Condensed vs. Evaporated Milk: What’s the Difference?

It’s important to use the proper kind of milk in your cuisine whenever possible. The wrong choice of milk can ruin your recipe. So, it’s important to understand the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk. This will help you to be more efficient in the kitchen.

What is the Difference Between Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk
Condensed vs. Evaporated Milk: What’s the Difference?

Condensed milk and evaporated milk are two types of milk that are frequently used interchangeably in cooking and baking. While these two types of milk appear to be the same, they are not.

Understanding the differences between condensed milk and evaporated milk can help you choose the right ingredient for a recipe and appreciate their unique flavors and textures.

Condensed milk is a thick, sweet-like substance created by removing most of the water from regular milk and then adding sugar. Condensed milk is produced by heating milk until approximately 60% of the water has evaporated, then adding sugar to the remaining milk.

This results in a thick syrup substance that is high in sugar and calories. Condensed milk is a popular baking ingredient as well as a coffee and tea sweetener. It is also used in sweet dishes such as candy and fudge.

In contrast, evaporated milk is made by removing approximately 60% of the water from regular milk without the addition of any sugar. This process concentrates the flavor and nutrients in the milk while also making it shelf-stable for long periods of time.

In cooking and baking, evaporated milk is frequently used to replace cream or to add a rich, creamy texture to dishes. In some countries, it is also used as a form of shelf-stable milk. It is frequently used in savory dishes such as soups, stews, and sauces.

Condensed Milk vs Evaporated Milk

The main differences between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are:

  1. Sweetness – Evaporated milk is unsweetened, while sweetened condensed milk is sweetened with added sugar.
  2. Sugar content – Evaporated milk has a sugar content of about 10%, while sweetened condensed milk has a much higher sugar content of 55%.
  3. Flavor – Evaporated milk has a caramelized flavor due to heat sterilization, while condensed milk does not have this flavor due to its high sugar content.
  4. Color – Evaporated milk is tan due to the concentration of lactose and protein during cooking, while sweetened condensed milk is lighter in color due to its high sugar content.
  5. Texture – Evaporated milk adds a lighter, airier texture to baked goods, while condensed milk provides a dense creaminess.
  6. Use – Evaporated milk is used mostly in cooking and baking, while sweetened condensed milk is used in sweet dishes and as a topping.

Can I Use Evaporated Milk Instead of Condensed Milk?

Yes, you can substitute evaporated milk for condensed milk in many recipes; however, you may need to add sweetener to taste. Evaporated milk is unsweetened and somewhat caramelized, while condensed milk is sweetened and syrupy. 

Condensed milk caramelizes during canning. Therefore, it’s advisable to use the amount stated in a recipe like tres leches cake. As a result, it’s always a good idea to double-check the recipe and make any necessary adjustments.

What is Evaporated Milk Used for?

Evaporated milk is a versatile ingredient that works well in both sweet and savory recipes. It can be mixed into smoothies, coffee, soups, chowders, sauces, oatmeal, and a variety of other dishes. In many recipes, it can be substituted for cream or sweetened condensed milk to add richness and creaminess to foods.

It can be used to make pies, puddings, and custards, among other things. Its distinct texture and flavor profile make it a versatile kitchen ingredient.

How to Substitute Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk?

Milk evaporated and condensed milk can be used in a variety of savory and sweet recipes. However, if you do not have evaporated or condensed milk, there are a few ways to make them from other pantry ingredients.

  • Combine three-quarters of a cup of sugar with 12 ounces of evaporated milk and bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop over medium heat. Reduce the heat, simmer, and cool the liquid. You may alternatively use a 1:1 ratio of sweet, creamy coconut cream as a substitute.
  • Condensed milk is extremely sweet and, therefore, should not be used as an evaporated milk substitute (especially if the recipe calls for mostly savory ingredients). You may make your own evaporated milk by combining two cups of milk with a pinch of salt and boiling the mixture over medium heat for thirty minutes. In certain recipes, coconut milk can be used as a 1:1 alternative to evaporated milk.

What can I Use in Place of Condensed Milk?

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream can be used as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk. Simply mix 1 cup of heavy cream with ¼ cup of sugar to get a consistency similar to sweetened condensed milk. This mixture can be used as a 1:1 replacement in any recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk.

Keep in mind that heavy cream is unsweetened, so you will need to add sugar to taste. Additionally, heavy cream has a higher fat content than sweetened condensed milk, so it may affect the texture and overall outcome of your recipe, especially in baking recipes.

What is Thicker: Condensed vs. Evaporated Milk?

Condensed milk is much thicker than evaporated milk because it has a higher sugar content and less water. The consistency of condensed milk is thick and syrupy, whereas evaporated milk is thicker than standard milk but still resembles half-and-half.

While they both remove water from milk, the procedure and ingredients utilized differ, resulting in differing textures and consistency.

Does Evaporate Milk Taste the Same as Condensed Milk?

No, condensed milk and evaporated milk don’t have the same flavor. Evaporated milk has a thicker texture and a little caramelized flavor because it loses 60% of its water. It tastes more neutral and is unsweetened.

On the other hand, condensed milk is created by taking roughly 60% of the water out of fresh milk and adding a substantial amount of sugar. It tastes like caramel and is syrupy. Sugar makes condensed milk sweeter than evaporated milk.

Is it OK to Eat Condensed Milk?

Yes, condensed milk is generally safe to consume. It’s a sweet, thick milk-like substance made by removing the majority of the water from regular milk and then adding sugar. It is commonly used in baking and cooking, as well as as a sweetener in coffee and tea.

However, because it contains a lot of calories and sugar, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Furthermore, some people may be allergic to the milk proteins found in condensed milk, so it is critical to read the ingredients before consuming.


In summary, the main distinction between condensed milk and evaporated milk is that condensed milk contains sugar, whereas evaporated milk does not. Sweet recipes call for condensed milk, while savory recipes call for evaporated milk. Condensed milk is an excellent choice if you want a sweet, thick, and syrupy milk-like substance. If you want a rich, creamy texture in your savory dish, however, evaporated milk is the better choice.