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STOP! Before you hit ‘Jump to Recipe’ check ‘Skip to the Good Bit‘ below. I may answer a query you have about this recipe.
This recipe for Easy Dairy Free Condensed Milk has been on the website for ages, it just never had it’s own page. It wasn’t until today, whilst I prepped for my Easy Dairy Free Fudge, that I had a light bulb moment thinking it deserved a corner of the website all to itself.
Making dairy free and vegan condensed milk really couldn’t be easier, but like many I thought it was a bit of a faff until I’d made it myself. Frankly, when you see the price of the shop bought version it seems daft not to make it yourself.
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Skip to the good bit
- What ingredients do you need for vegan condensed milk?
- Does it matter what coconut milk you use in condensed milk?
- Can you make dairy free condensed milk without coconut?
- Why is my homemade condensed milk a funny colour?
- What can I make with vegan condensed milk?
- How long can you keep homemade condensed milk?
- I can’t be bothered to make my own condensed milk!
- Easy Dairy Free Condensed Milk Recipe
What ingredients do you need for vegan condensed milk?
Have you got a pen and paper ready? Listen carefully, I shall say this only once.
To make dairy free condensed milk you’ll need
- 400ml can of coconut milk
- 150g caster sugar
That’s it, two ingredients, a big non-stick saucepan, silicone spatula and a large heat proof jug to pour the liquid in to cool. This recipe really is that simple, and cheap too. To make about 250-300g of dairy free condensed milk costs less than £1.00.
To buy a dairy free and vegan condensed milk you are looking at anywhere between £2.00-£4.00 for a 220g small tin (equivalent to £2.50-£5.00 for the same volume as homemade).
Does it matter what coconut milk you use in condensed milk?
So, does it matter what can of coconut milk you buy to turn into condensed milk? The answer is YES. You need to make sure you get a high fat/high % coconut extract.
Many places will stock coconut cream and light coconut cream these days, steer clear of the light for this recipe as you need the fat to give the condensed milk its thick, creamy texture.
I look for a percentage value of 60% or more. Some tins are even higher with 75%, the tin below is a whopping 94%.
Some coconut creams will look different when you open the tin. This is due to the method they’ve been produced and if they have added stabilisers. Either way, as long as you have a high fat content you will be fine.
For the tins that have solid fat and separated coconut water (fat is always on the top of the tin and the water is trapped below). I use both the solid fat and the water, it’s a shame to waste it and it doesn’t impair the thickening process.
Can you make dairy free condensed milk without coconut?
There is an oat version on the market by Natures Charm if you cannot tolerate coconut. Warning: I am yet to work out if this is Gluten Free OATS as it’s not clear on the tin or online and Natures Charm haven’t replied to me. If you’d like me to develop a coconut free recipe then comment and let me know.
How do you make dairy free condensed milk
To make dairy free condensed milk you will need the two ingredients, a large saucepan, a silicone spatula, a large heat proof jug and 30mins to cook (extra time for cooling).
Add the tin of coconut milk to the saucepan, then add the weighed caster sugar and mix to combine. Don’t worry about any lumps, these will dissolve on heating.
Place on a high heat until you see a rolling boil (bubbles rolling from the edge of the pan into the middle).
Turn the heat down to medium high (e.g. 7 on an induction hob) and set a timer for 30 mins. Keep checking in on the reduction every 10 minutes just in case.
The liquid will turn a translucent colour as the sugar heats and the coconut milk reduces. I think it looks like wallpaper paste!
After 30 minutes your condensed milk will have reduced substantially possibly by a third.
In the image below you can see I have made a double batch of dairy free condensed milk using two 400ml tins of coconut milk and 300g of caster sugar leaving me with 600ml of condensed milk.
Why is my homemade condensed milk a funny colour?
I thought I’d add this note in just in case you were wondering why your homemade version is more of a wallpaper paste/translucent golden colour. Making this in smaller batches at home, normally with a time limit means we reduce the ingredients quicker. This may caramelise the sugar more than a manufacturing process would.
It may be because it’s not completely cooled yet. The image below is after cooling overnight.
Your homemade version is also unwhipped. If you wanted a more creamy, less translucent condensed milk you could whip it which would create a lighter colour. my argument is why bother as 9 times out of 10 you’ll be using the condensed milk as an ingredient for another recipe anyway.
It will still work in vegan cheesecakes, ice creams, homemade Baileys and my Brandy Truffles!
What can I make with vegan condensed milk?
The question should be what can’t you make with vegan/dairy free condensed milk! This link takes you to all my dairy free condensed milk recipes, but below are a few I’ve plucked out to tempt you with.
How long can you keep homemade condensed milk?
When I make a batch of dairy free condensed milk I tend to make a double recipe using two 400ml cans of coconut milk and 300g of caster sugar. This makes about 2.5cups/600ml of condensed milk. To change the quantities too, simply go to the recipe card below and choose 2x or more if you want a vat of the stuff!
Doing this means you have enough for any of my recipes on Glutarama but you have plenty for another day too.
I keep the remainder in a 500ml Kilner jar or 250ml Kilner jar* depending on how much I have left. This will keep, if unopened, in the fridge for 3mths.
To ensure no germs creep in sterilise your jars first as I do for my soup recipes.
How to sterilise jars for your individual soup portions
I can’t be bothered to make my own condensed milk!
If this is you then no judgement my dear, none at all. There are times we can and times we can’t find the energy to do this extra journey to make dairy free condensed milk. Just for you I’ve added an affiliate link to Amazon so you can buy your own ready made vegan condensed milk* ready for the next time you need it for one of my recipes. Simply click the link or the image below to go shopping.
Easy Dairy Free Condensed Milk Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Easy Dairy Free Condensed Milk
- 400 ml coconut milk must be 60% extract or more
- 150 g caster sugar
- Add the tin of coconut milk to a large saucepan, next add the weighed caster sugar and mix to combine. Don't worry about any lumps, these will dissolve on heating.
- Place on a high heat until you see a rolling boil (bubbles rolling from the edge of the pan into the middle).
- Turn the heat down to medium high (e.g. 7 on an induction hob) and set a timer for 30 mins. TOP TIP: Keep checking in on the reduction every 10 minutes just in case.
- The liquid will turn a translucent colour as the sugar heats and the coconut milk reduces. I think it looks like wallpaper paste!
- After 30 minutes your condensed milk will have reduced substantially possibly by a third.
- Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a heat proof jug to cool completely. Once cooled you can use this an an ingredient in many dairy free recipes on this very website!
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*disclaimer: I use affiliate codes on my website, the vast majority are to Amazon. If you click on any of the links or images in the post and make a purchase my family will benefit from a small % of that purchase at no extra cost to you.
For full transparency, in 2020 I made my first £25, and in 2022 I reached my next £25 (Amazon don’t transfer the money until you reach £25). Recently I got paid a whopping £27.10 for 2023.
So to date I have made £78.58 since I first started the scheme in 2017. It won’t pay the bills, that’s for sure but it does help to pay for ingredients or little treats to cheer me up!