In Recipes

here’s nothing worse than writing out your grocery list, checking it twice (are you humming the song? ‘Tis the season, guys!) going to the grocery store, coming home, pulling out your ingredients to test a new recipe, and realizing you FORGOT ONE THING!…Evaporated milk.

Thankfully, many common store-bought items can be made from scratch at home (at a lesser cost with minimal effort). If you flip over a can of store bought evaporated milk you’ll likely find the following ingredients: Milk, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Vitamin D3.

Why there are four ingredients in something I can make from one ingredient is beyond me…not to mention carrageenan is a known carcinogen and the vitamin D3 that’s added (which sounds great at first) is completely synthetic, but the can is also probably lined with bisphenol A (or BPA).

With a quick search (kudos to Google), I found a boatload of recipes for homemade evaporated milk, some varying slightly, so settled on a combination of them. The basic principle is to take milk and reduce it by 60% (the water content is what’s being evaporated, leaving you with a slightly thicker milk with a subtle sweetness).

Why there are four ingredients in something I can make from one ingredient is beyond me…

Are you rolling your eyes at the simplicity? I know, I know…just like when I realized brown sugar was merely molasses and sugar stirred together. (…sigh! I’m sure my mom tried to teach me these things as a kid…sorry mom!)

The following recipe yields one cup evaporated milk, adjust measurements for your needs. Remember you’re looking to evaporate the milk by 60%, so grab your calculator and do the math (but please don’t ask me!).



2 1/4 cups milk

To make: Add one cup of milk to a saucepan and dip a wooden skewer* into the milk until it touches the bottom of your saucepan. Mark the height of the milk on the skewer (this will be your reference stick as your milk evaporates).

Add the remaining milk (1 1/4 cup) and bring to a simmer.

Continue to simmer until your milk has reduced down by 60%. Allow milk to cool to room temperature before using in your recipe.

*Wooden skewer tip courtesy of Cassie at – GENIUS! Thanks Cassie!

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    Can this be done with Almond milk as well?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Yes, you can make both evaporated almond and coconut milks, but it may change the flavor of your recipe slightly. For a short cut, you can also add about a tablespoon of cornstarch to 12 ounces of milk (any kind). This will create a thicker milk for your recipe. If you try any of these methods, let us know how it works and what you made! Good luck!

  • Avatar

    Brilliant! Who knew?! Love this so much. Simpler is better.

  • Avatar

    Sorry little one……you are teaching me!!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Well, there is certainly much more I should have picked up from you, if I were paying attention! But I am grateful for the many things you did instill in me!

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