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Nov 27, 2008 12:04 PM

Turning 2% Milk into Whole Milk with Heavy Cream?

Any idea how much heavy cream to add to 2% milk to get closer to whole milk's fat level?

Honestly I'd just normally pour in a bunch... Any reason not to? :)

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  1. 2% milk may, or may not be, 2% fat. It very well may be 2.5 percent fat. FDA rules on labeling products is very fickle. But, as near as I can come, if whole milk contains 7.94 grams of "milk fat" and 2% contains 4.54 grams of "milk fat" you'll need to add about 3 1/2 grams of "milk fat" (about one fifth of an ounce per cup) to achieve your goal. That's because even heavy cream is only about 40% "milk fat". Those figures aren't offered as scientifically sound, just a ball park estimate. Now consider that a direct conversion of grams to ounces can be tricky because the term "ounces" is used interchangably for an object's volume and weight where as "grams" refers to weight. I don't believe it's worth the effort to try making accurate adjustments with heavy cream added to 2% milk for any rational application. I use 2% milk in place of whole milk quite regularly and have never found it to make a difference in my recipes.

    1. Well this is my conversion chart I've posted a few times here - you will need to do some math to base it on 2% milk:

      Add the following to 1 cup of skim milk to approximate 1 cup of

      1.5t heavy cream= 1% milk
      1T heavy cream= 2% milk
      2T heavy cream= whole milk
      5T 1t heavy cream= half-&-half
      9T heavy cream= light cream
      1T light cream= 1% milk
      1T 2t light cream= 2% milk
      3T light cream= whole milk
      5 oz light cream= half-&-half
      2T half & half= 1% milk
      3T half & half= 2% milk
      4T half & half= whole milk

      3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        Thank you so much for posting this - I somehow had never seen this before. I often have to go the other way - half and half to milk, but wing it a bit.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I drink 1% milk but like to have whole milk for my cereal and a variety of dairyfat levels for cooking. Rather than buy both, it's much more efficient to have a gallon of milk and a pint of heavy cream from which I mix what I need. It's very efficient.

          1. re: Karl S

            This is a great idea. I like using lower fat milk for cereal, etc. but buy higher fat milk in case I want to bake, so get 2% which is more the worst of both worlds, instead of the best.