How to Use Sour Cream As a Substitute for Milk

By Angelique de la Morreaux

When you're baking and run out of milk, there are some surprising substitutions you can call on; one of them is sour cream. Sour cream is an acceptable replacement for whole milk, buttermilk or evaporated milk in baking. Regular and reduced-fat are preferred over nonfat in baking because the latter will separate. Sour cream adds a creamier texture to baked goods because of its acidity. Sub it in at equal parts, but it might require adjusting the quantities of other ingredients.

bowl of sour cream
credit: Magone/iStock/GettyImages
How to Use Sour Cream As a Substitute for Milk

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Adjust the level of shortening or butter in the recipe. If the sour cream is thick or heavy, reduce the shortening by 1/2 cup; if the sour cream is thin or light, reduce the shortening by 1/3 cup.

Revise the amount of baking soda and baking powder when substituting sour cream. For each cup of sour cream, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients, and reduce the baking powder by 1 teaspoon.

Follow the baking time according to the recipe. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the baked item, and remove the food from the oven when the toothpick comes out clear.