• Oatmeal cookie shots (Alicia Taylor)Source: Alicia Taylor
Here are 10 recipes to celebrate a whole range of milky goodness, from almond to soy, condensed to buttermilk.
28 May 2018 - 9:49 AM  UPDATED 4 Nov 2021 - 9:05 AM

Almond milk

Poached apricots with set almond milk

Make this elegant dessert in a glass to show off the layers of your efforts (literally). In one swift scoopful, expect sweetly spiced apricot syrup, juicy poached apricots, and smooth and gentle-tasting set mixture of almond and soy milk. The recipe calls for a homemade almond milk, but don’t worry, it’s just some almonds, soy milk and water soaked overnight then blended and strained. If you’re buying the almond milk, make sure it doesn’t have any sugar added - you want the milk part of this dish quite savoury, to contrast with the sweetness of the topping. 

Almond milk panna cotta with amaretto caramel

This elegant dessert could also be called almonds three ways: as a liqueur (amaretto), as a milk, sliced and toasted. 


Buttermilk-poached snapper with spring herbs

Tenderising, a little creaminess, and a gentle tang are the qualities buttermilk brings to the meat-poaching game. A scattering of olive oil, herbs and lemon zest give this simple fish dish restaurant-level appeal.  

Buttermilk pancakes with fresh coconut and kaffir lime maple syrup

Buttermilk pancakes have been all the rage in recent years, and with good reason: the acid in buttermilk reacts with the baking powder and soda to kick-start a scientific reaction that means loftier pancakes. Peaking eggwhites and folding them through the batter also helps to take these pancakes to new fluffiness levels. 

Condensed milk

Saffron and cashew bal mithai (caramelised cashew sweets with sugar nibs)

Necessity is the mother of invention, and one of its offspring is condensed milk, which came into being in the mid-1800s as a pre-refrigeration answer to milk longevity. This Pakistani recipe cooks down condensed milk with cardamon pods, ground cashews and saffron to creates fragrant, exotically-spiced toffees.

Key lime pie

To make this taste of Florida in a dish, all you’ll need is some hob nob (or digestive) biscuits and butter for the base, egg yolks, condensed milk and limes for the filing and whipped cream to serve. This version is the perfect balance of sweet and tang.

Coconut milk

Prawn and coconut curry (narkol chengri moli)

When adding coconut milk to curries (and if you're like us, this is as often as possible), it's added right at the end and not over-heated, to avoid the coconut milk splitting. 

Prawn and coconut curry

Pineapple, lime & coconut delicious pudding

Fans of a Splice ice cream, we have a winter version for you.  

Dairy milk

Oatmeal cookie shots

Oatmeal cookies are to milk what hot chips are to beer. Here's the classic combo in a mouthful that ramps up the novelty factor.

Oatmeal cookie shots

Jalisco flan (jericalla) 

Curdled and burnt may not sound like the ideal assets for a flan, but they are the desired outcome for this one. Invented by a nun in the Mexican state of Jalisco to provide malnourished orphans with extra calcium, who left the flans in the oven too long one day, but it went down a treat with the children and became the preferred way of cooking them. 

Evaporated milk

Dan tat (egg tarts)

You no longer have to trek to Chinatown for your favourite egg tarts. Considered a legacy of the Portuguese and British, the Cantonese egg tarts differ from their originals with an absence of spice like cinnamon or vanilla,  no brulee'ed top, and slightly smoother, less rustic custard.

Egg tarts

Mango sago

Evaporated milk is thicker and creamier than fresh dairy milk, used to bring these qualities to desserts, like this luxurious but light mango sago pudding.

Long-life milk

Milly mess

Long-life milk may not have such a long life once you find out you can use it in this retake on a mille-feuille-meets-vanilla-slice.

Cheat’s rasmalai

Never heard of rasmalai? It's time to get acquainted. This one may not the traditional version, using ricotta in place of paneer, but creates the same effect. Springy balls of baked light cheese soaked in a chilled brew of spiced milk for up to two days.

Cheat's rasmalai

Rice milk

Kooky coconut rum horchata

With a full-on lineup of coconut cream, ice cream, booze and donut and chocolate bar topping, this Monster Shake gets some light relief from rice milk.

Rice milk pots with raw cacao chocolate sauce

How do you make a healthy Spanish arroz con leche with chocolate sauce? You use brown rice, unsweetened almond milk, cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup and some spices, that's how. 

Soy milk

Soy milk jellies with coffee syrup

These cute little jelly treats take all the lovable features of a Vietnamese coffee (coffee and condensed milk) and mixed them around to end up with a soothing, barely set milky jelly with the jolt of a strong, coffee-based syrup.

Silken tofu with ginger syrup (tahwa)

Silken tofu is the answer to your silky, creamy guiltless dessert dreams.

Our all-time favourite flans
If you're craving crème caramel, get your eyes across these custardy flans from across the globe.

10 ways to milk beyond your daily cuppa
It's time to start winning the race against the use-by clock.

More milk
Vietnamese coconut crème caramel (kem flan)

The Vietnamese can thank the French for introducing crème caramel to their cuisine but we can thank the Vietnamese for adding coconut. Rich dark caramel coating a silky coconut custard is simply a combination that was meant to be. In different parts of Vietnam, this is also known as bánh caramel, kem caramel in the north or bánh flan.

Caramelised Fuji and Calvados ice-cream

This is a warming and boozy ice-cream reminiscent of the flavours of an apple tarte tatin.

Three milks cake (pastel de tres leches)

Immensely well-loved in Latin America, a recipe for this wonderfully milky cake appeared on the label of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk cans in the 1940s, possible explaining why its popularity has spread so widely in this part of the world.    

Vanilla slice

Vanilla slice seems to be one of those bakery goodies that's always bought and never made. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make, though... and how utterly delicious it is when you do. The trick is to make sure the pastry is well baked and a deep golden colour. Also, sandwiching it between two large oven trays means that the pastry isn’t allowed to ‘puff’ while baking, resulting in a wonderfully crisp casing for the luscious custard filling.

Homemade yoghurt

Once you start your own batch of homemade yoghurt you'll have an endless supply, as a few spoonfuls of the previous batch is added to warm milk to make the next. You can begin by using good-quality commercial yoghurt.