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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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4.5 from 8 reviews
How to Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14 oz/414 ml/2 cups) coconut milk (full fat or low fat)*
  • ⅔ 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. 🙂
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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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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201 Comments

  1. Delia on May 8, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Hi, I just tried to make the dairy free condensed milk and inadvertently left it simmering a little longer than the 40 minutes you instructed. The mixture is a rich caramel colour , but seems to have an oily layer that has separated out at the top of the saucepan. The mixture is not the runny consistency you show in your video but still reasonably soft. It looks to me like it will harden into a toffee like texture when I refrigerate..have you perhaps seen this before?….I think I should start again with a new mixture. Many thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on May 8, 2018 at 5:13 am

      Hi Delia,
      Yes, this is a gorgeous Dulce De Leche, a milk caramel if you will. Lots of ways to use this in your baking. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/banoffee-pie/) like here for instance. You can mix the milk fat back through this too, all wil lbe well.
      Now you have mastered Dulce De Leche, condensed milk will be a doddle!
      Gemma 😉

  2. Kat on April 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I didn’t have success making a thick brew with either the dairy free version, which I made with low-fat canned coconut milk, or the dairy version, which I made with 1% milk. Other online recipes specify full-fat milk. I suspect this might be why it did not end up being as thick as commercially made canned sweetened condensed milk.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2018 at 5:59 am

      Hi Kat,
      The fat content really just enriches the condensed milk. It should work well with any milk. If you think about it condensed milk is a step on the way to a caramel, and you can make a caramel with water, when it will thicken befoe it caramelizes. I think you did not take it far enough. you can return it to the pan and simmer it down further. What you did not say is what sugar you used, and how much, this is what thickens the milk. If you uses a substitute it needed to be able to caramelize, not all of them do.
      I hope this will help you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Julan on April 6, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for this recipe Gemma. I only recently found your YouTube channel and am loving it!

    I saw on amazon that there’s maple granulated sugar. Could I use that for the sweetener? I know you already mentioned that maple syrup and honey work, but I was wondering about granulated maple sugar.

    Thank you once again. Lots of love from Canada <3

    • Gemma Stafford on April 7, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Julan,

      Thank you so much! I’m delighted you like my recipes :).

      So now that is a funny one because I am not sure that will work. I have never seen that before. Some sugars don’t caramelize and I don’t know if that is one of them :/

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  4. Francini on March 9, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Hi! Can I use xilitol or some other artificial sweetener instead of sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 9, 2018 at 5:37 am

      Hi Francina,
      NO! not xylitol, it will not caramelize, and this is really what is happening in this recipe, it is what thickens the milk.
      Agave crystals will work, maple syrup, honey too, but these are high in fructose. It depends on your need really!
      Gemma 😉

    • Roxana on March 22, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      I use Erythritol and it works fabulous!

      • Gemma Stafford on March 23, 2018 at 5:10 am

        Hi Roxana,
        I am really delighted to hear this. Can I ask you about your measurement for this, explain the process for others, it is always a big question here, your input will be appreciated.
        Gemma 🙂

  5. Nadia on March 8, 2018 at 4:40 am

    FYI, from a thai chef on the curdling of coconut milk during cooking on a website.
    “oughly, raw coconut milk consists of coconut oil, protein and water. In its natural state and at room temperature (think tropical island), the protein acts as an emulsifier, keeping the coconut milk looking homogenous. An emulsifier bonds oil with a protein in the milk. When coconut milk is heated up, the protein changes its shape and ability to react with water and oil, which is what scientists call ‘denaturing of the protein’. The protein releases oil and water and contracts into a tight chain. These contracted protein chains are visible as the white specks or curds. The curds can clump and get bigger if not stirred.

    The act of stirring is emulsifying or keeping the oil, protein and water mixed together. When coconut milk heats up, the curds still form but they are smaller and harder to see.

    Coconut milk curds change the look but not the taste and texture. Simply stirring the coconut milk will blend the curds back again. To prevent large curds from forming when you cook coconut milk, ‘stir often’ does the trick.”

    • Gemma Stafford on March 9, 2018 at 6:13 am

      Wow!
      Nadia, thank you so much for this excellent article. Many of our followers will be delighted to try this. The science is so interesting too.
      I really appreciate the trouble our followers take to add to our knowledge here on BBB, thank you for taking the time.
      Will be trying this one!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Nadia on March 8, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I wanted to know when you say simmer on medium low heat what should the temperature of the mixture be? I am using induction cooker and can set it accordingly. Thank you very much. Looking forward to your reply.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 8, 2018 at 3:34 am

      Hi Nadia,
      Simmering means that the temperature of any liquid is maintained just below boiling, where the liquid is barely shimmering, and there is steam rising gently.
      This will be at 82C/180F, using a thermometer. The process of making a condensed milk is really evaporation of the water content, it is a gentle thing,
      Gemma 😉

  7. Ann on February 1, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Wow, only 2 ingredients!!! Will definitely try to make it this weekend.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks so much, really glad you liked this recipe. 🙂

      Gemma.

  8. Glenn A McKinney on January 23, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Can I use coconut cream with this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      yes you can. it will work well 🙂

  9. Ezra on January 23, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Was nervous about trying this, as it really looked like a magic trick to me, but I was very happy when it came out EAXCTLY like yours did!

    P.s. in your printable recipe, it’s not listed to skim off the foam.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Hi Ezra,
      Thank you, I am really happy that you worked this recipe well, good job!
      I will add your note to the recipe, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Stella on January 21, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Can I use stevia instead of sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      Unfortunately stevia doesn’t caramelize so it can’t be used for this recipe.

      Gemma.

  11. Sue on January 4, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Hi Gemma

    I use coconut milk from the can, such as Pride, Dunns River or Grace a lot but only for making curries or rice and peas.

    There is a big difference between the canned (typically used for cooking) and carton (typically used to substitute milk in coffee or cereal) varieties in the ingredients, nutritional value and viscousity that could possible impact on the success of this condensed milk.

    Could you please confirm that you are using the more cream like canned coconut milk such as that suggested above or if you are using a different type of canned coconut milk?

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on January 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Sue,
      I think the cartons tend to homogenized to mix the cream through the ‘water’ content.
      I use the cans all of the time really, they work really well. Do follow the steps, and take it slowly, to evaporate the water content, and caramelize the sugars, that is what you are doing,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Heather Rushing on December 24, 2017 at 4:34 am

    I tired this last night and it didn’t come out right. The mixture never really reduced after simmering for nearly and hour. I’ve let it cool overnight and there are three distinct levels of separation.
    The directions weren’t clear on whether or not to use all of the liquid from the coconut. Is that what is supposed to be used or just the fat part? Or just the liquid part?
    Mine is really dark–I think from the coconut sugar that I used.
    It tastes good though. 😉

    • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Heather,

      Ok so, we can fix this. first off you use the whole can, liquid and fat part.

      Now, did you use regular sugar like I did or did you use a different sugar? this can make a difference.

      I’m glad it tastes good anyway 🙂
      Gemma.

  13. Marc on December 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Hi gemma
    İs soya milk ,a dairy milk or not??
    Can İ ude soya milk instead of whole in your recipes??
    Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on December 18, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Soy is dairy free, Marc. Yes you can use it in this recipe 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. Alouise on December 16, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve got several holiday treats I want to make that use sweet condensed milk. I’m lactose intolerant so it’s great to have this alternative, and it doesn’t look too hard to make either.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 17, 2017 at 3:40 am

      Hi there,
      Condensed milk is a really traditional thing in lots of places, it was a way to preserve milk in times of plenty, for times when the production was low, in the natural order of things.
      The secret is to allow the ‘water’ content of the milk to reduce, without boiling it, a slow evaporation, it takes time.
      Follow the instructions and all will be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Geri on December 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Hi Gemma,

    The recipe says to use a can of coconut milk; is that the kind that separates in the tin? Or could I use fresh coconut milk from a carton?

    Can’t wait to try this!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Hi Geri,
      You can condense any milk really. What you are doing is evaporating the water content, and using sugar to thicken it, like when making a caramel/Dulce De Leche.
      For dairy free ice cream you will need to be able to take the coconut cream from a can of coconut milk.
      I hope will help you,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Valerie on December 13, 2017 at 5:02 am

      Hello I made the cocunut condense milk for my ice cream pecan pie for and unt that has problems with some mills and it work perfect I just fallow the same procedure that Gemma did and same recipe and only change the milk ( I did took al night to set up in my fridge but it was perfecto for everything )

  16. Laima on December 7, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Hi Gemma!
    Can I use this condensed milk to make your coconut macaroons too?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 7, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Hi Laima,
      This is condensed milk, it is how it is made traditionally.
      You can use this for any and all recipes requiring condensed milk.
      Do follow the steps carefully, a low heat, you should see a little steam rising, this is the water content evaporating from the milk, and this is what you need.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Esty Wercberger on December 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Can I replace the sugar with honey?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      yes you can 🙂

  18. Karen Kenny on December 2, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for all your wonderful videos and delicious recipes. I just wanted to point out that at the bottom of this recipe in the notes section you say that you can replace the sugar with Stevia. However in your reply to Natalie you emphatically say “ No! “ to this replacement.
    Regards, Karen

    • Gemma Stafford on December 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for pointing this out, you are right, Stevia will not caramelize, and so it will not thicken.
      I will adjust this right now,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Natalie on November 27, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Hi Gemma! In light of upcoming seasonal baking, I wanted to make some condensed milk of my own, mainly because the sold one is way too sugar-packed. My question is, can I use Stevia to substitute sugar in this? Thanks in advance!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 28, 2017 at 2:11 am

      Hi Natalie,
      NO! think about it like this. The function of the sugar in this is to thicken it. It does this in two ways, by reducing the water content, and taking the milk to what is the soft ball (almost) stage of caramelization. This is what thickens it. The sugar used therefore needs to be able to caramelize, stevia will not do this. Honey/maple syrup/agave crystals will caramelize. Splenda will not, xylitol will not! This is the science, ask google this question when replacing sugars in baking, it really affects the results,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Natalie on November 28, 2017 at 7:05 am

        Gemma, thanks so much! This is really helpful!

      • Lu on December 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

        Hello,
        I would like to replace the sugar with honey or mole syrup but was curious is to the amount for this recipe. Does it stay the same as the recipe 2/3 cup? Thank you and happy holidays

        • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2017 at 4:58 am

          Hi Lu,
          Yes! condensed milk is a process of caramelization really, like the soft ball stage, but using milk as the liquid. Without sufficient sugar it will not thicken. I am not sure what Mole syrup is, is it maple syrup?
          The sugar you use needs to be able to form a caramel, splend/xylitol/stevia will noty do this, so would not work in this recipe.
          Honey/maple syrup/agave will form caramel, so can be used,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Lu on December 30, 2017 at 6:13 am

            Thanks for the reply,
            That was suppose to be maple syrup. Lol. My question was when substituting maple for sugar are the measurements the same “ie, 2/3 cup?.” Thanks again



          • Gemma Stafford on December 31, 2017 at 5:56 am

            Haha! Phew! I though there was a new one out there 🙂
            Replace one cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup. Remember this is a liquid ingredient, so you may need to adjust the liquids in a recipe.
            Really you use it measure for measure. It is just a liquid sugar really, proceed as per the recipe,
            Gemma 🙂



  20. Brenda on November 26, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Can this mixture – once cooled & “set” – be used successfully to bake with , as in bars that use a layer of condensed milk mixed with things like coconut & chopped dried fruits or chocolate chips etc on top of a cookie crust?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Brenda,
      I am not sure it will be stiff enough! It will be perfect for my ice cream recipe, and for others, but I think it would need to be caramelized to set solid. Honestly, I think you could try it, the more it is reduced the stiffer it will set up,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Valerie on November 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    My coconut sweet and condense milk has been in the friedge more than 30 minutes, I se it thick but not as thick as regular condense milk is and also a little more like transparent, not so white an yellow like the normal, I’m afraid to use it for the ice cream recipe and then the butter pecan ice cream cake

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Valerie,

      Everything sounds fine to me. Let it go totally cold for a few hours and it thickens as it gets really cold.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  22. Carol McKibben on November 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Hi Gemma! I used canned unsweetened coconut milk and added the sugar, and condensed it for the recommend time. It turned dark but did not thicken to be dense like condensed milk. I let it cool and put it in the fridge. It separated when cold. I stirred it and used it to make raspberry sorbet which came out icey and hard. What was I doing wrong? What if I added some cream of coconut would that thicken it up if I simmered them together? I have to reduce my dairy intake and really want this to work! Is there any way I can salvage the icey sorbet? Carol

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Carol,

      So this sounds like it separated and there is no saving that. I would say unfortunately you might have to start over.

      Did you stir it a lot while it cook? this can cause it to separate. This recipe does work so I want you to have success with it.

      Best,
      Gemma.

    • Heather Rushing on December 24, 2017 at 4:30 am

      The same thing happened to me. 🙁

      • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        Hi Heather,

        I just re read Carols message. I’m really sorry to hear that happened. When something separates there is really no going back from there.

        Tell me, did you use regular sugar??

  23. Angela on November 17, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Just having a tough time with this recipe but wanted to get some clarification. Do I stir it together in the end while still warm? After it cools? It is just looking like two different consistencies at this point after about 35 minutes on simmer. Thanks for your help!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 18, 2017 at 9:47 am

      HI Angela,

      stir the mix together until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a simmer, simmer until reduced and then take off the heat. Once cooled pop it into the fridge where it will thicken and be ready to go.

      Hopes this helps,
      Gemma.

  24. GillesBelgium on November 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Hi Gemma!

    My best friend suffers from a series of diseases and he became really sensitive to a lot of food, like lactose.
    I am really grateful for this recipe (and the chocolate fudges I will make with it).
    At least now he too can enjoy the Holidays with all the deliciousness his supportive friend (me) will provide.
    I always look forward to your new recipes and know you have fans even in Belgium 🙂

    Warm greetings for the cold winter days,
    Gilles 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Ah Giles, well done you to care for your friend so well, I am happy to have you with us.
      I am heading to Ireland for a few days soon, I expect I will feel the cold there, hardly ever feels cold here in LA!
      Good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Stephanie Salemi on October 29, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I am lactose Intolerant this is perfect thanks can I substitute honey for the sugar in any of your recipes?

    best regards,
    Steph

    • Gemma Stafford on October 30, 2017 at 6:08 am

      Hi Steph,
      Honey/agave too are sugars, and can be used in many of the recipes. Remember the liquid sugars may require you to cut back a tiny bit on liquids, but not much.
      For cookies both honey and agave will be good as they caramelize.
      Things like stevia/monk fruit will not caramelize, and though they are really useful, they are not suited to all recipes.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. AJ on October 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I am currently making this on the stove now. My daughter has a dairy allergy, so hoping this will work out. Is the coconut flavor strong once the final product is finished? That’s the only downside over here- we have some coconut haters in our home (I personally love it, but 3 out of the 5 of us do not 🙁 ) Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2017 at 1:58 am

      Hi AJ,
      I think the flavor will depend on what you put with it. Oddly the flavor is not too strong, for me, because I love it. Sometimes people here tell me they find the taste of eggs in a cake too strong, I never tasted the eggs until they said it! it depends on what you like, or dislike, and then you focus on that, lol. We are a funny lot.
      So, give it a good extra flavor, and I think all will be well.
      You can use almond milk for this too, the family may prefer this,
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Marina on October 18, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Hi Gemma!

    I Love your recipes!! My husbands brother and his family all turned vegan abort a month ago. They love key lime pie, so I was wondering if I can use the condensed coconut milk in the over for the pie?
    Hugs/ Marina

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Marina,

      Yes you absolutely can use it, that will work well.

      Gemma 🙂

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