Evaporated milk is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed. It’s used in all types of recipes, from pies to casseroles. And this instant dairy-free evaporated milk recipe works as a great substitute that you can whip up in minutes! We originally shared this recipe nearly fifteen years ago, but I’ve since made some updates to the formula and added some FAQs and tips!
Instant Dairy-Free Evaporated Milk Substitute FAQs
To make your life easier, I’ve got answers for some of the most commonly asked questions about this instant dairy-free evaporated milk recipe.
What’s the Benefit of Using Dairy-Free Milk Powder?
Unlike other methods, you can quickly whip up this recipe any time you need it and in any amount. Dairy-free milk powder is shelf-stable, so it lasts for quite a while, and helps to prevent emergency trips to the store. This recipe also comes together in just minutes, and doesn’t require cooking.
Can I Simply Cook Down a Dairy-Free Milk Beverage?
Yes, you can! In fact, I have that recipe here. But, as mentioned above, this instant method with dairy-free milk powder is much quicker. Milk beverage has to be boiled down to “evaporate” more than half of the liquid, which can take quite a while. And some milk beverages don’t bubble down nicely.
Will Coconut Milk Powder Work?
In general, yes. Coconut milk powder doesn’t thicken as much as some other dairy-free milk powders, but it is richer. You might need to adjust the amount of powder used, but you won’t need to add any buttery spread. Since this is a higher fat option, it is a bit more like half and half or light cream than evaporated milk.
Can I Use Dairy-Free Protein Powder?
No, I don’t recommend it. Protein powders are typically protein extracts. They will be denser in protein, and not balanced enough to create a milky consistency.
Are There Any Dairy-Free Evaporated Milk Products I Can Buy?
If you are looking for a coconut option, then there is canned evaporated coconut milk. Two well-loved brands are Nature’s Charm and Nature’s Greatest. But I have a little secret for you. You can just buy lite canned coconut milk. It’s cheaper, easier to find, and is essentially evaporated coconut milk. Lite coconut milk is a slightly bigger can, so you will have a little leftover if your recipe calls for 12 ounces or less.
Special Diet Notes: Instant Dairy-Free Evaporated Milk
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1¼ cups boiled hot water
- Scant 1 cup (15 tablespoons) dairy-free milk powder (like rice milk powder or soy milk powder; see post above for other options)
- 2 teaspoons dairy-free buttery spread (optional)
- Pour the hot water into your blender. Add the dairy-free milk powder and buttery spread, if using. Blend until well combined.
- Remove the center piece from the lid to let any steam escape before opening.
- Use as directed in recipes. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
What brand of dairy free powder do you prefer?
Unfortunately, the brand I used to use is no longer available. So I can’t recommend a specific brand, but they are all designed to create a smooth milk.
Reddi Whip sells almond based canned whipped cream, delicious!
I am looking for a substitute for half & half cream (10%). Would it work to cook down cashew beverage? What other suggestion might you have?
It might work, but depending on the recipe, I might just swap in light canned coconut milk. See this post for more options -> https://www.godairyfree.org/dairy-substitutes/substitute-condensed-milk-buttermilk-sweetened-powder
if you are mixing soy powder and water your making soy milk right so can you use just soy milk and add water to it to make the evaporta milk
please reply back to me
Hi Sandy, that won’t work. Soymilk is made with a ration of 1 cup powder to 4 cups water. This is a much higher concentration of powder to make it thicker. If you opt to use soymilk, you will need to boil it down (takes a while and it can “curdle”).
after mixing the above ingredsients in a blender, can it be chilled then whipped like I do Milnot? Thank you.
Hi Ruth, no it won’t whip up.
thank you, do you have any suggestions on what I can use in the place of Milnot that would whip and be dairy free and gluten free.
I’m sorry, but I had to look up what Milnot was! And I’ve actually never heard of anyone whipping evaporated milk, so it isn’t something I’ve tested for. Coconut cream works best, but it doesn’t become voluminous like dairy cream.