10 Substitutes for Milk in Baking

substitutes for milk in baking
Photo by Brian Suman

If you’re looking for substitutes for milk in baking, you’ve come to the right place.

Many options are available, whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just looking for something different.

In our blog post, we’ll explore substitutes for milk in baking that you may not have known about.

We’ll look at some unexpected substitutes for milk in baking to help you make delicious treats without dairy.

Let’s get started!

1. Water

Water is first on our list of substitutes for milk in baking. It is one of the most common and versatile substitutes for milk in baking. Whether you’re out of milk or just trying to avoid it, water is a great substitute that won’t compromise the texture or taste of your finished product. 

To ensure you get the same result as milk, try using an equal amount of water you would. Depending on the recipe, adding oil can help replace some of the fat from the milk.

When substituting water for milk in baking, it’s important to remember that water does not have the same fat and protein content as milk. As such, it can create a different texture and may not work well in recipes requiring a higher fat content. To compensate for this, add a bit of butter or margarine for moisture and richness. 

You can also add vinegar or lemon juice to enhance flavor and tenderness. In some cases, such as in quick bread, muffins, and cakes, water can replace without compromising flavor or texture. 

However, it’s best to use a dairy alternative like coconut or almond milk in recipes that require more moisture, like custards and cream pies. Nut-based milk contains much of the same nutritional content as cow’s milk, making them ideal replacements. They are slightly sweeter than regular cow’s milk, so be mindful when measuring and tasting. 

In addition to nut milk, there are plenty of other substitutes for milk in baking you can use in place of cow’s milk. Soy milk is another popular option, with its neutral taste and creamy consistency, making it a great choice for baking. 

Rice milk and oat milk are also wonderful substitutes for milk in baking for those avoiding dairy. Both are low in fat and provide a light sweetness that pairs perfectly with baked goods.

2. Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is next on our list of substitutes for milk in baking, as it provides sweetness and moisture to a recipe. It also contains nutrients that can be beneficial for baked goods. 

Depending on the type of fruit juice you use, you may also get some flavor and color from the juice. When using fruit juice as a substitute for milk in baking, it’s important to remember that it is much sweeter than regular milk. As such, you may need to adjust the recipe’s sweetener accordingly. 

Additionally, fruit juice will create a slightly different texture in the final product, so you may want to reduce the number of other liquids used in the recipe as well. 

When substituting fruit juice for milk in baking, use equal parts of fruit juice and water in place of the same amount of milk. This will prevent your baked goods from being too sweet or having a different texture. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of milk, use one-half cup of fruit juice and one-half cup of water.

Depending on the desired results, you can experiment with different types of fruit juices when baking. For example, orange juice has a bright flavor and will add a bit of citrusy zing to your baked goods. Apple juice and grape juice can be used for sweetness and additional flavors. 

Cranberry and pomegranate juices will give baked goods a deep pink hue. Fruit juice is an excellent way to add flavor and sweetness to baked goods without relying on dairy products. Its variety of flavors, colors, and textures can be used in many recipes where milk might otherwise be used. 

3. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another great option to use as a milk substitute in baking. Coconut milk brings along a subtle sweetness and creamy consistency that makes it perfect for cakes, pies, muffins, and more. 

Plus, coconut milk as substitutes for milk in baking gives a hint of tropical flavor, enhancing the overall taste of any dish. It’s easy to find unsweetened canned coconut milk at most grocery stores, but you can also make your own by blending shredded coconut with hot water.

Almond and cashew milk are both popular substitutes for milk in baking that bring natural sweetness and creaminess to dishes. Not only are they healthy, but they’re great sources of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. 

They pair nicely with chocolate or berry-flavored desserts because they taste slightly nutty. To make your own nut milk at home, you must soak raw nuts overnight, then blend them with filtered water until smooth.

4. Coffee

Coffee can be used as one of the best substitutes for milk when baking. It provides a unique flavor to baked goods, making them taste rich and unique. The amount of coffee to use in baking depends on the recipe, but it is typically equal to the amount of milk that would have been used. 

It is also important to use brewed coffee, not instant, as the texture and flavor will be affected if instant is used. Coffee can be used in many recipes, including muffins, cakes, and quick bread.

It is best to pair coffee with chocolate flavors and ingredients like cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, and espresso powder for the best results. Coffee can also be combined with other non-dairy pints of milk, like almond or coconut, to create a creamy texture and flavor. 

5. Sour Cream

Sour cream is another popular substitution for milk in baking recipes. Sour cream adds moisture, fat, and richness to recipes without imparting too much tangy flavor. 

Like yogurt, sour cream should be used equally to the amount of milk called for in the original recipe. Be sure to use full-fat sour cream, as low-fat varieties do not work either. 

6. Tea

Tea is a delicious and easy substitute for milk when baking. It adds a light, earthy flavor that can bring out the other flavors of your dish. You can use any type of tea for baking, but green or black tea are usually the best choices. 

For the best results, start with loose-leaf tea rather than a teabag. This will give you more control over the strength of the flavor. The general rule is to steep one tablespoon of loose tea leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Make sure to strain the leaves before adding them to your recipe. 

When substituting tea for milk, it’s important to remember that it won’t provide any thickness or creaminess. To compensate, add some melted butter or oil. The amount of fat depends on the type of recipe you’re making and how much liquid is called for, but it’s usually around one tablespoon per cup of tea.

It’s also important to consider the sugar content of the tea. If you’re using unsweetened tea, you may need to add more sugar to the recipe to get the desired sweetness. 

Alternatively, you could use sweetened teas like chai or spiced tea to save time. Tea is a great option for those who have allergies or follow special diets since it contains no dairy or gluten. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used in anything from cakes and muffins to bread and even ice cream. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why tea is a popular substitute for milk in baking!

7. Carbonated Water

Carbonated or sparkling water is a great substitute for milk when baking. The bubbles in carbonated water make it an ideal ingredient for light and fluffy baked goods. 

It’s important to remember that the carbonation will cause a more intense rise in your baked goods, so you may need to adjust the amount of baking soda or baking powder accordingly. When using carbonated water as a milk substitute, use unflavored versions to avoid any unwanted flavors in your recipe. 

Carbonated water can also be used as a liquid in bread recipes to create a light and airy texture. This can help reduce the amount of time you need to knead the dough and create a lighter final product.

To use carbonated water as a milk substitute, measure out the amount of milk your recipe calls for and replace it with the same amount of carbonated water. The bubbles will give your baked goods an airy texture and lightness, making them perfect for cakes, muffins, pancakes, and more. With its unique flavor and texture, carbonated water is a great substitute for milk when baking.

8. Vinegar

Vinegar is an unlikely but surprisingly effective substitute for milk in baking. It can be used as a sourcing agent in cakes, muffins, and other baked goods to replace the flavor and texture of dairy. It is especially effective when combined with baking soda, which helps neutralize the vinegar’s acidity.

When using vinegar as a substitute for milk in baking, use a ratio of 1 vinegar for every 1 cup of milk that the recipe calls for. If you’re using distilled white vinegar, add it directly to the batter without diluting it first. 

However, if you’re using stronger vinegar like apple cider vinegar, it is best to dilute it with equal water before adding it to the batter. When baking with vinegar, you must reduce the baking powder in the recipe by half. This is because the acidity of the vinegar will react with the baking powder and cause the dough or batter to rise too quickly. 

Additionally, when substituting vinegar for milk in a recipe, it’s important to note that the resulting texture and flavor may differ slightly from traditional dairy milk. Using vinegar instead of milk is an excellent way to make vegan-friendly baked goods. While the flavor may not be as rich as if made with dairy milk, vinegar offers an easy and cost-effective substitute that can help you reduce dairy consumption while still enjoying delicious baked treats.

9. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best and most popular substitutes for milk in baking. Yogurt is a good protein, calcium, and probiotics source, making it a healthier option than dairy milk. 

Yogurt also provides moisture and a tangy flavor, making cakes and other baked goods extra moist and delicious. Yogurt can be used in many types of baked goods, such as cakes, bread, muffins, pancakes, and more. It can also be used as a topping or filling for pies, tarts, and cheesecakes. 

When using yogurt in baking, use plain Greek yogurt or regular plain yogurt that contains no added sugars or flavors. If you’re using Greek yogurt, strain it first to remove excess water. For best results, substitute yogurt in equal amounts for the same amount of milk called for in the recipe. 

For those looking to reduce their dairy intake, yogurt is an excellent alternative to cow’s milk. It provides moisture and flavor to baked goods, and its health benefits are unbeatable. 

So next time you’re baking, don’t forget to consider yogurt as an alternative to traditional dairy milk. You may be surprised at how much better your baked goods taste with this added ingredient! Other options include nut milk like almond, coconut, and cashew milk. All these options work great in baking, providing extra flavor and moisture.

Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt, so this type is especially useful in creating dense textures like cakes, cupcakes, and muffins. 

It also adds moisture to any recipe. Using yogurt can affect the final product’s flavor depending on the type of yogurt chosen, so choosing a yogurt that pairs well with the type of baked good you are creating is best. 

For instance, unsweetened Greek yogurt works well with sweet baked goods such as cakes and cupcakes, while flavored yogurts such as vanilla or honey work better in muffins and scones. To substitute yogurt for milk, use an equal amount of yogurt in place of the milk called for in the recipe. 

10. Soy Milk

Finally, on our list of substitutes For milk in baking is Soy milk.  It is another common alternative for baking that has been around for decades and remains popular today.


Baking without milk can seem daunting, but there are plenty of Substitutes For Milk in baking to choose from that will still help you produce delicious results. Water, fruit juice, coffee, tea, carbonated water, vinegar, and yogurt are all suitable substitutes for milk in baking. 

Each option carries its unique benefits, so experiment to see which one works best for the recipe you’re working with. You may even be able to combine several of these options to create something entirely new and exciting. Remember that you don’t have to stick with the traditional milk option in baking; there are plenty of different and creative ways to get your baking job done. 

Many people are discovering that substituting non-dairy ingredients is easy, healthy, and adds variety and uniqueness to their baked goods. For example, replacing cow’s milk with plant-based milk like coconut or almond makes baked goods much more flavorful and nutritious. 

Furthermore, some plant-based milk comes in flavors such as vanilla or chocolate, making it easy to customize recipes for a desired flavor profile. In addition, adding nut butter or coconut cream instead of dairy cream or condensed milk allows for a rich and creamy texture without the lactose content. Finally, adding spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg to some recipes can give them an extra zing! With these simple substitutes for milk in baking on our blog, you can make your recipes as tasty as those using dairy ingredients! 

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