Condiments, Sauces & Marinades/ Desserts & Treats/ Vegan

Homemade Coconut Condensed Milk Recipe

August 3, 2023 (Last Updated: October 20, 2023)

Coconut Condensed Milk is a sweet, creamy, dairy-free alternative to regular condensed milk. This homemade vegan substitute for sweetened condensed milk is made with just 2 ingredients in about 45 minutes. Use it for smoothies, desserts, porridges and more!

a jar of coconut condensed milk.

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Coconut Condensed Milk is a sweet, creamy, dairy-free alternative to regular condensed milk. This homemade vegan substitute for sweetened condensed milk is made with just 2 ingredients in about 45 minutes. Use it for smoothies, desserts, porridges and more!

If you are looking for more easy milk recipes, try my How to Make Condensed Milk and Almond Milk recipe next!

a pitcher of coconut condensed mill next to a jar full of more.

Coconut Condensed Milk

Growing up in a Jamaican household, porridge was a staple and common breakfast recipe. Whether it was Cornmeal Porridge, Green Banana Porridge, Hominy Corn Porridge or any other kind it was always finished with a touch of sweetened milk. Those who are milk intolerant or have a preference against it would have to opt for sugar or an alternative like coconut sugar. Luckily, with this condensed coconut milk recipe, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!

Coconut condensed milk is just as rich and sweet as sweetened condensed milk, without dairy. So whether you have a dietary restriction or just don’t like milk, you can still indulge. Condensed milk is a staple in many sweet recipes and once you learn how to make sweetened condensed coconut milk, you’ll never have to make a grocery store run to grab some again!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy – with just 2 pantry staples (3, if you’re feeling fancy) you can make sweetened condensed coconut milk at home with just a few simple steps.
  • Healthier – this dairy-free alternative to traditional sweetened condensed milk has fewer carbs and is of course lactose-free. It’s also loaded with vitamins and nutrients like calcium and iron.
  • Customizable – sweeten it as much or as little as you’d like.
  • Homemade Version – this homemade version automatically makes it 100 times better and is totally worth all the hype.
  • Simple Recipe – using only 2 ingredients, this is one of the easiest pantry staple make-at-home yourself recipes to make.
a pitcher of coconut condensed milk.

What is Coconut Condensed Milk?

Coconut condensed milk is a vegan alternative to standard condensed milk and is not to be confused with coconut cream. It is made with full-fat coconut milk and your preferred sweetener for example coconut sugar, maple syrup or commonly, granulated white sugar.

How to Use Condensed Coconut Milk

Using condensed coconut milk allows you to make vegan versions of all your favourite recipes. Use it anywhere you would use regular Sweetened Condensed milk. Here are some ways I use it:

a measuring cup full of dairy-free condensed milk.

Ingredients You Need for Coconut Condensed Milk

  • Full-Fat Coconut Milk – the main ingredient.
  • Granulated Sugar – this is your sweetener. Use cane sugar or coconut sugar for the best results.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – although optional, this adds a subtle vanilla flavour that also helps mask the coconut taste.

How To Make Sweetened Coconut Condensed Milk

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar and bring to a rapid simmer for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Then, reduce to a gentle simmer (medium heat), stirring often for another 35 to 45 minutes.

The coconut mixture is ready when thickened and reduced to a syrupy consistency. It should coat the back of a spoon with a slight brown hue.

Remove from heat and let cool completely. Finally, transfer to an airtight glass jar and enjoy as needed.

What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)

  • Small Saucepan – this contains the milk as it simmers.
  • Wooden Spoon – you need this to constantly stir the mixture.

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk

All you need to make your own coconut milk is a fresh coconut and maybe a sweetener. First, extract the coconut water from a fresh coconut. Then scrape all the coconut meat out of the shell.

Next, add the coconut meat to the blender with a splash of the coconut water (just enough so it doesn’t get stuck). Place a cheesecloth over a large bowl and pour the mixture over it. This strains the liquid.

Then, add a sweetener if you’d like.

How to Make Traditional Sweetened Condensed Milk

Regular sweetened condensed milk is made by heating milk and sugar over medium heat until majority of the water content is removed. Butter is then added for a more enriched taste and vanilla for added flavour. It is then simmered down further until a thick syrup-like consistency is formed.

a pitcher of coconut condensed mill next to a jar full of more.

Recipe Notes and Tips for Success

  • Higher Fat Content – avoid light coconut milk for this recipe because the water content is too high. You won’t reach the same creamy consistency.
  • Stir – continuously stir the mixture as it cooks down in order to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Low Heat – always use a medium to low heat as the mixture simmers (never boil) to ensure a cohesive, creamy finish. If your mixture comes to a boil it may cause separation (coconut oil to appear on top when settled).
  • Taste Test – feel free to taste-test and adjust the milk-to-sweetener ratio if necessary.
  • Coconut Cream – you can use coconut cream, but you will need to dilute the cream with water. You will also need to keep a keen eye as it may thicken a little quicker as there is less water content.

Possible Sweeteners for Condensed Coconut Milk

Choose the sweetener based on your taste preference. But note, the sugar you use will determine the colour of your milk. It can vary from white to light brown/tan.

  • Sugar – granulated white works as a standard sweetener.
  • Coconut Sugar – this is a natural sweetener that comes from the sap of the coconut palm tree. It has a more caramel, earthy flavour and gives the milk a darker colour.
  • Cane Sugar – derived from sugarcane plants this natural sweetener gives the milk a caramel hue.
  • Maple Syrup – is another natural sweetener you can use derived from the sap of maple trees. Using maple syrup adds distinct and unique flavour to the milk which may or may not be desirable to all.
  • Stevia – although I have not tested this sweetener using stevia offers a low-calorie and diabetic-friendly option. If using, you will need to adjust quantities.

Play around with other sweeteners such as date syrup, agave nectar, honey, coconut nectar, organic cane sugar, and brown sugar.

real coconuts opened on cutting board.

How to Choose the Right Coconut for Coconut Milk

If planning to make your own coconut milk it’s best to ensure your coconuts are of good quality. Luckily, coconut is in season year-round! Here are a few ways to know if your coconuts are perfectly ripe:

  • Smell Test – the coconut should not have a strong scent. It should have a slight woody or earthy smell. 
  • Jiggle It – if you hear sloshing, that’s a good sign.
  • Hold It – the coconut should feel dense and heavier than it appears.
  • Check it – there should be no visible cracks or signs of mold

How to Cut Coconut to make Homemade Coconut Milk

  1. Drain – poke the “eyes’ of the coconut to drain the water.
  2. Crack – use a clean mallet or the back of a butcher knife to hit along the center of the coconut until it cracks open.
  3. Remove the Flesh – use a mallet or small paring knife to loosen the coconut meat from the shell.
  4. Cut – slice the coconut into half-inch cube-shaped pieces. (No need to peel off the skin; it’s edible.)

Can I Make this Ahead of Time?

Yes. This lasts up to one week when properly stored so you can use it in for various recipes.

Storage Instructions

Ensure the mixture cools completely to room temperature then store this vegan sweetened milk in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 5- days up to 7-days. For longer storage, freeze it for 3 months.

An airtight container, preferably glass ensures maximum freshness is preserved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Condensed Coconut Milk the same as Canned Coconut Milk?

No. Condensed coconut milk is sweetened coconut milk, cooked down to a thick, syrupy consistency.

Can I use condensed coconut milk instead of condensed milk?

Yes. Any recipes that need condensed milk can be replaced with condensed coconut milk.

Does condensed coconut milk taste like coconut?

Yes, but it is not an overwhelming flavour. You can add vanilla to balance out the taste as well.

Is coconut a tree nut or fruit?

Coconut is not a tree nut, but a type of fruit known as a drupe. A drupe, also known as a stone fruit has a hard “stony” outer shell or covering that encloses the seed. 

Can this be vegan evaporated milk if I leave out the sweetener?

Absolutely. Evaporated milk is made from a simple process of simmering until the water content is removed. Use a full-fat coconut milk to yield a creamier, richer vegan evaporated milk.

Why is the coconut oil settling at the top?

If there’s any sort of separation in the milk after it’s been reduced it may be because the heat was too high during the simmering process. Always maintain a gentle simmer.

Why is the sweetened condensed coconut milk not smooth?

This may be because the heat was too high during the simmering process. Always maintain a gentle simmer. If this, or separation occurs whisk really well until combined.

Interested in more Seasoned Skillet Recipes? Check These Out!

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a jar of coconut condensed milk.

Homemade Coconut Condensed Milk Recipe

Taneisha Morris
Coconut Condensed Milk is a sweet, creamy, dairy-free alternative to regular condensed milk. This homemade vegan substitute for sweetened condensed milk is made with just 2 ingredients in about 45 minutes. Use it for smoothies, desserts, porridges and more!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Condiments, Sauces & Marinades
Servings 1.5 cups
Calories 1408 kcal

Equipment

  • Small Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar and bring to a rapid simmer for about 5 minutes. Then, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, stirring often for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  • The coconut mixture is ready when thickened and reduced to a syrupy consistency. It should coat the back of a spoon with a slight brown hue.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a an airtight glass jar and enjoy as needed.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Higher Fat Content – avoid light coconut milk for this recipe because the water content is too high. You won’t reach the same creamy consistency.
  • Stir – continuously stir the mixture as it cooks down in order to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Low Heat – always use a medium to low heat as the mixture simmers (never boil) to ensure a cohesive, creamy finish. If your mixture comes to a boil it may cause separation (coconut oil to appear on top when settled) or curdling.
  • Taste Test – feel free to taste-test and adjust the milk-to-sweetener ratio if necessary.
See additional recipe tips and notes for success in blog post above!

Nutrition

Calories: 1408kcalCarbohydrates: 146gProtein: 9gFat: 97gSaturated Fat: 85gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 60mgPotassium: 999mgSugar: 133gVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 15mg

Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.

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Keyword(s) coconut condensed milk, coconut condensed milk dessert recipes, coconut sweetened condensed milk, condensed coconut milk, condensed coconut milks, condensed milk recipes, how to make coconut condensed milk, how to make sweetened condensed coconut milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, vegan condensed milk

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