Substitutes for Milk in Recipes

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated December 6, 2019)


Do you know anyone who is allergic to milk? How about someone who is lactose intolerant? Maybe you have found yourself in a situation where you need some milk to make something along the lines of pancakes, and that you have none? If you have ever found yourself answering yes to one of these questions, then you need to know how to substitute milk in those recipes.

Substituting milk (or milk products) in a recipe, like anytime you substitute any other kind of ingredient, is a simple matter as long as you have a little knowledge. Listed below is a short list of milk and a select few other dairy products, and the best substitutions for them. Where possible there will be complete substitutions, items that are not based off of milk or milk products, however there are going to be some instances where the only possible substitution would be another form of a dairy product.

  • Butter (salted). One cup of salted butter can be substituted with one cup of shortening and half a teaspoon of salt, or half a teaspoon salt and 7/8 a cup of vegetable oil, or the same amount of lard and salt. Also you can simply use one cup of margarine to replace the butter, or use one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Butter (unsalted). To replace one cup of unsalted butter, simply replace with one cup of shortening or 7/8 cup of vegetable oil or lard. Another substitution would be to use one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Buttermilk. One cup of buttermilk can be replaced with a single cup of yogurt or one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to make one full cup.
  • Cheddar cheese. For one cup of shredded cheddar cheese, you can substitute one cup of either Colby or Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Condensed milk (sweetened). Mix together 3/4 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 1-1/8 cup of dry powdered milk. Gently boil the mixture for about twenty minutes until it has thickened.
  • Cottage cheese. One cup of ricotta or farmer's cheese can be replaced for one cup of cottage cheese.
  • Cream cheese. Pureeing one cup of cottage cheese or one cup of strained plain yogurt (strained overnight) will give you the equivalent of one cup of cream cheese.
  • Evaporated milk. To substitute one cup of evaporated milk, you could use one cup of light cream.
  • Half and Half. Mix together one tablespoon of butter and 7/8 cup milk until well blended and you will have the equivalent of one cup of half and half.
  • Heavy cream. Either use one cup of evaporated milk or 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup of butter well blended to make the equivalent of one cup of heavy cream.
  • Light cream. Either use one cup of evaporated milk or 3/4 cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of butter that is well blended.
  • Margarine. Mixing one cup of shortening and 1/2 teaspoon of salt will provide you with the equivalent of one cup of margarine. You can also use 7/8 cup vegetable oil (or lard) and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Finally, you can also use one cup of butter.
  • Mayo. For every single cup of mayonnaise that a recipe calls for, instead use either one cup of sour cream or one cup of plain yogurt.
  • Whole milk. For one cup of whole milk, you can also use one cup of soy milk, rice milk, water, or juice. Another possible substitutions would be 1/4 cup of dry milk powder and one cup of water.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Make a Small Garden Look Larger

While we may all wish that we had a large and spacious garden, unfortunately we don't. For those who have to live with ...

Discover More

Common Kitchen Mistakes

Everyone will make a mistake in the kitchen at some point in their lives. The trick is to learn how to deal with that ...

Discover More

Cleaning Water Dispensers

Water dispensers are a wonderful item to have both in the home and in the office. As with most water related items ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Using Creams and Substitutes

If you're wondering about fresh cream, whipped cream, or sour cream, you don't need to look any further. You can even cut ...

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 2?

2017-10-10 21:14:34

Shamee moves

The substitutions were helpful