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Can You Substitute Condensed Milk for Evaporated Milk?

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If you have ever had a sweet, cold ice cream cone drizzled with a thick and creamy condensed milk syrup, you may have thought you just died and went to heaven. That’s how wonderful condensed milk can be!

However, what if you’re trying to make a loaf of sweet bread, or even your own homemade ice cream calling for a hefty drizzle of condensed milk on top, only to find that the store you shop at just carries evaporated milk?

condensed milk evaporated milk

Can you substitute condensed milk for evaporated milk?

Yes, you can substitute condensed milk for evaporated milk. A regular can of condensed milk equals one cup of evaporated milk with one cup of granulated sugar. We recommend brown sugar to get a more caramelly flavor.

Upon a quick search, you will find that both condensed milk and evaporated milk are derived from milk, containing only 40% of the watery part of the milk you know and love, since the other 60% is boiled off. This may lead you to believe that you can use one in place of the other!

While they’re not the exact same thing, evaporated milk can be a good substitute for condensed milk. As long as you remember to add some sugar you’ll be fine.

How are condensed milk and evaporated milk different ?

As we mentioned above, condensed milk and evaporated milk are both forms of milk whose water has been axed by 60%. That is why both are so thick and creamy!

However, the major difference between the two is that condensed milk is very sweet, its sugar content accounting for up to 45% of the whole liquid, whereas evaporated milk is unsweetened!

That means, if you don’t realize this huge difference and add evaporated milk to your sweet treat instead of condensed milk, that treat you’ve been dreaming about may not be all that sweet, after all.

So, what else can you use instead of condensed milk, if you can’t find evaporated milk ? Well, if you are in a bind and in need of a sweet ingredient similar to condensed milk, look over the alternatives we have compiled for you below!

Read Also:Pumpkin Pie Without Evaporated Milk 

Awesome alternatives for condensed milk

Whether your local grocery store does not carry condensed milk or you’ve simply run out of it at midnight before company comes over for the holidays, finding a substitute for such a distinctive ingredient can seem a little daunting!

But, don’t worry! That’s why we’ve made a list of alternatives for you! So, just pick your favorite and get cookin’!

Evaporated milk + sugar

As long as you add a bit of sugar to your evaporated milk, you can use it as an alternative! Just make sure you keep tasting it as you add you sugar; that way, you won’t have overly sweet or overly plain thickened milk in your dish!

The rule of thumb is usually about 1 cup of sugar added to every 12 ounces of plain evaporated milk.

Another thing you have to make sure to remember is to boil the mixture. If you don’t, you will be left with a very grainy, crunchy condensed milk substitute that could potentially ruin your sweet treat. As long as you boil the sugar down, it will smooth out and you will have just made homemade condensed milk! Congrats!

Cream of coconut

If you are not averse to the taste of or allergic to coconut, feel free to grab a bottle or can of cream of coconut! This option is absolutely delicious, does not require any work on your end, and is totally foolproof!

Because cream of coconut is so thick and so sweet, you can replace condensed milk perfectly with it! No need to add any more or any less than the recipe calls for!

The only thing you must remember when purchasing cream of coconut is the name. Look out for cream of coconut, NOT coconut cream. Though it seems as though the two would be the same, coconut cream – similar to evaporated milk – is not usually sweetened, whereas cream of coconut is!

So, if you’d like to use coconut cream instead of cream of coconut, just remember to add some sugar to it to keep the sweetness where it should be.

coconut cream

Make your own non-dairy substitute

Though this requires a little bit of extra work, if you would like to replace condensed milk with a non-dairy option, this is the way to go! This option is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or simply trying to get away from animal products for health or moral reasons.

To make your own dairy free condensed milk substitute, just grab your favorite non-dairy milk – coconut, rice, oat, almond, or cashew – reduce it down to a ⅓ of what you first added, and add some sugar!

Just like the 1st substitute, you’ll want to make sure you boil down the added sugar a bit, so as to not have bits of crunchy sugar in every bite of your sweet dessert.

Powdered milk

Again, this option will take a little bit of work, but hey, it will be a fun new experiment!

All you have to do for this one is mix 9 ounces of your powdered milk with some hot water (⅓ cup to be exact) in place of each can of condensed milk. Then, let it simmer for a bit as it combines. Finally, mix in some butter and sugar and allow it all to melt and mix together.

In a few minutes, you should have yourself a thick, creamy, sweet substitute for condensed milk!

Read Also:Milk With Ice Cubes: Is It A Thing ?

Ideas for condensed milk and its substitutes

So, now that we’ve talked about some great condensed milk substitutes, we thought we’d give you a list of desserts you can make with them! Have fun trying them out!

  • Drizzle for Delicious Ice Creams
  • Icing for Cakes, Cookies, and Sweet Breads
  • Sweet Custards for Tarts and Pies
  • Eggless Eggnog for the Holidays
  • Fillings for Cheesecakes
  • Sweetener for Coffees
  • Fondues and Sweet Dipping Sauces
  • Homemade Soft and Hard Candies
  • Jiggly Flans and Bouncy Panna Cottas


Now you should know how and when to substitute condensed milk for evaporated milk and also what other alternatives you have. Choose the one that is best suited for your situation.

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