How to Swap Different Types of Yogurts in Recipes

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2017

Supermarkets often carry yogurt made from cow's, goat's, and sheep's milks. If your recipe calls for one, can you sub in one of the others?

These days, grocery stores carry yogurt made not just from cow’s milk but from goat’s and sheep’s milks, too. Since goat’s and sheep’s milks often have gamy, grassy flavors, we wondered how they would work in recipes calling for ordinary cow’s-milk yogurt. We tried whole-milk versions of all three yogurts in Bundt cake, frozen yogurt, and a warm, savory yogurt sauce. In cake, the flavors of the goat’s-milk and sheep’s-milk yogurts were undetectable, but the sheep’s-milk cake seemed slightly richer and more moist, likely due to this yogurt’s high fat content (12 grams per cup versus cow’s milk’s 9 grams and goat’s milk’s 6 grams). However, in the frozen yogurt and yogurt sauce, tasters found that those funky flavors came through quite clearly. Bottom line? If you enjoy the funk of goat’s-milk and sheep’s-milk yogurts, feel free to use them in recipes calling for ordinary yogurt. Their impact on texture will be minimal, and depending on the dish, their barnyard-y characteristics may come through.