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Can I Use Water Instead of Milk in Bisquick?

My grandkids love pancakes. But, what do you do when they want some made right now, and you are fresh out of milk? Can you use water? I have been in this spot more times than I can count and can give you a definitive answer.

Water is a perfectly suitable substitute for milk in Bisquick. While milk contributes to Bisquicks retention of moisture, its tender crumbly texture, and its browning potential when baked or cooked, substituting water will not negatively affect the end product in a largely obvious way.

You can substitute water at a ratio of 1:1. Follow the other instructions precisely the same as you would if using milk. Milk substitutes like plant-based milk, cream, yogurt, or sour cream can also make adequate substitutions. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and further explore potential substitutes.

Pros and Cons of Substituting Water for Milk in Bisquick


Milk contributes much in the way of flavor and texture to pancakes or baked goods made with Bisquick. You can certainly substitute water in a pinch and still make something tasty, but you will be sacrificing some elements that you should be aware of. Even with some aesthetic loss, the resulting food items will still be reasonably satisfying.


  • Bisquick baking mix by itself contains no eggs or dairy products. Substituting water for milk maintains its dairy-free and vegan status.
  • Milk can be expensive. Substituting water saves you a little cash.
  • Even when substituted with water, Bisquick still tastes good and stays together despite a slight loss in quality.


  • Milk contributes to color. Browning will be less significant when you use water instead of milk.
  • Proteins contained in dairy milk add flavor, texture, and a tender, crumbly constancy to things like biscuits or pancakes. Water adds no flavor to your mix.
  • Dairy milk is an excellent source of calcium, and nutrients such as Vitamin D. Substituting water will lose these nutritional additions.
  • Milk adds moisture to your baked goods or pancakes that water simply isn’t able to provide.
  • Making pancakes or biscuits with milk will be less fluffy than if made with milk.
Box of Bisquick With an Empty Milk Jug and a Cup of Water in Front

Related The 32 Best Milk Substitutes for Recipes (Dairy & Non-Dairy).

What Else Can You Substitute for Milk in Bisquick?

Plenty of ingredients can substitute for milk in Bisquick mix. Some require a slightly different ratio to retain the same thickness of the batter or dough. Each substitution will result in a slightly different finished product with an individual list of pros and cons associated with each replacement. Some bakers and cooks actually prefer certain substitutes for their flavorful and textural contributions to their dishes.

  • These substitutes tend to result in a heavier batter or dough and should be cut with water. Dilute these cream products with 1/3 water. Cream as well as half and half, add more flavor to your baking and create fluffier pancakes.
  • Almond, Coconut, Soy, Cashew, Oat, Rice, and Hemp milk can all be substituted effectively at a ratio of 1:1. These milk substitutes contain far less fat than traditional dairy milk. Each variety of plant-based dairy has its own unique flavor and nutritional profile.
  • Much like heavier creams, these substitutes need to be diluted with water. Cut them with 1/4 water and then substitute this mixture at a ratio of 1:1 for milk. The tangy flavor of these cultured dairy products will add character to your biscuits or pancakes that will tickle your taste buds without being overpowering. Non-dairy yogurt can be substituted in much the same way and at the same ratio.
  • Simply follow the instructions to reconstitute and then add at a ratio of 1:1. You won’t be able to tell any noticeable difference between using traditional milk. Powdered milk, especially, is almost identical to skim milk. It should be noted that Powdered and Evaporated milk typically has less fat than whole milk.

What Is the Healthiest Milk Substitute?

There is some debate in the culinary world as to which milk substitute is the healthiest. When considering just fat and calorie content, unsweetened almond milk takes the cake, but when looking at overall nutritional facts, hemp milk comes out on top.

Hemp milk is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, crucial for brain and heart function. Hemp milk is also rich in calcium. It has a rich nutty flavor similar to nut milk and a smooth, slightly thick consistency similar to 2% dairy milk. Unlike other substitutes, hemp milk is considered a complete protein, which means that it contains the nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has saved the day for you and allowed you to enjoy your Bisquick “dish.” Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, don’t miss Why Do My Pancakes Fall Apart? | How to Fix It.