Best Substitutes For Powdered Milk

best substitutes for powdered milk

Powdered milk is a versatile and convenient ingredient that is commonly used in baking, cooking, and as a beverage. However, there may be instances when you run out of powdered milk or simply prefer to use an alternative for various reasons. Fortunately, there are several substitutes for powdered milk available that can provide similar results in your recipes. In this article, we will explore the best substitutes for powdered milk and guide you on how to choose the right substitute and cook with it effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Powdered milk is a versatile ingredient used in various recipes.
  • There are several substitutes for powdered milk available.
  • The best substitutes for powdered milk depend on the desired outcome and the recipe being prepared.
  • Some substitutes for powdered milk include fresh milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk.
  • The choice of substitute will depend on personal preference, dietary restrictions, and the specific recipe being prepared.

Why You Need A Substitute For Powdered Milk

There are several reasons why you might need to use a substitute for powdered milk. Here are a few common reasons:

  1. Unavailability: Running out of powdered milk can often happen in households where it is not a staple. In such cases, having a substitute on hand can save your recipe.

  2. Dietary Restrictions: Some individuals may have dietary restrictions that prevent them from consuming dairy. In such cases, non-dairy alternatives can provide a suitable substitute for powdered milk.

  3. Flavor Preference: In some instances, you may prefer the taste and flavor of an alternative to powdered milk, or you may want to experiment with different flavors in your recipes.

  4. Cost: Powdered milk can be quite expensive in certain regions or during periods of high demand. Using a substitute can help reduce the overall cost of your recipes.

Types Of Substitutes For Powdered Milk

Powdered milk in a cup

There are various types of substitutes for powdered milk available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Here are some common types of substitutes:

  1. Fresh Milk: Fresh milk is a straightforward substitute for powdered milk and can be used in most recipes that call for powdered milk. It provides a similar creamy texture and adds a pleasant dairy flavor. However, keep in mind that fresh milk has a shorter shelf life compared to powdered milk.

  2. Evaporated Milk: Evaporated milk is a concentrated form of milk where approximately 60% of the water content has been removed. It has a creamy consistency and a slightly caramelized flavor. Evaporated milk can be an excellent substitute for powdered milk when mixed with water in the appropriate ratio.

  3. Condensed Milk: Condensed milk is another concentrated form of milk where sugar has been added. It has a thick, sweet consistency and is commonly used in desserts. Although condensed milk is not a direct substitute for powdered milk, it can be used in certain recipes to provide a rich and sweet flavor.

  4. Almond Milk: Almond milk is a popular non-dairy alternative that is made by blending almonds and water. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture. Almond milk can be used in recipes that require powdered milk, especially for individuals who are lactose intolerant or follow a plant-based diet.

  5. Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is a creamy and flavorful non-dairy alternative made from the grated flesh of coconuts. It has a distinct tropical taste and can add a rich and velvety texture to recipes. Coconut milk works well as a substitute for powdered milk in various dishes, particularly those with a tropical or Asian influence.

  6. Soy Milk: Soy milk is another popular non-dairy alternative that is made from soybeans. It has a mild and creamy flavor and a texture similar to cow’s milk. Soy milk is a suitable substitute for powdered milk in most recipes and is a good choice for individuals with dairy allergies or those following a plant-based diet.

Best Substitutes For Powdered Milk

Powdered milk in a cup

Now that we have explored the different types of substitutes for powdered milk, let’s dive into the best substitutes for specific scenarios and recipes:

  1. Baking: When it comes to baking, fresh milk is an excellent substitute for powdered milk. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio, meaning if a recipe calls for one cup of powdered milk, you can use one cup of fresh milk instead. The fresh milk will provide the necessary moisture and richness to your baked goods while ensuring a similar texture.

  2. Soup and Sauces: Evaporated milk works exceptionally well as a substitute for powdered milk in soups and sauces. Its concentrated form adds a creaminess without diluting the flavors. To use evaporated milk as a substitute, combine one part evaporated milk with one part water to match the consistency of powdered milk. Alternatively, you can use fresh milk in soups and sauces, but it may alter the taste slightly.

  3. Desserts: Condensed milk is often used in desserts to provide a sweet and creamy element. While it cannot directly replace powdered milk in most recipes, it can be used as a substitute for powdered milk in dessert recipes that call for a rich and sugary flavor. Keep in mind that using condensed milk will add sweetness to the recipe, so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

  4. Plant-based/Non-dairy Recipes: When cooking or baking plant-based or non-dairy recipes, almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk are the best substitutes for powdered milk. These alternatives provide a creamy texture and can be used in recipes that call for powdered milk without any significant modifications.

Choosing The Right Substitute For Powdered Milk

Powdered milk in a cup convenient

When choosing the right substitute for powdered milk, consider the following factors:

  1. Recipe Compatibility: Ensure that the substitute you choose is suitable for the recipe you are preparing. Consider the flavors and textures required in the dish and select a substitute that can mimic those qualities.

  2. Dietary Restrictions: If you or someone in your family has dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy, choose non-dairy substitutes like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. These alternatives will provide a similar taste and texture without causing any adverse reactions.

  3. Personal Preference: Your personal preference and taste preferences play an important role in selecting a substitute. Experiment with different substitutes to find the one that best suits your palate and the desired outcome of your recipe.

Cooking With Substitutes For Powdered Milk

powdered milk

When cooking with substitutes for powdered milk, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Ratio Adjustment: Adjust the ratio of the substitute to match the consistency and flavor of powdered milk. Adding too much liquid substitute may result in a thinner consistency, while adding too little may lead to a thicker texture.

  2. Flavor Compatibility: Consider the flavor profile of the substitute and how it will complement the other ingredients in your recipe. Make sure the substitute does not overpower the other flavors or change the overall taste of the dish.

  3. Extra Sweetness: If using a substitute like condensed milk, be aware of the added sweetness it brings to the recipe. Reduce the amount of sugar or other sweeteners accordingly to avoid an overly sweet result.

  4. Texture Adjustments: Substitutes like almond milk or coconut milk may have a slightly thinner or thicker consistency compared to powdered milk. Adjust the quantity of the substitute or other ingredients as necessary to achieve the desired texture in your dish.

Recipes Using Substitutes For Powdered Milk

Here are a few recipes that can be made using substitutes for powdered milk:

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh milk (substitute for powdered milk)

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

  1. Creamy Tomato Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (substitute for powdered milk)

Instructions: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sauté until translucent. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, dried basil, dried oregano, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Use an immersion blender or a countertop blender to blend the mixture until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the evaporated milk. Heat over low heat until warmed through. Serve hot.

Storage And Shelf Life Of Substitutes

The storage and shelf life of substitutes for powdered milk vary depending on the type of substitute used. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Fresh Milk: Fresh milk should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within its expiration date. Once opened, it is best to use within a week.

  • Evaporated Milk: Unopened cans of evaporated milk can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Once opened, refrigerate the leftover evaporated milk and use it within 5-7 days.

  • Condensed Milk: Unopened cans of condensed milk can be stored at room temperature. Once opened, transfer any remaining condensed milk to a covered container and refrigerate. Use the leftover condensed milk within one to two weeks.

  • Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, and Soy Milk: These non-dairy substitutes typically come in cartons, which should be stored in the refrigerator. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific shelf life once opened, as it may vary.


Powdered milk is a versatile ingredient that can be easily substituted with other options depending on your needs and preferences. Fresh milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk are some of the best substitutes for powdered milk. Consider the recipe compatibility, dietary restrictions, and personal preference when selecting the right substitute. Remember to make necessary adjustments in ratios, flavors, sweetness, and textures when cooking with these substitutes. With the right substitute, you can enjoy your favorite recipes even when powdered milk is not available or desired.


What Are Some Best Substitutes For Powdered Milk?

Some of the best substitutes for powdered milk are non-dairy milk options such as soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk. These non-dairy alternatives have a similar nutritional profile to powdered milk and can be used in a variety of recipes.

Can I Use Coconut Milk Instead Of Powdered Milk?

Yes, coconut milk can be used as a substitute for powdered milk. It has a slightly different taste than powdered milk but can add a rich and creamy texture to recipes such as smoothies, soups, and curries.

What About Using Evaporated Milk As A Substitute For Powdered Milk?

Yes, evaporated milk can be used in place of powdered milk in recipes. However, it is important to note that evaporated milk is not a non-dairy option and contains lactose. Therefore, it is not suitable for those with lactose intolerance or a dairy-free diet.

What Is The Best Substitute For Powdered Milk In Baking?

When it comes to baking, there are several options for a powdered milk substitute. Some of the best substitutes include using unsweetened non-dairy milk (such as soy, almond, or oat milk), plain yogurt, or buttermilk.

Can I Simply Omit The Powdered Milk In A Recipe If I Don’t Have A Substitute On Hand?

Technically, you could omit powdered milk in a recipe if you don’t have a substitute. However, the end result may not be the same as powdered milk gives recipes a unique flavor and texture. It is best to use a substitute if possible or adjust the recipe accordingly.

  • How to Substitute Milk for Milk Powder | Just A Pinch Recipes
  • 15 Milk Substitutes for Baking or Cooking – My Frugal Home
  • Ran Out of Powdered Milk? Use These Handy Smart Substitutes
  • About the Author Jenny

    I'm Jenny, a housewife with an unwavering passion for food. My culinary journey began with my grandmother's kitchen, and it's now a full-fledged food blog. I've turned my love for cooking into a creative outlet, sharing recipes and stories with a global community of fellow food enthusiasts. It's proof that being a housewife can also mean pursuing your passions and savoring life's delectable moments.