Learn how to substitute dry milk as a frugal, shelf-stable alternative to so many dairy products… plus a free printable recipe card!
For times when you can’t get to the store, knowing how to substitute dry milk for your favorite dairy products is one of those little bits of information that can be OH SO helpful!
Dry milk (or powdered milk) is a frugal, shelf-stable alternative for a variety of different dairy products.
This was all news to me when Dave and I first got married!
Thankfully, my home church had hosted a “food shower” for us a few weeks before our wedding. Everyone brought in their favorite recipe and the non-perishable ingredients to make that recipe.
NOTE: this is a great bridal shower idea — especially for younger couples, or those who prefer more practical gifts!
This shower filled my recipe box with a bunch of simple, tried-and-true recipes, and also stocked our bare pantry with months worth of food staples (including a big box of dry milk!)
One “recipe” I got that day (and have utilized numerous times in my own kitchen over the years) is a cheatsheet for “How to Substitute Dry Milk”.
Over the past 14 years, my cooking style has changed quite a bit. I have revamped and “healthified” most of our favorite “church shower” recipes.
However, I still credit so much of my early cooking confidence to the simple recipes I received at that food shower… and I still have that recipe card for how to substitute dry milk taped to the inside of my baking cabinet!
Keep reading for a few of my favorite, super simple ways to substitute dry milk for your favorite dairy products.
At the end of the post, I share a FREE PRINTABLE recipe card you can print off to hang in YOUR kitchen cabinet! 🙂
1. How to Substitute Dry Milk for Regular Milk
Although I personally wouldn’t choose to drink milk made from dry powdered milk, it is a great option for cooking and baking (think pancakes, waffles, quick bread, soups, etc.)
Whenever a recipe calls for a cup of regular milk, you may substitute 1/3 c. of dry milk mixed with 1 c. water.
- 1 c. milk = 1 c. water + 1/3 c. dry milk powder
- 1/2 c. milk = 1/2 c. water + 3T. dry milk powder
- 2 c. milk = 2 c. water + 2/3 c. dry milk powder
RECIPE SUGGESTION: these “perfect pancakes” (as we call them) are SO yummy!
2. How to Substitute Dry Milk for Sour Cream
Mix 1/3 c. dry milk with 3/4 c. plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt and not vanilla) to replace 1 c. sour cream.
For baking purposes (cheesecake), add 1 t. cornstarch per cup to stabilize the yogurt.
NOTE: you can also sub plain Greek yogurt 1-to-1 for sour cream in pretty much any recipe (1 cup sour cream = 1 c. Greek yogurt)
3. How to Substitute Dry Milk for Evaporated Milk
I can’t even remember the last time I purchased evaporated milk from the store — it’s just SO quick and easy to make at home. Plus, I can make the exact amount I need, which means no partial cans wasted (or lurking in the back of the refrigerator for months).
Mix 1/3 c. dry milk with 1/2 c. water to replace a small (5 oz) can of evaporated milk.
Mix 3/4 c. dry milk with 1 c. water to replace a large (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk.
RECIPE SUGGESTION: Try this substitution in my favorite pumpkin pie dessert recipe.
4. How to Substitute Dry Milk for Sweetened Condensed Milk
This recipe isn’t quite as quick and easy as evaporated milk, but it works well and is great if you don’t want to go to the store just for sweetened condensed milk.
Recipe to replace one 13 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk:
Mix 1/3 c. dry milk with 1/2 c. water. Microwave until hot and steamy.
Stir 1/2 c. sugar into the steamy milk mixture and let sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Stir again, and use it in any recipe that calls for a can of sweetened condensed milk.
RECIPE SUGGESTION: These easy layer bars are one of my favorite uses of sweetened condensed milk.
5. How to Make Cream Sauce for Pasta with Dry Milk
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 T. butter over low heat.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 1 c. water, 1/3 c. flour, 1/3 c. dry milk, salt and pepper to taste.
Slowly add milk mixture to melted butter and whisk until thickened and smooth.
You may add onions, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, spices and seasonings, or any other flavor combos you like and serve over cooked pasta or zoodles.
RECIPE SUGGESTION: I’ve subbed dry milk in this creamy chicken lasagna recipe when I was in a pinch.
6. How to Make Hot Chocolate Mix with Dry Milk
In a very large bowl or container, combine one 24 oz. box of dry milk powder with 1 c. non-dairy creamer, 2 c. powdered sugar, and one 16 oz. container instant chocolate drink mix (Nesquik).
Divide up the mixture to give as gifts or store in a large, tightly sealed container.
When ready to drink, mix 1/2 c. hot chocolate mix with 1 c. boiling water for delicious hot chocolate.
NOTE: Read my full post about this hot chocolate mix if you’d like more details.
Personally, I don’t use dry milk all that often, but I always keep a container of it in the freezer (you can keep it in the pantry if you plan to use it more regularly) because I just never know when it might come in handy!
It’s a perfect shelf-stable option for times when I can’t get to the store, or when I don’t realize we’re low on milk or other dairy products.
Dry milk is also a really great frugal alternative for more expensive dairy products.
Pick up a box of dry milk the next time you’re at the store (or order some from Amazon if you don’t want to get out!)
FREE PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD:
If you’d like a cheat sheet for How to Substitute Dry Milk to hang inside YOUR baking cabinet, click here to print the one below.
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