Yogurt is a key ingredient in many baking recipes, lending its unique tartness and creamy texture to cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and other sweet treats.
Despite its popularity in the kitchen, yogurt isn’t suitable for everyone due to dietary reasons or personal preferences.
For those seeking an alternative to yogurt for baking purposes, here are the best substitutes that can provide an equally flavorful and textured result: sour cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche, coconut cream, and applesauce.
Whether you’re vegan or simply looking for a dairy-free substitute for yogurt in your favorite recipes, these alternatives offer a variety of options that won’t compromise flavor or texture.
What is Yogurt?
Yogurt is a widely popular dairy product made by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria.
It has been enjoyed around the world since ancient times and is beloved for its creamy texture and probiotic benefits—a boon to gut health.
Thanks to its versatile nature, yogurt can be used in a range of dishes as both an ingredient and a standalone snack.
Baked goods such as cakes and muffins often rely on yogurt as one of their main components—it imparts richness without overpowering the dish with an intense flavor profile.
To get the most out of yogurt when baking, choose either plain or Greek varieties for maximum versatility; regular yogurt contains more sugar than plain varieties do and can risk overwhelming your recipe’s taste profile.
The 8 Best Substitutes For Yogurt In Baking
If you need to replace your go-to ingredient when it comes to baking delicious treats but don’t want to sacrifice any flavor or texture, here are eight alternatives worth considering:
1 – Sour Cream
Sour cream is similar to yogurt in terms of consistency but offers its own signature tangy taste that sets it apart from other dairy products.
It’s produced by adding lactic acid culture directly into heavy cream until it thickens into clumps; this process creates various proteins that contribute to its distinct flavor profile.
When used as a substitute for yogurt in baked goods such as cakes and muffins, sour cream adds richness without compromising the dish’s overall aesthetic appeal or taste profile; it also pairs well with chocolate due to its slight bitterness.
Furthermore, sour cream contains fewer calories than regular yogurt does and boasts significant nutritional advantages such as being high in potassium while low in sodium content—perfect for those looking for healthier baking options.
2 – Buttermilk
Buttermilk has long been regarded as an essential household staple thanks to its distinct slightly sour yet pleasantly sweet flavor profile that lends itself perfectly when used as part of sweet baked creations like cakes or biscuits.
Unlike regular milk which contains lactose (a type of sugar), buttermilk consists mainly of lactic acid bacteria which breaks down much of the sugar content during fermentation—making it perfect for those who must restrict their sugar intake whilst still enjoying delicious home-baked treats!
In addition to providing lower calorie content than regular milk or even Greek yogurt does, using buttermilk instead of yogurt will also impart a delectable lightness whilst still allowing your creation’s flavorsome nuances to come through underneath this wonderfully light layer!
3 – Crème Fraîche
Another great alternative when substituting yogurt in baking recipes would be crème fraîche—a rich French dairy product made from heavy cream blended with bacterial cultures similar to how traditional Greek yogurts are made!
Despite being slightly higher in fat content compared with regular yogurts (around 40%), crème fraîche offers superior smoothness with little added tanginess so you can rest assured your desserts will have all the desired sweetness intact whilst achieving that same creamy texture usually obtained from natural yogurts!
Crème fraîche also offers additional benefits such as being shelf-stable at room temperature so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration woes!
4 – Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is quickly becoming one of the trendiest ingredients taking over kitchens across the globe due not only because it provides a delicious tropical twist on simple recipes but also because it serves as a great vegan alternative when coking up desserts without using any animal products!
This thickened coconut milk makes use of blending coconuts together until obtaining an incredibly creamy consistency that works wonders when combined with other ingredients!
When substituting coconut cream instead of natural yogurts you will notice a mild sweetness coming out from this delightful addition which adds balance without taking away from whatever original flavors may be present within your recipe!
5 – Applesauce
Another excellent option when trying out different substitutes for yogurts is applesauce- offering not only incredible sweetness but also fantastic moisture retention qualities sure enough to make this option ideal even if you’re dealing with weightier cake batters requiring some extra liquid elements added into them!
Applesauces also benefit from increased health advantages thanks to their fibrous profiles however they may not work particularly well if you require too much sweetness within certain recipes so consider pairing up applesauce alongside other sweeter additions such as honey before getting started on making your favorite baked goods!
6 – Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is a smooth and creamy plant-based product that can be a great substitute for yogurt in vegan baking recipes. It has a mild flavor and a smooth texture that can work well in recipes like cheesecake or pudding. Additionally, it is low in calories and fat, making it a healthier alternative to yogurt.
7 – Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another excellent alternative to yogurt in baking, especially in recipes that require a slightly tangy flavor. Its creamy texture and mild taste make it a great substitute for yogurt in recipes like quick bread, pancakes, and muffins. Moreover, it is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthier option.
8 – Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a soft and creamy Italian cheese that can be an excellent alternative to yogurt in baking recipes that require a smooth texture and mild taste. It is perfect for recipes like cakes, pies, and cheesecakes. Furthermore, it is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthier alternative to yogurt.
What Does Yogurt Do in Baking?
Yogurt can serve several purposes in baking. Some benefits of using yogurt in baking include adding moisture to baked goods, making them softer and more tender, and providing acidity to react with baking soda or baking powder to help dough rise and create a light, fluffy texture.
The article also mentions that yogurt can add a tangy flavor that balances well with other ingredients. A Kitchn article explains that yogurt’s acidity can react with baking soda to encourage leavening and that both plain Greek and thinner, regular yogurt are great ingredients to use when baking.
Another Kitchn article on baking with Greek yogurt explains that Greek yogurt can be used to make moist and tender cakes, biscuits, breads, and more, and suggests using full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt that is plain.
Finally, a Pioneer Woman recipe for a chocolate snacking cake with Greek yogurt notes that the yogurt adds moisture and tanginess to the cake.
In conclusion, when needing something healthier than natural yogurts, there are plenty of excellent alternatives available -from traditional sour creams, buttermilk, creme fraiche, coconut creams, and applesauce – all these different offerings give creative bakers more exciting ways to experiment on their craft rather than sticking onto traditional methods.
Furthermore, all these discussed non-dairy options don’t lack behind nutritionally – each offering numerous beneficial factors ranging from increased fiber contents(in the case of applesauce) and improved calcium profiles (in the case of cremes freshes ) to boosted protein intakes (as per buttermilk).
Hence something like switching out natural yogurts doesn’t have to feel daunting at all if looked at properly. With just a few adjustments here n there anyone can easily create astounding desserts full of flavourful goodness yet remain true to watching over one’s diet!
The 8 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Baking
- Sour Cream
- Crème Fraîche
- Coconut Cream
- Silken Tofu
- Cottage Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.