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14 Unthinkable Whole Milk Substitute For Baking In Style

Nothing is more frustrating than scrolling down the needed ingredients for a meal you’re ready to cook and discovering you’re missing a component. With certain materials, it may be essential to abandon the project entirely and try some other day. However, if you’re running short on whole milk — or entirely out — you don’t have to give up.

Fortunately, numerous milk substitutes are available for baking recipes, whether your container is empty or you’re seeking a dairy-free option. And the best part is, you probably already have a few on hand.

  1. Half-and-Half
  2. Light Cream
  3. Powdered Milk
  4. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  5. Yogurt
  6. Sour Cream
  7. Evaporated Milk
  8. Heavy Cream
  9. Skim Milk

If you are really down on your luck and still unable to find any suitable alternatives from above, read on to get the full comprehensive list of whole milk substitutes for baking.

But first, we will like to understand why is whole milk so commonly used for baking.

What Is Whole Milk?

Whole Milk Substitute

Whole milk refers to cow’s milk that has not been altered nutritionally. Nutritionally speaking, the milk is extracted from the cow in its natural state and then processed for food quality and safety.


Whole milk is a dairy product with approximately 3.5% fat content. This milk is commonly used in various recipes, including baked goods, pancakes, muffins, and bread.

Due to food safety methods such as pasteurization, this type of milk is not classified as raw milk and is perfectly safe to consume during the recommended shelf life of the milk manufacturer.

The percentage of fat and other dietary indicators are not modified in whole milk, which means nothing is removed or the milk is fortified with additional nutrients.

14 Best Substitute For Whole Milk

Not all milk is made equal. Each kind contains a varied amount of fat, affecting your dish’s color, texture, and flavor. As a result, it is essential to consider the relative fat level of the milk substitute you are employing.

Whether you are a bread maker or a cake baker, whole milk is almost always a necessary component of your favorite recipes.

It’s excellent for enhancing the flavor and texture of several baked items. Luckily, if you’re out of whole milk, there are numerous ways to satisfy your baking urges with these milk replacements.



If you have half-and-half available, it works perfectly as a cup-for-cup replacement. Because half-and-half is composed of 50% heavy cream and 50% whole milk, it provides similar results to milk while imparting a beautiful richness to baked items.

Half and half can be substituted for whole milk with a bit of water. For each cup of whole milk substituted, combine 34 cups half and half and 14 cup water.

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Light Cream

light cream

Light cream can also be used in place of whole milk. This substitute is likewise creamy and imparts a sense of richness to recipes similar to those made with whole milk.

When using light cream, you will perceive a significantly increased richness due to the higher dairy fat content.

Powdered Milk


Powdered milk, also known as dry milk, is the dry component left after all the liquid is removed. One of the significant benefits of powdered milk is its long shelf life.

This milk can be used to give savory stews and sauces a creamier texture. Additionally, it can be used for milkshakes and smoothies to improve the protein content. You may even incorporate it into homemade hot cocoa powder to give as a Christmas present to friends.

Best of all, it is straightforward to include powdered milk in baking. Reconstitute and prepare the amount of milk required for your recipe by following the package directions.

Additionally, keep in mind that powdered milk is available in various milkfat concentrations. Therefore, always inspect the fat content of the milk powder you use.

When using powdered milk in a dish, the milk can be reconstituted and used in the same way as whole milk. Additionally, you can mix the milk powder with the remaining dry ingredients and add the required amount of water in place of the milk.

Sweetened Condensed Milk


If you are baking something sweet, you can also use sweetened condensed milk instead of ordinary milk.

Bear in mind that because it is already highly sweetened, you will likely need to adjust the sugar content of your recipe proportionately.



Yogurt is an excellent milk substitute, mainly because it adds moisture and improves the texture of baked foods. Substitute an equal cup for cup, but keep in mind the variety of yogurt you are using.

Greek yogurt is significantly thicker and has a larger fat content; therefore, plain yogurt is your best bet.

Avoid flavored yogurts in general. You want to highlight your other ingredients, not your whole milk substitute.

Sour Cream


Like yogurt, sour cream is another whole milk alternative with the added virtue of tenderizing baked items such as muffins, bread, and cake.

There is some science to understand when comparing the difference between Buttermilk, Sour Cream, or Milk for baking.

Remember, however, that sour cream will impart a slight tanginess to anything you’re cooking. 

Evaporated Milk


Evaporated Milk is known as “The Cooking Milk.” It’s real milk that’s been gently heated to remove about half the water, resulting in concentrated milk that’s richer and creamier than whole milk and acts as a great substitute. 

The advantage of using evaporated milk is its convenience, and it’s simple to store in your pantry for when you need it.

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Since much of the moisture is eliminated during the canning process, you must add liquid back into evaporated milk to substitute it for regular milk.

Use a half-cup of this type of milk combined with a half cup of water for each cup of milk in your recipe.

Heavy Cream

heavy cream

Another excellent substitute for whole milk in recipes is heavy cream. It is even creamier and thicker than light milk, owing to its 36% increased fat content.

Replace milk with heavy cream in dishes that call for more decadence, such as chocolate desserts. Combine heavy cream with water if you wish to lighten up other recipes.

While heavy cream is compatible with most recipes that require whole milk, it performs best in more luxurious recipes.

Skim Milk

skim milk

Skim milk, also known as nonfat milk, is comparable to 1% milk but contains less fat. Without fat, recipes lack creaminess. This alternative also has a thinner consistency, which may require adjustment before dish inclusion.

Skim milk will suffice if you’re searching for an equivalent dairy flavor. Otherwise, half-and-half will be required to achieve whole milk’s creaminess and fullness.

Coconut Milk


Coconut milk is a common non-dairy substitute for those who cannot consume dairy due to dietary restrictions. This milk is significantly thinner than whole milk and has a delicate coconut flavor. 

This milk substitute is made from grated coconut flesh from the interior. Numerous varieties are available, including canned and boxed coconut milk. Choose the canned version for a creamier, thicker consistency comparable to whole milk.

Soy Milk


Soy milk was among the first commercially available non-dairy milk in the United States, owing to the inherited tradition of soy milk in East Asian countries and the abundant soybean production in the United States. It remains an excellent alternative for baking today.

As with rice milk, it has a more neutral flavor, making it ideal for baking goods. Additionally, it is appropriate for thick, sweet, and savory sauces.

Soy milk has nearly much protein content as dairy milk, has less fat and no cholesterol, and because most soy milk is fortified, it is a rich source of calcium. Vegans should look for a product that is vitamin B12 fortified.

Oat Milk


Oat milk is an excellent non-dairy substitute for whole milk. It has a more delicate taste than coconut milk, making it a better match in terms of flavor. Furthermore, oat milk has a creamy texture similar to whole milk.

Due to its increasing popularity, this whole milk substitute is available in many stores. It costs more than the majority of other whole milk substitutes. You can easily make your version by blending water and oats in a blender and straining.

Almond Milk


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Almond milk can be used instead of regular milk in baking recipes, but the texture will be altered.

Since almond milk is a non-dairy milk substitute, its fat content is relatively low, significantly less rich. Simultaneously, the taste can subtly change the flavor of whatever you’re baking.



You can substitute water for milk in a pinch, particularly if the dish only needs a small portion.

To compensate for the lack of flavor and richness, add a tablespoon of butter per cup of water.

Whole Milk Substitute Related FAQs

What is the best non-dairy milk alternative?

Alternative milk such as almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk has become popular with lactose-intolerant and lactose-loving bakers. Remember that each may impart a distinct flavor to your baking.

Almond milk’s delicate nutty flavor complements the majority of baked goods. Coconut milk’s coconut flavor would pair perfectly with a decadent chocolate cake. Nevertheless, some individuals may find the taste overpowering, so sticking with unflavored and plain sugar-free varieties is best.

Coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, and most nut kinds of milk can typically be replaced cup for cup. In comparison to regular milk, oat milk contains more starch and may alter the texture of pastries and other baked goodies.

Non-dairy alternatives vary in fat, protein, and starch content, so finding the right balance may require experimentation.

What is the effect of using a whole milk substitute?

Milk makes several significant contributions to the finished product of baking goods. First, milk provides moisture to a dish as it works well with dry ingredients. It also influences the final texture of the baked good.

Milk’s fat content enhances the flavor of your baked goods.

You can still make that delectable recipe by using a milk substitute, baking a cake or muffins, preparing a loaf of banana bread, or making pancakes. Some substitutions may result in a richer final product due to a higher fat level or even a cake or muffin with more moisture than you’re used to.

Use these substitutions wisely, and you’ll be able to bake something delicious.

What can you best substitute for whole milk in baking?

You can use any options mentioned above in baking instead of whole milk. Use heavy cream for a rich, dense baked product; use sour cream or 1% for a lighter recipe.

Non-dairy milk substitutes can also be used in making bread in a 1:1 ratio.

Can skim milk be added to make whole milk?

To make whole milk, mix the cream into skim milk. The fat portion is what distinguishes skim milk from whole milk. By adding cream, you can increase the fat level of skim milk.

Using one and a half tablespoons of skim milk for every cup of whole milk results in a consistency comparable to whole milk.