Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk? (How to do)

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk?” and will discuss the difference between whole milk and evaporated milk.

Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk?

Yes, you can substitute evaporated milk for whole milk. Evaporated milk is created by condensing regular milk to preserve its nutrients, allowing it to remain stable for months or even years without refrigeration. This makes it a convenient option for long-distance transportation and storage, particularly in regions with limited milk production, especially in tropical climates.

In various markets, evaporated milk serves diverse purposes. It’s commonly used in beverages like coffee and tea, as well as for cooking in various recipes.

When used as a liquid, evaporated milk is typically consumed after diluting it with an equal part of boiled water, resulting in a product very similar to whole milk, with a slightly higher solid non-fat (SNF) content and a different fat-to-SNF ratio compared to regular 3.5% fat full-cream milk and as such can be replaced, without any adverse effect, for whole milk. (1)

What is the composition of evaporated milk?

Evaporated low-fat milk is composed of 7.5–9.0% fat and 18–22% non-fat milk solids. During the manufacturing process, the whole milk undergoes ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment and is subsequently aseptically packaged. The steps to produce evaporated milk include evaporation, concentration, homogenization, and sterilization of whole milk. (2)

What are the components of milk?

Although the composition of milk is known to be influenced by various factors such as the animal’s species, lactation stage, and genetics, it can also be altered by environmental conditions and the diet provided. On average, milk is composed of approximately 87% water, 4%-5% lactose, 3% protein, 3%-4% fat, 0.8% minerals, and 0.1% vitamins.

Comparing milk from different species, cow milk stands out with the lowest fat content, second only to human milk in protein content. Owing to the concentrated form, evaporated milk has an increased compositional analysis compared with milk with 6.5% Protein, 7.5% Fat, 9.8% Carbohydrates, 1.4% Minerals (ash), 0.24% Calcium, and 0.19% Phosphorus (3, 4)

Why might evaporated milk be preferred?

The taste of sterilized evaporated milk is more appealing than that of pasteurized or UHT-sterilized milk for some customers. Only a small quantity of evaporated milk (EM) is necessary for coffee, cocoa, or tea to achieve a milky flavor and a white appearance, 

The Maillard reaction in EM leaves a desirable yellowish color, which is preferred over the grayish tint resulting from whole milk. EM is also the recommended choice for infant feeding due to its ability to form a gentle curd in the stomach.

Thanks to its high total milk solids (TMS) content, it plays a crucial role in producing ice cream. Furthermore, it is utilized in the preparation of chocolate, as well as in baking products. Its smooth consistency also makes it a valuable ingredient in various desserts, sauces, and gravies.  Additionally, it can be diluted with milk and cream to create coffee creamer. (1)

How do milk components affect your health?

Regularly incorporating whole cow’s milk with its natural fat content into your diet offers a range of health advantages. Whole milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D, helping in maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, thanks to its high protein content, whole milk helps with muscle growth and repair.

This makes it particularly beneficial for individuals engaged in building muscle mass or in physical activities. Whole milk contains oligosaccharides that nourish beneficial gut bacteria in the colon. This fosters a healthy intestinal microbiota, leading to improved digestive health.

The generous vitamin B complex found in whole milk promotes optimal neurological function, supporting cognitive health and nerve function. It also contains amino acids with anti-hypertensive properties, suggesting its potential role in helping to regulate high blood pressure.

Moreover, whole milk is a natural source of vitamins A, E, K, and D, all of which are present in the milk fat. In contrast, skim milk lacks these essential nutrients due to the removal of fat during the skimming process. (3, 5)


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk?” and discussed the difference between whole milk and evaporated milk.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Kalyankar, S. D., Deshmukh, M. A., Khedkar, C. D., Deosarkar, S. S., & Sarode, A. R. Condensed Milk. Encyclopedia of Food and Health, 291–295. 2016


BREMSEN-WÄRME-SCHRUMPFVERPACKUNG-MASCHINE, Automatische. Alvarez, VB, & Pascall, MA. Packaging. Encyclopedia of dairy sciences, p. 16-23, 30. 2011.


Pereira, P. C., & Vicente, F.  Milk Nutritive Role and Potential Benefits in Human Health. Nutrients in Dairy and Their Implications on Health and Disease, 161–176. 2017.


TRUGO, Luiz C.; FINGLAS, Paul M. Condensed milk. Encyclopedia of food sciences and nutrition. L. C. Trugo and PM Finglas, Eds, p. 1498-1506, 2003.


Silva, A. R. A., Silva, M. M. N., & Ribeiro, B. D.  Health Issues and Technological Aspects of Plant-based Alternative Milk. Food Research International, 108972. 2020.