Skip to Content

Almond Milk vs Milk: Which Bakes the Best Muffin?

Almond Milk vs Milk: Which Bakes the Best Muffin?

Tips and tricks for the best baked goods using almond milk, rice milk and dairy milk.

Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

This post was originally published here in 2012 – and has become one of our most popular. In the last 5 years, the formulations of some plant-based milks have changed, so I retested these muffins. I’ve also updated the recipe, all the photos and information to give you the best baking results.

Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

Most plant-based milk company web sites specify that alternative milk beverages such as almond, soy and rice can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio, but they give few details on the potential outcome differences in the baked products, like muffins. However, a quick glance at the differences in nutritional content between the beverages led me to believe there might be small variances in the final baked products:

2% dairy milk Almond Milk Rice Milk
Protein 8 gm 1 gm 1 gm
Fat 5 gm 2.5 gm 2.5 gm
Carbohydrates 12 gm 8 gm 23 gm
Calories 130 cal 60 cal 120 cal

Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN? | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

When I first did this research, I used all-purpose flour only, and the results were more obvious. But I rarely make 100% all-purpose flour muffins anymore. This updated recipe uses whole wheat pastry flour which actually masks some of the differences between muffins.  However, some differences were still apparent. This is not formal research, but the folks I asked to taste my muffins are accustomed to doing taste-tests; so the results can be viewed with some validity:

2% Dairy Milk Almond Milk Rice Milk
Appearance  Raised highest  Lightest color  Smooth top  Raised least                Golden color             Cracked top  Raised medium          Light color              Smooth top
Texture  Light and moist            Tender crumb  Dense and moist      Fairly tender, squishy crumb  Dryer, especially day-old                               Almost gritty crumb
Taste and Aroma  Richer ‘egg’ flavor  ‘Sweet egg’ aroma  Subtle almond flavor  Slight ‘nutty’ aroma  Sweetest flavor    ‘Toasted’ aroma

As you can see, there are certainly differences in milk vs alternative milk beverages even with formulation updates and the use of whole wheat flour. (In all photos, the white muffin paper is almond milk, silver paper is dairy milk, red paper is rice milk.)

Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN? | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

In terms of overall performance:

  • Regular dairy milk performed the best – with higher rising, a moister muffin, and a better blank slate for flavor additions. Results are probably due to protein levels 8 times higher than other beverages.
  • Almond milk added a slightly nutty flavor to the muffins which would be a pleasant addition to many baked goods. The slightly drier texture could be remedied by under-baking the product by a few minutes or by adding juicy ingredients like berries.
  • Rice milk has twice the number of carbs as the other beverages, so it’s not surprising that rice milk muffins had a sweeter flavor. They also had the driest texture (especially one day later.) When baking with rice beverage, the amount of added sugar could likely be reduced by a couple tablespoons.  Almond milk vs. dairy milk: Which bakes the best muffin? via @TspCurry Click To Tweet

Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN? | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Almond milk, rice milk or dairy milk: WHICH BAKES THE BEST MUFFIN | @TspCurry - For more healthy recipes:

Almond Milk Muffins

5 from 1 review

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD
  • Yield: 13 muffins 1x


Simple and sweet, but not too sweet, these Almond Milk Muffins are the perfect basic recipe for which to add raspberries, blueberries, apples, or chocolate chips!


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk beverage, rice milk beverage, or 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 13 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, oil and eggs. Using a wooden spoon, stir into flour mixture just until moistened, about 15-20 strokes. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups using a large cookie scoop, or ice cream scoop.
  4. Bake muffins 14 minutes or until muffin top springs back when indented.

Have you had differing results with dairy milk vs alternative milk beverages?

For more baking tips, see: Which Protein Powder is Best for Baking?


Katie Anne

Thursday 18th of July 2019

I truly appreciate the time and effort you have put into this informative article! Very helpful since my son and I both drink Almond milk. Keep up the Amazingly helpful research, and thank your taste testers!

Serena Ball

Monday 22nd of July 2019

Great! So glad I could help - and thanks for letting me know Katie!

Susan Dunham

Wednesday 26th of September 2018

I did not make the muffins. I was trying to find out if almond milk can be used in place of regular milk. I guess I don’t dare try it in a cake recipe. Thank you for the article. I will try the recipe though.

Serena Ball

Thursday 27th of September 2018

Susan, you can always try it in cake. See my suggestions to underbake the cake by a few minutes, otherwise it will probably be dry. Thanks for visiting!

Sara Haas

Monday 13th of March 2017

Oh my gosh, I love stuff like this! Do more!!! So fascinating!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Thanks Sara. Golly you made my day!

Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

Monday 13th of March 2017

What a fun experiment!! Love that you gave these three a fair shot! I typically use almond milk in baking, but now I'm second guessing!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Almond milk was a very close second Tara! But if you need rise - especially when using whole wheat flour which tends to make baked goods heavier, you may want to try dairy milk.

Kathryn Pfeffer

Monday 13th of March 2017

This is such a helpful article for baking and for dairy alternatives. Almond milk is so popular right now, but it is key to be aware of the protein content lacking. Thank you for sharing this!!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

I was actually surprised how similar the milks were in terms of muffin performance, despite the BIG difference in protein content. But in terms of nutrition, I think the higher-protein dairy milk is superior. HOWEVER. the day after baking, the lower fat content of almond and rice milk was apparent because the muffins went dry and stale much sooner than the moist dairy milk (slightly higher-fat) muffins.

Comments are closed.