Creamy and Milky Substitutes for Milk in Cornbread

Substitutes for Milk in Cornbread

When you think of traditional cornbread, milk is probably one of the ingredients that comes to mind. But what do you do if you’re out of milk or don’t want to use it? There are plenty of substitutes for milk in cornbread that will give your bread a great flavor without sacrificing any of the texture. 

Here are the best options to try: water, evaporated milk, almond milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, powdered milk, half-and-half, cashew milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, sour cream and yogurt.

12 Substitutes for milk in cornbread 

1. Water

If you are looking for the easiest substitute then try water. Many other types of breads are made with water, and you can use it in cornbread recipes too. Of course, it won’t add flavor like milk but it will help reach the desired texture. 

In order to keep some fat content in the dough, you’d better add butter. 1 tablespoon of butter mixed with 1 cup of water is equal to one cup of milk. This is also a great alternative in case you are dairy-intolerant or vegan. 

2. Evaporated Milk

In case you want to have the same taste and texture of regular milk, you can use evaporated milk in cornbread. In fact, evaporated milk is whole milk with 50% reduced content. It is an easy substitute and you may even have it somewhere in your fridge shelves. 

You can use it in 1:1 ratio but if you think it’s denser than common milk you can mix some water with it to get the desired texture. 

3. Almond Milk

Many diet-friendly recipes of dough include almond milk. Compared to whole milk it is easier to digest and has many health benefits. 

It has a nutty flavor, some sweetness and comes with a less creamy texture. Your cornbread is going to be kind of sweet but if you don’t mind a little sweetness, then use 1:1 almond milk for milk in cornbread. 

4. Coconut Milk

Another awesome choice for lactose intolerant people or allergic to milk is coconut milk. It has a nutty flavor and comes with a similar texture as almond milk. Compared to almond milk coconut milk offers more calories and is more nutritious. 

So, if you have both in hand, you can use coconut oil in place of milk. Use coconut milk in 1:1 ratio in cornbread recipes. 

5. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented milk with a denser texture than whole milk. It tastes like yogurt and is often used in bakeries. Since it has a thick texture it is sometimes mixed with liquids for a thinner texture. 

You can add lemon juice or vinegar and let this mixture rest for 10 minutes. Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar with  1/3 cup buttermilk to substitute with milk. 

6. Powdered Milk

Some people don’t like the taste of powdered milk but if it doesn’t matter for you then you can use it as a milk substitute in cornbread too. However, you may hardly notice any difference in flavor when you us

Powdered buttermilk is easy to store and if you like you can keep it in your pantry to use whenever you run out of milk. 

7. Half-and-half

Half-and-half is a mixture of milk and heavy cream. It comes with a higher fat content and you may need to make it less dense with the help of cream and water.  

Use half-and-half in a 1:1 ratio. You need to reach a creamy and milk-like texture to use in your cornbread recipe. 

8. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk tastes like cow’s milk and other dairy milks. It has mild sweetness and a thick creamy texture. This milk is considered to be a healthy and diet-friendly option. Since it is thicker in texture your cornbread may be moisty.

9. Oat Milk

Although oat milk tastes sweet, it can still provide the desired texture of dough for cornbread. You may be surprised, but oat milk tastes like cow’s milk only with a little bit of sweetness. 

It is a healthy replacer for milk in cornbread and can be used as a diet-friendly option. Use it in a 1:1 ratio as it comes with almost the same texture as whole milk.

10. Rice Milk

Rice milk is another vegan-friendly option. It is low in saturated fat and compared with cow’s milk it comes with higher carbohydrate content. It is similar to almond milk. 

Rice milk is thinner and lighter than milk but you can use it in cornbread recipes. 

11. Soy Milk

Unsweetened soy milk can be a good low-fat alternative. Although it has a specific mild taste and flavor it creates the same texture for the dough as milk and the end taste is almost the same. 

This non-dairy substitute has a milder taste and creamy texture. Use it in a 1:1 ratio. 

12. Sour Cream or Yogurt

Sour cream is often used in bread and other baking recipes. If you have sour cream in your fridge, it can also work in place of milk in cornbread. 

Since it comes with a denser creamy texture you can thin it out with the help of water and use in 1:1 ratio with milk. Sour cream may have a tangy flavor and some sourness which is possible to balance with vanila.  

As for yogurt, the best options are either plain or Greek yogurt. Both have a tangy flavor and creamy texture. 


Can I use heavy cream instead of milk in cornbread?

You can use heavy cream instead of milk in cornbread, but it will make the bread richer and less firm. If you want to use heavy cream, substitute it in equal amounts for the milk called for in the recipe. For a lighter cornbread, use half heavy cream and half water.

Can you use water instead of milk for cornbread?

Yes, you can use water instead of milk for cornbread. The bread will be a little less moist, but it will still be delicious.

Can I substitute mayo for milk in cornbread?

The answer to this question is yes, you can substitute mayo for milk in cornbread. There are a few things to keep in mind, however.

First, mayo is a lot richer than milk, so you may want to cut back on the amount of mayo you use in order to not overwhelm the cornbread.

Second, the fat in the mayo will help to make the cornbread more moist, so you may want to reduce the amount of other wet ingredients, such as eggs or oil.

Third, the acidity of the vinegar in the mayo can react with the baking soda and cause the cornbread to be slightly more dense.

Overall, though, substituting mayo for milk in cornbread is perfectly fine and will not drastically change the flavor or texture of the bread.


Cornbread is a classic Southern dish that is often served with milk. However, if you are looking for a dairy-free option or just some different milk, then there are plenty of substitutes that will give your cornbread the good flavor and texture. 

We’ve shared some of our favorite substitutes for milk in cornbread above, so be sure to try them out the next time you make this delicious dish! Did you try any of these substitutes before? We love to hear your thoughts.

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