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    Milk Substitute

    Mmm, milk. One of the most versatile ingredients out there. It can be used in baking, cooking, for cereal, or to dip your cookies in. With all these uses, it is absolutely essential that you find a worthy milk substitute for your needs!

    Why Use a Milk Substitute?

    You may choose to find a substitute for milk for a variety of reasons. These include:

    • Lactose Intolerance 
    • Vegan Diet
    • Dairy-free lifestyle
    • You ran out!

    Regardless of your reason, I assure you that you will find a perfect milk replacement down below!

    milk substitute pin

    The Best Substitutes for Milk

    1. Plant Based Milk

    If you are searching for a dairy-free alternative to milk this is your best bet. The different types and brands can be used best for different things. Use all of them as a 1:1 replacement for milk.

    • Almond milk– thinner than milk, used best for cereal or to dip cookies. Because of the subtle taste, it is a good milk replacement in cooking, but add it slowly to preserve the flavors of the dish.
    • Oat milk– best used in lattes, as it gets foamy easy. It also has a more neutral flavor than the others, so it is a good milk substitute for baking.
    • Coconut milk– adds a nice amount of creaminess, but can also add a coconut flavor. Best used in baked goods that can have a coconut taste. Canned coconut milk can be used as a milk substitute for cooking, as long as you are okay with a coconut aftertaste.
    • Soy milk– very similar texture to milk, but can leave an aftertaste. Similar to almond milk, it is a good cooking substitute, but add it gradually.
    • Cashew milk– can have a slight aftertaste, used best for cereal or to dip cookies.  

    2. Heavy Cream

    Just as the name suggests, heavy cream is much thicker and creamier than milk. However, if diluted, it can be a fabulous milk substitute for baking because of the fluffiness. It can also be a great milk substitute for cooking in dishes like mashed potatoes. To dilute, mix equal parts cream and water (such as ½ water + ½ heavy cream = 1 cup milk) for a 1:1 replacement.

    3. Regular Half and Half

    Half and half is a miracle worker milk substitute in baking. Use it as a 1:1 replacement. However, as a milk substitute in cooking, you will want to follow the same method as heavy cream and dilute it by using equal parts water and half and half. This is because of its thick nature.

    4. Yogurt

    Plain yogurt can be used as a 1:1 replacement for milk in baking. If your yogurt feels particularly thick, feel free to stir in some water. Plain Greek yogurt is an ideal milk substitute for cooking. It can be used as a 1:1 replacement, but it is better suited for cold dishes, or as an additive stirred in once the dish is complete.

    5. Evaporated Milk

    Evaporated milk is slightly thicker than regular milk, however, it is useful because of its long storage period. Because of its thickness, dilute it the same as heavy cream, with equal parts milk and water, and then use as a 1:1 replacement.

    6. Powdered Milk

    Just like evaporated milk, powdered milk has a long storage life. It is best for if you don’t typically use milk, and only need it for certain recipes. Mix ¼ cup powdered milk and 1 cup of water for 1 cup of milk.

    7. Goat Milk

    Goat milk is a wonderful 1:1 milk substitute. It works the same as cow milk, however, the taste is slightly different, so be sure to take that into account.

    8. Sour Cream

    Sour cream can be used as a milk substitute for cooking or a milk substitute for baking, the same way as yogurt. You will want to stir in a little water for both uses though, as sour cream is thick. Use it as a 1:1 replacement in any dish. 

    9. Plain Kefir

    Kefir is fermented milk, basically a thinner, drinkable yogurt. It can be used as a 1:1 replacement for milk, but take into consideration that the flavor of your dish might be changed.

    10. Water

    Worse comes to worst, you can use water to replace milk. However, we would only recommend this when the recipe calls for a small amount of milk. Use it as a 1:1 substitute for milk.

    If you have butter on hand, you can add 1 tablespoon of melted butter for every cup of water to replenish the fat content. But be careful, and do it in moderation!

    As you can see, there are plenty of options available to you. I hope you found these alternatives to milk useful. If you did, be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, and stay tuned for more kitchen tips!

    Check out our other kitchen substitutes:
    Butter Substitutes
    Egg Substitutes
    Baking Powder Substitutes
    Soy Sauce Substitutes

    featured image for milk substitute post

    10 BEST Milk Substitutes

    Looking for a milk substitute in a pinch? Don’t fear, we’ve collected the best milk replacements you can find in your home right now!


    • plant based milk
    • heavy cream
    • half and half
    • yogurt
    • evaporated milk
    • powdered milk
    • goat milk
    • sour cream
    • kefir
    • water


      1. Choose a milk substitute that best meets your needs.
      2. Replace the milk in your recipe using the amounts given in the post.

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      Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

      Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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