Milk Substitute For Cornbread – All Options!

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If you love making cornbread at home, you’ve likely run into the dilemma of having run out of milk. So, what can you use instead? We’ve got several options for you to consider as a milk substitute for cornbread that may make you want to make cornbread without milk even when you have milk on hand!

Whether you’re vegan, allergic to milk, or have simply run out of it, we’ve got plenty of easy substitutions you’ve probably already got stashed in your pantry. Ready to learn more? Then, let’s go!

Table of Contents

bread on brown ceramic plate

What Can I Use in Place of Milk For Cornbread?

If you’re looking for a replacement for milk in cornbread, then you’ll be happy to know that you’ve got several options to choose from.

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Bear in mind that some of these options may alter the taste of the cornbread a bit, and others may change the texture.

Later on in this post, we’ll be sure to detail which substitutes will cause these changes to your cornbread so that you’ll know what to expect. But for now, here is a list of the best substitutes you can use in cornbread instead of milk:

  • Buttermilk
  • Water
  • Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Plant-Based Milks
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Heavy Cream

Can I Make Cornbread With Water Instead of Milk?

Yes, you can make cornbread with water instead of milk. However, there will be a few caveats to doing so.

Water is a common replacement for liquids when cooking and for good reason. Water is easily accessible and for most people it’s free. The problem? When replacing a liquid substance like heavy cream or milk with water, you’ll be left with cooked food that is drier, not as rich, and less flavorful than it would’ve been had you used the milk or cream.

Because of this, we recommend that you always use a pat – or two – of butter along with water at a 1:1 ratio in your next cornbread recipe to give your cornbread more flavor. Because butter is technically heavy cream, it acts to add flavor to your dish as well as moisture that would have been lacking if you’d had otherwise left it out.

Substitute Mayo For Milk in Cornbread?

While we’ve never experimented with using mayo in cornbread, our sources indicate that it is indeed a great substitute.

To avoid having your cornbread come out gummy and dense, however, we recommend diluting your mayo with a little water before adding it to your cornbread mix or recipe at a 1:1 ratio.

To do this, simply mix half water and half mayo in a bowl. From there, measure the amount of this liquid you would need to use at a 1:1 ratio for your cornbread. The results should be moist and flavorful.

Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise, 30 Ounce Jar

Substitute Sour Cream For Milk in Cornbread

If you have any sour cream on hand, this will act as an excellent substitute for milk, as long as you don’t mind the slightly tangy flavor. Its thickness will provide moisture and it will prove a much better substitute in terms of flavor than water alone.

To substitute sour cream for milk in a recipe, we recommend you use a quarter part water and the rest sour cream. This means that if your cornbread recipe calls for one cup of milk, you’d use 3/4 cup of sour cream and ¼ cup of water. The water helps to dilute the sour cream so that the cornbread does not come out too dense. In addition, you may wish to add a dash of sugar, honey, pure maple, or vanilla extract to the mix (but not all four) to counteract the tang in the sour cream.

sour cream in spoon

Substitute Milk For Yogurt in Cornbread

To substitute yogurt for milk in cornbread, you’ll want to follow all of the previously mentioned directives for substituting sour cream for milk. You’ll use a quarter part of water and the rest yogurt to achieve the correct taste and texture for cornbread.

Be aware that while sour cream is tangy already when used in cornbread, yogurt is even tangier! For this reason, we definitely recommend adding a bit of sugar or vanilla to balance flavors, unless, of course, you dig the tangy flavor. In that case, more power to you!

bottle of yogurt

Substitute Buttermilk For Milk in Cornbread

Buttermilk is often used in cornbread recipes on its own, so if you are out of milk or simply would like to try buttermilk in your cornbread this time around, you may consider using a buttermilk cornbread recipe to see how you like it.

When using buttermilk, keep in mind that when it is substituted in place of milk, it can be rather heavy making the cornbread denser. To counteract this, we recommend diluting the buttermilk by half using another liquid, such as water. This means that if your cornbread recipe calls for one cup of milk, you’ll use ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup water (or another suitable liquid) instead to achieve the desired texture and flavor needed for your cornbread.

Substitute Half and Half for Milk in Cornbread

You can substitute milk for half and half in a cornbread recipe, as long as you keep in mind that half and half is much thicker than milk and will result in a heavier crumb. If you don’t mind this, you may go ahead and substitute your milk for half and half at a 1:1 ratio, however, if you’d like a texture similar to what you’re used to when using just milk, you may wish to dilute the half and half a bit.

To do this, consider mixing the half and half at equal parts with water before then substituting this mix at a 1:1 ratio in your cornbread recipe for milk.

Nestle Carnation Coffee Creamer Half and Half, No Refrigeration, Made with Real Dairy, Box of 360

Substitute Beer For Milk in Cornbread

This is yet another substitution we haven’t quite gotten around to testing out yet, however, we do have a few suggestions if you plan to experiment with this one. Because beer is a thinner liquid than milk, we’d recommend adding a pat or two of butter to the mix before adding the beer as a replacement for milk to your recipe.

Next, we’d also recommend diluting your beer with an equal part of water to tame the taste a bit. Of course, if you like the idea of beer-flavored cornbread, then, by all means, go ahead. Go full throttle by replacing the milk at a 1:1 ratio. However, if you aren’t too into a boozy-tasting cornbread, diluting it a bit while also adding butter should do the trick. Your outcome should taste fairly similar, save a few differences in texture, once finished.

beer in frosted glass

Substitute Cottage Cheese For Milk in Cornbread

We would not recommend substituting cottage cheese for milk in cornbread because of its density. However, we would recommend adding the cottage cheese to the batter as a tasty addition!

Some eclectic cornbread recipes actually call for cottage cheese and reviewers declare that this is indeed a very tasty alternative!

To do this, you’ll want to follow a cottage cheese cornbread recipe for the proper protocol to get your cornbread tasting just right.

cottage cheese in bowl

Can I Substitute Heavy Cream For Milk in Cornbread?

Heavy cream can be substituted for milk in cornbread. But you must dilute the heavy cream to keep the cornbread from becoming too thick. We’d recommend diluting the heavy cream using half water and half cream to achieve the right consistency and texture

. You can expect your cornbread to pack on a much richer, moist, and decadent flavor when using heavy cream. You can also count on a significant amount of calories to be added to your cornbread when making this substitution.

Judee's Heavy Cream Powder 11 oz - GMO and Preservative Free - Produced in the USA - Keto Friendly - Add Healthy Fat to Coffee, Sauces, or Dressings - Make Liquid Heavy Cream

Can You Substitute Evaporated Milk For Milk in Cornbread

Evaporated milk is milk that has been evaporated to remove more than half of the water content of the milk. This results in a much thicker milk consistency.

Evaporated milk can certainly be used in cornbread cup-for-cup as long as you dilute it first with an equal amount of water. The result will be cornbread that tastes nearly identical to cornbread that was made with regular milk.

CARNATION Evaporated Milk 12 Fluid Ounce Each 24 Cans per Case

Can You Substitute Creamed Corn For Milk in Cornbread?

Although creamed corn by itself may prove to be too thick of a substitute for milk, you may be able to water it down before giving it a shot in your cornbread. Better yet, you can use a creamed corn cornbread recipe.

Substitute the milk in the recipe for water or any of the other recommendations made in this post for an out-of-this-world-tasting cornbread with delicious creamed corn bits hidden inside.

Green Giant Cream Style Sweet Corn, 14.75 Ounce Can

Vegan Substitute For Milk in Cornbread

Is It Okay to Substitute Cashew Milk For Milk in Cornbread?

Yes, you can substitute cashew milk for milk in cornbread.

However, know that there might be a slight change in taste and texture. Though cashew milk is rich in nutrients, the fact that it is mostly just water and cashews should tell you a lot about how the cornbread may turn out.

Still, using cashew milk will be a far cry from using just water. But we would still recommend adding a bit of (vegan) butter to the mix to help make your cornbread a bit more moist and rich.

Can You Substitute Almond Milk For Milk in Cornbread?

Similar to using cashew milk, using almond milk is much better than using water,. As long as the recipe you’re using calls for butter, you may not notice much of a difference.

Still, any differences you do detect may have to do with a slightly nuttier flavor and a drier crumb. But in general, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at the outcome of your cornbread using almond milk.

Almond Breeze Dairy Free Almondmilk, Unsweetened Original, 32 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Can I Substitute Vegetable Broth For Milk in Cornbread Mix?

While we haven’t tested this one for ourselves, we definitely would not recommend using a broth of any kind in your cornbread. Doing so may add a strange flavor to your bread, depending on the type of broth you use, that you may not enjoy.

If you truly don’t have any of the aforementioned creamer substitutes on hand, go ahead and substitute with water for milk in your cornbread instead of the broth. We think you’ll like these results much better!

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Milk in Cornbread?

Because coconut milk, like regular milk, generally already contains fat, it makes an excellent substitute for milk in a cornbread recipe. However… you’ll want to be aware of the fact that the strong flavor of coconut milk can easily overpower the dish.

To use coconut milk in your cornbread, we recommend using the coconut milk that comes in a carton, not in a can. The canned coconut milk may be too thick. Be sure you’re a fan of coconut when adding this substitute! Otherwise, you may be turned off by the coconut-y aftertaste.

Note: To make an attempt at muting the coconut-y taste in your cornbread, consider diluting your coconut milk. Use 1/4th with water, and then add a pat of butter to the mix to further tone down the coconut flavor.

Can I Substitute Soy Milk For Milk in Cornbread?

Soy milk tends to be quite creamy. It has a slightly sweet finish to it making it the optimal plant-based substitution for cornbread in our opinion. Like the other plant-based milks mentioned, feel free to use soy milk at a 1:1 ratio when substituting it for milk in a recipe.


What are the best substitutes for milk in cornbread?

Instead of milk try Buttermilk, Water, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Plant-Based Milks, Evaporated Milk, Heavy Cream.

Are there vegan alternatives to milk for cornbread?

Yes, you can try almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. The simplest you can use is water mixed with a bit of vegan butter.

Milk Substitute For Cornbread: There’s Plenty to Choose From!

Now you know that substitutes for milk in cornbread are plentiful. You’ll likely have at least a few of these already on hand when you’re in a pinch. From mayo to soy milk, the substitutions are truly endless when it comes to swapping something in for milk in cornbread.

That’s great news to us, and we hope it is for you, too… After all, who doesn’t love a hearty slice of cornbread?

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By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

1 comment

  1. I wonder if you might like to bake each and shows us the difference of any. Do they rise equally? The texture? Or taste? I think you covered taste here. But thanks. You have more info then most and are pleasant reading.

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