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How to Make Half and Half

Make this easy half and half substitute using ingredients you already have.

How to Make Half and Half

It’s always good to have a backup plan when it comes to food. We’ve all been halfway through a recipe and then realized that we’re missing an ingredient. Even worse, we’ve all woken up one morning to realize that there’s no half and half for our coffee!

The good news is that it’s easy to learn how to make half and half using ingredients you already have on hand. Try our simple recipe for homemade half and half, and you’ll never have to worry about running out again!

How to Make Half and Half from Heavy Cream and Milk

Making your own half and half is as easy as combining heavy cream and milk.

Combine 1 part heavy cream to 1 part milk to make an easy substitute for half and half.

Commercially produced half and half contains 10.5%-18% fat. So, combining cream (30%-36% fat) and milk (0%-3% fat) will get you pretty close to this target. Heavy cream does contain more fat than whipping cream (36% and 30%, respectively), so keep that in mind when making your mixture.

You can use this half and half substitute in your morning coffee or for baking. It’s very versatile!

Whipping cream tip

How to Make Half and Half from Milk and Butter

This might sound gross, but it’s perfect for baking recipes!

Combine 1 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter with enough milk to equal 1 cup.

Use this substitute when you’re baking, but avoid using it for recipes like ice cream. It’s also not an ideal addition for your morning coffee (unless you’re into that kind of thing).

Can you substitute milk for half and half?

It depends on what you’re making. Milk will be fine for drinks like hot cocoa or fancy coffee drinks. Same goes for gravy or other sauces, mashed potatoes, most casseroles, etc. Expect the finished product to be less rich and creamy, but it should turn out fine.

Baked goods and desserts are more tricky. The amount of fat in your liquid can have a big effect on the finished product, so it’s unwise to tamper much with the recipe. For things like cakes and quick breads, use one of our suggested substitutes (or the real thing). For ice cream or other recipes where the half and half is whipped, use our recipe with heavy cream and milk or the real thing.

Photo of milk

Healthy Substitute for Half and Half

Half and half may contain more fat or calories than you’re comfortable with. In this case, you may be looking for a lighter alternative. Here are some choices that will work in different recipes:

Dairy Milk - Coffee/cocoa drinks, casseroles, gravy, soups

Non-Dairy Milk (Almond milk, Soy milk, etc.) - Coffee/cocoa drinks

Evaporated Milk - Substitute in a 1:1 ratio in baked goods or even in soups

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt - Add to soups or sauces a few spoonfuls at a time until desired richness is achieved; it’s best to add this at the end, as high heat can cause yogurt to separate!

Do you keep half and half on hand always? Or do you make your own half and half? Let us know in the comments below!

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Like FoodLover (below) I am also in South Africa and had never heard of half and half before visiting this website. I then Goooogled it and since then have made it myself whenever it was required by a recipe. Thanks so much for these various options, it helps a whole lot!

First off I have always wondered what half and half actually is. We don't get that in South Africa. When I read this recipe I thought what a wonderful thing to put in your coffee. We certainly have heavy cream here and if it is this simple then I am making some!

I used to always have half and half on hand for my morning coffee! I recently switched to lactose-free whole milk and I just use that for cooking now and run out for half and half if I need it for anything else.


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