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How to Replace Milk in a Recipe?

Recipes that call for milk can usually be easily adapted to create a dairy-free version. There are a variety of plant-based milks that can be used as a replacement, such as soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. 

Reasons why you might need to substitute milk in recipes

For many people, milk is a key ingredient in their cooking. However, there are a number of reasons why you might want to replace milk in a recipe. 

  • You might be vegan or have a dairy allergy/intolerance.
  • The recipe you’re using is for a baked good, and you want to extend its shelf life by using a plant-based milk that doesn’t spoil as quickly as dairy milk.
  • You’re making a dish for someone with a dairy allergy/intolerance and need to find an appropriate replacement.

How to replace milk in recipes

With a little creativity, it is easy to find a dairy-free substitute for milk in any recipe.

Substituting milk in baking recipe

When substituting in baking recipes, use the same amount of plant-based milk as the recipe calls for dairy milk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup (240 ml) of whole milk, you would substitute it with 1 cup (240 ml) of soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk.

Substituting milk in savory recipe

If you’re substituting in a savory recipe, you might need to experiment with the amount of plant-based milk you use. Start by adding less than the recipe calls for and then add more if necessary.

Substituting milk in a dairy-free version

When making a dairy-free version of a recipe that contains buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream, you can often create a suitable replacement by combining plant-based milk with lemon juice or vinegar. For example, for 1 cup (240 ml) of buttermilk, combine 1 cup (240 ml) of soy milk with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice or vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using.

Substituting milk that calls for a cream

If a recipe calls for cream, you can replace it with a plant-based milk that has been thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot powder. For example, for 1 cup (240 ml) of heavy cream, combine 2/3 cup (160 ml) of soy milk with 1/3 cup (80 ml) of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Whisk the mixture until it’s smooth and then heat it in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to thicken.

Common substitutes for milk in recipes

Soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are all common substitutes for milk in recipes. Each of these options will provide a different flavor to your dish, so be sure to choose one that will complement the other ingredients.

When substituting milk in a recipe, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Soy milk and other plant-based milks are often thinner than cow’s milk, so you may need to adjust the amount used in the recipe.
  • Plant-based milks do not contain the same level of fat as cow’s milk, so you may need to add additional fat to the recipe if you are using a low-fat milk.
  • Some plant-based milks, such as almond milk, can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients. If you are using store-bought milk, be sure to check the label to make sure it does not contain any added sugars or flavors.

Tips and tricks for replacing milk in recipes without ruining the end result

  • When baking, using a plant-based milk that is higher in fat will result in a richer final product.
  • If you are using a plant-based milk that is unsweetened, you may need to add additional sweetener to the recipe.
  • For savory recipes, using a plant-based milk that has been flavored with vanilla or another extract can help to enhance the flavors of the dish.
  • If you are looking for a thick, creamy consistency in your dish, using a plant-based milk that has been enriched with calcium or another additive can help to achieve this.

When making substitutions, it is always best to start with a small amount and adjust as needed. This will help to ensure that the desired flavor and texture are achieved.