Can I separate cream from powdered whole milk? I spend much of my time in the Philippines and milk is very expensive and cheeses are almost impossible to get. I am making pizzas and I want to make my own mozzarella cheese.I want to buy powdered whole milk in bulk for making cheese, butter, and ice cream. I want to remove some of the cream from the reconstituted​ dry milk to make butter and ice cream with and to use the milk with the cream removed to make cheese and buttermilk.

  • Hmm, isn't powdered milk just milk with the water taken out? And isn't cream just milk with less water?
    – Doug
    Mar 18, 2017 at 22:01
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    @Doug No, cream is NOT just milk with water removed. It is the high-fat layer that separates from the milk if it is not homogenized. Whole powdered milk contains the same percentage of fat as regular whole milk once reconstituted (between 3 and 4 percent), whereas cream contains upwards of 40% fat (less for "lighter") creams. See: eatouteatwell.com/half-and-half-cream-ormilk
    – Jolenealaska
    Mar 19, 2017 at 2:27
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    "and to use the milk with the cream removed to make cheese and buttermilk" - Cheese has to be made with full-fat milk. Except for a few special fresh cheeses (ricotta, low-fat quark), cheese needs the fat and even sometimes has to start with cream instead of milk. You may be able to make cheese from reconstituted milk (I don't know that for sure) but if it works, you won't be able to reuse that same milk for butter or cream.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 19, 2017 at 13:45
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    Butter does not come from buttermilk. Butter comes from cream; its the fat in the cream that is churned until it all coalesces into a mass. The liquid that remains after the cream has had all its fat removed in the butter-making process is buttermilk.
    – senschen
    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:38
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    @RoyLaFever you cannot maximize the use. If you make mozzarella, you cannot make butter. If you make butter, you cannot make mozzarella. The liquid left after any of the two is pretty much fat-free.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:43

3 Answers 3


I don't think you can get cream out of your milk - it would be homogenized by the process, and people would want their milk to be smooth and not separate out so they would take precautions against such a thing in the manufacturing. Also, a lot of the powdered milk I see sold is skim milk powder, you should be very sure you're getting full fat powdered milk even to try.

You might be able to get butter, but as far as I know butter from whole milk would be a lot of work for a relatively low yield (one reason cream is preferred, and butter was historically often made from soured milk - it was easier to get butter after culturing). Though it looks like powdered milk can be used in cheese-making (according to CMB92's link), for increasing yield of cheese or making fresh cheese (your mozzarella could qualify).

On the other hand, if you are buying in bulk, you might contact the seller and see if you can't get some packages of powdered cream along with the milk. They are likely made by the same manufacturers, and same processes, so it might be possible to substitute for part of your bulk order or else purchase additionally, or even inquire about other powdered products (buttermilk, sour cream, butter powder, etc). I've used powdered cream before...it can be a bit tricky to work with but, at least with the brand I got, you can make even whipped cream, and also butter - we almost did, from overwhipping the cream. And manufacturers recommendations usually include uses for ice cream and baking, although you will want to check by the brand you buy, since some recommendations differ. You can fortify your powdered milk for making cheese with, if you want higher fat.

And, heavens, I think it would be easier to have two or three packages to scoop out of rather than trying to reconstitute and separate the cream out of your milk (and store it up for separate uses). You might even be able to make skim milk powder work, if that is what is available, by supplementing it with cream powder to make a "whole milk".


No, it will not be possible. The cream will have been separated prior to the dehydrating process that turns the milk into powder1. You may be able to make some cheeses with it, but it is probably a gamble.


Use Full Cream whole milk powder?

Cream rises to the top of whole milk full bottles on front door steps on cold frosty mornings.

Make a pint of milk from full cream milk powder, put in freezer to semi freeze?

I have not tried this....

Just a (silly) thought, observation......

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