Are you interested in learning about the Best Dairy-Free Milk for Baking? If so, you’ve come to the right place! For those in the dairy-free or dairy-intolerance allergy community, baking with dairy milk is out of the question. But, then what? What is the best substitute for it?
Within this post, you will learn the difference between intolerance and allergy, my top recommendations for dairy-free milk substitutes, and recommended products to make dairy-free life even easier.
Lactose Intolerance vs. Dairy Allergy
You may have heard people use the phrases Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Allergy synonymously. Although these have similarities, they do have distinguishable differences. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lactose intolerance involves your digestive system. Therefore, if you have it, your body doesn’t make lactose which is the enzyme needed to digest Lactaid. Instead of your body digesting lactose into your stomach and small intestine, it moves into your colon, where it’s broken down by bacteria. In addition, it can cause uncomfortableness including bloating and gas.”
On the other hand, a dairy allergy involves the immune system. The Mayo Clinic notes that “Having a dairy allergy causes your body to react to the proteins in milk and other dairy products as if they’re dangerous invaders. In addition, your body releases substances that cause allergic reactions such as hives, abdominal cramps, swelling, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, and more.” Furthermore, having a dairy allergy is one of the most common allergies, especially in children.
So, you’ve figured out or just been diagnosed with a dairy intolerance or allergy...now what? Now what do you use to cook and bake with when recipes call for dairy milk? I’ve put together a list of the Best Dairy-Free Milk for Baking that I have personally tested in my own kitchen. I have a dairy intolerance, personally, and I try to avoid dairy as much as I’m able to.
It is my hope that this guide helps those of you who are walking through the food allergy world to provide some light in what can be an overwhelmingly dark tunnel at times. Finally, if you use this guide, please comment with other resources that we can all promote to help all of those who are finding their way in the food allergy world.
For the first recommendation, Oat Milk is one of my FAVORITE dairy-free substitutes for baking. In addition, it is made for those with Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Allergy – a win for all! Simply put, Oat Milk, as the name suggests, is rolled oats and water blended together, then strained, and pulp left behind. Finally, the pulp left behind or strained is the “milk.”
1:1 Ratio Replacement
Oat Milk has an oatmeal-like taste, a thicker texture than most non-dairy milk, and can typically be substituted as a 1:1 ratio for dairy or Cow’s milk. In addition to its taste and consistency, this dairy-free milk contains “35% of the recommended daily allowance of Calcium and 25% for Vitamin D, compared to Cow’s milk,” according to Shape.
Best Brand Recommendations
Furthermore, Oat Milk can be widely found in most grocery stores in the same area as dairy milk is found. In my opinion, these are the best Oat Milk brands –
In conclusion, Oat Milk is thick, creamy, and a superb replacement for Cow’s milk in baking. If you have yet to try Oat Milk as a dairy-free substitution, check it out!
The second recommendation is Almond Milk! Almond Milk is one of the top-selling, plant-based kinds of milk on the market today! Because of its rich texture and nutty flavor, many dairy-free folks use this in place of Cow’s milk. Furthermore, Almond Milk, as the name suggests, consists of ground almonds and water. These ingredients are processed, strained, and the leftover pulp is the “milk” that is left behind to use.
1:1 Ratio Replacement
Because Almond Milk is naturally dairy-free, it is a suitable replacement for people who are Lactose-intolerant, has a dairy allergy, or are Vegan. In addition, this type of plant-based milk can typically be substituted as a 1:1 ration for dairy milk in (most) recipes.
Furthermore, Almond Milk can be widely found in most grocery stores in the same area as Cow’s milk is found. In my opinion, these are the best Almond Milk brands –
- Silk Almond Milk (I personally like to use Unsweetened Almond Milk when baking and cooking).
- Califia Farms Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
- So Almond Milk
- Almond Breeze Almond Milk
Coconut Milk is another delightful dairy-free milk substitute for baking. Furthermore, this plant-based, dairy-free milk is widely used in Thai cuisine in places where many Americans would use heavy cream. In addition, Coconut Milk can be used for baking with a 1:1 ratio to Cow’s milk.
As the name suggests, Coconut Milk is made by, “Grating fresh Coconut flesh and then working that with water, which is typically done by hand.” In addition, it can be made by processing Coconut flakes with water in a Vegan, plant-based milk creator.
“Trial and Error” Substitution Method
However, this plant-based milk is sometimes more difficult to use as a substitute in baking because it is not always a 1:1 ratio. Furthermore, the amount of Coconut Milk you use will depend on the thickness or thinness you are seeking from the batter, dough, etc. Therefore, this may require you to play around with it a bit or “trial and error” it.
Furthermore, Coconut Milk can be found in two different places in most grocery stores depending on the type you’re looking for. If you’re in search of cold, plant-based milk similar to Oat or Almond Milk, you can typically find it in the cold section with Cow’s milk. However, if you’re in search of canned Coconut Milk, this is found in the International aisle near Thai food products. Overall, my favorite brands for this delicious plant-based milk include –
- Thai Organic Coconut Milk (canned)
- Organic Coconut Milk Powder
- So Delicious Coconut Milk
- Califia Farms Coconut Milk
- Silk Coconut Milk
In conclusion, Coconut Milk is nutty, smooth, and (typically) a good replacement for cooking and baking. Although, remember, you may have to “trial and error” this Vegan milk substitution a bit more due to its consistency. Happy dairy-free baking!
For the fourth recommendation, Cashew Milk is another dairy-free, plant-based milk that can be used in substitution for Cow’s milk. As you may have guessed, Cashew Milk is made by grinding up Cashews with water, processing it until smooth, and then straining them to get the “pulp.” Furthermore, the “pulp” that is strained from the nuts and water mixture is the plant-based “milk” that you can use in baking, cooking, or drinking.
1:1 Ratio Replacement
Because of the creamy consistency, Cashew Milk can replace dairy or Cow’s milk with a 1:1 ratio replacement. Therefore, this plant-based milk is one of the better Vegan kinds of milk substitutions because of its similar consistency to Cow’s milk.
Unlike other types of plant-based milk, Cashew Milk is one of the harder ones to locate in grocery stores. Furthermore, when I searched for this type of plant-based milk, I found it at stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, Thrive Market, and Amazon. However, a few of my favorite brands include –
- Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk
- Elmhurst Unsweetened Cashew Milk
- Pacific Foods Cashew Milk
- Cashew Milk Powder
Finally, last, but surely not least dairy-free milk recommended for baking is Hemp Milk. Hemp Milk is a non-dairy beverage made by blending water and seeds from the Hemp plant. In addition, according to WebMD, “Hemp Milk contains healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals, including Omega-3 and 6-fatty acids.”
Furthermore, this type of Vegan milk has an earthy, nutty, and creamy consistency similar to Oat, Cashew, and Almond Milk. Finally, this type of milk is “Excellent for those avoiding dairy and with nut-tree allergies” according to WebMD.
1:1 Ratio Replacement
Like Oat, Almond, and Cashew Milk, Hemp Milk can be substituted for dairy milk with a 1:1 ratio. This means that whenever a recipe calls for 1 cup of Whole Milk, you could substitute Hemp Milk in its place for the same amount.
Similar to Cashew Milk, Hemp Milk is more difficult to find in local grocery stores. Therefore, you may have an easier time locating this type of milk on sites such as Amazon, Thrive Market, or specialty grocery stores. Here are a few of the top recommended brands for this type of dairy-free milk –
Finally, Hemp Milk is the fifth recommendation for the best dairy-free milk products to use in place of baking.
The Best Dairy-Free Milk for Baking
In conclusion, the top 5 best dairy-free milk products for baking include – Oat, Almond, Coconut, Cashew, and Hemp Milk. I hope this informational guide helps you in your dairy-free baking world, leads you to experiment, and find what works best for your family. Finally, if you have any other insights, recommendations, or recommendations, please comment below and share our knowledge. After all, it takes a village!