Milk is a key ingredient for many popular baked goods, like cakes, cupcakes, and pancakes.
But how do you use milk for baking when you’re trying to avoid it as an ingredient due to dietary restrictions?
Fortunately, there are many delicious vegan alternatives that can substitute milk in baking recipes.
From almond milk to oat milk, each of the top 5 vegan milk substitutes brings its own unique flavor profile and texture that allows you to easily replace traditional dairy-based milk in your favorite recipes.
Let’s dive into the best vegan milk substitutes for baking.
What to Know About Baking with Non-Dairy Milk?
Baking with non-dairy milk is becoming increasingly popular as a shift in dietary preferences is influencing the way consumers shop for groceries.
Non-dairy milk has been around since the 1800s when it originated as a lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk.
It is made from plants such as soy, coconut, and almond and tends to have a slightly milder taste than dairy milk.
The selection of non-dairy milk available in grocery stores can range from sweetened to unsweetened, depending on what kind you buy.
It can be used very much like traditional dairy milk when baking and cooking; it is just important to make sure your recipe will work well with the texture of the non-dairy milk you choose – almond versus coconut, for example – so your finished product turns out delicious.
The 5 Best Vegan Milk Substitutes for Baking
If you’re looking for an animal product-free alternative to cow’s milk, there are plenty of vegan milk substitutes that can be used in baking.
Here are the five best choices when it comes to vegan milk substitutes:
1 – Soy Milk
Soy milk is a popular dairy alternative made from ground-up soybeans and water.
It is known to be one of the more nutritious plant-based milk making it a popular choice for health-conscious consumers.
Soy milk has an earthy taste unique to its own flavor profile, and some may describe it as similar to almonds.
It can also be used as a vegan substitute in baking.
While its distinct flavor can add a delicious nuttiness to baked goods, it is important to keep the recipe measurements in mind, as soy milk has around 30% more water content than dairy milk.
Additionally, enriching with extra oil helps counterbalance the added moisture level.
As such, baking with soy milk requires simple adjustments which result in wonderful sweet treats.
2 – Almond Milk
Almond milk is quickly gaining popularity among the vegan community.
It is a dairy-free, plant-based alternative milk that can be used as a substitute in many recipes.
It has a mild, nutty taste and a creamy texture, similar to regular milk.
Almond milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium, making it an ideal supplement for those avoiding animal products.
Bakers looking for vegan substitutions can use almond milk as a direct replacement for dairy milk when baking cakes, scones, or muffins.
And because it’s naturally low in fat and calories, it can add richness to dishes without taking away from overall nutritive value.
Overall, almond milk offers an incredibly versatile and healthful option as an everyday food staple or cooking ingredient.
3 – Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a versatile and flavorful dairy substitute.
It has a light and subtly sweet taste, with an unmistakable hint of coconut that combines well with both savory and sweet dishes.
It’s not just for drinking–it can be used in many types of cooking, from Asian curries to creamy risotto.
When substituting it for dairy milk in baking, the texture might vary depending on how much fat content the recipe requires, but you can use canned full-fat Coconut Milk for richer results or thin coconut milk beverages for lighter baked goods.
With its many uses, it’s clear why this ingredient has become a staple for vegan cooking.
4 – Cashew Milk
Cashew milk has become a popular alternative to dairy milk due to its creamy, nutty flavor.
It is made by blending cashews with water and a sweetener, such as a maple syrup.
Cashew milk is vegan and light on calories, making it a healthy choice compared to some of the other plant-based milk available.
Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants and is beneficial for heart health.
Cashew milk can be used as an ideal substitute for dairy milk when baking as it holds up better than other vegan milk at high temperatures due to its firmer consistency.
You can keep cashew milk handy in the pantry or use it fresh from the refrigerator; either way, you’ll have delicious results.
5 – Oat Milk
Oat milk has become wildly popular among vegans and non-vegans alike thanks to its creamy texture and mellow flavor.
It is made from oats, water, and a few other ingredients such as salt and oil, making it a naturally lactose-free, vegan-friendly liquid.
You can substitute oat milk in baking when you need a dairy-free alternative.
In addition to adding the same desired creaminess of traditional milk, it also helps to lock in moisture without compromising flavor.
Oat milk also adapts well to desserts such as cakes or pies that require added sweetness and richness.
In conclusion, there are several vegan milk substitutes that can be used when baking.
Soy milk offers a smooth texture with nutty undertones; almond milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals; coconut milk brings a unique flavor to savory dishes; cashew milk has a creamy, nutty flavor; and oat milk adds sweetness and moisture without compromising on taste.
All of these vegan milk substitutes provide a variety of different flavors and textures that can be used to create delicious, dairy-free baked goods.
With so many options available, it is easy to find the perfect substitute for any recipe.
The 5 Best Vegan Milk Substitutes for Baking
- Soy Milk
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Oat Milk
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.