How to Substitute Dairy for Dairy Free Cooking

3 min read
How to Substitute Dairy for Dairy Free Cooking

With all this talk about dairy free cooking and eating, we thought a helpful guide on substituting dairy in every day cooking would help you in creating dairy-free versions of your favourite recipes.

Whether you’re just giving dairy-free a go, cooking for someone with an irritable tummy or catering for allergies, our simple guide is here to help.

To replace butter

  • Look for dairyfree alternatives such as soy spread or Nuttelex brand dairy free spreads. These spreads can replace butter in most recipes without adjustment to the quantity.
  • Nut butters can work well as an alternative in baking, such as peanut butter. Try our Peanut Butter cookie recipe and be amazed at the results.
  • Oils can replace butter in many baking and frying applications. Coconut oil has a strong flavour but will add a whole new dimension to your pancakes or sweet breads. Olive or canola oils are also a great alternative for a moist cake.

To replace buttermilk

Make your own Cashew Cream sour cream by soaking 2 cups of cashews for an hour, then drain and rinse and combine with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and the juice of 2 lemons in a blender and blend until creamy.

Another alternative is to use yoghurt or make a soy buttermilk by combining 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and allow to rest for five minutes to thicken before use.

These alternatives can be substituted without adjusting the quantity.

To replace cream (light)

  • Coconut milk light
  • Soy barista style milk

To replace cream (heavy)

  • Full fat coconut milk, if using powdered coconut milk (available at Indian spice shops or Asian supermarkets) simply make up a thicker mixture.

Milk replacements

  • Soy milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Rice milk
  • Almond milk

All can be used cup for cup in a recipe. Some milk alternatives as sweeter than cow’s milk and may require and adjustment to the sugar content of a recipe.

A few other useful replacements

  • Vegetable shortening stands in nicely for butter, cream cheese or margarine in baking recipes such as cookies, pie dough and cakes, though should not be used in cooking in place of butter in sauces or sautéed dishes just use olive or canola oil instead.
  • Xanthan gum is a great way to thicken and stabilise rice milk based sauces, soups and ice cream.

Krissy Hacker is a wife and SAHM of 2, mad gardener, crafty lady, confectioner and fabulous cook. She loves reviving old school ways of doing things and would do anything to get out of housework!


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Kate Carlile

Kate brings sexy back to the office as our Administration Manager and all-round most loveliest lady in the world. She is super Mum to four and the SAH...Read MoreM office would literally fall apart without her. Her dream is to colour the world purple whilst travelling around it in a lavender Winnebago! Read Less

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