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Fresh dairy products, like milk, buttermilk, sour cream, cream cheese and yogurt are essential ingredients in baking. Some can be substituted in recipes, but note that the results are not always the same.
SARAH SAYS: Dairy products can be substituted with non-dairy products, but the best choice for cow's milk is soy milk rather than nut or rice milks; soy milk is closest in composition to cow's milk. Full-fat coconut milk can be used to make vegan ice cream, as well as vegan whipped cream (when refrigerated overnight). Sour cream and yogurt is ok if you’re a vegetarian, not vegan.
Tofutti brand sour cream is a VERY good tofu-based store-bough substitute. Coconut yogurt is a delicious alternative to regular yogurt if you do not eat dairy.
BUTTERMILK All buttermilk is nonfat or lowfat
1 cup = 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar (does not add flavor to baked good) in a glass measuring cup. Add in 2% or lowfat milk to equal 1 cup. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes until it looks like it is beginning to curdle or slightly curdled.
2/3 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt plus 1/3 cup milk
Powdered buttermilk, follow directions on package
1 cup = Place 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar (does not add flavor to baked good) in a glass measuring cup. Add in plain non-dairy milk (soy, nut, rice, oat, or mixed grain milk) to equal 1 cup. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes until it looks like it is beginning to curdle or slightly curdled
1/4 cup silken tofu + 3/4 cup water + 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar + pinch of salt (blended together)
1 cup = 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream; or,
1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup light cream
MILK, SWEETENED CONDENSED
14 ounce can = 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk plus 2/3 cup sugar + 1/2 cup boiling water + 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (process in blender or food processor until smooth)
MILK, EVAPORATED WHOLE - substitutions do not work as well
1 cup = 1 cup half-and-half (10-12% butterfat); or,
1 cup light or table cream (20% butterfat); or,
1 cup light (30% butterfat) or heavy whipping cream (35% butterfat)
MILK, SKIM (no fat)
1 cup = 1/4 cup powdered skim milk plus 7/8 cup water: or,
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk plus 1/2 cup water
MILK, WHOLE In general, when a recipe specifies milk, you can use whole or 2%, 1 for 1
1 cup = 1/2 cup evaporated whole milk plus 1/2 cup water; or,
1/2 cup condensed milk plus 1/2 cup water; or,
1 cup skim milk plus 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine; or,
1/4 cup powdered instant nonfat dry milk plus 7/8 cup water plus 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine; or,
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon half-and-half (remove 1 tablespoon butter from the recipe and add in 2 tablespoons water)
MILK WITH NON-DAIRY
1 cup whole or 2% milk = 1 cup soy milk (if sweetened, reduce the sugar in the recipe by 2 teaspoons)
NOTE: Soy milk is the best cow's milk replacer. Other nondairy milks can be used, 1 for 1, but the results may vary.
1 cup = 1 cup dry cottage cheese
1 cup = 1 cup whole milk yogurt
1 cup heavy whipping cream = 2 cups whipped cream
1 cup plain unsweetened = 1 cup sour cream; or,
1 cup buttermilk; or,
1 cup creme fraiche; or,
1 cup heavy whipping cream (35% butterfat) plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Greek-style yogurt for American-style yogurt: Use two-thirds the amount of Greek yogurt called for in the recipe and add in 1/3 cup water