How to use condensed milk in place of milk?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to use condensed milk in place of milk?”. We will also discuss what can be used as a substitute for whole milk, and the potential advantages and drawbacks of consuming condensed milk

How to use condensed milk in place of milk?

Condensed milk can be used in place of milk to bring sweetness, flavor, and creamy texture to a number of recipes, such as desserts, drinks, and baked goods. 

Condensed milk differs a lot from milk in terms of taste, flavor, sweetness, and consistency, so you need to be attentive if modifications are necessary for recipes when using it instead of milk.  

  • Baked goods 

In these products, condensed milk lends tenderness, aromas, and flavors, and contributes to a shiny crust [1]. 

Cakes and cupcakes are examples of baked goods where the substitution of milk with condensed milk is welcome.

Here are some tips for using condensed milk instead of milk in the bakery:

  • You can use a one-to-one ratio when substituting: one cup of milk can be replaced with one cup of condensed milk.
  • Caution with sugar: condensed milk is 40% sugar, so you will need to adjust the amount of sugar added to the recipe. 

For example, if your recipe takes 100 g of sugar, you can reduce the amount of sugar by half. Depending on how sweet you like, you can even omit the sugar. 

The key is trying until you find the perfect combination.

  • Consider the flavor: condensed milk may not work well with every baked good. Light and airy baked goods such as meringues, may become dense and heavy with condensed milk. 
  • Desserts 

Due to its sweet taste, condensed milk is the best friend of desserts. But the substitution works better in desserts that require a thick and creamy texture. 

Ice creams, milkshakes, puddings, and pie fillings are examples of recipes you can use condensed milk instead of milk. 

For this, you can use one whole can of condensed milk (e.g. in ice creams, puddings, or pie fillings, since no more sugar is added), or only part of it if other sweet ingredients are added, like in a milkshake. 

  •  Coffee and tea

You can use condensed milk in coffee and tea to sweeten and enrich their flavor. For this, you can add one to three spoons of condensed milk to coffee or tea and stir until fully combined.

You can also prepare milk tea and other milk tea-based beverages by replacing the milk with condensed milk diluted with simmered water (one cup of water to ½ cup of condensed milk).

Coffee-based beverages can also be prepared with condensed milk. Strong coffee shots are used in these preparations to compensate for sweetness.

  •  Drinks

One other idea is totally or partially replace milk with condensed milk in drinks like smoothies, milky fruit juices, and cocktails. Here you can simply add condensed milk until achieving the desired texture and sweetness. 

What is the difference between milk and condensed milk?

Milk and condensed milk differ in physical, sensory, and chemical aspects. 

According to the International Dairy Foods Association [2], milk is approximately 87% water and 3.7% fat, and 4% of sugar, which is primarily lactose. Milk naturally lacks sucrose, and is rich in Vitamins B, A, D, E, and K. It is white and fluid. 

Due to the concentration processes and addition of sucrose, condensed milk contains around 8% fat, 45% sugar (most of it is sucrose), and 27% water [1], besides high viscosity. 

Moreover, it shows a slightly yellow color, and distinctive aroma and flavor from that of milk, which derives from desirable heat-promoted reactions between sugars and proteins during the manufacturing process. 

Condensed milk can maintain a great part of the nutrients in milk, such as vitamins and minerals [2], and can be said as a nutritive food if moderately consumed.

What are other substitutes for whole milk?

  • Powdered milk: powdered milk is prepared by total dehydration of milk. This makes milk last longer than its expected shelf life (around one year more). To use powdered milk, reconstitute it by adding water to the dry milk powder.
  • Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk is prepared by evaporating 60% of the water content from the whole milk [3]. It can be used as a substitute for whole milk to thicken soups and gravies as it does not contain any added sugars.

Potential advantages and downsides of consuming condensed milk

Using condensed milk in your recipes has advantages, but consuming it exaggeratedly can have adverse implications on your health.

As it comes from milk, condensed milk retains most of its nutritive characteristics. According to the USA Department of Agriculture [2], condensed milk contains calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamins B and A. 

Nevertheless, condensed milk is high in sugar and fat. It contains high levels of saturated fat which is bad for diabetes and people with cardiac issues.

Research suggests that a diet that is rich in saturated fats increases the chances of cardiovascular issues and the development of diabetes [4,5].

Frequent consumption of condensed milk may also favor weight gain, as it is energetic (321 kcal/100 g of product), and is not recommended for people with lactose intolerance, because the manufacturing process does not remove lactose [6].


In this brief guide, we answered the questions “How to use condensed milk in place of milk?”, and “What can be used as a substitute for whole milk?” Finally, we incremented the debate by discussing the potential advantages and downsides of consuming condensed milk. 





4. Te Morenga L, Montez JM. Health effects of saturated and trans-fatty acid   intake in children and adolescents: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(11):e0186672.

5. Ray T. The role of condensed milk advantages and its disadvantages.Global Sci Resea J. 2022; 7 (2): 1-2.

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