Half and half is used to add a rich creaminess to many types of recipes. And if you are all out of half and half, there is no need to worry. There are multiple great substitutes you can use no matter what you need half and half for.
With a milkfat content of between 10% and 18%, half and half is used in everything from soups, dinner, to desserts. So when you need a replacement for your recipe you need to use an ingredient(s) that offers a similar fat content.
So what are the best substitutes for half and half?
The top half and half substitutes are cream with milk, butter with milk, sour cream, yogurt, evaporated milk, and coconut milk with soy milk.
Depending on what you are making, one of these substitutes will work no matter what you are making. Read on for how to best use each of these half and half replacements.
Half and Half Alternatives
Half and half is made by combining milk with light cream. As noted above, half and half has a milkfat content of around 15%. For context, milk offers a fat content of around 5% and dairy cream clocks in at 35% milkfat.
The key to substituting for half and half is achieving a similar fat content. This will make your recipe the right level of creaminess in texture.
If you are all out of half and half, just use one of the alternatives below.
Cream and Milk
If you don’t have a can of half and half in your kitchen, the best way to substitute is to make your own.
Because half and half is literally half milk and half light cream, you can combine these two ingredients to make half and half for any recipe.
You can also make half and half using heavy cream by adjusting your milk to cream ratio.
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup light cream or 3/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream
Butter with Milk
Combining butter with milk creates an excellent half and half replacement. If heating on the stovetop this combo works just as is. But if using butter and milk in a baked recipe, you will want to blend them together before adding it to your other ingredients.
This substitute works well in all types of recipes that call for half and half.
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1 tbs butter and the remainder of a 1 cup milk
These next two substitutes for half and half are ideal for ice cream. Sour cream is an excellent 1:1 or partial half and half substitute. It will separate when over heat so it is not a good choice for baked or cooked recipes.
Sour cream does provide a more tangy flavor than half and half but in flavored ice cream recipes it works wonderfully. When making ice cream, add sour cream after your base has finished it’s initial chill.
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1 cup of sour cream
Plain Greek yogurt is another excellent substitute for half and half in non cooked recipes. This is another great 1:1 substitute when making homemade ice cream. Yogurt also has a tangy flavor but it is not an issue in most recipes. It provides just the right amount of creaminess to any uncooked recipe calling for half and half.
Just like with sour cream, when making ice cream add your yogurt after your custard base has finished chillnig.
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1 cup of Greek yogurt
Coconut Milk and Soy Milk
If you need a vegan substitute for half and half, coconut milk with soy milk is the best option. This combination works wonderfully in all types of recipes where a non-dairy half and half alternative is needed and is a healthy alternative to half and half.
Use coconut milk with soy milk in all types of recipes. It provides just enough creaminess and the flavors will not overpower most recipes.
Equivalent1 cup of half and half equals 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup soy milk
Can you use sour cream instead of half and half?
Yes, you can use sour cream instead of half and half in uncooked recipes. It is not recommended in recipes that require heat as it will separate.
Can you use heavy cream in place of half and half?
Yes you can use heavy cream as a half and half alternative if you also use milk. Use 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 3/4 cup milk when replacing 1 cup of half and half.
Best half and half substitute without milk
The best substitute for half and half when you don’t have any milk is either sour cream, yogurt, or coconut milk with soy milk.