Food & Wine Editor
I Can't Believe It's Not Dairy
A substitute skeptic has found a way to salvage dairy-less dessert.
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If I constructed my own personal food pyramid, dairy would fill up well over half of it. Greek yogurt for breakfast, cottage cheese for lunch, and maybe a run to Pinkberry in the late afternoon. But, as I live with a group of kosher college girls, we don’t often use dairy when it comes to dessert.

Unacceptable!” I thought, as I was not raised kosher and hadn’t before cooked for people with dietary restrictions. Dairy-free ice cream? Such a thing exists? And I’m expected to eat cookies without dunking them in a glass of milk? Unthinkable. But I kept an open mind.

Though Helen contests that there is no dairy substitute that meets the caliber of true milk, I understand. After all—that’s how I felt before I delved into the world of dairy-free baking and discovered some “I can’t believe it’s not dairy” substitutes.

In the refrigerated section of the grocery store, there’s coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk — you name it. But almond milk is my favorite. First of all, it’s creamy, none of that watered-down fake-milk I’ve poured down the kitchen sink. Second, it has more calcium and protein than dairy milk, but we all know that’s not what we’re after. We want great flavor and moist texture in our desserts.

As for a butter substitute, that’s really not such a deal-breaker. Vegetable shortening or soy margarine, available in most grocery stores, taste like the real thing.

Don’t just take me on my word alone. Try some dairy-free baking, and let me know if you can or can’t believe it’s not dairy in the comments section below. Happy baking :)

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake (serves 16)
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Source: Silk.com recipes

• 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or soy margarine
• 4 Tbsp cocoa
• 6 Tbsp Silk Pure Almond milk or (original or dark chocolate flavor)
• 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired
• 2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup vegetable shortening or soy margarine
• 4 Tbsp cocoa
• 1 1/2 cups Silk Pure Almond milk, any flavor
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp vinegar
• 2 eggs, beaten

Make frosting

  1. Melt shortening or margarine in a medium saucepan. Add cocoa and almond milk and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts. Keep warm.

Make cake

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray or grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt shortening or margarine. Add cocoa and almond milk and bring to a rapid boil.
  5. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients, mixing well. Stir in baking soda, vinegar and eggs. Mix well and pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  7. While cake is still warm, prick thoroughly with a fork and pour frosting over cake.

Last Update:

12/28/2013 - 12:22


Why is Silk dark chocolate almond milk listed as U-D ?The label quotes as dairy free. Which one is correct?

I will try this recipe. But I think Silk brand almond milk IS dairy, that the hechsher is OU-D. But Lieber's is parve, as is Blue Mountain (?, Blue something or other).

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