Evaporated Milk Substitute Guide: 10 Quick Fixes For Missing Evaporated Milk 

 Last Update February 4, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

Home / Guides / Evaporated Milk Substitute Guide: 10 Quick Fixes For Missing Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is a dairy product crafted by eliminating approximately 60% of the water content from fresh milk. What remains is a rich and creamy liquid characterized by a mildly caramelized flavor resulting from the heating procedure. It is commonly used in sweet and savory dishes as a versatile ingredient in recipes such as creamy soups, custards, puddings, and coffee creamer. Its concentrated form makes it a valuable addition to various culinary applications, offering a rich and creamy texture without refrigeration.

However, what should you do when you discover that you're in the midst of preparing a recipe, only to realize that a vital ingredient, such as evaporated milk, is missing from your pantry? Fear not. In this post, we will share substitutes for evaporated milk to rescue your culinary endeavors. Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just looking to try something new, we're about to embark on a journey through evaporated milk substitutes.

10 Best Evaporated milk substitutes

Regular milk and Cream

Regular Milk And Cream

Regular milk and cream are a fantastic combination that serves as an ideal substitute for evaporated milk in various recipes. To make this alternative, just combine equal proportions of whole milk and heavy cream. This mixture mimics the creamy consistency and richness of evaporated milk without much effort.

When to use this substitute? It works well in recipes that require evaporated milk's smooth and creamy texture, such as creamy soups, sauces, and baked goods like pies and custards. It's versatile and can be used as a one-to-one replacement for evaporated milk in most recipes.

The beauty of using cow's milk and cream as a substitute is that it's a readily available and cost-effective option in most kitchens. This versatile duo retains the creamy goodness of evaporated milk and can elevate the richness of your dishes, making it a convenient choice for both sweet and savory recipes.

Half-and-Half

A blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream, known as half milk and half cream, is an excellent replacement for evaporated milk in various culinary uses. With its versatile application in recipes, this substitute offers a creamy texture and mild flavor.

To use half-and-half as a substitute, you can typically replace evaporated milk with an equal amount. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, you can use 1 cup of half-and-half instead.

Half-and-half works well in recipes where you want a creamy consistency, such as in creamy soups, sauces, and certain desserts. Its moderate fat content gives dishes a smooth and rich texture without being overly heavy.

Powdered Milk

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is a practical and versatile alternative to evaporated milk in cooking and baking. It's essentially milk that has had its moisture removed, leaving behind a dry, powdered form. To replace evaporated milk with powdered milk, mix the powdered milk with water, following the instructions on the package until you achieve the desired consistency.

One of the key advantages of powdered milk is its long shelf life, making it a pantry staple that's readily available when you need it. It's a cost-effective choice, as a small amount of powdered milk can be reconstituted to make the equivalent of a larger volume of liquid milk.

Powdered milk is frequently used in various recipes, including baked goods, soups, and sauces. It imparts a creamy texture and contributes a subtle dairy flavor to dishes. Its versatility and convenience make it an excellent option for those looking to replace evaporated milk in a pinch or as a pantry staple for everyday cooking.

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a delightful and dairy-free substitute for evaporated milk, introducing a tropical twist to your recipes. To use it as a substitute, you can replace evaporated milk with equal coconut milk in your dishes.

The lush and velvety consistency of coconut milk can elevate the appeal of both sweet and savory recipes. It imparts a subtle coconut flavor that works wonderfully in dishes like curries, desserts, and creamy soups. It is especially well-received in culinary traditions from tropical regions and Asia.

Coconut milk is not just a tasty selection but also an appropriate alternative for individuals experiencing lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. Keep in mind that its distinct coconut taste may not be suitable for all recipes, so it's essential to consider the flavor profile of your dish when opting for coconut milk as a substitute.

Soy Milk

Soy Milk

Soy milk offers a versatile, plant-based substitute for evaporated milk, making it a superb option for those searching for dairy-free alternatives. To substitute evaporated milk with soy milk, simply use an equivalent amount of soy milk in your recipes.

Soy milk boasts a notable advantage with its neutral flavor profile, ensuring it doesn't overshadow the taste of your culinary creations. This quality makes it well-suited for many recipes, spanning from sweet to savory, including creamy soups, sauces, baked goods, and desserts. Additionally, soy milk is a protein-rich option that provides essential nutrients, rendering it a nutritious selection for individuals adhering to a vegan or lactose-free diet.

When using soy milk as a substitute, it's important to select unsweetened and unflavored varieties to avoid adding unwanted sweetness or flavor to your dishes. Additionally, soy milk works well in recipes that require a smooth and creamy texture, ensuring that your culinary creations turn out delicious and satisfying.

Nut Milk

Nut milk

Nut milk, like almond or cashew milk, proves to be a superb replacement for evaporated milk, particularly for individuals searching for a dairy-free alternative. With its naturally creamy consistency, nut milk closely mirrors the texture of evaporated milk. This makes it suitable for a wide range of recipes, including creamy soups, sauces, and desserts. It's a simple one-to-one ratio when substituting nut milk for evaporated milk. Substitute one cup of evaporated milk with equivalent nut milk in your recipe.

Nut milk is versatile and can be incorporated into sweet and savory dishes. Whether you're making a rich custard, a hearty pasta sauce, or a creamy hot cocoa, nut milk can deliver the desired creaminess without dairy. Depending on the type of nut milk you choose, you can add a subtle nutty flavor to your dishes, enhancing the overall taste of your recipes.

Oat milk

Oat milk

Oat milk is a notable alternative to evaporated milk, distinguished by its creamy texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor. This plant-based alternative, derived from whole oat grains, mirrors the consistency of evaporated milk, making it a suitable option for both cooking and baking. Its adaptability spans a range of recipes, encompassing both savory dishes and sweet desserts, providing a dairy-free solution for individuals with lactose intolerance or adhering to vegan dietary preferences.

The substitution ratio is simple: replace evaporated milk with an equal amount of oat milk in your recipe. This one-to-one substitution ensures that the texture and consistency of your recipes remain consistent. Moreover, oat milk's neutral taste ensures it doesn't overpower the other flavors in your dish, maintaining the desired taste profile. Its low fat content and absence of cholesterol also make it a healthier choice, adding nutritional value without compromising taste or texture.

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a luxuriously rich and creamy alternative to evaporated milk, making it an outstanding selection for those searching for a dairy-free option. To replace evaporated milk with cashew cream, simply use an equivalent amount of cashew cream in your recipes.

What sets cashew cream apart is its luxurious texture and neutral flavor profile. Cashews, when blended with water, create a smooth and velvety cream that closely resembles the thickness of evaporated milk. This creamy quality renders it a versatile ingredient that enhances the texture and flavor of sweet and savory dishes.

Cashew cream is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various recipes, including soups, sauces, curries, and desserts. It imparts a subtle, nutty undertone to dishes without overpowering the flavors. For optimal results when using cashew cream as a substitute, make sure to use the unsweetened and unflavored variety.

Yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt proves to be a versatile and nutritious alternative to evaporated milk in a variety of recipes. To replace evaporated milk with yogurt, you can use an equal amount of plain yogurt in your cooking and baking endeavors.

Its creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor profile make yogurt an excellent alternative. Plain yogurt, in particular, closely mimics the thickness of evaporated milk, making it suitable for recipes where creaminess is key. It is an excellent choice for sweet and savory dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and desserts.

When using yogurt as a substitute, opt for unsweetened and unflavored varieties to maintain the neutrality of the flavor. Yogurt not only adds creaminess but also provides a dose of probiotics, which can benefit gut health.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is an excellent substitute for evaporated milk, offering a unique flavor and creamy texture that works well in various culinary applications. To substitute evaporated milk with buttermilk, employ an equal amount of buttermilk in your recipe.

Its tangy taste sets buttermilk apart, which can add a delightful zing to both sweet and savory dishes. It's particularly popular in baking, contributing to tender and moist cakes, muffins, and pancakes. The acidity of buttermilk also makes it a suitable choice for marinades, salad dressings, and creamy soups.

How To Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk (or any milk of your choice)

Instructions

  1. Start by measuring 2 cups of whole milk or the milk you choose. Whole milk is traditionally used for evaporated milk, but you can use low-fat or non-dairy milk if preferred.

  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. To avoid scorching, use a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Let the milk simmer gently.

  3. Allow the milk to simmer gently. Reduce it by approximately half, a process that typically takes around 25-30 minutes. Occasionally, stir the milk to prevent sticking and scorching.

  4. Once the milk has reduced by half and thickened slightly, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. It will further thicken as it cools.

  5. Pour the homemade evaporated milk into a clean, airtight container or jar. Place it in the fridge and store it for a duration of 5-7 days. Be sure to mark the container with the date for future reference.

What's the difference between sweetened condensed milk, plain condensed milk, and evaporated milk?

Sweetened condensed milk, plain condensed milk, and evaporated milk all belong to the category of reduced milk, yet they exhibit distinct differences. Sweetened condensed milk is essentially cow's milk from which water has been extracted and subsequently sweetened with sugar, resulting in a thick and sweetened product.

Plain condensed milk is identical to sweetened condensed milk, excluding adding sugar. In contrast, evaporated milk is produced by heating milk to eliminate approximately 60% of its water content, creating a concentrated milk form without any added sugar. While evaporated milk has a slightly caramelized flavor, it's not inherently sweet like sweetened condensed milk.


Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.