6 Sneaky Ways to Use Powdered Milk

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We have tried a lot of powdered milks and the one we’ve found to be the best tasting and the easiest to mix for drinking is Thrive Instant Milk. If you are just doing a simple baking substitution then any regular powdered milk will work just fine. But for drinking and for making buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, etc. we would definitely recommend using an instant milk.


1. Hide it in a milk jug
If you run out of milk and don’t want to make a midnight shopping run, you can always rinse out the milk jug and then fill it with powdered milk. If you are worried about your family noticing, you can try this when the jug is only half empty. It works like a charm. To make the milk taste even better, consider adding 1 tsp of vanilla and a tablespoon of white sugar into the gallon and cool it well before drinking.

2. Use as a milk substitution in baking
Any recipe that calls for milk can EASILY use powdered milk instead. Any brand or type of milk will work just fine. Just make sure you read your specific label to make sure you use the right amount of powder for however much milk you need. You don’t need to mix the milk and water first. Simply add the powder to your dry ingredients and the necessary amount of water to your wet ingredients. Works like a charm and is great to help with rotation.

3. Homemade buttermilk
To make a simple buttermilk, add 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Stir and let stand for about 1 minute. We’ve used this with great success in Buttermilk Cornbread, Buttermilk Pancakes, and Buttermilk Biscuits. Give it a try in your favorite recipe that calls for buttermilk.

4. Homemade evaporated milk
Evaporated milk has a relatively short shelf life, so if you can just use your regular powdered milk instead of having to store this as well, it can be a good space and cost-savings. To make evaporated milk mix 1 1/2 cups of water with a heaping 1/2 cup of instant milk. Blend very well in a blender. This will be equivalent to about a 12 oz can. Here are a few recipes we like that you can try it with! Homemade Mac n Cheese or Swedish Beef and Rice.

5. Homemade sweetened condensed milk
This is probably our all-time favorite powdered milk trick. Sweetened condensed milk can be pricey but it is oh so delicious in many of our favorite desserts. To make your own 14 oz jar similar to a can of Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk, simply mix 1/2 cup hot water, 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1 T. melted butter very well in a blender. I’ve noticed it tends to make a little more than 14 oz so you may want to measure it for your specific recipe. In the Super Cherry Pie recipe we posted this week, the version made with powdered milk actually WON in a side by side taste test at a Christmas event.

6. Homemade ricotta cheese
Have you ever wanted to make a recipe and then realized you didn’t have any ricotta cheese on hand? It is actually very easy to make your own ricotta using powdered milk. It turns out nice and creamy, it may not be a true ricotta but it works great as a substitution. The instructions are a bit long so make sure to check out our full tutorial on How to Make Ricotta Cheese!

- Jodi and Julie

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