How to Substitute Sour Cream for Milk in Baking


If you’re out of milk or are just looking to add a richness and flavor to your baking, substituting sour cream for milk is an easy option. Sour cream can take the place of whole milk, half and half, cream, skim milk and buttermilk. However, the flavor will be different, and you may need to adjust liquid ratios and fats in your recipe for a good result.

Step 1

Use 1 cup of sour cream to replace 1 cup of milk in recipes.

Step 2

Decrease the baking powder in the recipe by 1 tsp. for each cup of sour cream used, and increase the baking soda by 1 tsp. Add and remove these leavening agents when mixing dry ingredients.

Step 3

Reduce the shortening or butter in the recipe when you use sour cream in place of milk. Allow the fat in the sour cream to replace 1/2 cup of butter, oil or shortening per cup of sour cream. Do not make this alteration if you are using sour cream in place of cream or half and half.

Step 4

Add the sour cream to the recipe with the wet ingredients. Expect the batter to be somewhat thicker than it would be otherwise.

Step 5

Bake for the suggested time, but do not be surprised if cakes or muffins take an extra minute or two.


  • The hint of tartness offered by sour cream works well with most baked goods, but if you are concerned, add an additional 1/2 tsp. vanilla to your recipe.
  • Avoid using fat-free sour cream. Separation is apt to occur when heated, ruining your baked goods.

Photo Credit

  • Baked pie with cherry filling image by eAlisa from



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