Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk - The Southern Lady Cooks

Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk

What is the difference between evaporated milk vs condensed milk? This a question we receive quite frequently. Which do I use and what is the difference?

Well they are very similar with just a few differences, but those differences are very important, especially when it comes to adding them in recipes. They are both shelf stable milk products that have been heated up to remove 60% of their water content. The number one difference between the two is evaporated milk is unsweetened and condensed milk is sweetened. These two are not interchangeable because of the sweetness. If a recipe calls for evaporated milk you can’t replace it with condensed milk. That will ruin your recipe. Evaporated milk is a milk substitute.

What is Condensed Milk?

First it is milk that was cooked down in order to remove about 60% of the water from it, then it is sweetened. So this is a very concentrated version and the addition of the sugar makes this perfect for baking. Many recipes call for sweetened condensed milk.. which is just condensed milk. All condensed milk is sweetened.

What is Condensed Milk used for?

It is often used in recipes where you want a creamy milk addition, such as fudge, caramel, candy, pie and many other baking recipes. So if you have a recipe that calls for Condensed Milk be sure that is what you grab because evaporated milk will not work. We receive many questions about the two and the fact is.. you can’t switch them. However, you can make your own condensed milk, check out how here!

What is a good substitute for Condensed Milk?

You can use heavy whipping cream as a substitute but you need to add the sugar. You can use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar.

Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk - The Southern Lady Cooks

What is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated Milk is made the same way as condensed, heated to remove around 60% of the water content however it is not sweetened. Since it isn’t sweetened this opens it up for many uses. Evaporated milk also comes in different fat levels, from whole milk, low fat and skim. This type of milk has a much longer shelf life which is why it became so popular. It was created in the 1800’s and was a substitute for when fresh milk wasn’t available.

What is evaporated milk used for?

It is used in the place of real milk, you can add the water back to the milk and use it as milk. Some people use it in place of half and half for their coffee. For recipes, it’s wonderful to have on hand because the shelf life is wonderful. When a recipe calls for milk you can substitute it with evaporated milk. It is your choice to dilute it to the consistency of real milk or use it as it comes out of the can. If you choose to not dilute it you will just add a nice creamy rich flavor to whatever you are making. Now, if you are making a recipe that calls for evaporated milk you shouldn’t dilute it.

What is a good substitute for evaporated milk?

Half and half is probably the best substitute for evaporated milk. If a recipe calls for evaporated milk and you have half and half you can use that in place of it. If you have whipping cream and milk you can dilute the whipping cream with a ratio of 1/4 cup of cream and 3/4 cup of milk and use that in it’s place.

This recipe for Cajun Macaroni and Cheese is made with evaporated milk.. like I said earlier.. if you used condensed milk.. that would ruin this recipe, you can’t substitute the two.

Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk - The Southern Lady Cooks

Love these tips, you may also love “How to make a Buttermilk Substitute”

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