Difference Between Light Cream and Half and Half (With Table)

Almost all of us tend to love the creams that cover our deserts, but for most people, all of these creams are very confusing as they tend to use the names of such creams interchangeably. Light cream and a half and half are two types of whipping creams or topping creams that are widely used all across the world. And if one is looking to enjoy these two to their maximum extent, he must be aware of the differences that lie between these two. 

Light Cream vs Half and Half 

The difference between light cream and a half and half is that the former refers to a particular type of cream that contains almost 20% fat and happens to be suitable for being mixed with beverages like coffee etc. However, due to the fat content being somewhere less, this cream cannot be whipped and used upon a desert. But on the other side, the letter refers to a particular type of cream that contains just 10% of fat and is used to be mixed with certain beverages to thicken them. 

Also known by other names such as coffee cream all table cream, a light cream can basically be described as a format of milk-based creams that roughly contains almost 20% fact. However, in certain cases, this fat might range up to 30%, and whenever this case occurs, there is a probability that this cream can be whipped. However, a drawback is that even after whipping this cream, the texture might not be very thick unstable, so it is not preferred by many people. 

But on the other hand, half and half the type of cream that can be easily explained by looking at the name only. It is described as that format of a cream that contains a half quantity of pure milk and half quantity of cream. This ratio makes half and half come into existence with this particular name. However, due to having very little fat content like 12%, this cream is never used for whipping purposes and is mostly used for mixing with beverages to thicken them. 

Comparison Table Between Light Cream and Half and Half 

Parameters of Comparison Light Cream   Half and Half 
Meaning  The term refers to a particular type of cream having a rich mixture of milk and cream. The term refers to a particular type of cream having an equal mixture of milk and cream. 
Fat content  the fat content of this cream ranges between 18% to 30%. The fat content of this cream ranges up to 12% only. 
Purposes  To thicken the beverage.  To provide an extra richness of cream is required. 
Another name  The cream is known by multiple names such as single frame, coffee cream, and table cream, etc. This cream is popularly known as half cream. 
Substitute  A mixture of whole milk and evaporated milk can be used as a substitute  An equal mixture of pure milk with heavy cream can be used as a substitute. 
Possibility of being whipped In certain cases where the fat content of the screen ranges around 30%, it can be whipped into whipping cream. This cream cannot be whipped as it has a very low-fat content, and it will never be stable. 

What is Light Cream? 

Known by other names such as single cream, coffee cream, table cream, etc., light cream happens to be a form of cream that is majorly used and preferred all over the world in multiple desserts and beverages. It is very popular all across the world, especially in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Usually, it contains 20% milk fat, but in certain specific cases, this content might vary from 18% to 30%. In cases where this extent happens to be 20%, this cream cannot be whipped as whipped cream, but in cases where the milk extent is slightly greater, this can be whipped another dream.  

But in either of the cases, the screen will not provide a stable consistency and will always be the one dripping over the deserts. This cream is majorly used in those beverages or desserts where extra richness off milk and cream is required, along with the need of thickening the beverage. 

 Apart from this utilization, this cream is also used as a topping cream over certain deserts in many cuisines. In any recipe, if the light cream is not available, the substitute can be a mixture of whole milk with evaporated milk. 

What is Half and Half? 

In the context of creams, half and half refer to a particular type of cream that is made when equal quantities of pure milk and heavy cream are mixed altogether. This happens to be considerably easy to comprehend and understand as it simply gets denoted by its name only. 

This cream primarily contains 12% of milk fat, but in certain cases, this fat content might be increased. But in any of the cases, this cream cannot be turned into a whipping cream as it will never provide the consistency required in whipping cream. 

It is majorly used in decorating desserts and thickening certain beverages. But the term half and half not just represent a particular cream but other things as well. This term can also be used for certain beverages and eating items that are made after mixing two components in equal amounts. 

An equal mixture of pure milk with heavy cream can be used as a substitute for this cream, and this can easily be prepared at home. 

Main Differences Between Light Cream and Half and Half 

  1. Light cream happens to be cream with a rich mixture of milk and cream while, on the other hand, have enough is a particular cream having an equal mixture of milk and cream. 
  2. Light cream contains around 30% of milk fat, while half and half contain 12% of this fat only. 
  3. Another name for light cream is single and coffee cream, while another name for half and half is half cream. 
  4. A mixture of the whole cream along with evaporated milk can be used as a substitute for light cream, while a mixture of heavy cream with pure milk can be used as a substitute for half and half. 
  5. Light cream can be whipped in certain cases, while half and half cannot be whipped ever. 


In the food industry, many types of creams are used as topping creams for many beverages and desserts. These creams can be seen in many desserts such as pastries, cakes, etc., and multiple types of beverages, and rarely will there be anyone who doesn’t like these things. But people who truly love these creams and happened to be the connoisseurs of these toppings happen to know that each and every type of cream contains different features. 

Looking at all the comparisons and differences mentioned above, light cream and half are two similar yet different types of creams holding different features and purposes in the industry of creams. It is important to know the exact differences between these two so that one can choose the best one for his dessert or beverage. 


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/0-387-28813-9_10.pdf 
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/22/4/458/4818573  

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