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Substituting milk for water?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can anyone explain to me if milk plays a role in a cake throughout baking other than liquid to loosen the mix.

I am wondering about substituting milk in recipes for dairy free etc and how this would affect the outcome of the cake.

Does anyone do this on a regular basis and can give their experience of this?

Thank you.
post #2 of 12
If you can't use cow milk, then you need to use almond milk or soy milk. Milk contains sugars, acids, and minerals that contribute to the shelf life and taste of cake.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
So milk lengthens shelf life?

I always thought that recipes with water would be better for shelf life as it doesn't have a use by date where as milk does.

I need to read some baking science obviously! icon_smile.gif
post #4 of 12
I often make liquid substitutions based on the flavor I want or the ingredients I have on hand.

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post #5 of 12
- Milk Solids bind with the protein of the flour to provide structure and texture. They are considered to be drying agents [uses moisture].
- Milk sugar [lactose] carmelizes and contributes to the crust colour.
- Milk protein adds nutrition and flavour to the cake.

The liquid in milk, water, juice or other liquid, in baking
* dissolves the sugar
* developes the protein to form gluten strands
* activates baking powder to release gas
* adds to the consistency of the batter
* influences the shelf life [storage] of the baked product.[moisturizers]
post #6 of 12
Can anyone explain to me if milk plays a role in a cake throughout baking other than liquid to loosen the mix.
Image
post #7 of 12
Yes! Milks plays an importanr role when it comes to baking, as it is gives the cake more flavor and helps keep it moist and stable. Using water instead of milk is a big no no in baking, but if what you're looking for is a dense, hard and flat cake then go ahead and use water......You can definitely substitute milk with any of these non dairy products like rice milk, almond milk, soy milk and they all come in different flavours as well to satisfy everyones tastebuds
post #8 of 12
.......Using water instead of milk is a big no no in baking......
..... looking for is a dense, hard and flat cake then go ahead and use water......

The above statements may be true for *scratch* baking but I don't think apply to mixes. I have used water in baking mix cakes for over 30 yrs and didn't turn out "dense, hard and flat cakes"!!
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanghai

Using water instead of milk is a big no no in baking, but if what you're looking for is a dense, hard and flat cake then go ahead and use water.


This is a broad, sweeping statement that does not match my scratch baking experience. I think it's more likely that we misinterpreted Shanghai's intentions when that statement was made. Shanghai?

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post #10 of 12
I'm just speaking from my own experience cos there was a time were I tried to use water instead of milk and it did not come out right for me it turned out exactly as I've described it in my last post and yes I was making it from scratch sorry if I offended anybody...but if any. Of you ladies have a cake recipe that uses water instead of milk that worked out perfectly pls do share it with me......thanks!!!!
post #11 of 12
Milk increases shelf life by holding moisture overall better compared to water. The baking process makes the milk and eggs and other ingredients stable at room temperature.

I make my own cake mix that has powdered skim milk or powdered buttermilk in the dry mix, and then water will suffice to mix it for baking. But the dry milk is still there to give its benefits.

I also bake coconut cake with coconut milk from a tin, no dairy or eggs at all in the batter, it is fine because of the richness of the coconut.

Shanghai, to use water for cake batter you should add 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil to a measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup mark with water. Mix with a fork and use in place of milk.
post #12 of 12

I am new here...and have learnt quite a bit just by reading this thread...Thank you all.

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