Best Vegan Substitutes for Evaporated Milk (and Condensed)

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Evaporated milk is a versatile ingredient for any cook.

And while vegans obviously don’t eat (or drink I suppose) it, there are plenty of alternatives that give you a similar result.

Essentially, any non-dairy milk can be used in its place, you just might need to boil it lightly for a few minutes to thicken it to a similar consistency as evaporated milk (that’s how evaporated milk is made in the first place).

In general, you want to use about twice as much non-dairy milk as the recipe calls for in terms of evaporated milk. Then heat it until approximately 40-50% has evaporated.

1. Coconut Milk

coconut milk

This is the best vegan substitute for evaporated milk. It’s also a decent vegan alternative for heavy cream.

It has the closest texture, because it’s naturally fairly thick.

Coconut does have a distinct flavor that might alter the overall taste of the recipe, but typically in a good way if you like coconut.

Note that I’m referring to the thicker canned coconut milk here. If you’re buying the type that is sold in carton (like almond and other types of milks), you’ll still need to boil it down like the others on this list.

SUMMARY

You can substitute canned coconut milk for evaporated milk in a 1:1 ratio. If you only use the coconut cream part (which is much thicker), you won’t need to boil it at all before using.

2. Soy Milk

soy milk

The next best vegan substitute for evaporated milk is soy milk.

It’s typically thicker than other non-dairy milks, and it has a protein content that is similar to dairy milk.

The taste is also fairly subtle, so you shouldn’t notice it very much.

Depending on the brand you buy, you’ll probably need to boil it gently to remove some of its water content.

SUMMARY

Use about 2 times as much soy milk as the recipe calls for evaporated milk. Boil the soy milk until about half remains before adding to the recipe.

3. Oat Milk

oat milk

If you have trouble finding either of the above options, or you have allergies, or you just don’t like the taste of them, oat milk is a decent alternative as well.

Oat milk is in general creamier (i.e. thicker) than other non-dairy milks, but it will depend on the brand.

Very few people are allergic to oats, and the flavor is minimal as well.

Still, you’ll probably want to boil it to remove some of the water.

SUMMARY

Use approximately 2 times as much oat milk as you need evaporated milk. Boil it in a saucepan before adding it to the recipe until the volume is about half as much.

4. Almond Milk

Finally, if you have no other options, almond milk is an okay substitute.

In my experience, it’s the thinnest non-dairy milk, so you’ll have to remove quite a bit of water.

But on the plus side, the flavor isn’t strong enough to affect your recipe, and it does have a decent amount of protein, just like evaporated milk.

SUMMARY

Again, you’ll need to boil almond milk in a saucepan to reduce its water content. Use about twice as much as you need in the recipe, and boil it down to half as much.

How to Make a Vegan Substitute For Condensed Milk

Condensed milk is almost identical to evaporated milk, with the biggest difference that it’s sweetened.

Condensed milk is a mixture of evaporated milk and about 40 to 45 percent sugar.

If you want to make your own condensed milk, just mix in sugar while making any of the above evaporated milk alternatives.

Note that there’s 54 grams of sugar per 100 grams of condensed milk (depending on the brand), so it’s up to you how sweet you want to go (but that’s an incredibly high amount).

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

4 comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing this advice I was a really good cook before I started trying to cook vegetarian vegan and I like to be creative so it’s nice to have options to take a really yummy non-vegan recipe and turn it vegan without any harm LOL

  • Wow, this is great advice! I’ve used soymilk but didn’t know about the boiling it down part, and now I know why my pumpkin pie doesn’t seem to have the density I’m hoping for. I’m happy to know how to adjust now. Thank you!

  • Hi Dale, great vegan-friendly tips, thanks! On another note, I used to know someone named Vanessa Cudmore years ago when I lived in TO. any relation?