Yogurt is used in baked goods to add a creamy, tangy flavor profile whilst helping to create a moist texture. It also helps in activating the baking soda, which makes baked goods fluffy and light.
But if you don’t have any yogurt or you are on a dairy-free or vegan diet, they are other substitutes you can use.
So in this article I will share with you the best alternatives for yogurt when baking and importantly give you the exact direction to use them to replace yogurt.
The 10 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Baking are:
- Sour cream (Closest substitute for any recipe)
- Crème fraîche (Adds a rich flavor)
- Greek yogurt with water
- Milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar
- Blended Cottage Cheese with Buttermilk & lemon juice
- Coconut Cream & lemon juice (Vegan & dairy free substitute)
- Silken tofu (Vegan & dairy free)
- Vegan Yogurt (vegan & dairy free)
- Mayonnaise (chocolate cakes)
Now every recipe is different, so experiment to determine what serves as the best yogurt alternative.
1. How to substitute Sour Cream for Yogurt in Baking
Sour Cream is a great alternative to yogurt for baking because, like yogurt, sour cream also adds a creamy tangy flavor and helps with thickness, and moisture.
Yogurt and sour cream are very similar, both:
- Have a good acidic content which will work to activate any other leavening agent used. It is
- Easy to blend with other ingredients and
- Helps to keep any baked goods moist.
Now a batter made from sour cream instead of yogurt tend to be firmer but still moist on the inside. It may also give a better rise than yogurt due to its stronger acidic content.
Sour Cream can be a replacement for yogurt in cakes, cookies, scones, and muffins.
Measurements to Substitute Sour Cream for Yogurt
It is very important that if you are going to use sour cream as a substitute for yogurt in baking that you use full-fat sour cream instead of reduced-fat sour cream alternatives.
You see the fat in the sour cream is important to the baked good because you want to have a similar taste and texture to the yogurt.
You can substitute yogurt and full-fat sour cream in a 1:1 ratio in baking, this means you can replace a cup of yogurt with a cup of sour cream.
One key difference to note is that sour cream is around 20 percent fat and yogurt is just around 12 or less. However, the high-fat content in sour cream keeps it more stable in heat. Unlike yogurt which tends to curdle in high heat.
Now if you are worried about the high-fat content you may want to consider decreasing the shortening or leavening content.
2. How to Substitute Crème Fraîche for Yogurt in Baking
Crème fraîche translates to “fresh cream,” but it’s taste and texture is more like yogurt and sour cream.
Now both crème fraiche and yogurt are creamy, rich, and tangy so they can be used as a replacement for each other in baked goods.
But they are some very notable differences between yogurt and Crème fraîche that can affect the outcome of your recipe. Crème Fraiche:
- Has a richer flavor and is
- Thicker in consistency.
- Less acidic which may affect the way it interacts with your raising agent.
Measurements to Substitute Crème fraîche for Yogurt
Despite the minor differences between them crème fraîche can be substituted for yogurt in a 1:1 ratio for use in a baked good recipe.
This means if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup yogurt then 1/2 cup crème fraîche can be used with little change to the outcome of a recipe.
Another key difference is that yogurt is around 12 percent fat while Crème fraîche is around 30 percent fat. But this can be an advantage in baking.
You see high fat means that Crème fraîche is more stable than yogurt in high heat. Whilst yogurt may curdle in a batter when exposed to high heat but the crème fraîche will combine easily with other ingredients and will not be affected by heat.
3. How to Substitute Greek Yogurt for Yogurt in Baking
Essentially Greek Yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove its whey. This makes Greek yogurt a great substitute for regular yogurt in any baked goods.
Since they are made from the same ingredients they both share a similar creamy, tart flavor and both are rich in probiotics. But because the whey or liquid has been strained, Greek yogurt is thicker in consistency than regular yogurt.
So if you use it in a recipe in the same quantity as regular yogurt it would cause the batter to be thicker and denser than one made from regular yogurt. The thick batter will affect the texture of the final baked good and may also lead to a lack of moisture in cakes.
Measurements to Substitute Greek Yogurt for yogurt
To make Greek yogurt a perfect substitute for yogurt in baked goods some liquid must be added to it to correct the difference in consistency.
To get a similar texture as well as taste to the original recipe you need to thin the Greek Yogurt with some water until you get the consistency of regular yogurt.
For example, if a recipe calls for using 1 cup yogurt then you can substitute it using 3/4 cup of the Greek Yogurt and a 1/4 cup water.
These recommendations are geared towards the use of both full-fat yogurt and full-fat Greek yogurt.
Before using Greek yogurt to substitute yogurt in baked good, these factors must also be considered.
- Greek Yogurt has less sugar than regular yogurt leading to a tarter taste.
- Greek Yogurt has more protein and more calories than yogurt.
4. How to Substitute Buttermilk for Yogurt in Baking
Buttermilk is another great substitute for Yogurt when baking because like yogurt it has a tartness that adds a depth of flavor, whilst adding moisture and tenderness to baked goods.
Like yogurt, buttermilk also helps to create a reaction with raising agents like baking soda to make the batter rise.
Measurements to Substitute Buttermilk for Yogurt
Buttermilk is thinner in consistency than yogurt so some adjustments must be made to the original recipe before using it as a yogurt substitute.
To get the correct consistency of the batter when using buttermilk as a yogurt alternative, you must;
Use about 1/4 less buttermilk than the amount of yogurt called for in the recipe. This is to compensate for the additional amounts of liquid in the buttermilk.
So if a recipe called for 1 cup yogurt you can use 3/4 cup of buttermilk
5. How to Substitute Milk for Yogurt in Baking
When in a pinch you can absolutely use milk as a substitute for yogurt. But of course there may be some change in taste or texture to the baked goods.
Thi is because milk has a lot more moisture than yogurt, which will make the batter runnier. It will also change the flavor since milk lacks that tangy flavor yogurt lends to baked goods.
Measurements to Substitute Milk Instead of Yogurt when Baking
To get a consistency and flavor similar to that of yogurt use milk that has been spiked with a little lemon juice or vinegar and use 1/4 less milk than the amount of yogurt called for in the recipe.
So if a recipe calls for 1 cup yogurt you can add 3/4 cup of milk spiked with lemon juice or vinegar
You are essentially making a homemade buttermilk out of regular milk to use as a yogurt substitute.
6. How to Substitute Cottage Cheese for Yogurt in Baking
Cottage cheese can replace yogurt in baking but it needs to be blended first. To do so;
- Place one cup of drained cottage cheese in a blender with 4 tablespoons of buttermilk
- Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Then blend the cottage cheese mixture until it’s smooth.
You can use this cottage cheese substitute in place of yogurt, cup for cup, as needed.
The texture and flavor of the baked goods will be different if made from cottage cheese instead of yogurt.
7. How to Substitute Coconut Cream for Yogurt in Baking
Coconut Milk is a vegan as well as dairy-free alternative for yogurt in baking.
To use coconut milk as a yogurt substitute in baking, add one tablespoon lemon juice for every one cup of coconut milk and use it in the same quantity as yogurt.
The addition of lemon juice is to add a tarter flavor similar to yogurt and to counteract the natural sweetness of the coconut milk.
But you can also get coconut cream by refrigerating a can of full-fat coconut milk for several hours or overnight. The coconut cream will rise to the top and can easily be skimmed off.
8. How to Substitute Silken Tofu for Yogurt in Baking
Silken Tofu has a creamy texture and bland flavor. But it can be substituted for yogurt in heartier baked dishes such as rich cakes and puddings.
To use Silken Tofu as a substitute for yogurt in a batter you must first puree it into a nice consistency, before using it as 1:1 yogurt replacement.
Silken tofu has a mild flavor so you can also add a tablespoon of lemon juice to imitate the tart flavor of yogurt.
9. How to substitute Vegan Yogurt for Yogurt in Baking
There are many varieties of vegan yogurts available that can be used to replace regular yogurt in baked goods.
Almond Milk Yogurt and Cashew Cream Yogurt can replace regular yogurt. This is because they both provide a clean slate for the other flavors you may wish to incorporate into your baking and create a crumb that is as moist and tender as regular yogurt.
You can use vegan yogurts as a 1:1 substitute for regular yogurt.
Additionally, most vegan yogurt contains the same gut-friendly probiotics that non-vegan yogurts do and the same tart flavor.
10. How to substitute Mayonnaise for Yogurt in Baking
Some chocolate cake recipes use yogurt to add tenderness and tang to the cake. But if you don’t have yogurt, you can easily substitute with mayonnaise in equal parts for yogurt.
However the yogurt contains more acidity than mayonnaise which may affect the texture. You may need to add more of the raising agent to combat the loss of acidity.
Also mayonnaise contains more calories and fats than yogurt so you may want to take that into consideration too.
How to make Your own Yogurt
If you want to try making your own yogurt the video below will provide you with a step by step guide or you can follow a guide by clicking here