Half and Half Substitute

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Half and Half

Unless you use it in your coffee, half and half probably isn’t something you keep on hand. So, what can you use in its place when a recipe calls for it? Here are several substitutes to try, including one that’s dairy-free and a couple that will whip.

Milk and Heavy Cream

Half and half is nothing more than a 50/50 blend of milk and heavy cream, so if you have both in your fridge, your best bet is to make your own half and half. Traditionally it’s made from whole milk and light cream, but don’t sweat it, if you have a different type of milk or cream on hand. Store-bought half and half contains between 10.5% and 18% milk fat, so even if you use a lower fat milk or a higher fat cream, you’re going to come close to these percentages. Since this is the real deal, it’ll whip, just like store-bought half and half.

Milk and Butter

Whisk one tablespoon of melted butter into one cup of milk, and use it in place of the half and half called for in your recipe. The butter will increase the fat content of the milk, so it more closely approximates the flavor and consistency of half and half. It’s important to note that this substitute will not whip, so if you’re making ice cream, or another recipe that calls for whipping half and half, you’ll need to choose something else.

Evaporated Milk

Have a can of evaporated milk in your pantry? Use it as a 1:1 replacement for half and half. It has a similar consistency, and is only slightly sweeter. Just know that this substitute will not whip.

Coconut Cream and Dairy-Free Milk

Need a dairy-free or vegan substitute for half and half? Using a 50/50 blend of coconut cream and your favorite dairy-free milk is your best option. Just place a can of coconut milk in the fridge, until the cream separates from the milk and rises to the top. Then, skim the cream off, and blend it with an equal amount of dairy-free milk (almond, rice, soy, etc.). Use in place of the half and half called for in your recipe.

Since coconut cream has a high fat content, this substitute should whip. Be sure to consider how the flavor of the coconut cream and milk will alter the flavor of your recipe.

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Half and Half

Half and Half Substitute

If you don’t normally buy half and half, or it’s something you avoid for dietary reasons, just use one of these substitutes when a recipe calls for it. Includes a dairy-free option, as well as a couple options that will whip.

  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: Varies


  • Milk
  • Cream


Combine equal parts milk and cream to make your own half and half. It’s traditionally made with whole milk and light cream, but any milk and cream will do.


More Half and Half Substitutes

  • One cup of milk + 1 tbsp melted butter
  • An equal amount of evaporated milk
  • Equal parts coconut cream and dairy-free milk

Keywords: half and half substitute, half and half substitute dairy-free, half and half substitute vegan

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  1. Erin, I love all the. Curious, is there a reason you don’t link your blog updates to Facebook, Instagram as I would LOVE to share these (and promote your blog) and this info is SO timely

  2. Thank you so much for these substitute ideas. So often, recipes call for cream, half and half, or milk, which I cannot use (many people in my family are lactose intolerant).

    Today I made the coconut cream + non-dairy milk substitute and it was AMAZING! I used silk almond milk with the Thai Kitchen brand coconut cream. I used it in a recipe for breakfast casserole (strata) that called for 1/2 cup of half and half. Your substitute worked like a charm. Everyone enjoyed the breakfast casserole! Thanks again.

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