Milk Powder Uses

Milk powder, also known as dried milk or powdered milk, is a versatile dairy product with a wide range of uses.

Milk Powder Uses

This shelf-stable powder is made by removing the water content from liquid milk through evaporation and spray drying.

The resulting powder has a long shelf life and provides the same nutritional value as regular fluid milk.

What Is Milk Powder

Milk powder comes in two main varieties:

  • Skim milk powder contains 1.5% fat and less than 5% moisture. It provides protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
  • Whole milk powder contains 26% fat and less than 5% moisture. It has the full nutritional profile of whole milk.

Both types can be reconstituted into liquid milk by combining 1/3 cup powder with 1 cup water. Always use cold water and stir vigorously until smooth.

Beyond making milk, the magical powers of milk powder come from its high concentrations of milk proteins and milk sugar (lactose). These components provide distinct benefits for cooking and baking.

Now let's explore the many ways to harness milk powder in your kitchen.

Using Milk Powder for Baking

Milk powder can improve the texture, moisture, browning, and shelf life of all kinds of baked goods. Follow these tips:

Enriched Yeast Breads

  • For loaves like brioche or milk bread, milk powder creates a feathery, tender crumb.
  • Add 5% of the flour weight as milk powder. For example, use 1 Tbsp per 1 cup (125g) flour.
  • Mix it in with the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients.
  • High-heat milk powder works best for maximum rise and softness.

Cookies, Cakes, and Muffins

  • In cookies, milk powder helps retain moisture so they stay soft and chewy.
  • In cakes and muffins, it makes the crumb fine, dense, and velvety.
  • Substitute milk powder for any liquid milk called for in baking recipes.
  • Use an equal amount of reconstituted milk powder in place of the milk.

Pizza Dough

  • Milk powder dough makes the softest, fluffiest crust that's still crispy.
  • It helps the dough retain moisture as it bakes.
  • Follow the instructions for enriched breads above and add milk powder to pizza dough accordingly.

Browning and Crust

  • The sugars in milk powder promote caramelization and browning during baking.
  • Baked goods develop richer color and bolder toasted flavors on crusts and edges.
  • This works for all kinds of cookies, cakes, muffins, breads, and more.

Shelf Life

  • The added proteins in milk powder keep baked goods fresher for longer.
  • Items stay moist and texturally pleasing for several days after baking.
  • Enriched breads and cakes stale slower thanks to milk powder.

Using Milk Powder for Cooking

Beyond baking, milk powder can make many everyday cooking preparations richer and creamier. Keep these tips in mind:

Soups and Sauces

  • For thicker, richer soups and sauces, whisk in milk powder like you would flour or cornstarch.
  • Start with 1-2 Tbsp per cup of liquid and adjust to your desired consistency.
  • The milk proteins will gently thicken and add body, while the sugars add creaminess.

Casseroles and Vegetables

  • Make mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, mac and cheese, and other casseroles extra creamy with milk powder.
  • Add 2-3 Tbsp milk powder per 1 cup of liquid called for in recipes.
  • For plain steamed or roasted vegetables, sprinkle milk powder on top before serving.

Oatmeal and Porridge

  • For creamier, more filling oatmeal and other hot cereals, stir in milk powder while cooking.
  • Start with 2 Tbsp per serving and add more to taste.
  • Or add milk powder on top of cooked cereal and it will partially dissolve into a creamy topping.

Smoothies and Shakes

  • Blend milk powder into protein shakes, fruit smoothies, and milkshakes.
  • Start with 1-2 Tbsp per serving for thicker texture and richer flavor.
  • Also adds protein, calcium, and vitamins.

Meat Dishes

  • Adding milk powder to ground meats helps them brown faster when searing.
  • For pan sauces, stir in milk powder once cooked for a luscious finish.
  • Use about 1 Tbsp per pound of ground meat or per 1 cup of sauce.

Key Takeaway: Milk powder can make everyday cooking creations like soups, vegetables, cereals, shakes, and meat dishes taste richer and creamier. Start with 1-3 Tbsp per serving.

Using Milk Powder for Beverages

Of course, the most obvious use for milk powder is to make milk! But it also lends its magic to other hot and cold beverages.

Reconstituting Milk Powder

  • For 1 cup milk, whisk together 1/3 cup milk powder and 1 cup cold water until smooth.
  • For hot milk, start with hot water then cool slightly before drinking.
  • Refrigerate reconstituted milk in a covered container for up to 5 days.

Hot Chocolate and Malted Drinks

  • For richer hot cocoa, add 2-3 Tbsp milk powder per mug before mixing with hot water.
  • Make homemade malted chocolate or malted milkshakes with milk powder and malted milk powder.

Coffee Drinks

  • Add 2-3 Tbsp milk powder to coffee grounds before brewing for extra creamy coffee.
  • For lattes, stir milk powder into the espresso shot before adding steamed milk.

Chai Tea Latte

  • Add 3-4 Tbsp milk powder to chai tea concentrate along with sugar and spices.
  • Mix with hot water for an easy chai latte mix.

Protein Shakes

  • Blend 1-2 Tbsp milk powder into protein shakes to make them richer and creamier.
  • Also adds extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Alcoholic Drinks

  • Add 1-2 tsp milk powder to cocktails, especially creamy ones like White Russians or Brandy Alexanders.
  • Also works for spiked milkshakes and eggnog.

Key Takeaway: Milk powder makes hot chocolate, coffee drinks, chai lattes, shakes, and cocktails taste creamier and more indulgent. Use 1-4 Tbsp per serving.

Cooking and Baking Substitutions

When a recipe calls for regular dairy milk, you can often use reconstituted milk powder instead. But here are some more specific substitution tips:

  • Instead of heavy cream - Whisk 1/4 cup milk powder into 3/4 cup water until smooth. Chill before using.
  • Instead of buttermilk - For 1 cup buttermilk, blend 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup milk powder. Let sit 5 minutes before using.
  • Instead of sweetened condensed milk - Mix 1 part milk powder with 2 parts hot water plus 1 1/4 parts sugar. Whisk vigorously until sugar dissolves.
  • Instead of evaporated milk - Use reconstituted milk powder at a 2:1 ratio. For 1 cup evaporated milk, use 2/3 cup water plus 1/3 cup milk powder.
  • Instead of whole milk - Reconstitute skim milk powder as directed above. For richer flavor, mix skim and whole milk powders half and half.
  • Instead of heavy whipping cream - Chill thoroughly reconstituted milk powder overnight, then whip until fluffy.

Milk Powder Substitution Amounts

In place of:Use:
1 cup whole milk1/3 cup milk powder + 1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream1/4 cup milk powder + 3/4 cup water
1 cup buttermilk1/3 cup milk powder + 3/4 cup water
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk1/3 cup milk powder + 2/3 cup hot water + 1 cup sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk1/3 cup milk powder + 2/3 cup water

Key Takeaway: Reconstituted milk powder can replace regular dairy milk in recipes. Use a 1:3 ratio of powder to water for whole milk and a 1:4 ratio for heavy cream.

Extra Uses for Milk Powder

In addition to food and drinks, milk powder has some other household uses:

  • Add to bath water
  • Add to bath water to moisturize and soften skin. Start with 1/4 cup.
  • Make face masks by mixing milk powder with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
  • Mix with olive or coconut oil and a drop of lavender essential oil for a soothing lotion.
  • Sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming to help remove odors and freshen. Let sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming up.
  • Add a spoonful to dog food to provide nutrients and minerals for your pup.
  • Mix with bleach instead of water when cleaning white laundry to help brighten.
  • Sprinkle on greasy stains on fabric and let sit overnight before washing to help remove oil.
  • Make playdough by mixing 1 cup milk powder with 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water. Knead until combined.
  • Mix with Mod Podge or wood glue when decoupaging or sealing wood projects for extra strength.

Key Takeaway: In addition to cooking and baking, milk powder can also be used for skin care, pet food, cleaning, crafting, and more around the house.

Storing and Handling Milk Powder

Properly stored milk powder can last for 9 months to 1 year past the printed expiration date. Here are some tips for storing:

  • Keep milk powder in a cool, dry place. The ideal temperature is below 68°F.
  • Store in an airtight container or sealable bag to prevent moisture absorption. Glass jars or Mylar bags work great.
  • For long term storage, consider vacuum sealing or storing with oxygen absorbers.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations - don't store milk powder above the refrigerator or near the oven.

Once opened, milk powder is still fine for a few months but loses potency over time. Use opened milk powder within 2-3 months for best freshness and flavor.

To extend the shelf life of opened milk powder, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep it in an airtight container to prevent moisture absorption.


What is the difference between milk powder and instant milk?

Milk powder and instant milk are the same product - a dehydrated milk that is turned into liquid by adding water. The terms are used interchangeably.

Does milk powder curdle or expire?

Milk powder can eventually expire and curdle due to moisture absorption or temperature fluctuations after long storage. Properly stored, unopened milk powder lasts 9-12 months past the printed expiration date. Opened milk powder lasts 2-3 months in the pantry.

Is reconstituted milk powder safe for infants?

Reconstituted powdered milk is generally not recommended for infants under 12 months. Commercial infant formulas are specially processed for safety and nutritional content. For older babies and toddlers, reconstituted milk powder is fine.

Can you make yogurt from milk powder?

Yes, milk powder can be used to make homemade yogurt. Dissolve 1/2 to 1 cup of milk powder in 1 quart of water, boil, cool to 115°F, inoculate with a yogurt starter, and incubate 6-12 hours until set.

Does milk powder contain casein or whey?

Milk powder contains both casein and whey proteins in the same ratio as fresh milk - about 80% casein and 20% whey. Casein coagulates and solidifies during cheesemaking, while whey remains liquid.


Milk powder is an extremely versatile dairy product that serves many uses in cooking, baking, beverages, and even self-care. Keep milk powder stocked in your pantry so you can quickly thicken a sauce, boost protein in a shake, whip up soft bread, or enjoy a mug of creamy hot cocoa anytime.

With its long shelf life and powdered convenience, milk powder makes recipes richer, baked goods more tender, coffee drinks creamier, and everyday cooking easier. Harness the magic of milk powder to level up your culinary creations.

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *