While many liquids exist that serve as an alternate to milk for the lactose intolerant, I'm wondering to what extent can butter melted and mixed with water serve as a milk substitute, even if an imperfect one. Specifically I'm considering drinks, such as coffee, hot chocolate. Drinks that often don't require cream of milk but which personal preferences often include adding some or replacing water with it.

If I'm out of almond milk or non-lactose creams for my coffee, would mixing in a little butter make it creamier?

If I'm making hot chocolate and want it creamier than when made with just water, would a little butter help?

I've read questions on here that there is limited success mixing buttermilk and butter to get cream but it doesn't work for all uses, but that seemed to be focused on baking and whipping cream and not drinks.

  • 1
    I suppose you have to decide what exactly "serve as a milk substitute" means to you. Melted butter does not have the same flavor as cream, and melted butter mixed with water definitely does not have the same flavor as milk. But would it taste good? I don't enjoy it, but you might.
    – Juhasz
    Apr 12, 2021 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


No, it won't help you at all. Butter won't mix with any drink short of vla*. You will end up with a cup of coffee with a puddle of greasy melted butter swimming on top, or a chunk of butter if you are using iced coffee.

I've read questions on here that there is limited success mixing buttermilk and butter to get cream

The only question I have seen here which claims successful mixing uses milk (not buttermilk) and butter, emulsified with a vintage hand-operated device. If you had the device, there would still be two big problems left:

  • it is made for milk + butter, not water + butter
  • having the emulsion be stable under heating is quite a requirement - after all, even real cream separates in coffee if it has been standing around several days (if yours doesn't, it probably has added carrageenan).

And if you find out that it works nevertheless - are you really prepared to search for that kind of device on second-hand markets, have it take up space in your kitchen cabinets, and then, just when you are frustrated because your morning coffee is brewed but you have no cream, spend half an hour cranking?

If I were you, I would store a few sachets of powdered non-dairy creamer.

* I am now expecting a number of comments listing drinks which will mix with butter after all. My hunch is that none of them will be the kind of drink to which people add milk after serving.

  • What about soy lecithin-ade? That mixes with butter!
    – Sneftel
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:03
  • 2
    @Sneftel If you prepare a large glass of soy lecithinade and drink it in one sitting without gagging, I will personally give you a prize, sculptured out of pure butter!
    – rumtscho
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:09
  • OK, I'll take the bait: butter coffee. Most recipes I've seen use a blender to create a foamy emulsion.
    – Juhasz
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:13
  • @Juhasz interesting, I didn't expect it to work so well. (I was thinking of whether the combination is possible, but actually going into the direction of a classic liaison). I considered deleting the post, but I think that it is better to leave it here to be downvoted, since the assumption of nonmixing may be common, and it will be good to recognize that it is incorrect.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:22
  • Oh, I think it's a fine answer (that downvote didn't come from me). On the main, I agree with you: you can't add butter to coffee and expect it to work like adding cream to coffee. Butter coffee, as the name implies, is quite different from coffee with cream or milk. It requires special preparation and gives you a different result.
    – Juhasz
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:51

I certainly have no first hand knowledge of this, but I have read that the people in Tibet put yak butter in their tea.

Also it looks like someone else has come up with your idea (cow's butter in coffee):see



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