What’s Actually the Difference Between Heavy Cream & Half-and-Half? – Kelly Vaughan

We love you heavy cream, but you don’t always do what we need. Sometimes your high fat content is just too thick and luscious to be used as a coffee creamer or an ingredient for pudding pie. That’s where half-and-half comes into play. Where heavy cream is too rich, half-and-half is there. But sometimes, it fails too. Half-and-half will never turn into whipped cream and no amount of churning will turn it into butter. We know they’re not the same, but what really is the difference between heavy cream and half-and-half?

What Is Half-and-Half

To understand how to cook and bake with half-and-half, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. According to my bedtime reading aka the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, “Half-and-half is the food consisting of a mixture of cream and milk which contains not less than 10.5 percent but less than 18 percent milkfat. It is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, and may be homogenized.”


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