Can coconut milk be substituted for milk? (+13 substitutes)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can coconut milk be substituted for milk?”, and what are the other substitutes for regular milk?

Can coconut milk be substituted for milk?

Yes, coconut milk can be substituted for milk. It can be used to replace milk in both sweet and savory dishes. It thickens and enhances the flavor of curries and provides a sweet and coconutty flavor to baked goods. Coconut milk is a low calorie and low protein substitute.

Why substitute cow milk?

Milk allergy

Milk allergy is most common among children and is characterized by diarrhea, rashes, vomiting, and anaphylaxis. This is a good reason to skip cow milk.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is characterized by the inability to digest lactose(milk sugar) due to the absence of the lactase enzyme. It is very prevalent among the adult population.

Dietary restriction

Vegans avoid consuming dairy including cow milk for animal warfare while others avoid dairy milk for religious reasons.

Potential health risk

People avoid dairy milk due to the presence of pesticides, preservatives, and hormones for healthful reasons.

Other substitutes of milk

Powdered milk

Simple reconstitute milk by adding water to dry milk powder. Dry milk powder is prepared by evaporating water to make it shelf-stable.

Evaporated milk

Evaporate milk is prepared by removing 60% water. It does not contain any added sugar and can be used instead of whole milk to thicken soups and gravies or for baking.

Half and half

Use half cream and half milk or water. Half and half substitute is neither too thick nor too thin and works fine to thicken soups, curries and adds a rich flavor to your baked goods.

Sweet condensed milk

This can be used as a substitute for whole milk in baking. You need to skip the sugar because condensed milk has a lot of added sugar. You can also dilute it by adding some water or milk to it.

Plain yogurt

Use plain yogurt in place of regular milk for your curries, soups, and baked goods. Dilute greek yogurt for a thinner consistency.

Sour cream

This works just like yogurt and can be used as a substitute for whole milk in both sweet and savory dishes. It acts as a tenderizer and adds a tangy hint to the end product.

Soy milk

Soy milk is made using soybeans or soy proteins. It has added thickening agents and can be used in place of regular milk to make coffee, savory dishes, and cereals.

Almond milk

Almond milk is made from whole almonds or by mixing almond butter and water. With a nutty and mildly sweet taste, almond milk is the perfect milk to make coffee, tea, desserts, or baked goods.

Oat milk

This high fiber alternative of whole milk has a slightly sweet flavor. It is made from oats and water with added gums, oils, and salts to improve texture and flavor. Oat milk can be used instead of cow milk to make smoothies or cereal bowls.

Rice milk

Rice milk is extracted from white or brown rice. Added thickeners enhance its texture and flavor. Rice milk is low in protein and has a high GI value, hence, not suitable for diabetics, athletes, children, and the elderly. It can be used for smoothies, oatmeal, desserts, and baked goods.

Nut milk

Cashew milk is made from a mix of cashew nuts or cashew butter and water. It has a thick and creamy texture with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. This low protein and low carb substitute is a good alternative to milk for coffee, smoothies, and desserts.

Macadamia milk is made from a mixture of water and only 3% macadamia nuts. This low calorie and creamy milk is a good substitute for regular milk to make coffee and smoothies.

Hemp milk

Hemp milk is extracted from hemp seeds and is a good substitute for skim milk due to its thin consistency.

Quinoa milk

Quinoa milk is a high protein and gluten free milk substitute. It has a sweet and nutty flavor.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

Can you freeze cashew milk?

Can I use heavy cream instead of milk?

What can I substitute for powdered milk?

How to use coconut milk in recipes?

  • Use coconut milk in your fish or vegetable curry to add a creamy texture to it.
  • Use it to make soups Thai coconut or butternut squash soup.
  • Add it to your fruit smoothies along with coconut flakes. Add maple syrup and lemon juice for a sour and sweet hint.
  • Freeze some frozen coconut milk and top your pancakes, crepes, shakes, smoothies, or cupcakes with it.
  • Use coconut milk to make a coffee latte or use it as a coffee whitener.
  • Make coconut ice-cream with whipped coconut milk, condensed milk, and vanilla.


In this article, we answered the question “Can coconut milk be substituted for milk?”, and what are the other substitutes for regular milk?