Gluten Free Mama
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Gluten Free Mama’s Dairy Free Baking Tips

Gluten Free Mama Tips for Baking Dairy Free
There is a good number of people who have other food intolerance’s or allergies in addition to being Celiac or having Gluten Intolerance.  Dairy is one of the most common food allergies/intolerance’s.  And some people can have dairy, but just have an issue with the Lactose.  Dairy free living can be challenging, but it is doable.  Mama’s Dairy Free Guide offers tips to incorporating dairy free alternatives in gluten free baking.  If you have a tip that isn’t listed here, Mama would love to hear it and maybe we will add it to our list.  Just email us at
When a recipe calls for butter, milk, sour cream, buttermilk, or cheese, do you just discard the recipe and think you can’t make it?  Well you can.  All you have to do is know a few basic dairy free substitutes.  Find the substitute below and measure out 1 for 1 replacement in recipes calling for dairy.  Now you can make nearly any recipe dairy free!

For more detailed suggestions, Mama suggest the following.

Butter Alternatives
Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
Two Versions Regular and Soy Free, Both     are non-hydrogenated, GMO free, Vegan       and of course gluten free.
Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Four Versions Regular, Soy Free, Olive Oil,   and Organic-Each are non-hydrogenated,       GMO free, Vegan and of course gluten free.
This you would measure out using a dry measuring cup.  1 stick of butter = ½ cup butter, so you would spoon butter into a ½ cup measuring cup and level off with a back of a rubber scraper to equal one stick of butter.
Spectrum Buttery Sticks
Soy free, and made with Palm and canola oils.
Spectrum Buttery Shortening 
Non-hydrogenated, made with Palm oil, soy free
For making Pie Crusts and if you want to keep that flaky texture use the Spectrum Buttery Shortening for the amount of butter called for in the recipe.  Then use the regular Spectrum Shortening for the shortening called for. 
Smart Balance – Spread Margarine/Butter Substitute
Non-Hydrogenated, Palm Oil Free 
This you would measure out using a dry measuring cup.  1 stick of butter = ½ cup butter, so you would spoon butter into a ½ cup measuring cup and level off with a back of a rubber scraper to equal one stick of butter.
Fleischmann’s – They have a Dairy Free Margarine that uses Soybean Oil  (I contacted the company and am waiting to hear the name of the actual product and ingredients)
Blue Bonnet -They have a Dairy Free Margarine that uses Soybean Oil  (I contacted the company and am waiting to hear the name of the actual product and ingredients)
Nucoa Margarine– Dairy Free, Contains Soy, Partially Hydrogenated, some of their ingredients are derived from Corn, so if you are Corn Free avoid this margarine.
Note: Recently they changed their packaging which has started a controversial debate.  They removed Dairy Free and Whey free from the packaging, confusing consumers on whether they still are dairy and whey free.  The company says that it was only a labeling change and the product is STILL dairy free and whey free. 
Bread Recipes calling for butter, you can substitute, dairy free butter/margarine, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, or shortening
Disclaimer:  It is important to always check labels even with brands you are comfortable with, as we do not know when manufacturer’s make changes to their ingredients. In addition, if you have other food allergies, it is also important for you to check for those on the labels.  This is just a list of what is currently available that is Dairy Free.
Shortenings and Coconut Oil
Shortenings or Coconut Oil can sometimes be used as a replacement for butter.  In recipes such as pie crusts, quiche crusts, muffins, cookies, and gluten free breads you can use these.  Coconut oil is best if you melt it in the microwave before use. 
Spectrum Shortening 
– Mama’s Recommendation versus Crisco.  Spectrum uses Palm Oil instead of Soybean oils, and it is Non-Hydrogenated. 
Coconut Oil– 
Brands  Tropical Traditions, Spectrum, Nutiva, Natures Way 


Milk Substitutes
A lot of baking recipes call for milk.  In recipes calling for milk you can use any milk of your choice.  Use the same amount called for 1-1.  
Almond Milk
Soy Milk
Rice Milk
Coconut Milk
Hemp Milk
Flax Milk
Goat Milk  (Many people who have dairy allergies or intolerance’s, can have goat milk.  Ask your doctor if this is a good option for you.)
Buttermilk Substitute
If you are dairy free, you can still make recipes calling for buttermilk. 
Add 2 tsp. cider vinegar to your choice of milk.  Allow to rest on counter for 2-3 minutes. 
Cream Substitutes
Some recipes calling for cream you can use milk of choice.  For example in scones, recipes call for heavy cream.  You can use milk of choice, the only difference is the scone won’t have the exact texture using regular milk.  The scone will be a little flatter, but the taste will still be fine.  Or use the substitutes below.
Coconut Cream
Coconut Cream comes in a can and usually can be found in the baking section, or the Ethnic Foods Section. 
Mimic Cream
Tofu & Soy Milk
Blend tofu with unflavored soy milk until the mixture is smooth.  This is a healthy alternative to heavy cream and vegan. 
Milk Powder Substitutes
Soy Milk Powder 
(Better than Milk)
  Rice Milk Powder 
Goat Milk Powder
Coconut Milk Powder
Yogurt Substitutes
Coconut Milk YogurtSo Delicious, Silk, Trader Joes
Soy Yogurt Silk, Trader Joes, Stoneyfield


Sour Cream
Use Mayonnaise.  Sometimes in recipes calling for Sour Cream, such as cakes, you can use mayonnaise. 
Tofutti Brand Sour Cream
     Vegan Gourmet
Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet
Dairy Free Sour Cream Recipe
1 can Coconut Cream
2 Tbsp. Vinegar (White Vinegar, or Coconut Vinegar)
Refrigerate full can of coconut milk for two hours (Do not to shake).
Open can and scoop out the hardened coconut cream on the top (about a 1/2 cup).
Add the vinegar to the coconut cream and stir with a spoon to combine. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Stir before serving.
There are a variety of cheese substitutes available these day.  Many of them are soy cheeses.  You can find these at some grocery stores that also sell health foods, and health food markets.  Below are some other brands you might consider. 
Daiya Cheese  (soy free)
Types include Cream Cheese Style Spreads, Mozzarella/Cheddar/Provolone Style Cheese Slices, Havarti/Cheddar/Jack Style Wedges, Mozzarella/Cheddar/Pepperjack Style Shreds, 
Go Veggie Cheese (soy free)
Coupon Click Here
Cream Cheese, Cheese Slices, Cheese Blocks, Cheese Shreds, grated toppings

Toffuti (Contains Soy)
Cream Cheese, Slices, Ricotta and Sour Cream
Follow your Heart  (Contains Soy)
Mozzarella/Cheddar/Monterey Jack Cheeses, Shreds, Cream Cheese, Sour Cream
Other Milks and Cheeses
Some people who are allergic or intolerant to dairy can have milk and cheeses made from Goats, Sheep and Water Buffalo.  Check with your doctor to see if these would be a good option for you. 
Chocolate Chips

  Carob Chips
I am sure there are other brands of all these items listed on this page. This is a just a list of ones we know about.  If you have a favorite brand you use, email us and we will add it to our list.  Hopefully, this dairy free guide will help you as you bake gluten free and dairy free! 
In recipes that call for butter, most often you can still make these recipes.  Just substitute the same amount of butter called for in the recipe with a Dairy Free Butter Substitute.
There are some recipes where this will not always work, like cream puffs, caramel, and a few others.
Will using a butter substitute change the flavor or texture to my baked goods? It depends on the recipe, most often, the answer is no.  In pie crusts, it may make the crust a little crispier and less flaky, depending on the substitute you and dairy free!  
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  1. Anonymous
    May 18, 2014    

    Earth Balance carries a coconut spreadable butter. It's delish! Closest I can find to the taste of real butter. It's also non GMO(:

    • May 27, 2014    

      That's wonderful! Glad you found an alternative that you like!

  2. VS
    May 17, 2014    

    THANK YOU for your homework on dairy free butters. I been still getting sick on potatoes or my gf breads. So I ask my grocery store to buy the DF Earth Balance and was so excited to try it on my bread. Arggh, I didn't like the taste of it. So using it only for my baking. And going without on breads and potatoes.

    • May 27, 2014    

      There are some canola oil spreads that you might like. Nuceo margarine tastes pretty good too. Try some different ones out until you find one you like.

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