Everything You Need To Know About Using Condensed Milk Substitutes

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Why a substitute for condensed milk? While most people love to use milk for most of their foods, like coffee and for baking cakes, others prefer using condensed milk substitutes.

This is not because condensed milk is generally bad or poisonous. It is because some people cannot tolerate the high lactose content of it. Some are allergic to lactose or just don’t like it and cannot use it even if it is just a drop of it.

But then it isn’t just because of health issues. In some parts of Denmark for instance, there is no condensed milk. So it is very important to know that there are other ways to get substitutes for this and so it does not hinder the possibility of having meals that one wants just because you ran out of condensed milk.

Reasons for a substitute for sweetened condensed milk vary from person to person. For some people, they prefer the substitute they make for specific foods and for others, they take it for the nutrients they feel the sweetened condensed milk does not offer.

Also for some, it is usual to try all the alternatives out there. They go from one to the other. Not particularly searching for a particular substitute, but just on a culinary adventure – trust me, culinary adventures are the absolute best. This is how most people happen upon some delicacies they can’t do without. So it is normal to want a new taste to whatever you usually used the sweetened condensed milk with.

Condensed Milk – Any Different from Evaporated Milk?

Condensed milk is basically just cow’s milk. But the thing is that cow’s milk has so much water on its own. So to get you condensed milk which is just absolute milk, you have to heat the milk gotten from the cow until all the water evaporates out and you are left with just the milk.

What we see most times is the sweetened condensed milk which is gotten by just adding sugar to the result you got from evaporating the cow’s milk. It is as simple as that. And which sometimes, we can’t even find to buy.

Maybe you have run out of the usual one you have at home and you do not want to go out to get some. There is a way you can make it by just simmering milk and sugar, together, in a low controlled heat. What you will get when this is over is a thick syrup-like kind of milk that you can use straight away as a sweetened condensed milk.

Some people see evaporated milk as condensed milk but this is not right. Technically, both are gotten through the same procedure. They are both gotten from cows and are both heated to remove the water. The difference is in the end of the production. Where the production of evaporated milk stops after the heating, condensed milk goes one more step forward and that’s where the sugar is added.

This is why condensed milk is usually called sweetened condensed milk. Some people mistake one for the other easily. They both taste different though so it is easier to identify right after tasting.

What Can You Do With Condensed Milk?

There are a lot you can do with sweetened condensed milk. You can add it to your iced coffee or tea to make one sweet hell of an afternoon drink. In Vietnam, it is regarded as a perfect creamy antidote for their dark coffee beans. When added to some other drinks it brings out some really amazing taste you could never have imagined. It is also one of the most important ingredients.


If you have tasted any fudge it was used in, you would taste its creaminess there and if by chance you have had the magic that is a coconut macaroon that it was included you would understand why it is called one of a kind.

When you add a tablespoon of it as marinade for pork or chicken, just believe you are about to taste something really heavenly in taste. If you add it to ice cream, you would get it creaminess and taste in one brilliant explosion. The fact is that you can add it to almost anything and it would transform it into something extraordinary in taste. It is perfect in whatever way you decide to make use of it. You can rub it on the flat side of a slice of bread and it will still taste good.

But like every good thing, it has its good and not so great features. While it taste great, it also has a lot of lactose and large amount of carbs which some people can’t help in their system. This is why there are substitutes.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitutes You Can Easily Prepare

The best thing about the substitutes you can use in place of sweetened condensed milk is the variety of needs they cover. The texture, taste, health benefits and other boxes are checked. It all depends on what you want and what you are trying to make.

For instance, if the reason you have been looking for a substitution for sweetened condensed milk is because you are lactose intolerant, then you can make the dairy free condensed milk alternative that is as safe as can be for your health. Another good thing is that they are all easy to make and use. This is good because you can trust what you make with your hands more than what you get from the store or the market.

There is the probability that what you want to make will not be as good as you want it to be with the sweetened condensed milk. Some people want whatever they are baking to have a certain texture or taste to it and as a result they can’t trust the normal sweetened condensed milk. They have to make their own substitutes that will help them attain that perfect feel they want.

For those who have one or more reasons why they would need a substitute for condensed milk, these are a few substitutes you can make easily and in no time at all.

Non-Dairy Sweetened Condensed Milk

For those who are lactose intolerant, you would need the non-dairy condensed milk. The reason you can’t have the sweetened condensed milk is because the sweetened condensed milk contains a whole lot of milk sugar and we both know that ain’t good news. It is believed that about seventy percent or more of people in the world are lactose intolerant, so you can see why it is very important to know which side of the scale you are on and which type of milk you should consume.

The truth is that being lactose intolerant does not completely hinder you from having condensed milk. But it is advised you should not consume condensed milk because of its high lactose content. Sometimes you do not experience the consequence until you have consumed too much of it without knowing. This can be helped with the dairy free condensed milk. It does not take much to make and does not take more than five or ten minutes and it is ready.

To make your non-dairy condensed milk, you’ll need 2 eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt. To make, all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and use as ingredients for pies and desserts. You should note that this contains raw eggs so if you would like to use it for either baking or in cooked food, it is completely up to you.

Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed milk

This is for those who do not want sugar in their condensed milk. They want to taste just the creamy texture it gives to their drinks or what it gives to their baked food. For this, you do not need too much ingredients either. You need 3 teaspoons of melted butter, ⅔ cup of any sugar substitute of your choice, ⅓ cup of boiling water and a cup of instant milk powder.

How to make: There is no real work in the preparation of a sugar-free condensed milk. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until they are smooth and thick. Then you put in a sealed container and keep in a fridge. It can be stored for just twenty four hours and then you have to get rid of it. Thus it is advisable to make just enough that is required for your recipes so there is no waste.

Dairy/ Egg/ Gluten-free Sweetened Condensed Milk

Another awesome substitute, to make, use 3 cups of soy milk or almond milk, 3 cups of white sugar and 3 teaspoons of corn flour.

How to make: You have to heat up the milk and the sugar together in a saucepan. Then you have to stir. This is to let the sugar in the milk dissolve while it cooks on a low heat for a bit (maybe fifteen to twenty minutes). In a cup or bowl, you add a little corn flower to water and mix until you have a thick paste with no lumps at all.

Then you pour the corn flour into the milk while still heating and then you turn off the heat and stir. Please stir until it is thick and then use. You can keep it in a sealed container in a fridge for up to four days. This is a perfect gluten free, egg free and dairy free substitute… 3 in 1 awesomeness.

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

It is very difficult to find a substitute for sweetened condensed milk that fits the vegan diet, and the one below doesn’t take anything huge to make, it’s simple and fast to make. With this absolutely fantastic vegan sweetened condensed milk, you are sure to get a blend of rich texture and taste when it is included in your cup of coffee for sure! Or anything you’ll love to use condensed milk for.

How do you make this vegan condensed milk? 

Simple, as mentioned above, to make this particular sweetened condensed milk substitute you do not need much ingredients: you only need two. All you need is a can of full fat coconut milk and an organic cane sugar or any sweetener of your choice. I definitely recommend the cane sugar.

To get the absolute best result you have to be conscious of the timing; when to put it down and things like that. To get this is actually very basic. All you have to do is let the sugar and the milk boil and then let them simmer together for about forty to fifty minutes and then you can put it down. See? Pretty easy. Now you can enjoy. Just stick to that time range and you’ll have a great substitute.

More Replacements for Sweetened Condensed Milk

You can use sweetened condensed milk for basically almost everything. From the usual pie you eat as snacks down to your coffee. It gives that creaminess to your drink and this is why everyone seems to float towards it. But as you already now know, it has that issue of carbohydrate (sugar) for some persons.

This makes it difficult for others who have a no or low carbohydrate diet limitation to use it and thus has pushed some people to either take the risk or deprived themselves of some of the meals they really want in their mouth. The good news is that apart from the substitutes listed above, there are other ways to actually replace condensed milk.

There are other things you could use in its stead and still get the result you want. And it doesn’t matter if you wanted it in a recipe or just to add on top of something to get a distinct flavor or texture.

Evaporated Milk

Since both evaporated milk and condensed milk are concentrated milk, they get mixed up quite a lot but you don’t have to mix them up anymore. Just always remember that the difference is that after heating, sugar is added to the condensed milk.

But without that they are almost just the same.

This is why evaporated milk serves well when some people need low sugar concentrated milk. So if you want that creamy and tasty feel in your coffee drink. You could just grab a can of evaporated milk and a pack of low carb sugar (there are a lot out there) and you get the same result in creaminess and flavor.

Table Cream

Most people do not know that the Table cream is one of the best options for low carbs diet. It has the same creamy consistency as the sweetened condensed milk. The one big advantage it has is the fact that it is not sweetened.

This means that it has really low carb and so a very choice for desserts and a perfect choice as a substitute for condensed milk in baking foods. So it is actually you could make it without any sweetener or with a low carb sweetener.

Heavy Whip Cream

This will come in handy if you do not want any of the other options. You can make this in no time at all. You just have to be able to put the things needed together and watch out not to mess things up. As you perfume the process of using whip cream, you should be conscious of three things: timing, quantity and timing.

To make this whip cream substitution, you will need about two cups of really heavy whipping cream and maybe four to six eggs. You will put these in a saucepan over low heat and then you whisk until it is as thick as you think it should be.

The best part of using the heavy whip cream is that it is a healthy sweetened condensed milk substitute. It is made from fresh milk and so it can be used for pies and soups and homemade ice creams.  It is perfect and reliable for people hinging on low carb diets and a perfect condensed milk replacement.


Sweetened condensed milk is one of the biggest gifts in the kitchen world. It makes everything taste better and then there is the texture. Drinks, cakes, pies and all become better with sweetened condensed milk.

Basically, this is trying to provide you with healthy options that will help you make good choices on how to stay safe while getting the choice of food you want. You do not have to risk your health to get what you want nor do you have to deprive yourself of some really delightful food choices.

Really, you can still enjoy those meals made with sweetened condensed milk, you don’t have to run to the grocery store to get more just in case you actually ran out of it. And if it’s because of health or dietary restrictions, no worries, these substitutes has got you cover.

One good thing about these substitutes is that you don’t have to look far to get them to use, you just have to get the ingredients which are not really difficult to get. With these condensed milk substitutes, you are just a few steps away from getting your healthy, tasty meal.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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