Can I substitute condensed milk for regular milk?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can I substitute condensed milk for regular milk?”, and what are the other substitutes for regular milk?

Can I substitute condensed milk for regular milk?

No, condensed milk cannot be substituted for regular milk. It is because regular milk and condensed milk differ a lot in terms of taste, flavor, and consistency. 100 grams of condensed milk is concentrated 2.1 times and contains 7.8 g of fat and 18.1 g of other milk solids other than fats,and has a cooked or caramelized taste to it. However, there are plenty of other options available if you run out of fresh milk.

Concentrated milks are liquid milks preserved by reduction of water contents to extend the shelf life and/or to improve its value. To achieve these aims, water is removed by evaporation, leading to a product called evaporated milk, or by creating conditions that do not allow the growth of microorganisms. The addition of a large quantity of sucrose and exclusion of oxygen result in a product called sweetened condensed milk (2).

In 2015, the EU farm milk accounted for 155.3 billion liters,  by 10.92 % more than in 2013 (140.1 billion liters). About 83 % of this milk production in the EU is achieved by the main producing countries: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark. Germany and France together carried out 39 %, meaning 54.2 billion liters of the total EU milk production (1).

What is condensed milk?

Condensed milk is a milk product that is prepared by removing water from dairy milk. For this, milk is heated at about 85-90°C temperature. Other technologies, such as evaporation under vacuum conditions that enable boiling at moderate temperatures and membrane filtration are also used, and different qualities of condensed milk are produced (2). Sucrose may be added to milk till approximately half the ratio of sugar to milk is achieved. Sucrose acts as a preservative by increasing the osmotic pressure of the fluid, thus, preventing microbial growth.

Uses of condensed milk

Condensed milk is a staple ingredient of some desserts, some of which are described below.

Coconut Flan

Condensed milk is used along with coconut milk to make coconut flan. With a hint of cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, this dessert is an absolute delight.

Key lime pie

This pie has a crunchy graham cracker base and is topped with condensed milk flavored with lemon or lime zest, juice, and fused with egg yolks. Play around with the crust and do not hesitate to experiment with a cookie dough base.

Coffee ice pops

The popsicle is made of a rich amalgam of cream and condensed milk and is drenched in coffee to give a caffeine boost.

Tres leches cake

A plain vanilla sponge is poked with a small skewer to make holes and a mixture of condensed milk and regular or coconut milk is poured onto the cake. When the milk is absorbed fully, it is topped off with caramel or whipped cream.


These are small orbs of condensed milk that are coated with unsweetened cocoa powder and rolled onto desiccated coconut or chocolate or colorful sprinkles.


Chocolate chips with 70% cocoa combined with marshmallows and peanut butter for a salty hint make for a perfect treat for fudge lovers.

Banoffee pie

Banoffee pie is made with caramelized condensed milk which is poured onto a buttery graham cracker base and is topped off with bananas and whipped cream.

Dairy substitutes for regular milk

Evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is made by dehydrating fresh milk. Add water to evaporated milk to reconstitute fresh milk according to your recipe.

The nutritional value of evaporated milk is different from whole milk due to the heat treatment. In-bottle treatment destroys up to 10% of the available lysine, about half of the vitamins B1, B12 and C, smaller proportions of vitamin B6 and folic acid (2).


Cream is a high-calorie dairy-based substitute for fresh milk. It has a high-fat content and a thick consistency. Add water to adjust the fluidity according to your recipe.

Heavy cream contains a fat amount of 36–45 % and therefore, provides many health benefits related to the milk lipids, including anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic, antidiabetogenic, immunomodulating and bone growth–enhancing properties related to the bioactive component in milk fat is conjugated linoleic acid (3).

Part this Part that

If you do have milk but not enough of it, then try mixing it with cream until you achieve the desired consistency. 

Milk powder

Milk powder is made by dehydrating fresh milk to a water level of 5%. Add water to it to reach the desired consistency to reconstitute fresh milk.

Spray drying is one of the most common preservation methods, resulting in low water activity (aw). Dry milk products contain less than 4 g  per 100 g of water, which also means decreased volume and weight of the product, ease of handling and reduced cost of storage and transport (2).

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

Can evaporated milk be substituted for condensed milk?

How to tell if almond milk is bad?

Can you cook with Lactaid?

How much is 100g of milk in cups?

Non-dairy substitutes for regular milk

Soya milk

Soy milk is a good non-dairy alternative for evaporated milk. Soya milk has a similar composition and appearance to regular dairy milk. Use soya milk by evaporating some of the water.

Soy protein is, after cow’s milk protein, the most widely used protein for infant formulae. The protein has to be isolated from the soya bean in order to remove undesirable components, such as oligosaccharides, fibers, saponins and phytoestrogens. The amino acids profile of soya protein isolates is deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids, and supplementation with L-methionine is, therefore, required (2).

Avoid using if you have a soy allergy or refrain from using products made from genetically engineered crops.

Rice milk

Rice milk has a pleasant sweet taste and is made by filtering the leftover water from grinding soaked rice. This low fat and low protein alternative can be heated to the desired consistency or add cornflour or cornstarch to it. People with diabetes should not go for this option because of its high GI(Glycemic Index) value. Rice milk has a GI of 87, while cow milk has a GI of  39 (5).

Rice is suggested to take along with the bran as it contains the beneficial polyphenols (phenolic acids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins consisting of catechin and epicatechin). However, this is rarely possible, especially for products like rice milk, to achieve a good sensory profile. Iron, an essential element, present in rice, where more than 85% is seen in the bran (4).

Nut milk

Nut milk extracted from nuts like almonds, cashews, and hazelnut is very popular.

Almonds are considered as one of the “brain-foods” (while others are hazelnut and walnut) as they ensure a healthy brain by promoting mental alertness, concentration, recall skills, memory and helps to get good sleep when taken at night (4).

Avoid using it if you have a nut allergy.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is an excellent non-dairy alternative. This high calorie and high protein milk is made by grinding coconut fruit and is a rich source of minerals and lauric acid.

Presence of medium-chain triglycerides makes coconut milk an easily digestible nondairy substitute. Unlike other milk analogs containing long chain fatty acids, coconut contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that can be easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver to convert into ketone compounds, which are useful in brain functioning and to relieve memory impairment like Alzheimer (4).

Oat milk

Oat milk is made by grinding oats with water. This alternative is packed with fiber and beta-glucans which promote digestive health and fight bad cholesterol.

Oats are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols with macromolecules in different proportions i.e. highest proportion of starch (60%) with a relatively balanced protein content (11–15%) and lipids (5–9%) besides, oats are also a good source of dietary fibers (2.3–8.5) and calcium content (0.54%) (4).


In this article, we answered the question “Can I substitute condensed milk for regular milk?”, and what are the other substitutes for regular milk.


  1. Popescu, Agatha. Trends in milk market and milk crisis impact in Romania. Scientific Papers. Univ. Agricultural Sciences & Veterinary Medicine, 2017, 17, 281-9.
  2. Oliveira, Maricê Nogueira de, Ana Lúcia Barretto Penna, and H. Garcia Nevarez. Production of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and ‘Dulce de Leche’. Dairy powders and concentrated products, 2009, 149-179.
  3. Huppertz, T., A. L. Kelly, and P. F. Fox. Milk lipids—Composition origin and properties. Dairy fats and related products, 2009.
  4. Paul, Anna Aleena, et al. Milk Analog: Plant based alternatives to conventional milk, production, potential and health concerns. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2020, 60, 3005-3023.
  5. Atkinson, Fiona S., Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller. International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diab care, 2008, 31, 2281-2283.