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8 Decadent Half And Half Substitute Options

Are you currently rummaging your kitchen for a half-and-half substitute? Look no further, as we have curated a list here for you.

You can continue cooking your dishes without Half and Half using the following alternatives. Find the best ones for your recipes below.

Glass with Half-And-Half milk

What Is Half-And-Half?

Half and Half is a dairy product that people widely use in cooking and coffee-making. The name of this ingredient is straightforward, as it uses half milk and half light cream. This mixture yields approximately 10-12% fat.

Half and Half strikes a balance between the cream’s opulent thickness and the milk’s lighter consistency. For this reason, it is useful for infusing dishes with richness and velvety smoothness without being overpowering.

You can use it in pasta sauces, soups, and baked goods. Its slightly sweet taste pairs well with many other foods, making it a versatile ingredient.

Half and Half is also a common ingredient when making coffee. Many people prefer it over the standard creamer for their morning coffee due to its fat content. It can elevate your coffee’s flavor profile while improving the texture as well.

Best Half And Half Substitutes

Below is a list of the best alternatives to Half and Half. Most of these swaps are easy to find.

1. Whole Milk With Light Cream

Glass filled with whole milk with light cream

The first and best substitute for Half and Half is a combination of whole milk and light cream. This DIY Half and Half is exactly what you’ll find in each carton of the real thing, making it a direct alternative.

It shares the same taste and texture as store-bought versions, so you can use it in all recipes that originally called for Half and Half.

Making your version is a good option as you know that it won’t contain any additives. Light cream and whole milk are widely available, so this swap is a quick replacement for Half and Half.


To ensure the desired creaminess and texture, use an equal ratio of whole milk and light cream when substituting for Half and Half.

2. Whole Milk With Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is richer and thicker than the light cream people make Half and Half with. Despite this difference, the combination of heavy cream and whole milk is an equally good alternative to the real thing.

The high fat content in this mixture results in a velvety texture that resembles Half and Half closely. For this reason, you can use it in coffee, desserts, baked goods, sauces, and soups.

The flavor of this mix also does not stray away from the original.

Furthermore, whole milk and heavy cream are also widely accessible and available in most grocery stores.


Use ¼ cup of heavy cream and ¾ cup of whole milk to achieve the desired consistency. Use this mixture to replace Half and Half in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Whole Milk With Butter

Cutting board with a block of butter.

Combining melted butter and whole milk creates a rich mixture that can replace Half and Half in recipes.

The butter lends richness to the milk, making the combination thick and creamy. It works well in most dishes, whether a custard dessert or a hearty soup.

However, there are better alternatives than this combo if you are using it for coffee.

The melted butter will give your drinks a greasy feel, which you might find unpleasant.

It’s better to use unsalted butter to ensure that it won’t alter the flavor of your recipe. Otherwise, you might need to reduce your other salty ingredients.

Lastly, avoid using cold milk to prevent the butter from hardening during whisking.


For the best results, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave first. Then, transfer the melted butter to a measuring cup and pour milk until you reach the marker for 1 cup.

4. Low-Fat Milk With Heavy Cream

When searching for a suitable replacement for Half and Half, the combination of low-fat milk and heavy cream is also a great option.

The heavy cream compensates for the lower fat content in the low-fat milk and results in a rich and creamy mixture.

The process is simple: mix ⅔ cup of heavy cream with ⅓ cup of low-fat or skim milk. Doing so will yield a combination you can use as a direct substitute for Half and Half.


Before adding it to your recipe, stir or whisk the mixture properly. This process helps create a smoother and more consistent texture for optimal results.

5. Evaporated Milk

Dish with evaporated milk and spoon inside.

Evaporated milk is regular milk without 60% of its normal water content. As a result, it is a concentrated, slightly caramelized product that boasts a creamy texture.

This unique characteristic gives evaporated milk a richness comparable to Half and Half. For this reason, it is a great swap you can use in countless recipes.

The great thing about evaporated milk is that it can add creaminess without altering the main flavor of your recipe.

Plus, it complements the flavor of hot beverages like tea or coffee seamlessly. Another point goes to evaporated milk for its long shelf life.


Use the same amount of evaporated milk as the Half and Half your recipe calls for.

6. Heavy Cream

Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, is the richest component of cow’s milk. Boasting a minimum fat content of 36%, it has much more fat than Half and Half.

Still, it is a worthy alternative to Half and Half for people who want something richer and thicker.

Using heavy cream can make your pasta dishes, soups, and coffee more decadent. Just the same, people who watch their fat intake should use this swap with caution.


As heavy cream boasts a higher fat content than Half and Half, it can enrich your dishes significantly. To prevent overwhelming your creation, add heavy cream in smaller increments. Gradually add more while tasting the dish each time until you reach the desired flavor profile.

7. Soy Cream

Glass with soy cream and edamame pods next to it.

If you want a non-dairy alternative, soy cream is a good option for a Half and Half replacement.

To make soy cream, combine soy milk, a neutral oil, a sweetener of your choice, and cornstarch. This simple recipe here is vegan-friendly and suitable for people with strict diets.

The texture of soy cream is close to Half and Half and pairs well with almost any dish that Half and Half goes into.

It is also a nutritious replacement, as it is a good source of plant-based protein.


You may need to adjust this vegan Half and Half swap recipe if you are using it for coffee. Oil and coffee do not make the greatest combination, after all. Replace oil with honey or agave syrup and add vanilla flavoring for the best coffee companion.

8. Coconut Cream

Bowl with coconut cream.

Coconut cream is another option worth considering for a Half and Half substitute. It’s vegan and dairy-free, so this is an excellent swap if you have a dairy allergy.

The biggest thing you must consider when using this swap is its distinct nutty taste. After all, it comes from coconut milk.

This coconut flavor can make certain dishes more decadent. However, some recipes won’t taste pleasant with this additional flavor.

That said, it is best to do a taste test before completely replacing Half and Half with this plant-based cream.

Coconut cream has a thick texture that might need thinning, depending on your needs.


If you have to thin it out, opt for non-dairy milk to maintain the lactose-free characteristic. You may also use water. Combine equal amounts of coconut cream and non-dairy milk or water. Then, use the mixture in a 1:1 ratio to substitute.

How To Choose The Best Half And Half Substitute

Selecting the ideal substitute involves careful consideration of multiple factors. Here are some essential considerations to bear in mind:

1. Pay Attention To The Creaminess

Half and Half lends a creamy texture to recipes. With that, you should seek substitutes that offer a similar velvety consistency, such as soy cream or DIY Half and Half. For a thicker option, go for heavy cream or coconut cream. On the other hand, the perfect thinner alternative is evaporated milk.

2. Consider The Nutritional Content

Some alternatives may offer lower or higher fat, which can make or break the substitution experience for some people. For instance, heavy cream isn’t the best choice for limiting fat intake.

3. Watch Out For Dietary Restrictions

Always take into consideration dietary restrictions or preferences. Explore plant-based alternatives like soy or coconut cream if you’re lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet.

4. Check Recipe Compatibility

It’s crucial to pick a swap that maintains its properties and yields the desired outcome for your particular recipe. For example, coconut cream may not be the best option for coffee, but it will do a great job in certain dishes that will benefit from its nutty flavor.

Can I Use Milk Instead Of Half-And-Half?

Yes, milk can be a viable replacement for half-and-half in most recipes. It’s worth noting that milk alone has a lower fat content and a thinner consistency. Using it might mean a less rich and less creamy outcome.

How Do I Substitute Half-And-Half Without Cream?

You can combine melted butter and whole milk to substitute Half and Half without using cream. This mixture won’t be as creamy, but it is a decent alternative that will work for most dishes.

Why Is It Called Half-And-Half Cream?

The name reflects the equal ratio of milk and cream people use to make this dairy product. The combination of half cream’s richness and half milk’s lighter texture results in a balance that makes this product popular.


If you need a Half and Half substitute, fret not, as we’ve listed several choices that can cater to your preferences and dietary needs. By far, making your own Half and Half is the best. It is a straightforward alternative that offers the exact taste and texture.

For people who want a non-dairy alternative, soy cream and coconut cream are also viable options. Oat cream, sour cream, Greek yogurt, and even silken tofu are also decent swaps. They were not mentioned on the list above but can also work in certain recipes.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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