What is Half and Half (and how to MAKE it from scratch!)

The key to lighter cream sauces and decadent desserts, half and half is my secret weapon to shaving off calories without sacrificing flavor or texture. 

Carton of Half and Half on a blue background.

Half and Half can be found in between the milk and the heavy cream at your local grocery store but have you ever grabbed it to use in your favorite recipes? It goes beyond a “creamer” substitute for your morning coffee and I LOVE it for lightening up some of my favorite rich cream sauces or desserts.

I have had NUMEROUS fans and followers message me asking “What is Half and Half?” It has been a staple in my kitchen for so many years, I kinda thought everyone was using it on the regular. I had taken my beloved cream substitute for granted and now…I’m sharing with all of you everything you wanted to know about Half and Half.

What Exactly is Half and Half

Half and Half, also know as half cream in the United Kingdom, is a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream. It averages about 10% – 12% milk fat, which is more than milk and less than cream. Because it has a lighter fat content than cream, it can not be whipped into whipped cream.

Carton of cream, glass of milk and a carton of half and half with a white cow creamer.

Can you make Half and Half?

Making your own at home is super easy to do. To make your own DIY Half and Half recipe, simply stir together 1 cup whole milk with 1 cup light cream. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Don’t have cream? No worries, simply stir together 1 3/4 cups milk with 1/4 cup UNSALTED melted, cooled butter and you have your own homemade Half and Half.

One more recipe for Half and Half, stir together 1 3/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup heavy cream for my FAVORITE version of half and half. This version is a bit heavier than the others.

You can easily halve any of these recipes for just one cup of half and half.  We use a lot here for so many things during the week that two cups is my go to when I have to make it from scratch.

Glass of milk and a cow creamer.

What is Half and Half used for?

I like to pour a splash in my morning coffee as a substitute for cream but it’s also wonderful in so many recipes.

Half and half is great in recipes where you want something creamier than milk but less heavy than cream.  I like to use it as a substitute for heavy cream in a lot of recipes where I want to shave off some calories and lighten up a favorite recipe.

Using half and half in cocktails, ice cream recipes and your favorite quiche can add richness without adding unnecessary calories and fat. I like to stir it into cream sauces at the end to amp up the flavor but be sure to only add it at the end because it can cause the sauce to curdle if added too early.

It is also a good substitute for recipes that call for both milk and cream which have a tendency to separate.  Because the fat in half and half has been homogenized, it will create a smoother, creamier result in desserts like pudding and panna cotta.

Glass of milk and carafe of heavy cream


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Carton of Half and Half on a blue background.

How to Make Half and Half

Super easy DIY Half and Half recipe.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 42 kcal


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup light cream


  • Stir together the milk and cream to combine.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks to use in your favorite recipes or coffee.


Calories: 42kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 12mgPotassium: 37mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 135IUCalcium: 30mg
Keyword half and half
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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