How to Substitute With Dry Milk

by G.K. Bayne ; Updated September 28, 2017

Very often when making a new recipe, the ingredients will call for a milk product you do not have. That can be a problem unless you have a box of dry milk on your pantry shelf. In many cases you can create a suitable dry milk substitute for milk products ranging from buttermilk to sweetened condensed. Dry milk can be purchased in many different amounts any super market or can be found in bulk at health food stores and online.

Make drinking milk: Reconstite the dry milk by mixing 1/3 cup of dry milk to 1 cup of water. Stir until the dry milk dissolves completely. This milk can also be used as an ingredient for milk-based gravies and sauces.

Make buttermilk substitute: Measure 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup. Add 1 cup of reconstituted milk and stir. The milk will take on the sour taste of buttermilk and can be used in any recipe.

Make condensed sweetened milk: Place a small saucepan on the stove and add 1/2 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil and add 1 cup sugar and 3 tbsp. butter. Stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup dry milk and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Make quick evaporated milk: Add 1 1/3 cups of water and 1 cup of dry milk in a quart size jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the dry milk is dissolved. This equals one can of quick evaporated milk.


  • Always store dry milk in an airtight container after opening the original packaging. Dry milk will absorb moisture in the air, making it clump and hard to use. Most dry milk on the market today is non-fat. Whole dry milk may be available by special order. Ask your grocery store or health food store manager if this is an option. Extend existing fresh milk by adding an equal amount of reconstituted dry milk to the fresh milk in the container. Because you are adding the dry milk to fresh, the taste difference is negligible. This can be used for drinking or on serial.