Can You Use Heavy Cream Instead of Half and Half? Find Out Here

These two products are long-time residents of the dairy aisle. However, what you need to know is, can you use heavy cream instead of half and half?

They are both creamy, can be refrigerated for a long time, lighten up your morning coffees, give soups and sauces that refine, fluffy texture, and add creaminess to all sorts of desserts.

But then, what’s the bargain between these two products? For both products, is there a difference?  More particularly, can they be used alternatively? I will answer all your questions in this article. Kindly read on.

What is heavy cream?

You can also call it heavy whipping cream. Farmers and manufacturers produce this dairy product from fresh dairy milk. It is a homogenized mix of milk and milk fat.

The fat content of heavy cream is emulsified and mixed thoroughly into the milk, so it doesn’t separate. This cream contains about 36% to 40% milk fat.

It is a staple kitchen recipe virtually all over the world and is defined by the labeling standards of the Food and Drug Administration.

What is half and half?

Half and half is a combination of both cream and milk. It’s made from a mixture of whole milk and cream beaten together until it is light and velvety. The ratio of each is exactly 50/50.

It contains about 17% butterfat, which is higher than regular milk but lower than heavy cream. It is usually used as a substitute for heavy cream in cooking, baking, and beverages.

Also, it can be substituted for heavy cream in recipes, although the finished product may not be as fluffy.

The proportion of half and a half to heavy cream would be about 1 to 1. For example, if you need to use a recipe that calls for one cup of heavy cream, you can alternate it with one cup of half and half.

SEE: Is Half And Half Lactose-Free?

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half?

Yes, you can. Both products may be similar, but not the same thing. So, in substituting, you must put the dish you’re preparing into consideration.

If you’re cooking something like soup or mashed potatoes, you can use both products interchangeably in equal amounts.

Both products will give you that smooth texture you love because heavy cream contains more fat; it gives your dish a much richer taste.

Therefore, if you prefer to use heavy cream instead of half and half, you might want to consider saturating it with a little bit of water first.

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half in soup?

Yes, you can. For recipes like creamy soups, you could utilize heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or whipping cream. This depends on how rich you want your outcome to be.

However, for the creamiest possible result, heavy cream is the best substitute for your soup.

So, if you run out of half and half and all you’ve got in your refrigerator is heavy cream, you’re still on track. For 1 cup of half and half, substitute 3/4 cup milk plus 1/4 cup heavy cream.

In addition, if your household prefers low-fat milk, adjust the ratio to augment the missing fat. 2/3 cup low-fat milk plus 1/3 cup heavy cream will do.

Can you use heavy cream in place of half and half in coffee?

Yes, the outcome will even be creamier because it has high fat. Plus, you can also whip heavy cream into a delicious topping, which isn’t achievable with milk.

Moreover, putting heavy cream in coffee gives your drink a fluffy texture and a rich feeling. In addition, heavy cream in coffee smooths out harsh coffees like bitter or over-roasted coffee.

SEE: Find Out What Makes The Panda Milk Tea So Unique

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for alfredo?

No, you can’t. That’s because it may not be adequate for everyone due to its high fat and because it’s a dairy product. Notably, alfredo sauce with half and half is richer, creamier, and easier to make.

That is, homemade alfredo sauce made with mixed milk instead of heavy cream is perfect in texture and taste.

SEE: Where To Find Heavy Cream In Grocery Stores

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for whipped cream?

Yes, you can. That’s because the fat content in heavy cream allows it to be whipped, clasping the air bubbles together as you batter the cream with your whisk.

Besides, the higher the fat content, the easier it is to whisk into stiff peaks. Consequently, no matter how much you whip your half and half, it won’t form the peaks you look out for when making whipped cream because it is lower in fat content.

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for ganache?

Yes, you can. Heavy cream is the typical choice for making ganache or chocolate glaze. When you make ganache with heavy cream, it quickly thickens as it cools to a fudgy density.

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for pasta?

Yes, you can. Both products don’t differ too much in milk fat content, so you can use them in pasta to add thickness and creaminess to your dish.

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for mac and cheese?

Yes, you can. You can use a cup of heavy cream and exclude the butter. You can also adjust the amount of salt to your preferred taste. Also, add the flavors before adding your egg. It gives your mac and cheese a creamy and tasty flavor.

SEE: Can You Make Mac And Cheese With Heavy Cream Instead Of Milk?

Can you use heavy cream instead of half and half for ice cream?

Yes, you can. For ice cream, different recipes state that you can use a mixture of milk and either heavy cream or half and half for your ice cream.

Although this is valid, the fact remains that heavy cream will yield for you a creamier and richer texture since it is higher in fat than the other.

Can you use a fat-free half and half instead of heavy cream?

Yes, you can. You can use half and half to replace the whipping cream without adding butter. This makes it fat-free. You can use it in sauces and soups.


Can you substitute evaporated milk in place of half and half?

Yes, you can. Evaporated milk is an adequate alteration for half and half. All that is required of you is to substitute an equal quantity of evaporated milk for half and half. So if your recipe requires ½ cup of half and half, simply use ½ cup of evaporated milk in place of it.

Does half and half taste the same as heavy cream?

No, they taste differently. In addition to their nutritional distinctions, these products taste different. Heavy cream has a thick texture and a rich taste.

However, it is not very sweet because it doesn’t contain any added sugar. On the other hand, half and half tastes similar to milk, though it’ is creamier and a bit tastier.

Can you make your half and half?

Yes, you can. Simply stir 3/4 cups milk with 1/4 cup unsalted melted, cooled butter together. With that, you have your homemade half and half.

Are buttermilk and heavy cream the same?

No, they’re not the same. In as much as they’re both made with milk, buttermilk and heavy cream are very distinct.

You make buttermilk by eliciting fermentation in milk with lactic acid. On the other hand, heavy cream is made by skimming the fat from unhomogenized milk.


I believe this article has answered your question. The most important thing is to know which dish to use which product for.

So, if you’re preparing something like soup, you can swap heavy cream for half and half in equal amounts.

Both will give you that creamy consistency. You just have to be conscious that heavy cream contains more fat, so you may not use it in other dishes. Bottom line, your health is of more importance and must be considered before any substitution.

Thank you for reading.

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