Difference between Evaporated and Condensed Milk

Updated on February 24, 2018

Both evaporated and condensed milk originate in regular milk. Both result from evaporation off of about 60 percent of the water. However, they cannot be substituted one for the other, because of the differences which we will examine in the following article.


A glass of evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is regular milk that is mildly heated in order to remove about half the water. This evaporation process concentrates the milk, making it richer and creamier; it also adds a golden color to milk. There are many benefits of using evaporated milk instead of regular milk. For example, if using evaporated milk, you do not need to add water when cooking milk-based dishes on a heated stove, as you often do in case of using regular milk, because the latter can stick to the bottom of a pan.

Some manufacturers add extra nutrient elements to evaporated milk, for example, vitamin D or vitamin A. Generally, there is twice as much calcium and proteins in the evaporated milk than in the same amount of regular milk, because the removal of water increases nutrients proportionally per serving.

Evaporated milk can be regular, low fat, and fat free.

Evaporated milk also makes a cooking process easier, because it makes it possible for the resulting milk in the process to interact with other ingredients more easily.

You can make evaporated milk from regular milk at home, though it is not as simple as putting milk on a stove and waiting until it evaporates. It is best prepared with a slow cooker, which is a pot with an electric heating element in it. You can let the milk evaporate in a slow cooker, although it is recommended to whisk the milk once in a while.

condensed milk
An opened can with condensed milk

Condensed milk has sugar as a necessary ingredient; in fact 45 to 50 percent of this type of milk is sugar. Condensed milk can be used for a lot of things, among them eggless cakes, various kinds of halwa, or any other sweets.

You can make condensed milk at home following this simple recipe:


  • 500 ml full cream milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 pinch baking soda


  1. Pour milk into a pan, put it on a stove and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and baking soda. Stir the mixture thoroughly. At this stage you should heat the milk while stirring it continuously every 1 or 2 minutes, so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep doing this until the milk is thick.
  2. To check if a proper condition of condensed milk has been reached, put a drop or two of milk on a plate. When it cools, take a little with your finger and see if it is sticky or not. If it sticks, that means that the sugar is properly distributed, and your condensed milk is ready. If it is not, you need to proceed with heating the milk some more. Be careful not to make it too thick so that it becomes hard.
  3. When the condensed milk is ready, keep it in an air tight container until it cools.

Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk

What is the difference between Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk?

Evaporated milk is more versatile than condensed milk. The former can be used for sweet deserts, cakes, as well as for mashed potatoes and casseroles. Condensed milk, on the other hand has more limited applications due to the large amount of sugar it contains. It is mostly deserts, cakes, and sweet beverages condensed milk is added to during the process of preparation.

In order to use evaporated milk, you just have to give a shake to a can or a bottle with milk, open the can, and pour out the amount of milk you need according to your recipes. Condensed milk, on the other hand, is more cumbersome to use, because of its density. Depending on sugar concentration, it can stick to the walls of a can, and it requires a spoon to transfer the milk.

condensed milk manufactured in Russia
A can of condensed milk manufactured in Russia

While evaporated milk can replace regular drinking milk as a beverage, condensed milk is not a beverage; you can’t drink it.

Comparison chart

Evaporated MilkCondensed Milk
No sugar is addedSugar is added
Can replace drinking milkCannot replace drinking milk
Is more versatileIs less versatile
Is easier to useIs more cumbersome to use
Is less denseIs more dense
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