thicker than buttermilk. So, if you’re going to use it as a substitute in chicken batter, add one-quarter cup of milk or water to three-quarters cup of sour cream.

Sour cream is thicker than buttermilk and needs to be thinned out prior to using as a substitute for buttermilk.
Sour cream is thicker than buttermilk and needs to be thinned out prior to using as a substitute for buttermilk.

Frequently Asked Questions to Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead of Buttermilk When I’m Frying Chicken?

You can but remember that you’ll also need to add water to dilute it and a souring agent such as lime or lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to give it a similar tangy taste.

Is Heavy Cream The Same As Heavy Whipping Cream?

Heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are the same, so no matter which one the container on your label says it is, you can use them. Light cream and Half and Half, however, are not the same as heavy cream. They have a lower fat content and aren’t recommended as a buttermilk substitute.

What Other Products Besides Heavy Cream Can I Use As A Substitute For Buttermilk When I’m Frying Chicken Or Baking Cakes?

Milk, non-dairy milk such as almond milk, and sour cream can all substitute for buttermilk. Remember, however, that you need to add vinegar or lemon or lime juice to milk and heavy cream. If you’re using sour cream, add water or milk as a thinning agent.

Conclusion to Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead of Buttermilk For Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken, a staple of Southern tables, has now become popular throughout most of the world. You can create that flavor and texture at home if you begin with a marinade of buttermilk.

Buttermilk is also a key ingredient in many traditional cakes, including Red Velvet Cake and some pound cakes.

Don’t have buttermilk? That’s okay, just substitute heavy cream, milk or non-dairy milk. Add vinegar or lime juice and a little water, and your fried chicken and cakes will be the most popular items at the picnic!

You can also use sour cream as a buttermilk substitute if you combine one-quarter cup of sour cream with one-quarter cup water or milk.

Even very finicky children often love munching on a crunchy drumstick, and what else goes better than fried chicken with potato salad for your summertime picnics?

Of course, don’t forget the dessert! Everyone loves the moist, rich taste of cakes baked in buttermilk.

So pull out the heavy cream, or other buttermilk substitutes, and you’re ready to rock! You’ll love the compliments that you’ll receive!

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.