Healthy Baking, Roundups

The Best Dairy-Free Milk Options For Baking

What Dairy-Free Milk works best for baking? It depends on the recipe! Let me break it down.
Best Dairy Free Milk Options

Hi Bold Bakers!

A lot of you may be interested in cutting back on dairy products. Whether you have a food allergy or happen to be vegan I wanted to share with you my personal favorite dairy alternatives and some great recipes for how to make them at home. Each of these milk alternatives is great for baking and cooking — the trick is to know which recipes they best apply to. I know the amount of choice when it comes to alternative ingredients can be overwhelming so allow me to make it super simple for you.

Coconut Milk: My Favorite Dairy-Free Milk

I love working with coconut milk, from my Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes to my Keto Crepes, this is a staple in my kitchen. This rich plant-based milk is not only a lovely substitute for milk, but it’s loaded with added benefits. Containing the right kinds of fat and almost no sugar, coconut milk is my number one milk replacement. Coconut milk can be used 1:1 for milk in any recipe making it super easy to work with, and it just might be the best dairy-free milk.

The aroma of coconut milk can come through, but for the most part, the flavor is undetectable.  This is my favorite milk replacement for baking. I love to use coconut milk to make rich Bulletproof style drinks as well as my Skinny Peppermint Mocha. This alternative milk is easy to find but I also like to make my own. Gemma has a great recipe for how to make your own Coconut Milk at home if you aren’t able to pick up a tin from the store.

Dairy free milk in a glass.

Almond Milk and Other Nut Milks

Nut milk, which is widely available, is another one of my favorite milk alternatives. What I love about nut milk is that depending on which nut you use, you get the addition of a slightly nutty flavor. Made by soaking, then blending and straining the nut of your choice with water, all homemade nut milks are just a few natural ingredients and can be made with the same method Gemma uses to make Homemade Almond Milk.

Nut milk, like Almond Milk, can also be used 1:1 for regular milk. When it comes to nut milk I prefer to make my own as opposed to buying it at the store as the store bought version can have added sugars. You can find lower sugar versions out there, but you’ll just want to check the nutrition label and make sure there are no added flavors or ingredients.

I love to add nut milk to my smoothies and drinks, I find they add body and lovely flavor to whatever they are added to.

Almond Milk in a glass.

Oat Milk

Oat-based milk, which is slightly newer when it comes to dairy-free milk, is one of my most favorite dairy alternatives for drinking and frothing. When it comes to baking and cooking, I prefer to use coconut and nut-based milks, but for my morning latte, I love oat milk. Something about the oats really adds a rich creaminess without added fat. While oat milk is low in fat it is naturally higher in sugar due to the natural sugar in oats. While it’s not high enough in sugar to make me shy away, this is something I keep in mind.

In other words, don’t go drinking 10 glasses of oat milk per day…

Why I Don’t Drink Soy Milk

One milk alternative I’m sure you’ve tried at some point or another is soy milk. This soybean-based milk has been used for cooking, baking, and drinking in Asain cuisine for years.

I personally don’t love the texture of it as it can be slightly gritty.

In addition, soy milk is made from soybeans which are naturally high in estrogen, so this milk often has added hormones and other genetically modified ingredients. If you cannot have dairy and soy milk happens to be all you can find or your favorite flavor, then I would go ahead and use them in moderation. The trick is finding what you like and what works best with your digestions and your body.

What’s your favorite alternative milk?

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James Crawford
James Crawford
2 years ago

Hello, great article! However, there is some misinformation about soy – it doesn’t contain estrogen. Estrogen is an animal hormone. Soy contains isoflavones, which can bind to the same rescepters in the human body as estrogen and has a very low level effect on the body and is very weak compared to the human hormone. There hasn’t actually been any conclusive studies on the negative effects of soy on humans, at all. Studies even tend to show that moderate consumption of soy/ isoflavones may infact reduce the chances of best cancer, as populations that consume high amounts of soy have… Read more »

5 months ago

Hi Gemma
what’s the instructions to make oat milk?
and what’s your opinion about peanut milk .

8 months ago

Hi Gemma would macadamia milk be an ok substitute for a keto diet?

Janet Simmons
1 year ago

When using coconut milk for baking, are you speaking of canned, unsweetened, or specifically what? There are so many options out there.

1 year ago

Hi, thanks for all the info and for great recipes!
I just wanted to suggest to update the text about soy and hormones… What you wrote is what was thought about soy 20 years ago. Since then all research shows that consuming soy actually very good for your health (lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease and more) 🙂

1 year ago

I just made my very first experimental batch of sweetened condensed milk. I used low fat almond milk, 1/3 c of agave, and 1/3 of coconut palm sugar, its still in the pan, but tastes great..this one is very difficult to tell when its done…. its already dark from the coconut palm, but i tasted the spoon…yum and so far no aftertaste, glad i didn’t’ throw it away. I’m pretty sure i’m now lactose intolerant, so need to learn new things which is fun, and diabetic and i love baked and sweet things. i did take a picture but not… Read more »

Rose Swedenburg
2 years ago

can I also use the lowfat coconut milk for recipes as well, due to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which I have..thanks

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!