How to make whole milk from half-and-half?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to make whole milk from half-and-half?”, what to use instead of milk, and how to make half-and-half substitutes.

How to make whole milk from half-and-half?

Making whole milk from half and half is a no-brainer. Since half and half contain whole milk and cream in an equal percentage, it has a higher percentage of fat as compared to whole milk.

To bring its composition closer to whole milk, you will have to dilute your half and half with some water. If you want to obtain 1 cup of whole milk, dilute ¾ cup of half and half with ¼ cup of water. 

What to use instead of milk?

You are lucky, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from when it comes to milk substitutes. Both dairy and non-dairy substitutes for milk are available. 

The choice of the substitute depends on your personal preferences and the nature of the dish you are making. Enough said, lets’ have a look at milk alternatives. 

Heavy cream 

Early warning, this substitute may not be the best option if you’re cutting down on your calorie intake. When using heavy cream in place of 1 cup whole milk, mix ½ cup heavy cream with ½ cup water.

Heavy cream works great in cream-based soups, gravies, dips, or scones. Heavy cream contributes a rich and creamy texture to the dish accompanied by a silky mouthfeel.  It can be whipped to make frosting or sweet topping. 

Powdered milk

Powdered milk is dehydrated milk. Just like regular milk, you can find powdered milk categorized on the basis of the fat percentage. Use powdered milk in smoothies, shakes, baking, or anywhere you would normally use regular milk. 

Before using, mix the powdered milk with water. The amount of water is determined by the amount of milk called for in the recipe. 

Evaporated milk 

Evaporated milk is produced by removing about 60% water from regular milk. The reduction in the moisture content gives evaporated milk a longer shelf-life compared to regular milk. 

Unlike condensed or sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk does not have added sugar. But you should still read the label and find out whether or not artificial sugar is one of the ingredients of the evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk acts similarly to heavy cream in recipes. If you dilute it enough, it makes for a great alternative to milk in baking and cooking. Pour ½ cup water into ½ cup evaporated milk and use it as a substitute for 1 cup whole milk. 

Non-dairy alternatives 

Nondairy substitutes of milk such as soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc are great choices if you want to avoid dairy milk due to lactose intolerance.

Every type of non-dairy milk has a unique composition. So, you need to find yourself what works best for you and your recipe. 

Before using plant-based milk in your recipe, match the flavor profile of the milk with the flavor profile of the finished recipe. Make sure they go along well. 

For example, coconut milk has a mildly sweet flavor which may not be suitable for savory dishes. Moreover, it also depends on the amount of milk added.

When we talk about the non-dairy milk with the highest protein content, unsweetened soy milk gets the first position. Then comes the oat milk. 

What to use in place of half-and-half?

You only need milk, light cream, butter, and heavy cream to make the best half-and-half substitute. 

1- Combine ½  cup whole milk with ½ cup light cream. This half-and-half substitute work great in both, coffee and cooking. Skip this substitute if light cream is not easily available. 

2- Combin ½ cup whole milk with ½ cup light cream. This rich substitute works great in coffee and cooking but the results are richer and creamier.

3- Combine ⅔ cup skim milk or low-fat milk with ⅓ cup heavy cream. The flavor profile of this alternative is comparable to that of half and half. It gives equally good results when used in cooking and baking.

4- To substitute 1 cup of half and half, combine 4 tsp of unsalted good quality butter with whole milk. From what it looks, this may not be the best substitute for half and half. Because the butter won’t quite “mix” into the milk.

The fat will float on the surface of the milk which will reduce its visible appeal. Plus the butter will impart a distinct flavor to this substitute. Better use it in cooking or baking only as a last resort. 


In this article, we answered the question “How to make whole milk from half-and-half?”, what to use instead of milk, and how to make half-and-half substitutes.


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