Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, and is my go-to for substituting sweetened condensed milk in most recipes. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a thick but pourable consistency that’s spot-on for the original.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1¼ cups (equivalent by volume to 1 (14-ounce) can)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can lite canned coconut milk (like Thai Kitchen or Native Forest)
  • ½ cup cane sugar (see Sweetener Note below)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain dairy-free milk beverage (preferably one that is quite rich)
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until the mixture reduces to ¾ cup. It It will be very thick and a bit “gloppy.”
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Vigorously whisk in the milk beverage until very smooth. Let cool.
  4. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. It will thicken a bit as it chills.
Sweetener Note: Plain white cane sugar (or beet sugar) produces the most neutral, versatile flavor in this recipe. Other sweeteners like brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup can be substituted and will technically work, but since you are concentrating the liquid, the sweetener will heavily influence the resultant flavor. Make sure the bolder flavor profile suits your recipe.
Richer Version: If you want a richer version that's sets up firmer when chilled, you can substitute full-fat canned coconut milk for the lite coconut milk. That will add about 2 to 2.5 grams of fat and around 20 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 63 Fat: 2.7g Carbohydrates: 10g Sugar: 10g Sodium: 18mg Protein: 0g
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/dairy-free-sweetened-condensed-milk-vegan