Cream, heavy cream, half-and-half and whole milk differ in the amount of butterfat they contain, though they all come from cow's milk. Heavy cream, also labeled whipping cream, has a minimum of 30 to 40 percent butterfat. Half-and-half is 10.5 percent butterfat, while whole milk is 3.5 percent and butter is nearly 100 percent. There is also a scant amount of water in the butter. The good news is that you can make half-and-half with whole milk, you just need some additional butterfat.
Measure 7/8 cup of whole milk.
Measure 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
Mix together to make 1 cup of half-and-half. Use in recipes such as sauces and baking where it doesn't matter if the butter separates from the milk.
Measure 1/4 cup heavy cream.
Measure 3/4 cup whole milk.
Combine to make 1 cup of half-and-half.
Adjust the amounts of milk and butter or cream and milk, for more or less half-and-half.