Wondering what to substitute evaporated milk with? These substitutes for evaporated milk can come in handy!
Ever go to bake your favorite dessert and have no evaporated milk in the pantry?
We don’t use evaporated milk a lot so we don’t really stock up on it. If we do, it’s usually during the holidays. Throughout the rest of the year, it’s not something we keep the pantry stocked with.
But when we do find a recipe that calls for evaporated milk and we don’t have it on hand, we wish we did!
What Can You Substitute Evaporated Milk With?
You’re probably wondering what evaporated milk is. Evaporated milk is sweet. It’s sweeter than regular milk which is why it is often used for baking and desserts. It also has that toasty flavor that gives your desserts some extra flavor. Not much, but enough to make your recipes more flavorful.
During the holidays, you’ll find it everywhere because it’s on the main ingredients in desserts like pumpkin pie. But what happens when you run out of evaporated milk and need a quick fix?
Here are a few evaporated milk substitutes that you can use.
Substitute Evaporated Milk With Heavy Cream
Heavy cream is probably one of the most common substitutes for evaporated milk for our family. The texture is similar to evaporated milk, maybe a little thicker, and adds a similar type of creaminess to your recipe.
The downside to using heavy cream instead of evaporated milk is the fat content. Heavy cream is quite higher when it comes to calories. You’ll also be missing out on that unique caramel flavor evaporated milk has. To fix this, a few drops of vanilla extra can give it some extra flavor.
Substitute Evaporated Milk With Half & Half
Half and Half is another alternative to evaporated milk. Much like heavy whipping cream, half & half is similar in texture, if not a little thicker, and higher in fat content.
It also doesn’t have that unique flavor evaporated milk gives you but the trick we have used is to add a few drops of vanilla to it.
Not one of my preferences as a substitute for evaporated milk, but it can work for both savory and sweet dishes. Coconut milk is thick and creamy like evaporated milk which is why it works so well.
The reason we don’t like using coconut milk is because it’s heavy on the coconut flavor. If you are sensitive to the coconut flavor, you may notice a difference in your recipes because it does have such a distinct coconut flavor. Depending on the dish, you’ll also be able to taste the difference.
Substitute Evaporated Milk With Powdered Milk
Powdered milk has always been quite interesting to me. It’s a form of milk that has been dehydrated so that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. It makes the perfect pantry staple because you can use it for a variety of different things and has a long shelf life.
To bring powdered milk back to milk form, you need to add water. If you are using powdered milk in a recipe that uses evaporated milk, you will add less water than normal. The less water you add, the thicker it will be when adding it to your recipes.
Homemade Evaporated Milk
You can make your own version of evaporated milk at home. It’s not going to be the exact same but does come close and it’s easy to make.
My grandmother did this frequently. To make your own, simply simmer regular milk down. If you’re recipe calls for evaporated milk, put milk into a pan and simmer, or boil on medium heat, until it reduces down to half.
Should I Substitute Evaporated Milk In My Recipe?
When it comes to choosing whether or not you should head out to the store or substitute evaporated milk in a recipe, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
- The flavor you are looking for. If a dessert recipe calls for evaporated milk, will it still taste the same if you use a substitute? In many cases it will, but in some dishes it will especially if you are using something like coconut milk you will notice the difference.
- Fat and calorie content. Many of these substitutes have a high fat and calorie content. If you want to skim down on the calories in your dish, substituting may not be something you want to do.
- Texture. Since many of the alternatives aren’t as thick, it can effect the recipe and the texture. However, you can add thickener to the alternatives to give you more of the same consistency.
Sometimes it can be trial and error depending on your dish. Some substitutes can change up the recipe leaving you with something that just won’t work.
With some dishes you may not even recognize the difference but with others you may. It’s good to take note of which recipes work well with substitutes and those that don’t.