Evaporated milk is not something everyone has in their pantry at all times, so knowing a couple of substitutes for evaporated milk can come in handy, especially considering just how many sweet and savory recipes call for it. In today’s article, we will be looking over some of the most common cooking ingredients that you can use as efficient evaporated milk alternatives.
Evaporated milk is a high-protein cow milk product made by heating regular milk until it has 60% less water content. The result is a concentrated, creamy, and caramelized milk product that is a tad thicker than regular milk. The heated milk is put into a can, which is further heated to remove any bacteria. This process gives the evaporated milk a long shelf-life of about 15 months. You can use evaporated milk to make various types of food. For example, this ingredient adds richness to mac and cheese, smoothies, custard quiches, pumpkin pies, ice cream, and tres leches cakes. A substitute for evaporated milk should be able to replicate these qualities.
When looking for an alternative to evaporated milk, consider these aspects:
- Calorie content: The calorie and fat content vary depending on the evaporated milk substitutes. For example, avoid heavy cream if you want to lose a few pounds.
- Texture and flavor: Consider the final texture and flavor before using any substitute. For example, coconut milk adds a coconut flavor to food. Heavy cream adds a creamy richness that may not be ideal for every food.
- Dietary preferences: Regardless of whether you’re a vegan or not, you can find a substitute. Still, it’s essential to know the vegan alternatives to evaporated milk, such as oat milk.
- Allergies and medical issues: Before preparing any meal with evaporated milk substitutes, consider any allergies, lactose intolerance, or other medical issues. For example, you should avoid nut milk if you have a nut allergy or rice milk if you have diabetes; rice milk has a high glycaemic index that may cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
The best substitutes for evaporated milk are regular whole milk, heavy cream, sour cream, half-and-half, powdered milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, rice milk, and nut milk. Read on to discover more about each option. Get additional info from the FAQs section.
1. Regular whole milk
Regular whole milk is a fantastic substitute for evaporated milk, although it’s thinner and lighter because it has more water. A cup of whole milk has fewer calories (146 calories) and protein (8 grams) than a cup of evaporated milk (338 calories and 17 grams of protein). As such, whole milk is excellent for weight loss.
When replacing evaporated milk with regular whole milk, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of regular whole milk. Add extra ingredients to make up for the difference in thickness and sweetness. For example, add flour to thicken sauces or sugar to make baking goods when using regular whole milk in place of evaporated milk.
It is also possible to use evaporated milk as an alternative to regular whole milk.
2. Heavy cream
Heavy cream is a great substitute for evaporated milk in frozen desserts, soups, sauces, casseroles, and pie fillings, thanks to its similar consistency. It adds creaminess and richness to any dish.
Heavy cream has more fat and calories than evaporated milk, so it should be avoided by people interested in reducing their calorie and fat intake. On the other hand, heavy cream is ideal for low-carb, high-fat diets like keto.
When replacing evaporated milk with heavy cream, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of heavy cream. It’s a good idea to blend or whisk the heavy cream first.
3. Sour cream
Sour cream is a good substitute for evaporated milk, adding creaminess to baked goods. The key difference between the two is that sour cream is more acidic.
When replacing evaporated milk with sour cream, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of sour cream. Be sure to blend or whisk the sour cream first. It might be necessary to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for butter, reduce it by 1/2 cup if you’re using fat sour cream or by 1/3 cup for fat-free sour cream. Moreover, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of sour cream.
It is also possible to use evaporated milk as an alternative to sour cream.
Half-and-half is a great alternative to evaporated milk for velvety soups, sauces, and desserts, thanks to its thick, creamy mixture and richer flavor. It’s a blend of 50% whole milk and 50% heavy cream.
Half-and-half has less protein and more fat than evaporated milk, so it’s not ideal for weight loss. To get half-and-half, buy a carton from the grocery store or make it at home by blending half milk and half heavy cream. Alternatively, mix 3/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream for a lighter consistency.
When replacing evaporated milk with half-and-half, apply the 1:1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of half-and-half.
5. Powdered milk
Powdered milk, or milk powder or dry milk, is a great substitute for evaporated milk, especially for baking cookies. It extends the shelf life of milk to 18 months. Unopened milk powder can stay up to 10 years.
When replacing evaporated milk with powdered milk, apply the 1:1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of powdered milk mixed with water. Check the milk powder package for instructions on how to blend with water.
6. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is the best vegan substitute for evaporated milk, despite its subtle coconut flavor. For example, use coconut milk to prepare creamy chicken or bean soup.
Various types of coconut milk are available, such as canned coconut milk, carton coconut milk, coconut cream, or coconut water. The canned version comes closest to evaporated milk due to its thick consistency. When replacing evaporated milk with canned coconut milk, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of canned coconut milk.
7. Soy milk
Soy milk is a fantastic plant-based alternative to evaporated milk, thanks to its thickness. It has a nutrient value similar to whole milk. The taste of soy milk is slightly different from whole milk but unnoticeable when combined with other ingredients in cooking or baking.
When replacing evaporated milk with soy milk, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of soy milk. If your soy milk brand is too thick, simmer it for a few minutes to reduce the water content.
8. Oat milk
Oat milk is a decent vegan substitute for evaporated milk, thanks to its mild flavor that won’t change the taste of your dish. It is made by blending oats with water. However, compared to homemade oat milk, the store-bought version has more nutrients like vitamin D and iron.
When replacing evaporated milk with oat milk, apply the 1:1 ratio. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of oat milk. To obtain a thicker consistency, simmer the oat milk for a few minutes before mixing it with the other ingredients.
9. Rice milk
Rice milk is a great plant-based evaporated milk substitute for people allergic to dairy and soy. It is made by soaking and crushing rice with water, resulting in a whitish liquid that resembles milk.
Rice milk tastes sweet, ideal for baked desserts. When replacing evaporated milk with rice milk, use the 1:1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of rice milk and add a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken it before mixing it with other ingredients for baking.
10. Nut milk
Nut milk is a great substitute for evaporated milk, especially for weight loss, since it has less fat and fewer calories. But it’s not as nutritious as cow’s milk.
Many types of nut milk are available, such as almond and cashew milk. Almond milk works better for ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, and puddings. Meanwhile, cashew milk is great for salty and spicy dishes, such as creamy red pepper sauce or curry. When replacing evaporated milk with nut milk, use the 1:1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 1 cup of nut milk. If the consistency is too thin, use a thickening agent such as tapioca flour.
Discover more useful information about evaporated milk and its substitutes.
How do I prepare homemade evaporated milk?
Follow these steps to prepare homemade evaporated milk:
- Begin by collecting two cups of whole milk in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Turn the heat on medium-high and bring the milk to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
- Once boiling, turn down the heat until it reaches low heat so that the milk is simmering gently.
- Stir frequently to make sure that the bottom doesn’t stick or burn.
- Simmer for about 45 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half—you should be left with about 1 cup of thickened, creamy evaporated milk.
- Let cool before transferring into an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can freeze evaporated milk for long-term storage.
What is the difference between milk and evaporated milk?
Evaporated milk has about 60% less water content than milk. Regular milk is heated until water evaporates, resulting in a thicker and creamier liquid. Apart from the thickness, evaporated milk is cream-white and has a slightly sweeter and richer taste than fresh milk.
Is evaporated milk the same as condensed milk?
Both products are canned and concentrated types of milk that contain 60% less water than whole milk. What sets them apart is that condensed milk has a fair amount of added sugar, while evaporated milk is unsweetened.
What does evaporated milk taste like?
Evaporated milk tastes creamier and a bit sweeter than fresh milk because of the reduced water content. Less water means a higher concentration of fat and sugar.
What does evaporated milk look like?
Evaporated milk has a cream-white color, darker than regular milk.
What does evaporated milk do for baking?
Evaporated milk adds a rich, creamy flavor to baked goods.
How long does evaporated milk last?
Unopened store-bought evaporated milk can remain at its best quality between 18 and 24 months. Opened evaporated milk can last between 5 and 7 days in the refrigerator.
What is the difference between evaporated milk and heavy cream?
A cup of heavy cream has almost three times the calories (~821 calories/cup) and five times the amount of fat (~88 grams/cup) of evaporated milk. However, evaporated milk has three times the protein (~17 grams/cup) content of heavy cream. You can substitute these dairy products with each other, but the dish with heavy cream will taste richer.
What can I substitute for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie?
Make a pumpkin pie with a 1:1 ratio of either heavy cream or half-and-half instead of evaporated milk. You can also substitute evaporated milk with dairy or dairy-free milk with one tablespoon of cornstarch added to the dry ingredients.
What’s the vegan substitute for evaporated milk?
You can use dairy-free milk like almond milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and rice milk as substitutes for evaporated milk.
Can you use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?
No, you shouldn’t use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. Condensed milk contains plenty of sugar, whereas evaporated milk is unsweetened. The large amounts of sugar in condensed milk can drastically change the taste of a recipe.
There are plenty of evaporated milk substitutes available. Pick a suitable alternative based on the highlighted factors, and you will have a tasty treat.