Have you ever run out of evaporated milk and need to make a recipe that calls for it? Don’t worry because there are plenty of evaporated milk substitutes that you can use to get the job done, and most of them are probably already in your kitchen pantry.
Here are 7 great substitutes for evaporated milk.
1. Full Fat Cow’s Milk
Full fat cow’s milk is a type of dairy product that comes from the milk of a cow. It’s thick and creamy, and high in fat and protein, making it a popular choice for many food and drink recipes that require a rich and creamy texture.
Can I Use Full Fat Cow’s Milk Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Definitely! Many people are unaware that they can use full fat cow’s milk as a replacement for evaporated milk in their cooking. It’s actually one of the best substitutes there is and is probably one of the easiest ones you can use, too. Evaporated milk is often used in recipes to add thickness and creaminess, but it can be replaced with full fat cow’s milk with similar results.
Aside from doing a direct substitution, you can actually make your own evaporated milk from full fat cow’s milk.
Simply heat 2 cups of full fat cow’s milk in a saucepan over high heat until it reduces to a little over half its original volume. This gets rid of the excess moisture and leaves you with something closer to evaporated milk in terms of thickness.
Cow’s milk is a good source of calcium, which is one of the most important minerals in our bodies. Calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, helps support nerve function, and regulates muscle contractions. Calcium is also essential for blood clotting and helps to regulate heart rhythm. Cow’s milk is also a great source of protein, which helps support healthy muscle tissue, skin, hair, and nails, as well as crucial organs such as the heart and brain.
Best for: sauces, fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, flan, flavored drinks, coffee-based beverages, desserts
How to Substitute Full Fat Cow’s Milk for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 ½ cup of full fat cow’s milk.
To get the best results when using full fat cow’s milk instead of evaporated milk, be sure to adjust your recipes accordingly. For example, you will typically want to use a bit more sugar than recommended for dessert recipes since evaporated milk isn’t as sweet as typical cow’s milk. Additionally, you may need to cook sauces and stews longer in order to fully thicken when using cow’s milk instead of evaporated milk.
You may need to adjust the liquids in your recipe as well, since you would be adding more full fat cow’s milk then you would with evaporated milk. The best way to do this is to reduce the water or milk content of your recipe.
2. Cream and Water
Cream is made through skimming and churning milk to separate the high-fat milk solids from the rest of the milk. It is typically used as a condiment in cooking and baking to add richness and smoothness to dishes.
Can I Use Cream and Water Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Yes, cream and water can be used as a substitute for evaporated milk. Cream is a thick and rich dairy product that is often used as a replacement for evaporated milk in recipes, but it has to be diluted first.
While evaporated milk is made through a heating and evaporation process, cream is made simply by allowing fresh milk to sit undisturbed until the fat has risen to the surface. It has a much thicker texture, which makes it a perfect component for fluffy whipped cream or velvety sauces. It’s fantastic with baked goods like cupcakes and cakes, or in rich, creamy recipes like mashed potatoes and ice cream.
Cream is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. These vitamins play crucial roles in everything from supporting bone health to promoting cell growth. For example, vitamin A helps to prevent vision loss and plays an important role in immune function, while vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium. Additionally, both vitamin E and K have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Best for: fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, flan, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, desserts, cream-based sauces
How to Substitute Cream and Water for Evaporated Milk
For sauces, substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with ¼ to 1/2 cup of cream and ⅛ cup of water. For baked goods, substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with ½ cup of cream and ⅛ cup of water.
Because it has had some of its moisture removed, evaporated milk tends to have a slightly thicker, richer texture compared to cow’s milk. However, with cream, you’ll need to increase the moisture level since cream is much thicker than evaporated milk. This may potentially impact the overall moisture level of your recipe, so be sure to adjust your water and oil content accordingly.
3. Half and Half
Half and half is a dairy product made of equal parts whole milk and cream. It can be used in place of evaporated milk in many recipes, or simply enjoyed on its own as a cool and satisfying drink.
Can I Use Half and Half Instead of Evaporated Milk?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can use half and half in place of evaporated milk when making certain recipes. This dairy product is typically made from equal parts whole milk and cream, and it offers a rich, creamy texture that complements both sweet and savory dishes.
Half and half has a similar consistency to evaporated milk, so it’s perfect for coffee, tea, sauces and soups. It works especially well in recipes that call for a thickener, like gravies or sauces. Additionally, just like regular milk or cream, half and half can be boiled without curdling or separating.
Half and half is rich in calcium and protein, two key building blocks of strong bones and muscles. It also contains a number of antioxidants, which help to protect cells from free radical damage. Additionally, half and half contains less sugar than regular cow’s milk, making it a lower calorie, lower sugar option for those who are managing their weight.
Best for: sauces, fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, cold drinks, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, cooking, savory recipes, sweet recipes
How to Substitute Half and Half for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 cup of half and half.
It’s important to note that evaporated milk has a similar consistency to half and half, so it’s a straightforward substitution. For example, if you are making a sauce or gravy that needs to be relatively thick, you may need to slightly shorten the cooking time to avoid letting your sauces or gravies from becoming too thick.
On the other hand, if your recipe calls for a base that is already relatively thin, there’s a risk of further diluting it with the addition of half and half, unless you plan to take some extra time to reduce the liquids.
Feel free to do some trial and error until you reach your desired consistency.
4. Powdered Milk
Contrary to what its name suggests, powdered milk is not simply dehydrated milk. Rather, it is made by evaporating milk until it thickens and then pulverizing it into a powder, which is why it is typically used as an alternative to evaporated milk.
Can I Use Powdered Milk Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Yes, you can use powdered milk instead of evaporated milk. Powdered milk can be reconstituted with water to form cow’s milk, which you can then use in your recipes. However, there are some caveats to using powdered milk, and they are worth mentioning because they can really affect the overall texture of the recipe.
In some cases, powdered milk can leave an unpleasant grainy texture and be less effective at adding moisture and structure to baked goods. As a result, your recipe may need some heavy tweaking in order for it to work. Also, powdered milk tends to contain more sugars per serving compared to evaporated milk, which makes it more difficult to work with in some recipes.
Powdered milk is high in protein, which helps to keep your muscles strong, and it contains calcium, which promotes bone health. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamin D. Studies have shown that getting adequate vitamin D is critical for reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as preventing mood disorders like depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Best for: sauces, fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, cold drinks, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, cooking, baking
How to Substitute Powdered Milk for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 cup of reconstituted powdered milk.
Be sure to whisk the powdered milk together with some warm water before adding it to your recipes to make sure that the powdered milk is dissolved completely and evenly. Try to find no sugar added powdered milk for this substitution, especially if you’re making a savory recipe.
5. Soy Milk
Soy milk is a plant-based beverage made from ground soybeans. Although it is most commonly used as an alternative to regular dairy or nut milks in beverages like coffee and tea, soy milk can also be incorporated into savory dishes like soups and stir-frys. Due to its high protein content, it is especially popular among vegans, who use it to add creaminess and nutrients to all sorts of recipes.
Can I Use Soy Milk Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Yes, absolutely. Although there are many different types of milk on the market, soy milk is often touted as one of the best substitutes for evaporated milk in cooking and baking. Not only does it contain numerous beneficial nutrients, but it also retains its quality even when exposed to high temperatures. This makes it an ideal choice for use in cooking and baking applications, allowing you to add a creamy texture to your recipes without it curdling or breaking down. Soy milk isn’t as thick or as rich as evaporated milk, but it still gets the job done, and it works with both sweet and savory recipes.
Soybeans are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a healthy alternative to traditional dairy products. In terms of nutrient balance, soy milk is one of the most comparable to cow’s milk.
Best for: sauces, fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, cold drinks, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, curries, dals, custards
How to Substitute Soy Milk for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 cup of soy milk.
Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavored soy milk for this substitution, as soy milk typically comes in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Full fat soy milk works best in recipes that require longer cooking times or slow-cooking methods. However, for recipes that require a lighter, airier texture, you can try using a lower fat variant of soy milk may work just as well.
6. Oat Milk
Oat Milk is a nutritious plant-based milk that’s made by blending oats and water. The high protein content also makes it a great substitute for evaporated milk in recipes, as it imparts a creamy texture and rich flavor without the added fat.
Can I Use Oat Milk Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Yes, you can. Oat milk and evaporated milk are both versatile ingredients that can be used in a wide range of recipes, but there are some key differences that are worth noting. Unlike most dairy milks, which are rich in proteins and fat, oat milk is primarily made up of complex carbohydrates and healthy fiber. This can potentially impact the overall texture of baked goods since protein helps make baked goods lighter. Also, oat milk tends to be thinner and is more diluted than evaporated milk, so the end result won’t be as rich or creamy.
Oats are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and iron, as well as phytonutrients that help support good heart health, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and boost the immune system. In addition, oats have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for people who suffer from diabetes or metabolic disorders. This is mainly due to its beta glucan fiber content which has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, better blood sugar control, and even improved cognitive function.
Best for: sauces, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, cold drinks, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, cooking
How to Substitute Oat Milk for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 cup of oat milk.
Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavored oat milk for this substitution, as oat milk typically comes in flavored variants.
You may need to add more or less oat milk depending on your recipe. For example, you can add the same or slightly less oat milk in recipes like pancakes, but you can probably stick to a 1:1 ratio for soups, stews, and the like.
7. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a versatile ingredient that can easily be used in place of evaporated milk in many recipes. Its rich, creamy texture lends itself well to baking and cooking, making it an excellent substitute for traditional dairy products like milk, cream or butter.
Can I Use Coconut Milk Instead of Evaporated Milk?
Coconut milk is an excellent alternative to evaporated milk, as it combines the rich, creamy flavor of coconut with many of the same nutritional benefits as reduced-fat dairy products. The smooth texture of coconut milk makes it ideal for soups and stews, especially curries that need a creamy, thick base. Alternatively, it can be used as a substitute for dairy in baked goods, adding a subtle sweetness and a slightly nutty flavor to recipes such as muffins or cakes.
Coconut is rich in fiber and essential vitamins, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin B. Coconut also packs a powerful punch when it comes to boosting our brain health thanks to its high level of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are easily absorbed into the body and have been shown to have a wide range of powerful health benefits. Studies have found that MCTs can help to improve energy levels, boost metabolism, and support weight loss. Additionally, MCTs may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect against chronic diseases.
Best for: sauces, fudges, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, cold drinks, flavored drinks, chilled recipes, soups, stews, curries, dals, savory recipes, sweet recipes, whipped toppings
How to Substitute Coconut Milk for Evaporated Milk
Substitute 1 cup of evaporated milk with 1 cup of coconut milk.
Be sure to use coconut milk for this substitution and not coconut cream. Coconut cream contains a much higher percentage of fat than coconut milk, as well as more calories per serving. This makes coconut cream ideal for use in creamier desserts or rich sauces, while coconut milk can be used in lighter dishes or drinks. Additionally, the consistency of these two products differs significantly, with coconut cream being much thicker and richer than coconut milk.