a jar of cream

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What is Half & Half?

While, to many of us, Half & Half is a household staple, many readers question what half and half is.  It depends where you live but half and half is available in most North American grocery stores in the dairy section.

Half and half is a creamer that is half milk and cream (commonly known as half cream in the UK or sometimes known as single cream). It has a higher per cent of fat (approximately 10-12%) compared to milk making it deliciously creamy but not quite as thick and rich as heavy cream or whipping cream (which is closer to 30-33% fat).

In the US and Canada, it’s commonly used as a coffee creamer but it’s also great in baked goods and many other recipes requiring a lighter cream, such as homemade fudge sauce or even in a creamy soup.

How to Make Your Own Half & Half

It’s very easy to substitute half and half by making your own DIY Half and Half at home. There are a couple of options based on what you have on hand.

  1. Mix ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of heavy cream to create half and half. Did you notice that play on words there? Easy as pie!
  2. No cream? No problem. Combine 1 cup of milk less two tablespoons with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Voila!

Got Leftovers?

Do you have leftover half and half or have a carton ready to expire?  Don’t worry, there are lots of great ways to use it!

Of course you can enjoy it in recipes like lemon blueberry loaf or in your coffee or hot cocoa, but if you still have leftovers, you may be wondering if you can freeze it. The answer is yes!

Half & Half can be expensive for a small bottle, and when using it for baking purposes, it’s difficult to use it up before it spoils. The best way to freeze it is to separate the half and half into ½ or whole cups and place it in plastic freezer bags. Then it’s safe to put in the freezer.

a jar of cream
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Half and Half Substitution

This easy recipe is perfect for a last minute half and half substituion.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients  

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions 

  • Combine ingredients together.
  • Stir and use in recipe as directed.

Notes

Alternative Half and Half Substitute: 
Combine 1 cup of milk less two tablespoons with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
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Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 460 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 266mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1981IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 225mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pantry
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Single cream is not half milk. That information is incorrect. Single cream is the fat skimmed off the top of unhomogenised milk which has been left to stand for the fat to rise to the top.

    I have never seen anything called half cream anywhere in the UK.

  2. There is absolutely no such thing as “half cream” in the UK. It is only EVER called “Single cream”. That’d be within my 47 years and my mothers 75 years in the UK. Not in a single shop, super market, diary farm, market or corner shop has anyone ever seen something called half cream. Dont be looking for it or ask for it as you’ll get lot of very confused shop assistants! LOL.

    1. As I know what half & half is, I always get confused over what heavy cream is. Thanks for sharing a substitute recipe!!5 stars

  3. Just a note I’m from the UK and have never ever heard the term half cream being used here. So for the Brits looking at this, single cream is what you’re lookin’ for in Sainsbury’s thanks for explaining what half and half is we don’t have ‘creamers’ or anything like that here. But honestly I can’t imagine putting single cream in my tea or coffee that would be way too rich and absolutely sickly!!

    1. Thanks Tash! Was thinking ‘single cream’ makes sense… but ‘half cream’ is a term I’ve never heard in the U.K. Agree with you about not using single cream in tea/coffee.

    1. I generally use frozen half and half in baking or cooking. If you find it separates, you can give it a shake and it should be perfect for use.