Can Evaporated Milk Be Substituted For Half And Half? Find Out Here

Half and half is that interesting dairy product that works just well as a coffee creamer. Also, it works for making tasty, rich mashed potatoes and can work in some other recipes. But then, can evaporated milk be substituted for half and half?

You can run out of half and half in the middle of cooking or baking. You can also run out of it when you want to treat yourself to a cup of coffee. When that happens, can you use an alternative?

Well, this article answers your question. Here, a review of the products and how to substitute one for the other will be discussed.

So, next time you’re using a recipe that requires half and half and all you have evaporated milk, you will know what to do.

What is evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk is gotten when fresh milk is heated so that about 60% of the water content evaporates. After evaporation, the milk is homogenized, canned, and then taken through a heat sterilization treatment. This is also a part of the canning process.

A standard can of evaporated milk contains 12 ounces of fluid, and in many recipes, you can use an entire can.

There are three variations of evaporated milk, and they are based on the amount of either whole milk, low-fat, or skim. What makes it unique is its shelf-life. It can last up to two years for peak flavor, and maybe even longer.

However, if you open a can of evaporated milk and its color has changed to a dark yellow or brown, it means it has gone off. Also, if it smells bad or has started curdling, you should throw it away.

Evaporated milk can stay for more than a year on the shelf and can be used in place of milk or half-and-half in sweet and flavorful ingredients. Can you ask for anything more from a can?

SEE: Does Evaporated Milk Go Bad?

What is half and half?

The definition of half and half fall under the standard labeling of the FDA. According to the guidelines of the FDA, half and half are simply a combination of equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.

Furthermore, the percentage of fat in whole milk is only 3.25%, while the one in cream is about 36% to 40% fat. This makes the percentage of fat in half and half vary between 10.5% and 18%.

This is because when mixing the milk and cream, you get a varied percentage of fat depending on the type of cream you use. Anything labeled half and half at the store is usually fine for any recipe you need it for.

In many cases, it may also contain an ingredient to stabilize the combination, especially when it mixes with a hot liquid like coffee. Usually, you can find it in the refrigerated dairy section adjacent to cream and milk.

Different from heavy cream, half and half doesn’t hold its shape when whipped, so you can’t use it to make whipped cream.

SEE: Is Half And Half Lactose-Free?

Evaporated milk vs half and half

Half and half is a little bit higher in calories and fat because it contains cream. Nutritionally, it is comparable with evaporated milk.

Specifically, one cup (240 ml) of half and half contains 315 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat, and 7.2 grams of protein. It contains 25% of the RDI for calcium and 21% of the RDI for vitamin B2.

In most recipes, evaporated milk and half and half can be swapped in a 1:1 ratio.

Can evaporated milk be substituted for half and half?

Yes, it can. Evaporated milk is an eligible alternative for half and half. All you need to do is to use the same amount of evaporated milk to substitute for half and half.

This means that if your recipe calls for a half cup of half and half, use a half cup of evaporated milk in its place.

SEE: Is Evaporated Milk Better Than Heavy Cream?

Can evaporated milk be substituted for half and half in pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin dessert is inarguably a must at any Halloween or Thanksgiving gathering. If you run out of evaporated milk during the preparation process. What do you do?

You can substitute 1 ½ cups of half and half or cream or even a combination of them both for the evaporated milk. You can also use either whole milk or skim milk as an alternative.

When using these alternatives, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a little bit of sugar and flavors to help set the pie up.

Other healthy substitutes for half and half

Half and half is flavorful and creamy. But then, it contains high amounts of fat and calories. So, if you’re on a weight loss diet or want to prevent yourself from obesity, you may need other healthy substitutes. Some of these substitutes include:


Yogurt is presumably the best substitute for half and half you can use. First, it is a dairy product, and so it has the same creaminess and fluffy texture. But, unlike half and half, yogurt isn’t loaded with fat and calories. Consequently, this makes it a healthier alternative.

Nutritionally, yogurt contains high amounts of calcium. The nutrient keeps your teeth and bones strong. It also contains protein, which helps to bolster muscle mass. You can consume yogurt made from milk and has low or nonfat. This will give you a better outcome.

Even though yogurt is already a healthier alternative to half and half, cutting out some calories will only improve its health status. In addition, if you wish to get a taste that is most similar to that of half and half, it is better to choose plain, unsweetened yogurt.

Soy milk

The milk is another incredible substitution for half and half. Just like yogurt, soy milk is low in fat and calories. At the same time, it provides the regular creaminess attributed to half and half. If you are a vegetarian, soy milk is a good choice for you.

Also, it is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant or who simply choose not to drink milk. This is because it is made from soybeans; therefore, it contains no dairy.

Although, it is important to remember that soy milk contains high percentages of protein essential to bolster muscle mass. But then, the calcium found in it is not as sufficient as that available in regular dairy products.

Consequently, if you choose to use soy milk, you may have to augment your diet. Generally, you can find soy milk in virtually every store.


Honey is a good alternative too. It is not a dairy product, and therefore has nothing to do with the familiar creamy taste associated with yogurt and even soy milk.

However, when added to your cup of coffee or tea, it can still give a great sweetness and extra flavor to your taste buds.

You must be aware that when substituting honey for half and half, honey contains a little bit of added fat. This makes it relatively high in calories. Therefore, you should consume it in moderation. To get a better outcome, you are advised to eat honey that has been harvested.

Honey is generally much higher in added sugar and calories. So, you must consume it moderately.

SEE: Is Honey Gluten Free?


Can you make half and half without heavy cream?

Yes, you can. To make your half and half without heavy cream, you will need to combine salted or unsalted butter with 1 cup of milk.

Add your melted butter to a measuring cup and fill the remaining portion with milk. If you’re using whole milk, this will put you at about 13% milk fat.

Can you substitute evaporated milk for almond milk?

Generally, yes. You should be able to use evaporated milk place of almond milk. You can boil almond milk to reduce and concentrate the flavor and texture.

After it has been reduced by half, it is roughly the thickness of heavy cream. Besides, substituting evaporated milk largely depends on the dish you’re preparing.

What does evaporated milk do in pumpkin pie?

Evaporated milk serves as a thickener. When you bake your pumpkin pie, the heat from the oven takes out the fluids from the filling, which can make your pie watery.

It’s the responsibility of the thickener to prevent that mess from occurring. So, evaporated milk can make your pumpkin pie mess-free.


Having established that evaporated milk can be substituted for half and half, you must note that in every recipe you use this substitute for, use the same amount as you’d use half and half.

Also, consuming both products in moderation is key as what is good for your body and health is of more priority.

Moreover, if you are on a weight loss or lactose-free diet, it is preferable to use healthier substitutes.

Thank you for reading.

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