Vegan Condensed Milk

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yields: 1 1/2 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
32 Calories
3g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 35mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Deliciously creamy, it's surprisingly easy to make sweetened condensed milk at home without dairy products. This vegan condensed milk recipe is a fantastic creamer for coffee and an excellent way to make milk tea. It's also a good substitute for recipes that typically require the canned milk.

A base of canned coconut milk makes one of the best dairy-free substitutes for condensed milk. It has a good fat content that reduces well and a naturally sweet, rich taste. Building on that foundation, adding monk fruit or coconut sugar gives it a nice sweetness that better replicates the flavor of the sweetened dairy milk.

Whether you sweeten it or not, blending in a small amount of xanthan gum is key to producing thicker condensed milk. A valuable ingredient for specialty diets, this flavorless thickener is often used in vegan recipes to reproduce a dairy-like effect and appears in many gluten-free foods. You can often find it with natural foods, in specialty baking shops, and online.

If you prefer, change up this recipe by using another non-dairy milk or vegan sweetener. Depending on the combination you choose, there may be some experimentation involved, though the recipe's premise remains the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 (13.66-ounce) can coconut milk

  • Optional:

    1/2 cup coconut sugar, or granulated monk fruit sugar

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm up the coconut milk. Add the monk fruit or coconut sugar (if using) and salt, whisking until completely dissolved.

    Coconut milk with sugar and salt in a saucepan

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  3. Continue simmering and whisking frequently for 30 minutes, or until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.

    Reduced coconut milk in a saucepan with whisk

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  4. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

    Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk cooling

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  5. Pour the condensed milk into your blender pitcher. While the blender's running at low speed, add the xanthan gum. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until completely smooth. Switch to a higher speed if needed.

    Blending Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

    Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

  6. Transfer the condensed milk into a storage container and let cool completely before sealing. It will thicken a little more as it cools.

    Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk in a container

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  7. Add a spoonful to your coffee or tea, or use it in your favorite recipes. Enjoy.

    Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk in a container with spoon

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Tips

  • Make as small or large of a batch as needed. The goal is to reduce the original volume by about one-quarter, then let the xanthan gum thicken the milk.
  • Start with less sweetener if you like, then taste the milk after 10 minutes and add more sweetener if needed.
  • When adding the xanthan gum, the continual mixing of the blender is key to creating smooth condensed milk. If you simply try to whisk it in, the xanthan gum will almost instantly form lumps.
  • The vegan condensed milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks under a tight seal. You may need to stir it before use.

Recipe Variations

  • Lite canned coconut milk works in this recipe. It has less fat so the milk will not be quite as rich.
  • Use another vegan sweetener such as raw cane sugar, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup. Start with 1/3 cup when using liquid sweeteners and add more to taste.
  • Switch to almond, coconut (in the carton), rice, or soy milk. Use about 2 cups and reduce it down to just over 1 1/2 cups.
  • Particularly useful with rice or soy milk: for extra flavor, blend in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can also add flavor with coconut oil; start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste.

What's the Difference Between Condensed and Evaporated Milk?

When using vegan milk alternatives in recipes that typically use dairy products, it's important to choose the correct substitution. If you skip the sweetener, you are really making a thickened version of evaporated milk (sometimes redundantly called unsweetened condensed milk). If a recipe relies on "sweetened" condensed milk, leaving the sweetener out can negatively impact the recipe. Depending on what you're making, some experimentation may still be required. It's best to always test recipes before relying on a substitute for a special occasion.

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