Can I Substitute Half and Half for Milk?

Updated on June 25, 2012
C.S. asks from Crystal Lake, IL
17 answers

Okay husband had a rough day at work and will be working late. Id like to bake him some cupcakes and my recipe calls for milk but I just noticed it expired yesterday. So can I substitute my organic half and half in the recipe?

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So What Happened?

The half and half worked great! The cupcakes were a hit! I made milk chocolate cupcakes with a malt flavored buttercream. All homemade and devoured by my greatly hubby. Thanks for the advice ladies.

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answers from Chicago on

Absolutely. Since half and half has half cream, it'll probably make the cupcake more moist. :)
But technically, I think the milk should be okay for use too. Just one day over expiry date is still good for use like baking.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

The expiration date is the last day the store can SELL the milk, most likely it's still good and should be for 3 to 5 days.
Half and half would be an extra rich treat tho, I'd just go with half and half since it's on hand.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

If it just expired yesterday, use the milk!! Milk is good past it's expiration date.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would go ahead and use the milk. unless it is now cottage cheese. Milk usually lasts a day or so, sometimes a little longer depending on how cold it is, past the expiration date. I once had milk last a full week past.
My mom used to use slightly expired milk, sometimes just getting that slightly sour taste, to add to cake. Always came out great.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think your milk should still be OK. Have you smelled it? The rule of thumb is 7 days after the sell by date. Otherwise the half and half should work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Smell the milk if it smells fine then use it - I would not use the half n half I think it would mess with the flavor honestly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Lord I hope so because I just used it to make corn bread!!! Seriously, I've done it a few times. I usually water it down a little.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes you can use it. It might make the batter creamier even. But you can also still use the milk. If it still smells good, and not sour then I say use the milk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Yes.. It will be fine to use the half and half..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Of course! They will just be a little richer (ie yummier!) than the regular recipe. Most modern recipes have been remade with "lowfat milk" or milk, to cut the fat content.

As for the expired milk...I would ditch it. Food poisoning isn't worth the risk, to me.

You're so thoughtful to be baking for him! I'm sure he'll appreciate the cupcakes (and you!).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I agree with the other posters. The expiry date on the milk is usually a sell by date, not a use by date. And if the milk is a little sour, that OK too in baking. Half and half will work fine too, but you may as well use up that milk!


answers from Biloxi on

The milk is most likely just fine - mine always for a day or three past the printed date.

But, half and half works also - in a pinch I use it but actually water it down just a bit.

Mmm, cake. Yummy no matter how you bake it.



answers from Oklahoma City on

If the milk smells bad don't use it, if it smells okay then it's okay.

I have had milk stay good a week after the date and have had some that didn't last even a few days after I bought it. It depends on how the milk was treated once it came out of the

There is not guarantee that milk didn't get in a basket where the shopper forgot there billfold and had to leave before buying it, then it got put back in the cooler, or sat in the basket for an hour before being found.

Milk is just one of those things I smell of each and every time I go to use it. An odd habit I guess.

But I think you can switch it out. My FIL drinks half and half in his coffee and in cooking all the time. It has less carbs than regular milk so he uses it more.



answers from Chicago on

i don't see why not. Sure they might taste a bit different but it'll work.



answers from Washington DC on

Yes I have done that and watered it down a bit too. Not a problem.



answers from Houston on

For baking, the "expired" milk is better than "current" milk, unless, of course, it's already started curdling.



answers from Chicago on

I knoe this is late but subs for milk can be 1/2 and 1/2, yougurt,sour.cream,pudding,rice milk,almond milk,soy milk ,coconut mil, softened ice cream. Some will add sweetness,some will add richness. But they have all worked for me. Have fun baking.

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