I typically use low fat milk when I bake because that is what I keep in my kitchen on a regular basis. Whole milk before the 1970s was closer to 5% fat and it makes a big difference in those old recipes. We accidentally used two percent on a custard recipe and freaked out…but all is well.
This is especially confusing to those who are routinely guided by pediatricians to switch their children to low-fat milk at age 2. This brings a couple of questions to the surface: what is the difference between whole milk and skim milk, and does it matter what you use when it comes to baking?


I prefer to use whole milk in ice creams and custards when possible because that small amount of extra fat in the milk contributes to a much richer mouthfeel in the end. This means that cakes and muffins with slightly more fat in them tend to have a finer crumb and not be quite as dry when they have a little more fat in them. In cakes, muffins and other baked goods, you should have results that are very, very similar regardless of what type of milk you use. Just like with chicken soup where chickens today have less than half the flavor when boiling down so we must compensate to some degree.
Although the study was not comprehensive, certainly the findings should prompt further research and dialogue with health care providers.


You can substitute low fat or skim milk in just about any recipe that calls for milk, but because the recipe was probably designed to work with a little more fat in it, you should mix carefully so that your product doesn’t become tough from overmixing.



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