Dairy Replacements for Baking

Oct 20, 2019 | Green Cuisine Blog

Dairy replacements for baking

A lot of recipes ask for butter, but luckily, you don’t need anything from a mother cow. There are many vegan replacements! This blog can help you improve your baking repertoire.


Are you new to vegan baking? Or just want to learn more tips and tricks to improve your recipes? This post talks about replacing dairy in your recipes with plant-based options. 

Replacing the Dairy in a Recipe

If the recipe calls for dairy milk, you can replace it with non-dairy milks instead. Always use unsweetened “plain” or “original” non-dairy milks, just incase the added sweetness or flavour from a Vanilla variety could ruin your finished recipe. If the recipe is for a creamier, thicker finished product, then you can use an equal amount of soy milk, oat, or coconut milk ideally. For other recipes, use an equal amount of almond milk or rice milk, both of which tend to be a little thinner.


What do you do if the recipe calls for buttermilk?

Not to worry, try this instead for one cup of buttermilk:

In a bowl, mix 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Whisk together until the mixture is creamy.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Some recipes require those cans of sweetened, thickened dairy milk known as condensed milk. To replace with a non-dairy version, try this, it makes about 1 and 3/4 cups:

2 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons vegan margarine

a little bit of salt

Boil the soy milk. In another pan, melt the vegan margarine on medium heat. Then add the 1/2 cup of sugar to the melted margarine. As the sugar melts into the margarine, combine the hot soy milk. Add a pinch of salt. Boil this mixture slowly and stir for 5 minutes.

  • Note: More stores are stocking sweetened condensed coconut milk in a can now, so watch for that if you don’t want to make your own.


A lot of recipes ask for butter, but luckily, you don’t need anything from a mother cow. There are many vegan replacements! For starters, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for a pie crust. Coconut oil for apple crumble or a pie crust. I have replaced the butter in cookie recipes with coconut oil or sunflower oil or canola oil, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. Sometimes, vegan margarine is a good replacement, depending on your recipe.

If the recipe contains a lot of spice, such as gingerbread or spice cookies, you can use most vegetable oils to allow the flavours to come through. If you need to make shortbread cookies, you can use unrefined coconut oil and you will get a nice solid dough without the butter.

There are also vegan shortenings which can be used for a multitude of recipes! The possibilities are endless, just think about what texture and flavour you want to end up with to help you decide which dairy alternative will work best.


Canned coconut milk or coconut cream are great replacements for heavy cream or whipping cream. Or, you can blend together equal portions of cashews and water until the desired creamy consistency is reached. If you so desire, try some of the non-dairy creams available at your local grocery store.


For recipes which list yogurt as an ingredient, you can replace dairy yogurt with non-dairy yogourt.  There are many varieties available in stores now, or you can even dive into making your own– there are some interesting resources online for making your own vegan yogurt at home.

Happy cruelty-free baking, everyone! What is your favourite dairy alternative for baking?