Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

This recipe should come in handy this holiday season. Or, really anytime you want to make something totally decadent.

Homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk!

Traditional sweetened condensed milk is made by heating milk until most of the water is removed, then adding sugar, leaving you with a thick and sticky substance that tastes downright decadent in desserts and coffee drinks.

This homemade version is naturally dairy-free, and can be used in nearly any recipe calling for traditional sweetened condensed milk, adding a hint of rich, coconut flavor to the final result. Since you’re making it yourself, you get to control the sweetness! I prefer using honey as my natural sweetener, but agave nectar, pure maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, or stevia should work just fine.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
makes about 12 ounces

inspired by this recipe

Ingredients:

1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk*
1/4 cup honey, or equivalent sweetener of choice

Directions:

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes.

Watch this pot closely! Once the coconut milk starts to boil, it can bubble over quickly. Whisk regularly to prevent burning.

Reduce the heat, bringing the coconut milk to a simmer, then add the sweetener, whisking until it’s completely dissolved.

Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.

*Note: I don’t recommend using low-fat or light coconut milk, since those versions are usually just coconut milk that’s diluted with water to lower the fat content. You’ll have to boil the coconut milk longer, and will have less condensed milk as a result– wasting your time and money. Use the full-fat stuff for best results!

Remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely before using in recipes.

This sweetened condensed coconut milk should last for at least a week when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.

5.0 from 14 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Naturally dairy-free, this homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk can be used in nearly any recipe calling for traditional sweetened condensed milk, adding a hint of rich, coconut flavor to the final result.
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup honey, or equivalent sweetener of choice
Instructions
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes. Watch this pot closely! Once the coconut milk starts to boil, it can bubble over quickly. Whisk regularly to prevent burning.
  2. Reduce the heat, bringing the coconut milk to a simmer, then add the sweetener, whisking until it's completely dissolved.
  3. Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
  4. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely before using in recipes. This sweetened condensed coconut milk should last for at least a week when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
Notes
I prefer using honey as my natural sweetener, but agave nectar, pure maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, or stevia should work just fine. Feel free to adjust sweetness to taste!

I hope you’ll enjoy this non-dairy alternative as much I do! It’s a decadent addition to your weekend coffee, and makes a mean macaroon–> a recipe which I’ll be sharing later this week!

Reader Feedback: Do you ever use sweetened condensed milk? If so, what are your favorite recipes that call for it? I remember using it to make a classic fudge recipe years ago, and I tried it once in my coffee, which made it taste more like a dessert! It’s a little too labor-intensive for me to want to use it all that often, but it’s definitely a fun treat!

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

118 thoughts on “Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

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    1. KATIE

      I thought about that too but everytime i have tried to sub stevia for sweetness in large amounts it always has this qwful bitter aftertaste so I would try using monk fruit sweetener (also known as Erythritol – it’s a very natural sugar alcohol like stevia) for a recipe like this because it has a very similar texture to regular sugar and can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio I believe. It always tastes so good in all my recipes that I think theres no way there’s not regular sugar in them! Anyway hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply
    2. Aliyanna

      I would make the thickened cream and then add the stevia to taste after it cools down. I think that would take care of the bitter taste that stevia gets when heated.

      Reply
  3. Lori

    Can this be used as a substitute for like Cocoa Real that they use to make pina coladas? I have a great recipe that calls for it but would like to use a healthier alternative.

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      This recipe is an attempt to replace a store-bought product. The store-bought version is VERY sweet, so you need an added sweetener in this recipe if you want to use it as a dairy-free substitute in baking. If you don’t plan on using it that way, you don’t need to add the sweetener.

      Reply
    2. Jennifer

      I tried it today because I wanted to add the honey last, to keep the healthy properties of the honey, and it does thicken! I was thinking it would make a good cream base for something like a pasta sauce.

      Reply
  4. Jennifer

    Do you think I can add the honey at the end of reducing? I would like to keep the benefits of the honey without over heating it. I will be trying this… I will check back in and let you know how it goes! Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

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