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10 Best Substitutes for Evaporated Milk

If you’re an avid baker or like to experiment in the kitchen, you’ll need these substitutes for evaporated milk on hand.

Because we all run out once in a while, and that cake can’t wait!

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Spoon Pouring Evaporated Milk in a White Bowl

I mean, sure, you could head to the store. But maybe it’s raining or late, or you just don’t feel like it.

I feel you, Boo!

Luckily, there are some terrific substitutes for evaporated milk that’ll work in a pinch, so you can finish those cookies in peace!

How Do You Make Evaporated Milk?

Before we get to the substitutes, let’s take a step back.

Instead of looking for alternatives, why not just make the stuff yourself? It’s easier than you think!

You’ll need milk, a saucepan, and a stove. That’s it – no fancy ingredients, no special equipment.

Just those three things and a spatula to stir it with, of course. 

The milk doesn’t even have to be a specific type. I typically use whole milk (because it’s what I have on hand), but any kind works just as well.

You could even use a milk alternative if necessary!

So, here’s how to make evaporated milk:

  1. Set the stove to medium heat.
  2. Add 1-2/3 to 1-3/4 cups of milk to a saucepan. 
  3. Stir as needed to keep it from burning.
  4. When the milk begins to boil, monitor it more closely. 
  5. Keep stirring until there is one cup of thickened milk left.
  6. Pour the evaporated milk into a glass jar to cool.

Now it’s ready to use!

10 Best Evaporated Milk Substitutes and Easy Alternatives

Alright! Now that you know how to make your own, let’s get to the substitutes.

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That’s what you came here for, after all! Just keep in mind that some of these are best suited to certain recipes, where others may not work as well.

So, give them a shot and see which ones you like best. 

Milk Poured in a Drinking Glass

1. Regular Milk 

Okay, so we’ve talked about this one already. However, the list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning regular milk. 

If you want to substitute regular milk for evaporated milk, use the above method. Remember, it works with any milk: skim, whole, etc. 

Just keep a careful eye on it, and don’t let it boil too long. 

Also, remember that it may not have the same sweetness as evaporated milk. But you can compensate for that in baking by adding sugar to the pot.

Half and Half in a measuring cup

2. Half And Half

Though half and half is thicker than evaporated milk, it still makes a good substitute. 

As the name implies, it’s half cream/half milk, meaning it has more fat than evaporated milk. (It’s lower in carbs, though!) 

You can swap out half and half for evaporated milk at a one-to-one ratio, and it doesn’t take any special tweaking or preparation.

Therefore, it’s also one of the most straightforward substitutes to use.

Powdered Milk in a Wooden Bowl

3. Powdered Milk 

Powdered milk is a decent substitute for evaporated milk. However, unlike half and half, you’ll have to do some extra work to make it suitable.

Start by turning the powdered milk into milk, but don’t use as much water as usual. Good Housekeeping recommends using the following ratio:

  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 1.5 cups of water

Typically, you’d add a quart of water for every cup of powdered milk. But as you can see, this ratio uses much less water.

It makes the consistency thicker, more like that of evaporated milk.

Heavy Cream in a Glass Jar

4. Heavy Cream

Like half and half, heavy cream requires no tweaking, so it works as a one-to-one replacement for evaporated milk.

It doesn’t require any extra water, boiling, etc.

If the recipe requires a cup of evaporated milk, substitute a cup of heavy cream.

The final product may be richer and more filling. And it’ll have more fat, as well. 

Even so, it’ll still be delicious and have the same consistency.

Fresh Soy Milk in a Glass

5. Soy Milk

Soy milk is a dairy-free alternative to the options above.

It has a similar consistency to evaporated milk, but the taste is somewhat different.

In recipes with lots of ingredients, it’s barely noticeable. However, in recipes using minimal ingredients, you may taste the difference.

To substitute soy milk for evaporated milk, use the DIY method above. Even though it isn’t ‘regular’ milk, you’ll boil it the same way.

Glass With Oat Meal

6. Oat Milk

Want an evaporated milk substitute with a bit more fiber? Try oat milk.

You can purchase it or make your own by blending oats and water. Either way, you can substitute at a one-to-one ratio once it’s ready.

Unfortunately, it won’t be as thick or sweet as evaporated milk. So, you may have to adjust your recipe slightly to offset that.

Try adding a thickening agent and some sugar or honey. Those will help if you’re making sweet dishes.

However, if you’re working on something savory, you may not require the extra sweetness.

Hemp Milk in a Glass Pitcher

7. Hemp Milk

Hemp milk isn’t as popular a product as other options on this list. Still, if you have access to it, it makes a decent evaporated milk substitute.

(You can also make your own by grinding hemp seeds, then mixing them with water.)

Use the boiling method above to make it work, and be ready to add a thickener.

It’s very thin and a bit on the sweet side, so it works best in baking and desserts. 

Fresh Coconut Milk

8. Coconut Milk

Another one-to-one substitution for evaporated milk is coconut milk. And the great thing is, you can often find evaporated coconut milk in stores ready-made.

Even if you can’t find evaporated coconut milk, don’t worry – regular unsweetened coconut milk will do just fine.

Neither option requires any boiling or additives. Just use them as you would use evaporated milk.

Keep in mind that coconut milk does taste like coconuts, though. For that reason, it may work best in sweet dishes.

Fresh Rice Milk in a Glass

9. Rice Milk

I have a love-hate relationship with rice milk.

It’s a delicious, dairy-free alternative to evaporated milk. However, it’s also higher in carbs and not as good for people with blood sugar issues.

Still, if that isn’t a problem in your family, rice milk is another option. It’s naturally sweet but may require cornstarch to make it thick enough to use.

For those reasons, it works best in sweet recipes like cakes and cookies. 

If you’re making your own, it’ll require a few steps.

First, you’ll combine the rice and water to make rice water. After that, you’ll boil it just as you would regular milk to evaporate some of the water.

Once it’s ready, use it at a one-to-one ratio or a little less.

Be sure to taste as you go along, too. You may not need as much sugar or sweetener if you use rice water.

Almond Milk in a Glass and Fresh Almond Nuts

10. Almond or Cashew Milk 

As long as you don’t have a nut allergy, cashew or almond milk are great dairy-free, low-calorie alternatives to evaporated milk.

It doesn’t matter which one you’re using, either. The process for making them a suitable substitute remains the same.

Simply boil the milk using the DIY method listed above.

The resulting product is a thinner, nuttier version of evaporated milk. (You can thicken it with a thickening agent if necessary.) 

Cashew milk works well in both sweet and savory dishes. However, almond milk does best in sweet recipes because of its stronger taste.

Other Kitchen Substitutes To Keep On Hand

Cream of Tartar Substitutes
Buttermilk Substitutes
Egg Substitutes for Baking
Cream Cheese Substitutes
Mayonnaise Substitutes

10 Best Substitutes for Evaporated Milk

If you’re an avid baker, you’ll need these substitutes for evaporated milk on hand. Because we all run out once in a while, and that cake can’t wait!


  • Regular Milk

  • Half And Half

  • Powdered Milk

  • Heavy Cream

  • Soy Milk

  • Oat Milk

  • Hemp Milk

  • Coconut Milk

  • Rice Milk

  • Almond or Cashew Milk


  • Choose your favorite evaporated milk substitute.
  • Use in all your favorite baking recipes (from cookies and cakes to breads!)
Substitutes for Evaporated Milk

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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