Master the art of eliminating dairy from your favorite recipes with these dairy-free baking tips! When it comes to dairy-free swaps, you'll need to know how to work them into your baked goods so that your treats come out perfect every time.
Below are the tips you need for dairy-free baking and a few wicked recipes to have on hand!
When you're just starting out, making delicious treats at home might seem impossible without using any dairy products (find the answer to: are eggs a dairy product?).
But in recent years, more people have started baking dairy free for several reasons (learn about the benefits of a dairy-free diet).
Now, with the rise of options, you can bake dairy free easily using the proper techniques.
If you have a huge sweet tooth and have to go dairy-free, don't freak out! Use these baking tips to still create delicious dairy-free desserts.
Expert Tip On Dairy-Free Baking
Below are eight tried and tested dairy-free baking tips.
As a Certified Nutrition Coach, I've been dairy-free for six years now after a hormonal shift from my second pregnancy.
In that time, I've experimented with the best possible ways to still make delicious (and semi-healthy!!) treats.
1. Research suitable dairy-free alternatives
Finding the correct dairy-free alternatives for dairy products is the most crucial step in baking dairy-free successfully.
Every alternative has a unique flavor profile, so you must choose carefully.
Here are a few dairy-free options you can consider as a replacement for your baked goods recipe:
Milk replacements - Non-dairy milk is popular these days and easy to use. Some options are almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, etc.
We use homemade hemp milk the most. In most baking recipes, you can use them in the same quantity as regular milk.
The difference would be coconut milk (full fat from a can). Coconut milk is ideal for thick, creamy, recipes but cannot be subbed as regular milk.
Also know that something like chickpea milk has a higher protein which is great if milk is used to provide structure to a baked good.
Butter replacements - You can use vegan butter to replace regular butter in a 1:1 ratio. Almond or cashew butter are nut butter options to enrich your baked goods recipe.
I prefer to buy a dairy-free butter locally that doesn't contain any soy oils but there are lots of great options.
2. Stick to dairy-free baking recipes at first
As a beginner, finding dairy replacements can add a lot of stress to the baking process. You can make mistakes and ruin perfect dishes if you don't understand what substitute will work the best.
But contrary to popular belief, there are tons of baking recipes that use no dairy products.
Also, with the growth in the dairy-free practitioner population, you can easily find unlimited recipes online which don't use dairy. I recommend sticking to such recipes when you start your dairy-free baking journey.
That way, you don't need to worry about making changes and messing up ingredient proportions or quantities. You will feel less pressured about finding the proper dairy replacements and be successful when you bake something new.
Below are a few classic dairy-free baked goods recipes for you to start with:
- Chocolate almond flour cookies
- Vegan sugar cookies
- Dairy-free brownies
- Chocolate protein mousse
- Cinnamon sugar baked donuts
3. Pay attention to labels (hidden dairy)
Going dairy-free will be challenging, especially with dairy hidden in places and ingredients you won't expect.
Label reading, thus, becomes a paramount skill to learn to ensure you succeed with baking. Read labels for everything to purchase before you put it in the shopping cart or use it in your recipe.
A lot of sauces (most packaged food actually), graham crackers, and baked goods contain dairy (skim milk powder being the number one ingredient).
So, make sure that you double-check the ingredients before just grabbing them off the shelf.
4. Find replacements that add moisture to baked goods
A primary role that most dairy products play in baking recipes is to add moisture to them. When you remove dairy, you must find ways to add moisture so your baked goods are fluffy.
This is especially important if you bake gluten-free too as those flours absorb more liquid (here's a few gluten-free baking tips).
Natural sources like fruit purees are the best way to add moisture to baked goods.
For example, you can add applesauce or mashed bananas for moisture and sweetness in baked goods. Dairy-free yogurt works really well too.
These can also help improve the texture, ultimately benefiting baked goods. For a lot of recipes, you can use fruit purees to replace butter in baked goods recipes in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Experiment with different flours
Dairy-sensitive people also tend to be intolerant of gluten, making regular flour a no-non in baking recipes.
In such cases, you won't be able to use all-purpose flour while you bake, which can be a significant difficulty.
As discussed before, you can use coconut flour or almond flour instead to compensate for that in the baked goods recipe. These flours also add a unique texture to the recipe, making it even more delicious.
6. Enhance flavor with spices and extracts
It might seem impossible to create a delicious dish without butter or milk. Generally, the trick is to use extracts or spices to compensate for the lack of flavoring because of dairy.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extracts, etc., are some of the most popular options in baked goods recipes.
These are some excellent ingredients that can instantly boost the taste of any recipe.
7. Coconut milk for richness
Full-fat coconut milk from the can is the key to creating ultra-rich desserts (like homemade ice cream bars).
8. Experiment with ingredients without hesitation
A lot of dairy-free baking consists of finding suitable replacements for dairy, which as a beginner, can be pretty intimidating and stressful.
Take the time to find your groove with dairy-free baking by experimenting with different products. Find a handful you like and rock them.
This can take some time but be patient, it's worth it.
Dairy-Free Baking Recipes
- Dairy-free lemon cookies
- Morning glory muffins
- Chocolate glaze protein donuts
- Nut-free banana protein muffins
- High protein cookies
- Blueberry protein muffins
- Fudgy protein brownies
- Gluten-free zucchini bread
- Slow cooker banana bread
Frequently Asked Questions About Dairy-Free Baking
Ingredients like milk and butter can be substituted by almond milk, oat milk, or seed milk. As for butter, using dairy-free butter, or coconut oil can work for most baked goods.
No. Eggs are a poultry product. Dairy is made from the milk of mammals whereas eggs are part of the mammal themselves.
Plant-based milk can be used as a milk replacement at a 1:1 ratio. For something like cake, you'll want to use chickpea milk as it's one of the highest in protein which will help give the cake the structure it needs.
Because of dairy products' enormous role in baking, it might sound impossible to bake without any dairy products. But that doesn't mean you have to quit consuming baked goods altogether.
Satisfy your sweet tooth and feel comfortable in your baking abilities by mastering some of the tips above.