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Effectiveness of Dairy-free Buttermilk Substitute in Cakes

unpoedic Feb 2, 2013 06:42 AM

Scouting out recipes for my 2-year-old's birthday cake next week, I have come across several possibilities calling for buttermilk. Due to my husband's dairy allergy I have used a soured soy or nut milk* in several applications, though not thus far in a yellow or white velvet cake. Would the resulting crumb be as moist and tender as with buttermilk? Should I instead consider a soured soy or coconut milk-based coffee creamer (for their thicker consistency)?

Thank you! :)

*1 c. soy or almond milk + 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar

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  1. emily RE: unpoedic Feb 2, 2013 09:06 AM

    I don't know a lot about dairy allergies, but can he drink goat milk? You could sour that or use goat yogurt. I've also seen soy yogurts, which might work.

    3 Replies
    1. re: emily
      unpoedic RE: emily Feb 2, 2013 09:55 AM

      He can consume very little actual dairy -- it's more than a lactose intolerance. I've never considered goat milk, but I do know we're not at all fans of goat cheese. ;)

      I use a plain coconut milk yogurt to replace sour cream in some cooking. I suppose I could thin it with water and sour it with lemon juice, to resemble the consistency of buttermilk.

      1. re: unpoedic
        jujuthomas RE: unpoedic Feb 2, 2013 11:03 AM

        in my own experience with my dairy allergy, my reaction to goats milk is similar to cows milk.

        I believe I've purchased a soy buttermilk substitute for a recipe... but I can't recall for certain. I must be mistaken, I don't see anything on the Silk website.

        ETA: on the special diets board someone was looking for dairy free baking recipes - it was recommended that they check out kosher recipes... you might find something dairy free that fits your birthday cake needs. :)

      2. re: emily
        emily RE: emily Feb 2, 2013 01:09 PM

        From what I've read now, you should be able to use soy yogurt and thin it a bit with soy milk.

      3. paulj RE: unpoedic Feb 2, 2013 10:11 AM

        My impression from reading about baking is that it is the acidity of buttermilk that makes the distinctive crumb, not its thickness. But I haven't focused on the issue. Also I pay more attention to biscuit than to sweet cake recipes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulj
          hotoynoodle RE: paulj Feb 2, 2013 10:24 AM

          buttermilk's place in a recipe is because of the acidity, yes.

          is it a casein issue then?

          i'm confused why the op can't use actual coconut milk instead of "coffee creamer" which is full of junk industrial oils?

        2. greygarious RE: unpoedic Feb 2, 2013 10:56 AM

          You should ask this on the vegan/vegetarian board.

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