General Question

twothecat's avatar

Can I substitute coconut milk for regular milk in my baking?

Asked by twothecat (386points) January 24th, 2012

I want to make biscuits but I don’t want to use regular milk anymore. Is it possible to use coconut milk as an alternative, or would that mess up the recipe.

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It would impart a coconut taste. Otherwise, it should work in biscuits. I would cut back on the fat in the recipe since coconut milk contains a lot.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, you can substitute coconut milk for regular milk in anything. When you drink it plain, you can tell a difference, but in cooking/baking, I can never tell.

@marinelife If you use the “unsweetened” variety of coconut milk, it doesn’t have a coconutty flavor after baking/cooking. I even cook meat dishes with it and they taste normal.

thorninmud's avatar

Should work with biscuits, yes, but it won’t be a 1:1 swap. Whole milk is 83% water, coconut milk is 67% water. If you do a straight swap, the dough will be too dry. To get the same amount of water into the dough, use 25% more coconut milk than you would dairy milk. @marinelife is right that you’re bringing more fat in too, but biscuits are loaded with fat anyway, and the extra won’t matter much (these are not delicately balanced recipes, as a rule). It’s more the water-to-flour ratio that’s critical.

EverRose11's avatar

When I am in the Philippines we do it all the time. You can also do the same with soy milk too.

RocketGuy's avatar

Sounds yummy! Both have water and fat, so makes sense.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it would impact the taste also. I love coconut, but do not like coconut milk used in cooking. I do like it in sweets though.

Qingu's avatar


Regular milk contains 3% fat.

Coconut milk contains about 17% fat.

It would be like substituting half-and-half for milk.

Baking is an exact science!

thorninmud's avatar

@Qingu Biscuit recipes are all over the map in how much fat they call for. The more fat, the “shorter” and less “bready” the biscuits will be. I certainly agree that some baking recipes don’t tolerate fiddling, but that’s not really the case with biscuits.

creative1's avatar

Try it and let us know, I try different things when cooking and you never know until you try it. My gut says yes but I think you may have to add more water to the recipe due to the water content in the coconut milk.

If you like the coconut flavor and want to add that flavor to your biscuts then I would suggest adding coconut oil instead of the regular oil and it will add that bit of coconut flavor. I did it to corn bread this past weekend and what it was the best corn bread I ever made.

Kardamom's avatar

I would say yes, if you are talking about This Kind of Coconut Milk (which is a new type of substitute for regular milk like rice milk or soy milk. It has only the slightest hint of a coconut flavor, so it should be fine)

If you are talking about what most people think of as Coconut Milk I would say probably not (This type of “coconut milk” is a lot higher in fat content than regular milk, is thick and creamy almost has the consistency of thick yogurt or mayonnaise and definitely has a sweet coconutty flavor) But this is very tasty in Thai style soups and tropical drinks.

auntydeb's avatar

I can’t resist chipping in, as a new complete coconut-milk-nut. The different thicknesses of tinned coconut milk depend on the actual percentage of coconut to water. Favorite at the mo is one with 51% solids. We make rice pudding with it, it is truly gorgeous: one 400ml can to a heaped tablespoon (about a third of a cup) of pudding or risotto rice, a flat tablespoon of soft brown sugar. Put all into a heat-proof bowl or pie dish, I like to drop in a few cardamoms, which adds some luxury, cook on med – high heat (160c or 150 in a fan oven) for 45 – 60 minutes. Stir about a bit after around 25 mins. Truly gorgeous.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, I guess I didn’t realize there was another kind of coconut milk in the stores. I use this kind that Kardamom referenced. The vanilla kind is amazing in cereal, and the unsweetened kind is awesome for cooking. We had to learn about all the different “milks” because our kids are allergic to dairy. The coconut milk is by far the best.

cRazelyCrazed's avatar

If your okay with a small tad of coconut taste then yes. I’ve been baking for a long time, and I’ve substituted a lot of different types of milk and there isn’t much of a difference.

twothecat's avatar

Yes, I’m NOT talking about the thick coconut milk you use in say, Thai food. I’m referring to the kind that is like rice milk, like So Delicious.

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