Smart Sweetened Condensed Milk Alternatives with Easy Recipes

Sweetened condensed milk alternatives are an intelligent choice for various reasons. Some reasons are dietary restrictions, such as reducing sugar intake, lactose intolerance, or veganism. Other reasons may include adapting a recipe to your taste preference or experimenting with different flavors and textures.

Check out these recipes that use sweetened condensed milk, Agua De Fresa Con Leche, Citrusy Orange Flan, and Horchata De Arroz.

Sweetened Condensed Milk in a small bowl.

Sweetened condensed milk is a common ingredient in various dessert recipes, from pies and cakes to ice cream. They also make a great topping for coffee or tea.

Additionally, you may not have sweetened condensed milk readily available, and you will need to find alternatives to meet your culinary needs and preferences.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives

No worries, several dairy-based and non-dairy alternatives can be used instead of sweetened condensed milk while maintaining the desired texture and taste.

By understanding your options and how to use them in your recipes best, you can easily adapt and create delicious desserts without compromising on flavor or quality.

Discover more handy substitution blog posts like vanilla extract substitute and substitutes for whipped cream that could be perfect for your needs.

Understanding Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is a dairy product that I find incredibly useful in many recipes, especially in making desserts. It has a creamy, sweet flavor that adds richness to dishes.

Sweetened condensed milk removes water from cow’s milk (whole or skim milk will work fine) by boiling, reducing, and pasteurizing. After this process, sugar is added to balance the sweetness and establish its unique consistency.

Sometimes, we might run out of sweetened condensed milk or have dietary restrictions preventing us from using it. In such cases, it’s good to know some substitutes that can still provide that desired creamy, sweet texture in recipes.

Substitute for Sweetened Condensed Milk

There are several options to substitute sweetened condensed milk:

  • Cream of coconut: This is a fantastic option as it offers a similar texture and adds a hint of tropical flavor.
  • Whole milk and sugar: This is a versatile and classic substitute. Combine whole milk with sugar to achieve the same creamy, rich mouthfeel as sweetened condensed milk.
  • Heavy cream and sugar: Using heavy cream with a quarter cup of sugar can also work as a replacement for one cup of sweetened condensed milk.

It’s important to note that some substitutes might alter the flavor profile of a recipe slightly, but they can still provide a similar texture and work well if you’re in a pinch or looking for a suitable alternative.

So, the next time you’re out of sweetened condensed milk or need a substitute, feel free to experiment with these options to create your own homemade sweetened condensed milk.

Dairy-Based Sweetened Condensed Milk Alternatives

When you require a sweetened condensed milk substitute, several dairy-based alternatives can save the day!

In this section, I will cover five options that can deliver similar consistency, sweetness, and flavor when used in various recipes. Let’s dive into these options!

4 Substitute for Sweetened Condensed Milk in one picture

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is a great option when you need a condensed milk substitute. This alternative goes through the same process as sweetened condensed milk in removing the water. Sweetened condensed milk is evaporated milk but with no sugar.

For every cup of evaporated milk, mix in about 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Gently heat the mixture, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves completely. Once it cools, it’s ready for your recipe!

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: canned Evaporated Milk

Heavy Cream

Another alternative is to create a cream and sugar mixture. Combine equal parts heavy cream and sugar, then heat the blend gently.

Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. After cooling, it can be used as a sweetened condensed milk substitute in your recipes.

Heavy Cream in a small bowl

Milk and Butter

For a slightly different approach, try a milk and butter mix. Combine two cups of milk with 1/4 cup of butter and heat until the butter melts.

Mix in 1 1/4 cups of sugar, continue heating, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once cooled, you’ll have a viable replacement for sweetened condensed milk.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: Butter and milk on the table.

Whole Milk

You can reduce whole milk and sugar if you’d like to minimize store-bought ingredients. This process entails mixing one cup of whole milk with 1 1/4 cups of sugar and a pinch of baking soda.

Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reduces to about half its initial volume. After cooling, this delicious concoction can be used in place of sweetened condensed milk.

Whole Milk

Sour Cream

Finally, sour cream can be used as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk in recipes where a tangy flavor is welcome.

It won’t be as sweet or thick, so you may need to adjust other ingredients in your recipe accordingly. However, it’s a viable option for a condensed milk alternative in a pinch.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: bowl of Sour Cream

Non-Dairy Sweetened Condensed Milk Alternatives

Dairy-free substitutes for sweetened condensed milk are an excellent option for anyone with dietary restrictions or allergies or who wants to experiment with different flavors.

Others may not want to use sweetened condensed milk for ethical and cultural purposes. These sweetened condensed milk substitutes offer alternatives that everyone can enjoy.

Lactose-Free Milk in a bottle and glass

Coconut Milk

A coconut milk reduction is one of the best non-dairy alternatives to sweetened condensed milk.

Start with a can of full-fat coconut milk and simmer it on low heat until it thickens. The final product is not only thick and creamy, but it also has a subtle tropical flavor. This option works wonderfully in desserts like tres leches cake or morning coffee.

Some stores offer coconut cream that can be used as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk. Many use coconut cream in sweet and savory dishes.

You can also create sweetened condensed coconut milk to add some tropical flavors to your recipes. Coconut milk and coconut cream are versatile and delicious flavors that can be used in various ways.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: Coconut Milk next to fresh coconut.

Soy Milk

Another great substitute for sweetened condensed milk is a combination of soy milk and sugar. Mix equal parts of soy milk and sugar in a saucepan, and then cook it over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.

This alternative is less sweet than traditional sweetened condensed milk, but it still provides a creamy texture for your recipes.

Soy Milk

Rice Milk

Rice milk and sugar can also be used as a non-dairy alternative. Its milder taste makes it perfect for recipes where you do not want the milk to overpower the other flavors. It’s also low in fat and can be used in soups or sauces.

Note that rice milk does not have a thick consistency like regular sweetened condensed milk.

To make this mixture, combine rice milk powder and sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. Add water, oil, and a pinch of salt, then blend for 2 minutes until it becomes thick and creamy.

This substitute works well in recipes that call for sweetened condensed milk and is beneficial for those sensitive to nuts or soy.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: Rice Milk on a wooden table

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is an excellent allergen-free and non-dairy alternative. It offers the same consistency as sweetened condensed milk with agave syrup.

To make this, first, soak raw cashews in water for a few hours, then drain and blend them with agave until you achieve a creamy consistency. This alternative is perfect for those who prefer a natural sweetener and a slightly nutty flavor in their recipes.

Cashew Cream

Lactose-Free Milk

For those who need a lactose-free option, try combining lactose-free milk and sugar.

Lactose-free milk offers similar textures that make it suitable for use in anything without compromising on consistency. They are an excellent allergen-free dairy for those who are lactose intolerant without compromising on any nutritional values.

Mix them in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and thickens. This lactose-free alternative maintains a creamy texture similar to traditional sweetened condensed milk, making it suitable for various recipes.

Lactose-Free Milk in a bottle and glass

Almond Milk

Lastly, almond milk and maple syrup can be a dairy-free alternative to sweetened condensed milk. It is an ideal alternative to sweetened condensed milk that is versatile and environmentally friendly.

Mix almond milk and maple syrup in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This option adds a mild, nutty flavor to your recipe with the added bonus of using a natural sweetener.

sweetened condensed milk alternatives: Almond Milk


various sweetened condensed milk alternatives can rescue your recipes or introduce new flavors, accommodating dietary needs, taste preferences, and ingredient availability.

There’s no need for concern if you’re out of sweetened condensed milk or seeking an alternative. With a bit of creativity and the right substitutes, you can still whip up delicious treats, ensuring to adjust for flavor and texture as needed.


What vegan sweetened condensed milk alternatives are available?

There are a few vegan alternatives for sweetened condensed milk. One popular option is using coconut milk or coconut cream. Whichever you prefer, they are both wonderful options that will provide a tropical flavor to your recipe.
You can also try substituting almond, rice, or soy milk with sugar to create a similar texture and taste. Alternative sweetened condensed milk is a great option for dietary preferences.

How to make sweetened condensed milk at home?

Making sweetened condensed milk at home is simpler than you might think! In a saucepan, whisk together 2 cups milk and 1 cup sugar. Heat the mixture on medium to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Reduce the temperature just before the milk boils, and then leave it to simmer on low. Simmer the mixture until the milk reduces, taking about 35 minutes. Now, you can make your DIY sweetened condensed milk at home.

Can I use evaporated milk as a replacement?

While evaporated milk is not a direct substitute for sweetened condensed milk, you can make a quick conversion. Simply combine one can of evaporated milk with 1 1/4 cups of sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. This will create a mixture similar to sweetened condensed milk.

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