Because half and half is such an important component in many recipes, it may be frustrating to learn you’ve run out after you start cooking. Fortunately, you can make easy half-and-half alternatives out of milk, heavy cream, butter, water, evaporated milk, or cornstarch.
Half and half is a milk and cream mixture. It is half milk and half cream, as the name implies. It adds a rich creaminess to a wide range of dishes, from soups to desserts to popular coffee beverages.
You should be able to find a half and half substitution that works for you based on your recipe and what you have in your refrigerator (or pantry). We’ve put all of the information you’ll need into a simple top 5 list so you can easily choose a replacement and get back to cooking.
- Top 5 Replacements for Half and Half
- What Else Can I Substitute for Half and Half?
- Related Questions
- Wrapping Up
- What is the substitution for half and half?
- What is the ratio for half and half?
- What is the best tasting substitute for half and half in coffee?
- How to make half and half taste like milk?
- What is a substitute for half-and-half without milk?
- How do you replace half-and-half with milk and butter?
- What is the ratio of milk to cream in half-and-half?
- Is half-and-half the same as 10%?
- What are the ingredients in half-and-half?
- Can I substitute soy milk for half and half?
Top 5 Replacements for Half and Half
You’ll be able to substitute half and half with items you already have in your kitchen.
1. Whole Milk and Heavy Cream
As previously stated, half and half is made up of milk and cream. As a result, a mixture of milk and cream is the best half-and-half alternative. When you mix the two, you’ve manufactured homemade half & half instead of an adequate equivalent.
Combine equal parts whole milk and heavy cream to make homemade half and half. If your recipe asks for four cups of half and half, use two cups whole milk and two cups heavy cream. There are no more modifications required.
You may use this alternative in any recipe that asks for half and half since mixing milk and cream yields authentic half and half. If you have milk and cream on hand, you should always use this replacement.
2. Whole Milk and Butter
If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, full milk and butter are a good replacement. This is such a common alternative that it is included in the New York Times list of substitutions. Because butter offers the smoothness that heavy cream lacks, this is a wonderful substitute for store-bought or homemade half & half.
To make your replacement, melt one tablespoon of butter in a one-cup measuring cup. Add milk until you reach the one-cup mark. You should now have one cup of half and half replacement. In any recipe that asks for half & half, use an equivalent quantity of this alternative.
Once you’ve mastered the technique, you may save time by adding unmelted butter to the milk and letting it milk as it cooks. However, if you use this alternative in a baking recipe, you must thoroughly mix the ingredients before using it. Before mixing in the dry ingredients, combine the milk and butter to enable them to emulsify.
Because it is such a close alternative, this is another half-and-half substitute that may be used in almost any recipe. If you think the mixture isn’t creamy enough for your dish, gradually add additional melted butter.
3. Heavy Cream and Water
Assume you have heavy cream in the refrigerator but no milk. In such situation, heavy cream and plain old water may be used to make a fast half-and-half alternative. This is another fantastic alternative since it creates a substitute that can be used in equal proportions to the quantity of half and half called for in your recipe.
To make this concoction, thin down the heavy cream with water. Fill a one-cup measuring vessel with water until it reaches the one-cup mark, then add one tablespoon of water. Consider the consistency of half and half as you whisk the mixture. Add extra water until your mixture is the consistency of half and half.
This combination may be used in any recipe that calls for half and half. However, if the taste of milk is critical to the dish, you may want to try a different alternative.
4. Milk and Cornstarch
Another option for half and half is milk and cornstarch, which is a simple concoction that thickens the milk with cornstarch to mimic the viscosity of half and half. We enjoy it since it’s easy to create and doesn’t alter the flavor as much as we thought.
Make this replacement by thickening the milk with a cornstarch slurry. To thicken, combine one tablespoon cornstarch into each cup of milk. Once you’ve made it, use the same quantity in the recipe as you would half and half (1:1 ratio).
This substitute works best when cooking anything that does not need the creamy flavor of half and half. While the consistency should be identical to half and half, you are missing the heavy cream, which might have an influence on recipes that depend largely on the flavor of cream.
5. Evaporated Milk
The next item on our shopping list is evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is a simple replacement that most people have in their cupboard. It will, however, somewhat affect the flavor of your dish. Although it tastes more caramelized than half and half, it has the same fat content.
When replacing evaporated milk for half & half, use a 1:1 ratio. That is, as much half & half the recipe calls for, use the same amount of evaporated milk in its stead.
Because evaporated milk alters the flavor of the dish, it is the final option on our list. Because the fat content is so close, it works well in recipes that employ half and half for the fat content rather than the flavor. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the fat level of half and half must be between 10.5% and 18%. As a result, the 10% fat level of evaporated milk is comparable to most half-and-half choices.
What Else Can I Substitute for Half and Half?
If you don’t have everything you need for the top five selections stated above, these alternatives will suffice.
- Low-fat Milk (2/3 Cup) and Heavy Cream (1/3 Cup)
- Skim Milk (2/3 cup) and Heavy Cream (1/3 cup)
- Greek yogurt (amount equal to half and half in the recipe)
- Sour Cream (the same quantity as in the recipe)
It should be noted that using Greek yogurt or sour cream will give the dish a tangier flavor. Keep that in mind if you’re using either as a replacement for half and half.
Before we begin, let’s address some more often asked issues regarding using half and half as a replacement for other ingredients in cooking.
Can You Substitute Half and Half for Heavy Cream?
Yes, half and half may nearly always be substituted for heavy cream. Because half & half already contains half heavy cream, this is a fantastic taste and consistency alternative.
In equal parts, half and half should be substituted for heavy cream. Half and half should be used as a substitute for the amount of heavy cream specified in the recipe.
Because half and half has a similar texture to heavy cream, it will have a similar influence on the consistency of whatever you are preparing. It works well in recipes that call for heavy cream as a thickening.
How to Substitute Half and Half for Milk
In many recipes and forms of cooking, half and half is an effective milk alternative. Because half & half already contains half milk, making this replacement will not significantly affect the flavor.
In general, half and half may be substituted for milk in similar amounts, so add the same quantity of half and half as you would have added milk.
Keep in mind that half and half is significantly thicker and has roughly twice the fat content of milk, so it will thicken your recipe more. If this is a problem for you when cooking, you may thin down the half and half with water.
Unlike other replacements, many individuals use half and half instead of milk when milk is available. Half and half’s smoothness and increased fat content may make baked items taste even better than when using milk in the original recipe.
Remember that, although it tastes great, switching half and half for milk is less healthier due to the extra heavy cream.
Heavy cream is made by combining equal parts milk and heavy cream. There are several half-and-half alternatives that you can simply prepare at home using components you most likely already have. Mixing milk with other creamy dairy products, such as heavy cream or butter, is one of our favorite replacements.
You may also make alternatives by thickening milk with cornstarch or diluting heavy cream with water. If you don’t have those components, a can of evaporated milk will suffice. It will, however, somewhat affect the flavor of your dish.