A journey through baking with dairy alternatives

NNicholas December 18, 2023 7:02 AM

Are you lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply trying to eat less dairy? Fear not! Baking delicious desserts without dairy is not only possible, it's also surprisingly easy. This guide takes you on a journey through baking with dairy alternatives, offering tips and tricks for substituting dairy ingredients in your favorite recipes.

Baking without milk

Milk is a common ingredient in many baked goods, contributing to their moistness and richness. Fortunately, there are plenty of dairy-free alternatives that you can use instead:

  • Almond milk: Almond milk is a popular choice for baking due to its slightly sweet taste and creamy texture. It's great in cakes, muffins, and pancakes.
  • Soy milk: Soy milk is another popular milk alternative. It has a more neutral flavor than almond milk, making it versatile for a range of recipes.
  • Oat milk: Oat milk is creamy and has a mild flavor, making it ideal for baking. It's particularly good in bread and other yeast-based recipes.
  • Coconut milk: Coconut milk has a rich, creamy texture and a distinct taste. It's great for tropical-themed recipes or anything that could benefit from a hint of coconut flavor.

Baking without butter

Butter adds richness and a delicate flavor to baked goods. However, there are several dairy alternatives that work just as well:

  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used in the same quantities as butter in most recipes. It imparts a mild coconut flavor, which can be a nice addition to certain recipes.
  • Vegan margarine: Vegan margarine is a direct substitute for butter and can be used in the same quantities. Be sure to choose a high-quality brand that doesn't contain hydrogenated oils.
  • Applesauce: Applesauce can be used to replace half the amount of butter in a recipe. It adds moisture and a slight sweetness.
  • Avocado: Believe it or not, pureed avocado can replace butter in some recipes. It's particularly good in chocolate cake, where it adds richness without affecting the flavor.

Substitutes for eggs in baking

Eggs play a crucial role in many baking recipes, providing structure and moisture. But fear not, there are several dairy alternatives to consider:

  • Bananas: One mashed banana can replace one egg in most baking recipes. This works best in recipes that can handle a bit of banana flavor, like muffins or brownies.
  • Flaxseeds: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes to create a 'flax egg'. This can replace one egg in most recipes.
  • Silken tofu: ¼ cup of silken tofu can replace one egg. It's best in recipes that require a lot of eggs, like quiches or custards.

Dairy-free baking recipes

Ready to start baking with dairy alternatives? Here are a couple of delicious recipes to get you started:

Vegan chocolate cake

This decadent cake uses almond milk, coconut oil, and flaxseeds instead of dairy ingredients. It's rich, moist, and completely dairy-free!


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

Dairy-free banana bread

This banana bread is moist and delicious, and best of all, it's dairy-free. It uses almond milk and avocado in place of milk and butter.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup avocado, pureed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup almond milk

With these tips and recipes in hand, you're now ready to embark on your journey through baking with dairy alternatives.

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