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Baking Made Easy: 5 BEST Substitutes for Sour Milk

Have you ever used sour milk in your cooking or baking? Maybe it’s accidental, or perhaps it’s a deliberate choice.

In any case, to make the most out of this ingredient, it helps to know how to use sour milk and the best substitutes for it.

Sour milk comes with a range of bold flavors that can add a unique twist to recipes.

You can also combine other ingredients with sour milk for an even more tasty dish.

People often have questions about how to use sour milk and what are the best substitutes – so let’s explore those answers together.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Milk

When substituting sour milk for regular milk, it’s important to remember that this substitution will slightly change the flavor of a recipe.

While many recipes won’t suffer too much from the change in flavor, it’s something to keep in mind when making your substitution.

If you don’t have access to sour milk or need something in addition to what sour milk can offer, here are five of the best substitutes for sour milk:

1 – Buttermilk


Buttermilk is probably the most commonly used substitute for sour milk and is often the easiest to find in supermarkets.

It is made by adding lactic acid-producing bacteria to low-fat or non-fat milk.

It has a thick, slightly tangy flavor and a tart aroma, making it an excellent option for baking and cooking.

To substitute buttermilk in a recipe, mix 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.

This will give you the same result as if you used sour milk in your recipe.

2 – Make Your Own Sour Milk

If you don’t have access to store-bought sour milk, you can make your own by adding an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk.

The best ratio is 1 teaspoon of the acid for every cup of milk.

You do not need to heat up the combination, but if you are using yogurt or kefir, then it should be heated.

The result will be a thinned out and slightly tangy alternative that closely resembles store-bought sour milk in terms of texture, flavor and baking results.

When making your own sour milk at home, use a teaspoon of distilled white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice for each cup of regular whole fat cow’s milk.

Also note that when making your own acidic form of dairy you should not use 0% fat skimmed varieties unless otherwise specified in a recipe.

This is because whole fat versions provide the necessary bacteria to help with leavening during baking processes and gives baked good better texture and moisture levels compared with low-fat alternatives.

3 – Milk Kefir

milk kefir

Milk kefir is a fermented dairy product made with complex cultures of lactic-acid bacteria and yeast.

It has a sharp, tangy taste that makes it the ideal substitute for sour milk in recipes.

Milk kefir is thinner than yogurt, so it may require some adjustments to your recipe, such as adding extra baking powder or baking soda.

It also packs a powerful dose of healthy probiotics that can increase the health benefits of whatever dish you’re making.

To use as a substitute for sour milk, simply swap out equal parts kefir for sour milk in your recipe.

Note that it will change the flavor profile of the dish slightly, but it will still yield a delicious result if used correctly.

4 – Yogurt

yogurt 1

Yogurt is a great substitute for sour milk.

It is made from fermenting milk and is usually tart in flavor, similar to the flavor of sour milk.

For baking and cooking purposes, use plain yogurt instead of flavored ones.

Yogurt also contains more fat than sour milk, so cut down on any added fat when you use it as a substitute.

Moreover, yogurt can also be used for any recipes that call for cultured buttermilk or yogurt.

Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitution for sour cream, as it has the same creamy texture and the same amount of tanginess.

5 – Cream Cheese

cream cheese 8

Cream cheese is a versatile option for substituting for sour milk in recipes.

It has a tangy flavor and creamy texture that makes it an excellent substitution for sour milk without significantly changing the flavor of the dish.

Cream cheese can be used in baking, for example, blends into batter more easily than dairy, making it a great choice for cakes and muffins.

To use cream cheese as a substitution, measure out one cup of cream cheese to replace one cup of sour milk in your recipe.

Additionally, you may need to adjust liquid levels as well by adding an equal part of water or other liquid to the recipe.

substitutes for sour milk

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Sour Milk

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • Buttermilk
  • Make Your Own Sour Milk
  • Milk Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Cream Cheese


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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