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How to Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk: Easily make Dairy Free condensed milk at homemade to using in your Vegan and Dairy Free baking. Use it in any recipe that calls for regular condensed milk.

How to Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

The only difference between Dairy Free Condensed Milk and regular Condensed Milk is the milk used. Dairy Free Condensed milk is made using coconut milk rather than dairy milk. However the Condensed milk can be used in the exact same way as regular in your Vegan and Dairy Free baking. Use it in any recipe that calls for regular condensed milk.

You can also use Nut Milks and other sugars such as Stevia. See the Notes section in the recipe.

I use Condensed Milk a lot in my baking. It is one of the main ingredients in my 2 Ingredient No Machine Ice Cream. I make a delicious Dairy Free No Machine Ice Cream that is equally as delicious with a variety of flavors to make. If you like your frozen desserts a little lighter and fruity then try my Homemade Sorbet in 5 minutes (No Machine) If you cannot find condensed milk in your country you can easily make it yourself at home. And you can find my regular Homemade Condensed Milk recipe here.

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Simmering milk and sugar on a low, controlled heat will yield you a thick, syrupy milk.

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Once it cools it will thicken and be ready to use. It will last in the fridge for weeks if you don’t need it straight away.

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4.31 from 49 votes
How to Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk: Easily make Dairy Free condensed milk at homemade to using in your Vegan and Dairy Free baking. Use it in any recipe that calls for regular condensed milk.
How to Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14 oz/414 ml/2 cups) coconut milk (full fat or low fat)*
  • cups (5 ⅓ oz / 150g) white sugar
Instructions
  1. Add the coconut milk and sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan
  2. Heat it on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Once all of the sugar has dissolved bring the mix to a simmer over low/medium heat. Do not stir once the mix starts to simmer otherwise it can crack and crystalize
  4. Gently simmer for roughly 30- 40 minutes, or until the milk has darkened to an almost grey color,has reduced by half and thickened (After about 15 minutes, you'll notice that the milk will start to turn dark and thicken – that's ok and is exactly what's supposed to happen)
  5. When ready, remove from the heat and pour into a jar to cool. (if there are sugary bits hanging around the rim of your pot don’t stir them into your condensed milk, this can also crack your mix)
  6. Let the condensed milk cool completely before putting on the air tight lid.
  7. Store in a jar in the fridge and it will last for months. Don't forget to label it. 🙂
Recipe Notes

The condensed milk when ready will measure 1 cup/8oz.

You can replace the regular milk with any other dairy free milk

You can Replace the sugar with a natural sugar like maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar.

 

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317 Comments

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  1. Valerie on July 27, 2019 at 8:35 am

    I used coconut milk without additives and honey. It took 4 hours to reduce by half, I put it in the fridge overnight and now it’s like a hard caramel. Looks like caramel too. I yielded the right amount, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it out of the cup or use it for the ice cream…

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Valerie,

      I’m sorry to hear that.It simply sounds like the coconut milk got simmered so far down that it turned into fudge/caramel.

      I don’t think that would be good to use in Ice cream. I’m not sure if that fact that you used honey or additive free milk.

      Hope this helps somewhat,
      Gemma.

  2. Lisette on July 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I do this with homemade oat milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2019 at 8:21 am

      Hi Listte,

      You know I think that would work just fine.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  3. Jolene on July 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you for such a great post! I’ve had to give up dairy because my bf baby can’t have dairy. I tried following the instructions to a t. After pouring into a jar, and letting cool it separated into two layers. Is this normal? Did I let it simmer enough?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Jolene,

      Sorry for my late reply. It sounds like it simmer a little too long. When it separates like that it means its gone too far.

      Best to start over unfortunately.
      Best,
      Gemma.

  4. Aldana on July 10, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    I used coconut milk and a mixture of white and coconut sugars. The resulting condensed milk was very dark. Is that normal?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 11, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Aldana. Because you used coconut sugar, the color will be darker than usual. It should not taste burned, but just a little darker. Gemma 😊

      • Aldana on July 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm

        Thank you! It did not taste burned, so I guess it’s OK! 🙂

  5. Beth on July 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    What are the exacted temperatures the sugars suppose to became ? You mentioned the ‘soft ball’
    I would like to know exactly

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2019 at 4:59 am

      Hi Beth,
      the exact temperature is 235f for a water-based caramel. The condensed milk may be finished before this temperature is reached, you need to monitor it, but the thermometer will help,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Sexy Baker on June 26, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I’m using almond milk but mine doesn’t seem to look like yours. I let it sit and only touch it to scoop the scum off the surface but I still looks quite thin. What am I doing wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 27, 2019 at 3:03 am

      Hi LaTicia,
      water will ‘condense’ given the right measure of sugar to liquid. It has to happen. As the water content of the milk reduces the sugars begin to caramelize and this is what thickens the milk. Keep going, I think you have not taken it far enough. Sometimes we are too gentle with it, you need to see the steam rising gently, then you will know,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Karen on June 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    What do you mean by cracking or crystallizing?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 27, 2019 at 3:08 am

      Hi Karen,
      This is a reaction to the temperature of the pot or the spoon if the caramel is stirred. Grains of undissolved sugar will also cause this issue with caramel. It is important to make sure all of the sugar is dissolved before you start to simmer the caramel or the caramel will crystallize, in other words, turn back to a solid form. Introducing a cold spoon to the pot can do this too, it is an odd thing, but it happens!
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. kathleen wharton on June 24, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Can you tell me how much it actually makes s it 320 g or 220 g
    So I can follow a sweet sticky rice recipe if you have one of those recipes that would great
    Kathy

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      This should yield you around a cup or 280grams. Gemma 😊

  9. dijah on June 22, 2019 at 1:25 am

    hey i made it! but the color was just gray tho it tastes nice 😅

    • Gemma Stafford on June 23, 2019 at 9:13 am

      I am not sure why it turned gray! I am guessing it may have been the pot you used. But I am glad that it still tasted nice. Gemma 😊

  10. Lisa Barry on June 13, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I’m sorry, I just asked about coconut sugar and I read the bottom of the recipe, oops! Ha ha! 😁

  11. Lisa Barry on June 13, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Hi Gemma!
    Love your recipes! I know people are asking a lot about the sugar… how about coconut sugar? Do you think that will work?

  12. COLLEEN PERKINS on June 10, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Would this work if the sugar was replaced with erythritol, xylitol or monk fruit sweetener?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Hi Colleen! Great question as we’ve had Bold Bakers ask us about this. The substitute you use needs to be able to caramelize. Unfortunately, stevia, xylitol, splenda will not caramelize so will not work in this recipe.

  13. Helen on June 5, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I’m using coconut milk and it has been simmering over 40 minutes and hasn’t thickened. Should I keep simmering it?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Hi Helen,
      tell me about the sugar. The idea is that the sugar will dissolve and get to the ‘soft ball’ stage of caramel, which, even if you are using sugar and water, will thicken. It cannot thicken if the sugar quantity is not right.
      Let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Helen Romain on June 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

        Oh Gemma
        So lovely to hear from you. U just don’t know why it took so long to thicken. I put 2/3 cup of sugar and the trouble is it kept leaving a whitish layer and I removed it whenever I could. I tried the whitish part and it was like condensed milk which was beautiful but the liquid in the saucepan stayed the same. After hours on the stove simmering I decided to take it off and put it in the fridge but when I checked it, it was hard as a rock.
        Thanks again
        Helen

        • Gemma Stafford on June 7, 2019 at 11:45 am

          Oh Helen, poor you! I am not too sure where this went wrong. I hope you will take another chance with it, it really does work!
          Gemma 🙂

  14. LaDwan Sherman on June 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Is cashew milk okay to use in the recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, you can use any milk. What you are doing is reducing the water content by slowly evaporating it while caramelizing the sugars with the residue and remaining water. The result will be a little different and you may need to watch it carefully. Fully dissolve all of the sugar before you simmer it, then you are looking for the soft ball stage, not coloring, just thickening the milk. I suggest you try a sample so that you do not waste it.
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Amy Lee Duprey on May 21, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I am wondering if I could use Splenda for the sugar in this recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Amy,

      Unfortunately for this recipe you can’t use splenda because it doesn’t not caramelize. We re working on a refined sugar free version.

      Watch this space.
      Gemma.

  16. Karen on April 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Gemma, I love your videos and recipes. Could I possibly use lactaid milk to make the sweetened condensed milk?
    I love the coconut milk one, but would like to try it without a coconut flavor.
    Keep the recipes coming.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Karen,

      Yes you can use that milk, no problem :).

      Hope it turns out well,
      Gemma.

  17. tayna on April 22, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Hi, would it work with lactose free milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Hi, yes that would work here.

  18. Carol on April 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Gemma –

    I need to make dairy and sugar free condensed milk. Will stevia or Swerve work in this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2019 at 5:41 am

      Hi Carol,
      this is the big question! Stevia will not work, Swerve/Lakanto/Truvia etc will work rather better. The issue is that sugars need to caramelize in order to thicken the milk, which is a bit like the soft ball stage of the caramel making process. The alcohol sugars/Truvia etc. will sort of caramelize, but I have not tried it, though it is on my list.
      It depends on what you wish to use it for too. For my ice cream recipes it may not be thick enough, but we really do noeed to do some work on it. One bols baker thickened hers with a little cornstarch! she reported that this worked well for her.
      Not much help I know, do let us know if you try it,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Carol Bush on April 19, 2019 at 6:54 am

        Thank you so much for the advice. I am going to make lime cheesecake bars, so I may add a little cornstarch to thicken it.

        • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2019 at 2:34 am

          That is the idea Carol, and for that recipe I think that will be perfect,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Carol Bush on April 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm

            My Key Lime cheesecake bars turned out just fine with this recipe – plus a little cornstarch. Didn’t taste too much coconut, either.
            Carol

            • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2019 at 12:27 pm

              Great job! I’m delighted to hear that, next time send us a photo!



      • Kim on July 5, 2019 at 8:00 am

        In need to do it also but I don’t know if the sugar replacement in my country will work. How I could know? It is called “sucrazit” (in English on the wrapper “sugarzit) I think it’s call in the U.S
        “Splenda” and in the European index it’s is marked E955 .
        Goanna work?

        • Gemma Stafford on July 6, 2019 at 4:03 am

          Hi Kim,
          condensed milk relies on the ability of sugar to caramelize. Natural sugars from cane, on honey, maple syrup will caramelize. Any sugar high in fructose or sucrose will caramelize. Alcohol sugars not so much, and Splenda will not work at all in a recipe requiring the food to caramelize.
          I hope this helps. The manufacturer of this product may have a customer inquiry place on their website where they will clarify this for you.
          Ask them if this product will caramelize, or try it yourself by adding a couple of teaspoons to a small pan and place it on a gentle heat, see if it melts, then browns.
          Do let us know how you get on with this,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Kim on July 7, 2019 at 1:06 am

            Thanks to your explanation! unfortunately I didn’t find the right kind…
            Can I make the condensed milk without sweeteners at all?

            • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 10:04 am

              Unfortunately, no. Condensed milk is thickened milk because of the sugar. So sorry, Kim.

              Best,
              Gemma



          • Kim on July 8, 2019 at 7:01 am

            I didn’t see its upload so I am sending again :
            Thank you so much for the explenation! Unfortunately I didn’t find the right kind for this recipe.
            Can I make the condensed milk without any sweetener at all?

            • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 10:55 am

              Hi Kim! I am not sure if I did reply to you, but unfortunately, you would need the sweetener, one that caramelizes, to make condensed milk. Gemma



  19. Sandy Randle on April 16, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Hi Gemma
    Does coconut milk taste like coconut? I’ve never used it & really don’t like coconut. Wondering how it would taste in other recipes.
    Thanks
    Sandy

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Hi, yes it does have a slight coconut flavor, but it is very neutral. I love it!

  20. shenade on April 15, 2019 at 9:14 am

    will this work with coconut cream? I have a bunch of cans of coconut cream hahaha just seeing what i can do with them.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Hi, yes that will work here too!

  21. Angel Eyes on April 8, 2019 at 7:54 am

    I made this recipe but with soy milk and it just would not thicken.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Yes, for this i suggest yous stick to coconut milk.

  22. Liz on March 24, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Can Stevia be used, quantity?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Hi, this does not reduce down the same with out the sugar.

  23. Mona on March 16, 2019 at 11:00 am

    since I can use coconut milk , will almond milk as well? I’ve tried to make pudding with almond milk with out success.. wondered if you have tried for condensed milk..

    • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2019 at 6:56 am

      Hi Mona,
      I have not tried with almond milk. That said, ant milk should condense. What you are doing is evaporating the water content, and thickening the milk residue with the sugars, almost to a caramel. I cannot see why it would not work. See this recipe too (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/vegan-chocolate-pudding/) you may like it!
      Gemma 🙂

  24. ese on March 12, 2019 at 4:50 am

    hi gemma,
    can i use fresh coconut milk for this recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 12, 2019 at 6:27 am

      Hi there,
      Short answer YES! that wil lbe perfect,
      Gemma 🙂

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