There are many recipes that call for condensed milk - whether that's pie, ice cream, or cake. Condensed milk is sweet, thick, rich in flavor - and definitely impacts any recipe when it is required. But what happens if you are baking and discover that you do not have condensed milk or that you need to make dietary changes and remove it from your recipe?
A quick and simple condensed milk substitution will allow you to avoid taking a trip to the store or to continue to enjoy your favorite desserts. These simple substitutions for condensed milk will help you make the most of your time in the kitchen.
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Make your own condensed milk
One of the best things about condensed milk is that it is easy to make yourself. You could make it in two ways. The first way is by cooking down fresh milk until about half of the original volume has evaporated leaving behind a thick and creamy milk then adding in some sugar to get the same sweet creamy flavor. The second way to make your own sweet and creamy condensed milk is with a little powdered milk.
One great thing about making your own condensed milk is that you can use your own choice of sweetener if you need a healthier or sugar-free option that you can not find at the local grocery store. Using fat-free powdered milk, you can even make it fat-free for a lower calorie substitution for condensed milk. To make your own condensed milk with powdered milk you will need:
Other great substitutions for condensed milk
Heavy cream is made from the cream that sits on top of fresh milk. This high-fat low sugar option is great for a substitution for those looking to reduce sugar in their diet or simply have heavy cream sitting in the refrigerator when they need a substitute, Depending on what you are making you can use this as is or add 2-3 teaspoons of sugar to the recipe to replace the sugar not contained in your condensed milk substitution. Otherwise, this can be used in a 1 to 1 ratio for creamy and decadent recipes.
If you need a dairy-free or vegan substitution for condensed milk you can use coconut cream. This thick and creamy coconut milk is available in a can at most supermarkets and can be used in place of condensed milk, heavy cream, and other thick creamy ingredients in recipes. This is an amazing option for those with dairy allergies or intolerances as it allows them to enjoy their favorite foods.
Half and half
Half and half while not as thick and creamy as heavy cream is thicker than regular milk and can help give your recipe the thick creaminess you need that regular milk can not provide. To thicken it up a bit you can add a teaspoon of butter along with sugar or sweetener and whisk to help add some of the needed fat, back in for a thicker 1 to 1 substitution for condensed milk.
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- 2 cups powdered milk
- ¼ cup sugar or equivalent sweetener
- 1 cup hot water
- Mix the sugar into hot water first while it is nice and warm but not boiling. This will allow the water to resolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar has resolved you can add in the powdered milk and stir until smooth and creamy. This can be used as a substitution for condensed milk in a 1:1 ratio.