How to Substitute Powdered Coffee Creamer for Dry Milk

by M.T. Wroblewski ; Updated November 15, 2017

Many cooks know that feeling of frustration when they scan a recipe and come across an ingredient they know they don’t have in their kitchen. One in particular, dry milk, is not an ingredient that most people use every day, though it is called for in many baking recipes. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may not have to run out to the store. Instead, reach for powdered coffee creamer, a “secret” substitution known to many people who are fond of making bread, especially in bread machines.

Make an equal substitution of dry milk for powdered coffee creamer. If your recipe calls for one tablespoon of dry milk, replace it with one tablespoon of powdered coffee creamer.

Take the extra step of ensuring that the powdered coffee creamer dissolves – just as it’s meant to do in coffee – by first blending it thoroughly with another wet ingredient in your recipe, such as water, oil or an egg.

Evaluate whether you might need to make other minor tweaks to your recipe because of the powdered coffee creamer. For example, if a recipe that normally calls for dry milk suggests that you “may” wish to add a pinch of sugar or vanilla extract to sweeten the dry milk, you may not have to make such an addition if you’re using a sweetened powdered coffee creamer – especially one that is vanilla-flavored. If the coffee creamer you're using seems very sweet, feel free to reduce some of the sugar or other sweeteners used in the recipe. Adjust the recipe to taste.

Experiment with different flavors of powdered coffee creamer to enhance your recipes or to add a trace of flavor. For example, you can find powdered creamers in caramel and hazelnut, two flavors that could improve a cinnamon bread or muffin recipe that normally calls for dry milk.


  • If you're a calorie counter, you may be surprised to learn there are fewer calories in powdered coffee creamer than in dry milk. There are about 140 calories in one ounce of whole dry milk and 103 calories in one ounce of nonfat dry milk. By contrast, there are between 20 and 70 calories in one ounce of powdered coffee creamer, depending on whether it is flavored, unflavored or sugar- or fat-free.

    Some powdered coffee creamers are also lactose-free, so even those with lactose intolerance can use them to eliminate dairy content in a recipe. If you care about lactose, read the creamer's ingredients and product information to ensure the product is actually lactose-free before purchase.

About the Author

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.