Are you wondering if milk is necessary for waffles? You’re not alone.
With so many lactose-free alternatives to milk, it can be difficult to figure out the best substitution for your waffle recipe.
Fortunately, we have identified the top 5 substitutes that will work perfectly in any waffle recipe.
Keep reading to discover your new go-to replacements for milk in your favorite waffles.
Is Milk Necessary for Waffles?
Milk has long been used as an important ingredient in waffle batter due to its ability to create a light, fluffy texture.
While it does add some flavor, it is not necessary for waffles.
In fact, there are many alternatives that can be used in place of milk when making waffles.
For traditional buttermilk flavored waffles, some cooks like to substitute yogurt or sour cream for the milk, as this adds an even greater depth of flavor than plain milk alone.
For dairy-free or vegan options, almond milk is often a popular substitute.
Soy milk, coconut milk and even cashew milk are other creamy alternatives that can help make your waffles gluten-free or suitable for those with vegan diets.
If you do not mind the slight nutty flavor that nut milks can impart on your waffle batter – they may be perfect substitutes for cow’s milk.
Aside from non-dairy milks, other liquids such as beer (perfect for savory batters), fruit juice or vegetable broth can also work well when making pancakes and other baked goods.
Finally if you just want a simple solution – simply leaving out the liquid altogether may do the trick.
Just use oil to grease your waffle iron instead when cooking them and you will achieve the same delicious results minus the liquid element entirely.
5 Best Milk Substitutes in Waffles
Milk is an essential ingredient in waffles for its smooth, creamy texture and flavor.
But if you’re looking for a change or don’t have milk on hand, there are plenty of other ingredients that can give you a delicious waffle.
Here are five of the best substitutes for milk in waffle recipes.
1 – Vegan Milk
Vegan milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk when it comes to waffles.
For optimal results, use an unsweetened version of vegan milk such as almond, coconut, cashew or soy; these are all ideal for savory waffles.
Vegan milks offer a creamy texture and nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that contribute to your overall health.
Keep in mind that the flavor of vegan milks may be slightly different from cow’s milk, so you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly.
2 – Yogurt
Yogurt is a great substitute for milk in waffles.
Not only does it provide an extra flavor boost, it is also loaded with healthy probiotics, as well as vitamins and minerals.
To use yogurt in your waffles, simply replace the same amount of milk called for by the same amount of yogurt.
One thing to note is that different yogurts can yield different textures and flavors.
Greek Yogurt has the highest fat content, which will make for a fluffier and richer waffle.
You can also opt for lower-fat varieties such as almond or soy-based yogurts.
Just be aware that these may not yield quite the same fluffy texture that Greek yogurt provides.
For a vegan option, coconut cream also makes a great substitute for dairy milk – just be sure to leave out any added sugar as this will quickly lead to soggy waffles.
3 – Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk is produced by heating regular cow’s milk for a length of time to remove about 60 percent of the water.
This makes it thicker and creamier than regular milk, plus it can be stored in cans or vacuum sealed packages at room temperature for long periods of time.
In making waffles with evaporated milk, you will need to pre-mix the ingredients because evaporated milk cannot be heated like regular cow’s milk.
To do this, you can use a blender, food processor, or whisk together all the wet ingredients, adding evaporated milk last.
The result will be very light and fluffy waffles that are similar in texture to those made with regular cow’s milk.
The subtle sweet flavor and creamy consistency provided by evaporated milk make it one of the popular alternatives to regular cow’s milk in waffle recipes.
Be sure to pay attention while mixing and avoid overbeating your batter as this can cause your waffles to become dense instead of light and fluffy.
4 – Buttermilk
Buttermilk is also a great way to get a fluffy and light texture in your waffles, while providing them with a bit of flavor.
Not only that, but the acidity of buttermilk can help activate the baking powder we mentioned earlier, allowing the waffles to rise and get that golden-brown color.
Although it doesn’t have the same creamy texture and flavor as cows milk, you can easily substitute it for cheaper recipes or if you would like to reduce your cholesterol.
To use buttermilk for waffles, mix 1 cup of buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil and proceed as usual.
If using an egg-free recipe, replace no more than half of the liquid amount with the buttermilk for your desired results.
5 – Half and Half (or Cream)
Half and half (or cream) can make a denser, creamier waffle which is great for those that prefer an indulgent treat.
To use this in your recipe, substitute one cup of half and half or light cream for each cup of milk in your recipe.
For added flavor, add a splash of vanilla extract or a pinch of cinnamon.
Be aware that this substitute may change the baking time of your waffles so watch close and adjust cooking times as needed.
At the end of the day, adding a dairy or non-dairy substitute to your waffles will determine whether they become a delicious treat or an everyday breakfast item.
Experimenting with different ingredients will help you find the right option for you.
Whether you prefer almond milk, yogurt, fruit juice, or vegan butter and water, there’s an alternative out there that will help you make delicious waffles every time.
In conclusion, choosing the best liquid ingredient base will largely depend on dietary restrictions and personal preferences.
Milk is certainly still an excellent choice for most waffle makers due to its thick consistency and creamy flavor it brings to every bite.
However non-dairy options provide just as much variety when it comes to health benefits as they do in taste – so be sure to explore what options work best for you.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!