Here Are All The Milk Substitutes You Need To Know When Baking

Do you know what to use if you don't have milk?

We all know baking is a science. There are reasons why an ingredient is included in a recipe and a specific amount is listed with each corresponding item. When an ingredient is changed, this is where the recipe becomes different from the original one. This doesn’t matter so much in cooking as changes usually only affect the flavor.   

In a baking recipe, however, even the slightest change can determine the success or failure of a recipe.

While changes in a recipe can develop into a recipe that’s even better, haphazardly changing ingredients in a baking recipe can also change the resulting dish. The recipe is made in such a way so that each ingredient reacts to the other ingredients properly and removing or adding an ingredient can ruin this delicate balance. 

However, we have all had days when you’re so eager to bake that you don’t realize until too late that you don’t have the right ingredient.

The good news is that there are easy ingredient substitutes you can use so that using another ingredient in place of another ingredient matters little to the end result. One of the most important ingredients in baking are milk products, and these products are similar enough to swap one for the other with a few key tweaks. 

If you need a dairy milk product but find you don’t have it, here are dairy milk product substitutes you can use instead:  



Ingredient Substitute

1 cup fresh milk


1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water 


OR 1/4 cup powdered milk dissolved in enough water to equal 1 cup   

1 cup buttermilk


1 cup yogurt

OR 1 cup sour cream 

OR 1 cup all-purpose cream + 1 tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice/calamansi juice

OR 1 cup fresh milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice/calamansi juice

1 cup evaporated milk


2 cups fresh milk, simmered until reduced to 1 cup 

OR 1/2 cup powdered milk + enough water to make 1 cup   

1 cup sweetened condensed milk


1 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup sugar, simmered until thickened

OR 2 cups fresh milk + 1 cup sugar, simmered until thickened

OR 1 cup water + 1/2 cup powdered milk + 1/2 cup sugar, simmered until thickened

1 cup powdered milk


no substitute

You may have noticed that of all these milk products, only powdered milk doesn’t have a substitute. Why does powdered milk not have a substitute? The thing with powdered milk is that it’s a dry ingredient that swapping it with a liquid ingredient will definitely change your recipe drastically. In fact, it may even make your recipe fail! When you need to use powdered milk and find that you just don’t have it on hand right now, the best course of action is to visit your nearest sari-sari store and grab a package.  

Don’t be discouraged about not having the right milk product when you’re baking. The right substitute can be easy to make or even change, and it will affect your cake or cupcake recipe very little, so go ahead and make the change with this list. Your recipes are calling you.   


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