If you do not look closely, you can miss the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk at the grocery store.
You can use one in sauces, mac and cheese, soup, whereas the other in candies, fudge, and pies. Now, it is essential to know the main difference between the two as you prepare desserts, dips, soups, cakes, and even coffee using them.
The main difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is the extra sugar in the sweetened condensed milk. However, there are other differences too that you would want to know, so read on!
What is Sweetened Condensed Milk?
Manufacturers produce sweetened condensed milk by removing 60% of the water content from cow’s milk and then adding sugar to it.
Sweetened condensed milk is thick, sweet, and is best for preparing desserts like cake, pie, candies, fudge, pudding, etc.
What is Evaporated Milk?
On the other hand, manufacturers remove 60% of the water content from cow’s milk to produce evaporated milk.
Unlike sweetened condensed milk, no sugar is added to it afterward. You can use this milk to prepare ice cream, sauces, soup, and even coffee or tea.
Sweetened Condensed Milk vs Evaporated Milk: Comparison Table
|Category||Sweetened Condensed Milk||Evaporated Milk|
|Production||By reducing water content and adding sugar||By reducing water content only|
|Usage||In desserts and other sweet dishes||In relatively less sweet dishes|
|Shelf Life||10 to 14 days after opening, years if unopened||3 to 5 days after opening, up to fifteen months without opening|
|Substitutes||Coconut cream, whipping cream, evaporated milk with added sugar||Regular milk, cream, powdered milk|
|Health Factor||Relatively less healthy||Relatively healthier|
Sweetened Condensed Milk vs Evaporated Milk
The main difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is the extra sugar. However, the two are distinct, and it is important to know why.
Apart from how companies create them, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk differ because of their usage, shelf life, substitutes, and health factors.
As sweetened condensed milk contains added sugar, it is suitable for making sweet foods and desserts. You can use sweetened condensed milk for making candies, biscuits, fudge, cake pops, cheesecake, brownies, caramel and lemon bars, etc.
Evaporated milk doesn’t contain any sweeteners. Also, you can only produce them by reducing the water content from regular milk. Moreover, people use it in relatively less sweet foods than those that require sweetened condensed milk.
You can also use evaporated milk to prepare dishes such as mac and cheese, spaghetti, dips and sauces, milkshake, ice cream, yogurt, tea, coffee, etc.
Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk vary greatly when it comes to shelf life.
Sweetened condensed milk can last from 10 to 14 days after opening. On the other hand, evaporated milk can only last for 3 to 5 days after it is opened.
Kept unopened, sweetened condensed milk has a shelf life of up to 2 years, even without refrigeration. On the other hand, evaporated milk can only last up to 15 months without being opened.
Usage of different substitutes
Sweetened condensed milk is thick and sweet. Therefore, you can easily substitute it using the following ingredients.
It shares a similar, thick consistency as sweetened condensed milk. Coconut cream is less sweet than condensed milk, which is why you might want to add extra sugar to it. Similarly, you can also use coconut milk as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk.
Whipping cream is thicker and more creamy-sweetened condensed milk. However, it acts as a good substitute for condensed milk. You can add more sugar to whipped cream as per your requirement and taste.
You can use evaporated milk as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk by adding sugar to it.
Sweetened condensed milk has sugar added to it during its production process. Thus, you cannot substitute the two the other way around. However, you can use the next products as substitutes.
You can replace regular milk with evaporated milk by boiling it to reduce its water content by around 60%. This would look like reducing two cups of milk to around ¾ of a cup of milk.
Substituting cream for evaporated milk can be slightly more difficult than substituting regular milk. To do so, you need to add a large amount of water to the cream to dilute it. Then, boil this mixture to reduce its water content and create evaporated milk.
Similar to cream, you need to add water to powdered milk and then boil the mixture to reduce its water content to create evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk is less healthy than evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk contains 40-45% sugar, while evaporated milk has no added sugar. Evaporated milk also has fewer calories and fat than sweetened condensed milk.
Can I Substitute Sweetened Condensed Milk for Evaporated Milk?
No, you cannot substitute sweetened condensed milk for evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is used to thicken less sweet foods like mac and cheese, sauce, ice cream, milkshakes, or coffee.
Sweetened condensed milk has a large amount of added sugar. Thus, you cannot use it in bland foods. It works better in desserts like fudge, candies, caramel slices, pie, or pudding, etc.
Can I Add Sugar to Evaporated Milk to Make Condensed Milk?
Yes, you can add sugar to evaporated milk to make sweetened condensed milk. However, it can become tricky to substitute evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk.
They have different consistencies. Therefore, evaporated milk with added sugar may not be a suitable replacement for sweetened condensed milk in every recipe.
Can I Use Evaporated Milk Instead of Condensed Milk for Fudge?
You can use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk for fudge. Simply add some sugar to it since sweetened condensed milk has a larger amount of added sugar.
To use evaporated milk for fudge, you also have to see how well the sugar melts and candies. Of course, you can always add more sugar to the evaporated milk according to your taste.
Is evaporated milk the same as condensed milk?
Yes, evaporated milk is the same as condensed milk. The only difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is added sugar. Therefore, unsweetened condensed milk is the same as evaporated milk.
How to make evaporated milk into condensed milk?
Evaporated milk can be made into sweetened condensed milk by adding sugar to it.
Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk have different textures, so you cannot directly substitute the same amount of evaporated milk in your recipe.
The amount of sweetened condensed milk that you need to add depends upon the recipe that you are preparing.
Can I use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?
There is no such thing as unsweetened condensed milk.
The only difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is that the former is sweetened by adding a lot of sugar. The procedure for making sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk is otherwise the same.
If you wish to replace evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk, you can add sugar to it. Otherwise, ‘unsweetened’ condensed milk is the same as evaporated milk.