DIY Evaporated Milk


When a recipe calls for a can of evaporated milk, did you know there’s a quick and easy substitute you can use instead?  This little trick will let you make a homemade version of evaporated milk and it’s easy on the budget too!

How to make homemade evaporated milk

What Is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is a shelf stable canned product made from fresh milk that has had about 60% of the water content removed. Evaporated milk first gained popularity before the days of refrigeration.  If you added an equal amount of water back to a can of evaporated milk, you once again had a liquid that tasted like fresh milk.

Today, we use evaporated milk most often in recipes where we want a creamier and richer taste than just plain milk can provide.

Remember that evaporated milk is different than sweetened condensed milk which has sugar added to it (and by the way, you can also make your own sweetened condensed milk!).


2 Ways To Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

Because evaporated milk is fresh milk with some of the water removed, there are a couple ways you can go about creating a homemade version.  One way is to boil milk down to about half its volume.  However this takes a little more watching and stirring and guestimating on when you’ve reached about half of what you started with.

Instead, I like this method that uses powdered milk at twice the ratio to water as you would normally use it.  This also give you a creamier milk product with less water in it that you can stir together in just a few seconds and works great.

Here’s how to do it.




  • 1-1/4 cups Water

  • 1 cup Dry Milk Powder

Stir together.

Yup, that’s it for the directions.  Just measure out your water and stir in the powdered milk.  Powdered milk dissolves almost instantly in water so with very minimal stirring you’ll have your DIY evaporated milk ready to go.

The measurements in this recipe will equal a 12 oz can of evaporated milk.

How to make homemade evaporated milk

Now, the math-minded brains among us may be reading the recipe up there and are thinking “Isn’t 1-1/4 cups equal to 10 ounces?  How can this be equal to a 12 ounce can?  Explain yourself please!”

I wondered this too and found that when you add in the 1 cup of dry milk powder, the mixture increases in volume and you end up with exactly 12 ounces.  Yay!


I tried this recipe as a substitute for evaporated milk in my favorite tuna chowder and it worked perfectly.

I’m also going to be using my DIY evaporated milk for making my Thanksgiving pumpkin pies in a few weeks (click here for a pumpkin pie recipe using homemade pumpkin puree).



This post is linked to In & Out of the Kitchen, Create It Thursday, Penny Pinching Party, Lovely Ladies Linky,



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  1. Enid says

    Thank you for this money saving information. I often make a dessert typical of my country and asks for a can of both evaporated and condensed milk. I usually have powder milk in my cupboard and now it’s going to be used. :)

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      That’s why I like this recipe too . . . it’s a great way to be able to use what you have in the cupboard to make what you need.

  2. says

    I really didn’t know this! Thanks so much for sharing this. There are times when I am baking or cooking and am short of evaporated milk, now I don’t have to worry about it any more!

    Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party.

  3. Theresa says

    Thank you for sharing. I avoid recipes calling for evaporated milk because I never have any on hand. Like the savings too!

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      If you have a box of powdered milk in the house, it’s definitely an easy way to be able to make any recipe calling for evaporated milk too!

  4. Dalilah says


    I use evaporated milk to make my Coquito (puerto rican egg nogg). I get a lot of orders during the holidays and I’m wondering how long this recipe will last? Alcohol is in the coquito and they’re stored in glass bottles.


    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I think the best strategy for your purposes would be to use distilled water or filtered water so you have very pure water for your homemade evaporated milk. I also think the alcohol in the mixture should help for shelf life too. I’m not sure if Coquito is refrigerated (I haven’t heard of it before) :)

  5. Corine says

    Ty for the recipe! Me and my husband are changing our eating lifestyle to healthier foods so I bought powdered milk and just made a pumpkin pie!

  6. Austin says

    Will this work for a homemade nonfat whipped cream? The recipe for homemade whipped cream calls for evaporated milk.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I’m not sure this would work for a nonfat version. I think you need the heavy whipping cream (not evaporated milk) to make a good homemade whipped cream.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I have successfully substituted this homemade version of evaporated milk in recipes, however I have not tried it in fudge. Even though I haven’t tried it personally I think it would work and would certainly be worth giving a try.

      • Debra says

        I found your recipe tonight while I was all geared up to make fudge and realized I was out of evap. milk! I was using the “quick” recipe that uses sugar, chocolate chips, butter, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and evaporated milk. I substituted the DIY version for the milk and the recipe worked great. Next time I would probably thin it out with a TINY bit more water as the sugar, butter, and milk mixture seemed to come to a boil very fast and there was some crystallized sugar that didn’t have time to dissolve thoroughly. Overall, though, I’d call this one a win! Thanks!

        • BeverlyBeverly says

          Love your story Debra! That’s my hope for many of the DIY ideas I share here. They might not be something you do all the time, but they are great tricks to have up your sleeve when you need a resourceful solution in a pinch. AND if you do choose to do them all the time, that’s fine too and they can be helpful money savers.

  7. L says

    Thank you!! Can I use regular milk or lactaid in a recipe for flan that calls for evaporated milk?? Thanks!

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      Evaporated milk has a richer, creamier flavor than regular milk or lactaid. If you substitute regular milk in a recipe, I think the texture of your final product will be OK, but it might not have quite as rich of a flavor.