We’ve all been there — your dry ingredients are combined and it’s time to add the dairy. But, oops, you forgot you ran out of butter or didn’t realize your milk had spoiled.
Do you make an impromptu trip to the store to pick up what you need? Do you knock on your neighbor’s door?
Nothing is worse than setting out with a baking plan in mind, only to have it thwarted by an unexpected snafu with ingredients. If only dairy products didn’t have such a short shelf life, right?
That’s where baking with dehydrated ingredients comes in.
What Is Dehydrated Dairy?
You’ve probably heard of powdered milk before; a prime example of dehydrated dairy. The process involves evaporating the milk until it’s dry and forms a fine powder.
Other types of dehydrated dairy include cream cheese, butter, and even sour cream.
It might seem odd at first, or perhaps you’re thinking there’s no way you can get the same kind of results.
We’ve got good news: dehydrated dairy works just as well as fresh dairy in baking and lasts longer in your pantry, too.
Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated
An important distinction to keep in mind is that freeze-dried and dehydrated are not the same thing, although both have longer shelf lives and involve removing moisture.
They differ in how much moisture is removed. Typically, dehydrating removes roughly 80 percent of moisture, whereas freeze drying removes about 98 percent of moisture.
The process itself varies, too. As the name implies, freeze drying involves lowering the temperature to below freezing, then slowly raising it to vacuum the moisture out. This process isn’t as accessible for everyone since it requires some specific technology.
Dehydration, on the other hand, uses heat to evaporate moisture. It’s also much more accessible since it can be done with a dehydrator, your existing oven, or even the power of the sun.
The Basic Benefits of Baking with Dehydrated Dairy
Fresh dairy has a relatively short shelf life. The great thing about dehydrated dairy is that its low moisture content means it has a much longer shelf life and also doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Powdered milk, for example, can last for over a year. Most manufacturers will recommend that you use powdered milk within 18 months. That’s a big difference from just a few weeks in the fridge!
What Can You Bake With Dehydrated Dairy?
Although it looks different than what you’re probably used to, you can use dehydrated dairy in all the same recipes you’d use fresh dairy in, and the results will be just as delicious!
Baking with Powdered Milk
Powdered milk can easily replace fresh milk. All it requires is some water to mix it with. Cakes, pies, bread — you name it, you can make it with powdered milk.
As a general rule of thumb, for every 1 cup of fresh milk, you can use ⅓ cup of powdered milk mixed with 1 cup of water. Then bake as normal. That’s all there is to it!
Baking with Butter Powder
Like powdered milk, butter powder can be combined with water as a butter stick substitute. On average, 1 cup of butter powder mixed with ⅓ cup of water is equivalent to one stick of fresh butter (or ½ cup).
Although butter powder has a different consistency than a stick of butter (it’s more like whipped butter), there’s virtually no difference in the final taste!
Baking with Cream Cheese Powder
At this point, you’ll probably be unsurprised to learn that you can also use cream cheese powder as a substitute for fresh cream cheese in everything from dips and sauces to spreads and icing.
Depending on your overall needs, you’ll generally mix 3 parts cream cheese powder in 1 part water. Just like with fresh cream cheese, you can stir it by hand for a creamy consistency or whip it for a light and fluffy finish. The amount of water added can dictate what kind of texture you are looking for!
Baking with dehydrated dairy is a game-changer. All you’ll need to bake with dehydrated dairy is a bit of water and some basic measuring skills. Or, you can take the measuring out of it completely — our baking kits come with everything you’ll need to make tasty treats, some including pre-measured dehydrated dairy ingredients.
Not sure which recipe to try first? We recommend these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes for fall! They use cream cheese powder and unsalted butter powder to create a moist cake full of seasonal flavor, topped with a dollop of indulgent icing.
After that, check out our BāKIT Box subscription so you can keep making delicious desserts at home without the hassle. Pick from our lineup of globally diverse recipes each month and we’ll deliver everything to your door. Sign up now!