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The Great Yogurt Swap

Use yogurt in place of other ingredients using these cooking hacks!

Cooking ingredients, including a bowl of yogurt, with the title of the blog

Yogurt is often thought of as a breakfast food, added to smoothies, in a bowl of fruit, or on its own. These are all great ways to enjoy yogurt, but did you know you can use it for so much more?

A young boy getting ready to eat pancakes with a glass of milk

Why Yogurt is Great In Baking

Yogurt can make a great substitution in some of your favorite baked goods. Bakers rave about how fantastic it is at adding moisture, preventing your treats from coming out dry. It also adds a smooth texture and a richer flavor. Additionally, it can act as a binding agent, holding your ingredients together. In recipes with baking soda, it’ll help your batter rise as it reacts with the baking soda.

Other Reasons to Use Yogurt

Besides taste or it being the only thing in your fridge, there are a few great reasons to swap an ingredient for yogurt. One reason might be the tangy flavor it adds, which can complement both sweet and savory dishes.

If you’re using it in a cold dish, the probiotics might be a good reason to swap. Probiotics have a myriad of health benefits. (Which you can read about here.) Just keep in mind that if you heat the yogurt past 120°F, the heat will damage the cultures.

Yogurt is higher in protein than some other ingredients you might use in certain recipes. Adding it to your recipe might help you feel fuller longer and have other wonderful benefits. (Read about protein benefits here!) Beyond that, because of a natural reaction, using yogurt as a marinade on your meat helps it remain amazingly tender.

Finally, some people choose to swap yogurt into their recipes for health and dietary needs. Yogurt can be lower in fat or calories compared with some other ingredients. For those who are on a restrictive diet for those things, yogurt can provide a healthier alternative.

Woman thinking with drawn question marks and containers of Snowville Yogurt overhead

What Yogurt Should I Use?

Ultimately, what kind of yogurt to use may depend on the application. In most recipes, you’ll want a high-quality full-fat yogurt, like Snowville Creamery’s 6% Plain. Snowville Creamery’s lack of any additives can take some guesswork on how it’ll work in your recipe out since you don’t have to worry about thickening agents or unnatural flavors and sweeteners.

In some cases, you may want to try to be more adventurous and try a flavored yogurt, like maple yogurt in your pancake batter.

Some recipes or uses may lend themselves to a thicker yogurt. Snowville Creamery’s yogurt is already very thick, but if you need it even more so, all you have to do is drain off the excess liquid instead of stirring it in. (This is essentially what Greek yogurt is, and the liquid is whey.)

A wooden background with wooden letters that spell Swap

Switching It Up

Here are some substitutions you can use when baking, cooking, and beyond! Want a downloadable version? Grab our cheat sheet PDF below!

Yogurt Swap Cheat Sheet
Download PDF • 4.22MB

1 cup of butter = ¼ cup of yogurt + ½ cup of butter

In this application, you’ll still need a little butter, but this way you’re still getting those probiotics, flavor enhancements, and lower fat benefits of yogurt. Use this for baking or making a buttery spread.

1 cup of oil = ¾ cup of yogurt

When you’re baking, swap out some of that oil for healthier yogurt! Also good if you find yourself out of oil or just for flavor.

1 cup sour cream = 1 cup of yogurt

This substitution is one of the best ones. They have a similar flavor and consistency. And while we’re partial to crème fraiche, perhaps you’ve run out? Try it in tacos, wraps, chicken salad, pasta salads, or as a dip base. Just about anywhere you can use sour cream, you can swap 1:1 with plain yogurt.

1 cup buttermilk = 2/3 cup yogurt + ¼ cup milk

It’s easy to get caught without buttermilk on hand since not everyone keeps it in the fridge but if you have milk and yogurt, you can make this swap! This is great for baking uses or making your own salad dressings.

1 cup heavy cream = 1 cup yogurt

We know Snowville Creamery’s Whipping Cream is gold, but sometimes you might run out or it could be all snatched up off the shelves. Whatever the case, in recipes for baking and soups, you can swap it with yogurt. If you need it a bit more fluid and have a bit of whipping cream on hand, you can also do ½ cup yogurt + ½ cup heavy cream.

1 cup milk = ¾ cup yogurt + ¼ cup water

We don’t imagine this will be something you put on your breakfast cereal, but you may consider this an option in baking and cooking.

1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup yogurt

For cheesecakes, spreads, or desserts, you can use yogurt instead! It’s recommended, since yogurt tends to be thinner than cream cheese, that this is one you may have best luck straining the yogurt in advance.

1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup yogurt

Another unique 1:1 swap, this one will work best if you strain the yogurt first to ensure a thick texture.

1 cup of mayo = 1 cup yogurt

Give your pasta salads, chicken and tuna salads, and your sandwiches an extra pop by subbing out mayo for yogurt.

1 egg = ¼ cup yogurt

As mentioned before, yogurt can act as a binding agent in cooking, so it’s no surprise that you can swap yogurt for an egg in your recipes. This is great for people who are allergic to or intolerant of eggs.

Wooden letters that spell out tips with a light bulb

More Tips

Here are a few more tips for success when using yogurt in place of other ingredients.

  • Skip aluminum foil or aluminum dishes when using yogurt. The acidity can react to the aluminum for a very unhappy result.

  • It’s best to let yogurt get to room temperature before adding to a hot dish. Heating yogurt too quickly can separate it into curds and whey. If you choose to start with cool yogurt, low and slow is likely the way to go.

  • Fold your yogurt into your recipes instead of whisking or vigorously stirring. Too much stirring can cause yogurt to break down and thin out. (Unless that’s the desired texture, like with soups.)

  • Consider increasing flour in a recipe by ¼ cup or reducing liquid by that same amount if you are concerned about sogginess from the liquid in yogurt when replacing butter in baking.

  • If you don’t want to substitute 100% of an ingredient, you can always do half of that ingredient and the other half the prescribed substitution.

The Wrap Up

Whether it's for fluffy, delicious baked goods or as a creamy sauce, we hope we've inspired you to try yogurt when next you cook.

Hungry for some ideas? Check out our recipes! Got an amazing recipe of your own? We'd love to hear about it! If you're looking for where to buy Snowville Creamery's decadent yogurts, check out our store locator.

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