Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How To Make Evaporated Milk (Recipe)

4.70 from 204 votes
Easily make Evaporated Milk at home in just 25 minutes!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My method for How to Make Evaporated Milk is so easy. I get so many requests for what to replace this ingredient with, or where to find it, and now you never have to worry about that — because evaporated milk can be made so easily at home in just 25 minutes!

One of my favorite parts of Bold Baking Basics is giving you all the recipes for how to make your own ingredients at home. From improving upon what you can buy at the store, like my Homemade Butter RecipeHomemade Sour CreamHow to Make Homemade FrangipaneHow to Make BreadcrumbsHow to Make Traditional Mincemeat, and Homemade Cream Cheese, to showing you how to make things that can be hard to find like Buttermilk SubstituteVanilla Bean Paste, and The Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese, these basics are the building blocks for baking confidently.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated and improved on 11/6/2023, to include new photography, explanations of key ingredients, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and more bold baking basics.  

Table of Contents

Homemade evaporated milk is in a white enamel mug with blue rim. The evaporated milk looks creamy and thick.

What is Evaporated Milk?

  • Evaporated milk is a type of canned milk product made by removing about 60% of the water content from regular milk. It’s known as “unsweetened condensed milk”  in some places.
  • To produce evaporated milk, fresh milk is heated to a high temperature, which causes the water to evaporate, leaving behind concentrated milk with a creamy consistency, slightly caramelized flavor, and concentrated nutrients.
  • Evaporated milk saves about half of the regular fresh milk’s space and is shelf-stable.

Tools You Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Milk of your choice: that’s it!
    • I always use full-fat cow’s milk with milkfat of 3.25%-3.5%.
    • Alternatively, you can also use other dairy milk: non-fat milk ( to make fat-free evaporated milk), 2% milk, reduced-fat or low-fat milk, skim milk, or lactose-free milk.
    • For non-dairy optionsalmond milk, soy milk, oat milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk.
  • Keep in mind that the flavor and consistency of the evaporated milk will vary depending on the types of milk or plant-based milk you choose.

How to Make Evaporated Milk

  • This is not so much a recipe but a method, and it really could not be more straightforward. To make evaporated milk you simply simmer milk for around 25 minutes.
  • You do this slowly over medium-low heat to really allow the excess water in the milk to evaporate.
    • Be sure to never boil the milk, though, as the only thing you ever let come to a boil in my house is water!
    • After just a short time simmering, what you’re left with is the exact same thing you get in a can you buy at the grocery store — it’s creamy in color and texture, and naturally sweet from the sugars in the milk.

Can I Make Evaporated Milk in Advance and How to Store Evaporated Milk?

Yes, you can make homemade evaporated milk in advance, and here’s how to store it:

  • To properly store homemade evaporated milk, refrigerate the evaporated milk covered for up to 5 days.
  • To properly store unopened cans of commercial evaporated milk, keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. Be sure to check the expiration date on the can, and use the oldest cans first to ensure freshness.
  • To properly store opened cans of commercial evaporated milk, refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container immediately and use it within 3-4 days.
  • For any unused, any type of evaporated milk, transfer it into an airtight container, leaving some room for expansion. Seal and label the container and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before using, as the texture may change slightly during freezing.

FAQs

What’s the Difference Between Evaporated Milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk?

While both are sweet dairy products, they have totally different flavors, textures, and uses.

Condensed milk has a thick syrup-like consistency and is made by reducing milk and sugar. I like to use this to make all of my 2 ingredient ice creams, so I keep this around all the time. Evaporated milk is simply just milk reduced down to super creamy liquid. By cooking off most of the water content of the milk, you get a naturally sweet milk substitute that has no added sugar content.

What Do You Use Evaporated Milk For?

Evaporated milk was initially made with the intention of being rehydrated, meaning it was milk that was reduced for storage and shelf-life. In the process, cooks discovered its lovely flavor and thin-yet-creamy texture is great for adding to all kinds of things. I love to add these savory dishes like soups or chowders, drinks, oatmeal, fudge, and more.

What baking recipes do you use evaporated milk in?

You can use homemade evaporated milk in these recipes on biggerbolderbaking.com:

How to Substitute Evaporated Milk

If you are unable to find evaporated milk and don’t have the time to make it, it can be substituted with a combination of milk and cream. Simply combine 1/4 cup cream with 3/4 cup milk for an alternative. This will not have the same sweetness and body as evaporated milk but it will add the same richness.

Can I freeze evaporated milk?

Yes, you can freeze evaporated milk to extend its shelf life.

Transfer any used or unused (do not freeze a can!) evaporated milk into an airtight container, leaving some room for expansion. Seal and label the container and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before using, as the texture may change slightly during freezing.

More Bold Baking Basics

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IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated and improved on 11/6/2023, to include new photography, explanations of key ingredients, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and more bold baking basics.  

Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Evaporated Milk (Recipe)

4.70 from 204 votes
Easily make Evaporated Milk at home in just 25 minutes!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 fl oz
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Easily make Evaporated Milk at home in just 25 minutes!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 fl oz

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (26 fl oz/732 ml) full-fat milk*

Instructions

  • In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Once it simmers, turn down the heat to medium-low and let it gently simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring the milk occasionally to make sure it's not getting scorched on the bottom of the pan. 
  • Simmer until it's reduced down to roughly 1 ½ -1 ¼ cups ( about 12 fl oz/360 ml) of liquid. 
  • Once the milk has reduced and turned a creamy color pass it through a sieve to remove any skin. Set aside to cool completely. 
  • Store the evaporated milk covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Recipe Notes

* Dairy Free milks like nut milks and soy milk will work just fine.
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AMELIA
AMELIA
3 years ago

Hi Gemma! I forgot to get a can of evaporated milk for my favorite fudge recipe and this recipe saved the day!! All I had in the fridge was 2% milk, and it still worked. My fudge came out sooo creamy and smooth and I can’t wait to share it!
Thanks!!

Maryam
Maryam
4 years ago

Hi ,Gemma after baking 30 minutes of baking my cake is getting dry and hard ,whatever I bake muffins,cake,buns even that I follow the ingredients and recipe and temperature,please guide me ,where is my mistakes?????

Joseph
Joseph
3 years ago

I am at well over an hour of simmering at around 200 degrees and it is nowhere near the color or consistency of evaporated milk. Definitely longer than the 25 minutes recommended.

Sophia S.
Sophia S.
3 years ago

Hi Gemma, I just wanted to know do I have to pass the milk through a sieve, what would happen if I didn’t? Would it be okay?

Sophia
Sophia
3 years ago

Hey Jemma!
I was wondering what u use evaporated milk for

Ern Xin
Ern Xin
5 months ago

Hi Gemma, is it normal for evaporated milk to taste salty?

Danielle
Danielle
2 years ago

Hey Gemma! I use a ton of evaporated milk because I take it in my tea and coffee. Was hoping to make it at home in a large quantity so it has less weird ingredients in it, and less expensive. Can I use a full gallon of milk and reduce that?

Rosemary
Rosemary
2 years ago

Was hoping for success with this recipe but unfortunately it was a downright failure. I used almond milk as you mentioned nut milks would work but it just didn’t work and tasted awful. Sorry.

Amila
Amila
4 years ago

Hi Gemma! I was wondering, since I have an Induction Stovetop, I can set it from 0-9 power. What power would you recommend for every step? Thanks in advance!

Val
Val
8 months ago

How much evaporated milk does this recipe make? I need 700g of evaporated milk so I’d like to calculate how much milk to use thank you

This Recipe Made By Bold Bakers

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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