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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 11 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!

87 comments to Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

  • Candice

    Hi! I had posted a question about your frequent use of coconut oil on another post earlier, but haven’t heard a response. I know it is hard to respond to everyone, but I thought I would ask again :) I am looking to incorporate it into my diet since I have heard it is a healthy fat good for a flat belly. There are a lot of mixed opinions on this saturated fat though and I was requesting more information on why you believe it’s beneficial and how much and often you recommend including it in your diet. Plus, I would love to know your favorite uses. Thanks so much! I love how you enjoy your healthy eats. I am much the same way!

  • jeanne

    My grandma used to make awesome pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin and condensed milk…I bet this would taste fantastic in that!

  • Hi Megan, thanks for the link back. love your blog.
    Now I know I boil coconut milk without it curdling. I’m amazed your milk still remains white after adding honey. Mine turns brown after I add coconut sugar.

  • Steph

    Would lite or low fat coconut milk work as well?

  • Megan, this is awesome. I often want to make desserts for my two teenage boys that require sweetened condensed milk but am discouraged with the ingredients. I will ABSOLUTELY make this! Wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Have a great Sunday!

  • Thanks for this recipe! I have a recipe I’d been wanting to try (German Chocolate Lava Cake), but didn’t want to use regular sweetened condensed milk in it.

    I use a TON of raw almonds and I buy them in bulk from Costco. I am curious what your thoughts are on this article:

    That started out like a great recipe post title, didn’t it? What – almonds and fuel? What’s wrong with this picture?

    Everything.

    Did you know that the “raw almonds” in the grocery store, health food store, or at Costco, are most certainly not raw almonds at all?

    And did you know that they are most likely coated with a fuel additive. Jet engine fuel additive, to be specific. As in for racing cars and motorcycles.

    I know. I couldn’t believe it either. Ick.

    I first heard about this problem about 3 years ago when visiting another whole foods friend in a Chicago suburb.

    My friend told me something about a chemical called PPO being sprayed on almonds. Like many new scary-sounding bits of natural information (like heavy metals, mercury in vaccines and fish, personal care products in water), I thought, “Oh yeah, sure.” Then I asked her to show me proof. Just in case she was right, you know .

    Well, she produced a copy of an article outlining the problem. I got home, did my research, and found out that she was right.

    Yes, Virginia, there just might be engine fuel on your almonds.

    (Please note: This post used to be called “Almonds Coated with — Jet Fuel?” but I was mistaken by articles that listed PPO as being an additive in jet engines. What they meant wasn’t flying jet engines (though some model airplanes use this fuel), but instead engines in racing cars and motocycles and the like. Sorry for the confusion.)

    Why is There Engine Fuel on My Almonds?
    Basically, it’s another case of government regulation run amuck.

    In 2001 and 2004 there were two outbreaks of salmonella poisoning that were traced back to almonds. 33 people became ill, but no one died. (Contrast that to the thousands of deaths caused by prescription drugs each year, yet the government continues to laud their safety over and above natural supplements and diet change.)

    As a result, tons of almonds were recalled.

    The Almond Board of California (ABC) panicked, started pasteurization of all almonds and asked the USDA to mandate it.

    If you guessed that the governmental agency was all-too-thrilled to comply, you were right.

    As a result, all almonds in the US are now pasteurized either by:
    steam
    freezing (this is rare) or
    PPO (propylene oxide). According to Local Harvest, PPO is “a chemical so nasty that it was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel before being deemed too dangerous.” (why is it not safe enough to be used as a racing fuel, but it’s OK to spray our almonds with this??
    Just so you know, I called Costco and they verified that their almonds are sprayed with PPO. A Midwest natural foods supplier, Country Life Natural Foods, said that typically their almonds are steam pasteurized, but it is best to inquire whenever ordering from them (I have just heard from a reader that Country Life’s conventional almonds are treated with PPO .)

    Why should we care if our almonds are pasteurized?

    By the way, I am not a huge advocate of raw foods, but keeping your nuts raw gives them added nutritional value. You can read more about raw foods and how to make nuts and seeds more digestible in my post on How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds.

    How to Get Really Raw (or at least “fuel-free”) Almonds
    Unfortunately, there aren’t many options out there.

    1. You can purchase “sproutable” pasteurized almonds. I haven’t done enough research into this to know if they are really more nutritionally beneficial than the steamed almonds. I have seen these in our local health food store and they are really pricey (about 10.99 per pound)

    2. Purchase imported almonds from Spain. My most recent internet search for these yielded shocking prices of about $13.99 per pound

    3. Find a raw almond buying group that buys almonds direct from almond farmers. There’s a little loophole in the pasteurization law that makes it an option to get really raw almonds as long as you buy them direct from a farmer. I have one of these out of my home and we buy loads of almonds every fall – just about this time. If you live in the W Michigan area, or don’t mind paying shipping to your location, you are welcome to join us. We’re ordering by 11/30. Contact me if you’re interested.

    4. Become friends with an almond farmer .

    5. Grow your own almonds (not an option here in Michigan .)

    6. Contact the Almond Board. Maybe if enough of us do, they’ll stop pasteurizing almonds. One can only hope.

    7. At the very least, contact your current almonds supplier to make sure that they aren’t spraying engine fuel on your almonds.

    8. Read my review on Just Almonds, a seller of delicious almonds that are pasteurized with steam. You can get 10% off your order with CODE WNM as long as their ad is in my sidebar !

    Can’t believe this? There has been so much news of the government over-reaching its reasonable bounds that it simply makes my head spin.

    • Hi Holly! Yes, I remember being HEARTBROKEN when this happened– I was eating a high-raw diet at the time, and raw almonds were a staple in my daily life! I think I bought-out my local Trader Joe’s supply of raw almond butter, because I thought it would cease to exist once the ban when into effect.

      Unfortunately, it was even worse than I expected! I was so disappointed to see that manufacturers are still allowed to sell pasteurized almonds under a “raw” label, even when they aren’t raw! I could immediately taste the difference when they made the switch, and now I make an effort to buy truly raw Italian almonds online, or directly from almond farmers. For baking purposes, I’ll still use Trader Joe’s raw almond butter… though, now I’m tempted to contact them in regards to how they pasteurize their “raw” almonds! (Eeek.)

    • Krista

      Who did this post originate from? I am in West Michigan, too, and would like to get in on the order.

    • Zion

      Hi Holly,

      I would like information on joining the almond group. (I would need to pay for shipping, as I am in Austin, Tx
      zionlltl@yahoo.com

      Thank you for the offer!

    • Amanda

      Wow thanks for the info. I try researching as much as possible but it gets overwhelming, especially with little ones running around. I knew some of this but not the full extent. Good thing my mom has an Almond and walnut orchard that are Raw. Also I’m excited to try this recipe. Coconut is the number one staple in my kitchen.

  • Yes!!! I love this recipe, you’re a genius! There are a ton of Peruvian recipes that call for sweetened condensed milk and I avoid making all them.. but not now! Thanks!

  • Genius! I will definitely be trying this out!

  • Noelle

    Thank you so much! I’ve been missing Vietnamese coffee.

  • Oh my gosh, thank you! It will *definitely* come in handy this holiday season…I always want to veganize/healthify Martha Stewart recipes, and she’s obsessed with the stuff, but I never know how to sub for that. Now I can! Hooray! : )

  • I used to use it in coffee when my husband made me go camping, but since I don’t have as much dairy anymore, and so many of the regular ones are full of the ingredients you mention, it’s been years. This is a really great idea!

  • My “vice” these days is putting sweetened condensed milk in my morning coffee. I’m going to make this and see if I can wean myself off. It’s no good for any involved :)

    Thanks Megan!

  • Cindy Sampey

    I have to watch my blood sugar so I don’t use honey. I have coconut nectar (thick liquid), coconut sugar, xylitol and erthyitol. Do you think any of these sweetners would work and if so, how much do you think I should try? Thanks, Cindy

    • I think coconut nectar is similar in sweetness to honey, so you could probably swap it out equally. I’m not sure about the coconut sugar, but I’d start with 1/4 cup, and increase it from there, if needed. This is the type of recipe where the level of sweetness is up to you, so you can definitely taste as you go!

      I wouldn’t know where to begin with xylitol or erythritol… but again, if you taste as you go, you should be fine!

    • WandaKay

      Megan, If you have not seen this about Agave Nestor you will want to know: http://jonnybowdenblog.com/the-truth-about-agave-nectar-it%E2%80%99s-all-hype/

      I will be trying this with maple-syrup and also a batch with Liquid-Stevia. What amount of Liquid-Stevia do you suggest? I came across this: http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/easiest-vegan-condensed-milk-recipe/

      1 c dried coconut milk powder
      2/3 c coconut palm sugar
      1/3 c boiling water
      3 T melted butter
      Whip in blender til smooth

      What is your opinion of the uncooked recipe above?

      I’m looking for a natural-healthy substitute for condensed-milk for my Holiday Fudge. Do you think your recipe will be thick enough to harden the fudge as the store-bought does? I was using organic condensed-milk until realizing it was not much healthier than Eagle-Brand. Even though Eagle-Brand is gluten-free.

      Thank you for your recipe.
      Blessings!
      WandaKay

  • Leatha

    This turned out FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks so much for this vegan condensed milk! I love it! I used maple syrup!

    It was so good!
    You rock! :)

  • I absolutely love this recipe!!!! I am so going to try it out. I am peruvian and we use condensed milk in a lot of recipes, my mother used to make bananas with condensed milk, for obvious reasons, i avoid regular condensed milk in my diet, but now i am ready to immerse in some childhood memories without the guilt:):) Thank you!

  • Leatha

    I made it with Maple Syrup and it turned out great!!

  • […] Recipe: 1 cup condensed coconut milk a’la the Detoxinista (omit the honey) 1 cup water 3 scoops cafeceps or 1-2 shots espresso 1 Tbsp cocoa powder NuNaturals […]

  • Rena

    Can this be done using homemade coconut milk? Or do you need the canned coconut milk?

  • Jen

    Steph,
    “Lite” coconut milk is NOTHING but regular coconut milk with WATER added to dilute it.
    Megan, thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to make the macaroons with it.

  • Hope

    I’ve made this with both maple syrup and honey and used in a recipe for “Better than *Soccer*” cake… :) So yummy. THANKS!

  • Megan,
    Thanks for posting this- I ran across it while trying to determine how to make a good dairy-free sweetened condensed milk using honey instead of table sugar.

    I ended up going a different direction with my recipe, though: it’s not labor-intensive AT ALL. I use coconut butter, honey, and water, and it takes just a couple minutes to stir together. My recipe is at http://theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2012/11/dairy-free-no-cook-sweetened-condensed-milk.html

    A Brazilian friend taught me to make a pineapple filling for cakes and cookies, by boiling a can of drained, crushed pineapple with a can of sweetened condensed milk. It’s delicious, but has to simmer for a long time. If you use the coconut butter-honey recipe, you could leave the water out of it, add the crushed pineapple, and not have to simmer much at all.

  • Heather

    This is great, being allergic to dairy there is alot I miss out on, this opens alot of recipes to me.

    Would this work as evaporated milk if I leave out the sweetener? If not do you have a recipe for evaporated milk using coconut milk?

  • Steph Ranson

    Thanks! Condensed milk is a hard one with a dairy free diet. I’ve had it with soy milk before but its very hit and miss, someitmes it comes out awesome but other timse terrible. This one worked well and I was able to make chocolate coconut truffles yay (dairy and gluten free) and they are like the real thing! I will need to try how this goes in caramel slice and cooked things

  • Douglas

    this is amazing I can say that this is an answered prayer for my condensed milk substitute. Thank you very much and to you cindy sampey thank you you gave me an idea for honey substitute for my diabetic guest. they love it!! thanks a lot Megan and God Bless….

  • Thank you so much for the recipe! I’m just discovering coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative in cooking/baking. Good to know coconut milk makes Sweetened Condensed Milk, too. :-)

  • Ashley

    Made this last night. I cooked it for about 45 and it didn’t change much. I looked up a video and it said to cook for two hours and there finished product didn’t look at all like mine. can it be heated again? I don’t really have time to go buy more coconut milk.

    • It can definitely be heated again! Did you happen to use low-fat coconut milk? That would double the cooking time. Otherwise, I’d just recommend keeping the temperature higher, so that it cooks down faster!

  • Ashley

    I used whole fat. Humph… Ill give it another shot…. Thanks for the speedy reply! Have a good valentines day

  • Kie

    Hi there,

    Ive been wanting to veganize a two ingredient recipe for ice cream that calls for sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. Ive made it with regular cream and condensed milk before and it was DELICIOUS and the condensed milk was paramount to the success (probably because of the thickness). Is your version as thick as the traditional kind and can a natural sugar (i.e turbanado, coconut) work as well in stead of honey?

    Thank you for your help and your recipe!!

    God Bless,

    Kie

    • I’m going to make this for the same thing! I’m going to try with a mix of maple syrup and coconut sugar, the sugar to hopefully tint it a bit brown lol. Now I just need to find a dairy free whipped cream…

  • […] on the weekend you can add cocoa powder to up the chocolate hit and it works. I have also heard you can make your own coconut condensed milk so I have grand plans for that, including a Cherry Ripe flavour and some kind of rip on the yummy […]

  • andrea

    So i was cooking mine and it looked wonderful and tasted great. It was about 25 minutes but was nice and thick…i was about to take it off the stove then suddenly it separated and became watery. Did it curdle? i don’t know what happened. i’m so disappointed after standing there for a half an hour!

    • Megan

      I’m sorry to hear that! I’ve heard that coconut milk can curdle if the heat is too high, but I’ve never experienced it myself. Keeping the heat at a simmer, and not a boil, is important, so hopefully you’ll have better luck next time!

      • andrea

        it was so strange. I don’t know what happened. It was on a low heat and just simmering nicely. I ended up using it anyway…i just put it in the blender for a second then threw it in the recipe quickly before it separated again. It still tasted good and seemed to work fine in the recipe. I’ll try again. thanks!

  • […] (read: insert more coconut EVERYWHERE). AND the blog author was nice enough to link me a recipe for sweetened condensed coconut milk, to aid in tweaking the bars to my own tastes! How awesome is she?! Pretty […]

  • Kelly

    This will be good for making low carb smores and low carb 7 layer bars. How much stevia, monk fuit or another natural sugar free sweetener do you think I should use?.

  • Hi Meghan!

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve been looking for a substitute for a Key Lime Pie recipe. I’m pretty sure you just saved my life!

    http://aredesignedlove.blogspot.com

  • Jayme

    I tried this the other day and it was amazing.
    1 can coconut milk, 2c sweetened almond coconut milk (blue diamond), 1/2 can of pineapple, 1/2c sugar, 1t vanilla. Throw it all in the blender til its smooth. Put into ice cream maker and follow directions according to your ice cream maker. Freeze. It’s amazing!

  • Niki Phillips

    Can I use this recipe to replace evaporated milk?

  • […] cup sweetened condensed coconut milk (this is completely dairy free, and you can make it with Maple Syrup instead of honey if you are […]

  • Rachael

    Made this with coconut cream and coconut sugar today and it turned out fantastic.. Thanks for the healthier version of condensed milk..

  • Betsy

    I have tried to make this twice and can not get it to thicken even after an hour of babysitting the pot!! What am I doing wrong?!! I used the 14g of fat, unsweetened coconut milk and added nearly 1/2 cup of honey. Many thanks.

  • Kiran

    I just made this last night to use for some traditional Indian sweets, and it worked like a charm! I used the Thai kitchen unsweeteened coconut milk and raw organic honey. Although the calorie count and sugar content seems about the same I like that its a clean option. Thank you!

  • Beth

    I’m having an incredibly hard time getting this recipe to thicken up. I’m using full fat coconut milk and local honey. I’m at 7000ft – could this be a part of the issue?? Any tips on how to get it to thicken?

  • Christy

    This tastes really good and I’m sure it’s good in your coffee, but be careful! You cannot substitute this in a recipe that calls for canned sweetened condensed milk. I used it in a key lime pie and it ruined the pie. Sweetened condensed milk is about 3x sweeter than this and some recipes add vanilla which I would recommend.

  • When you use the coconut milk, are you referring to only the liquids part when you open the can, and not the thicker cream? Or do you just mix it all together?

  • […] however, you can try to find unsweetened dairy-free baking chocolate.  The Detoxinista has the simplest, best recipe for sweetened condensed coconut milk in my opinion — it makes possible SO many recipes that I never thought could be dairy free! […]

  • […] de leite de coco condensado e naturalmente adoçado. Ainda não testei, mas quem quiser testar, CLIQUE AQUI (a receita está em […]

  • Susie Davis

    Thank you and thank you again Megan, I think this is pure genius! I made this condensed coconut milk with pure maple syrup and made a pumpkin pie with it.. it is my FAVORITE non-dairy pumpkin pie to date.. thank you for sharing your tasty ideas with us!

  • Linda

    I was wondering if anyone else has tried to ‘caramelize’ tihs like you can do with a can of regular condensed milk. I have tried to cook it longer, brown it almost, for a decadent coffee treat. Almost, but a not quite. What am I doing wrong?

  • […] ‘condensed milk’ recipe inspired by The Detoxinista […]

    • Crystal

      I like to make pineapple rings and it requires taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and boiling for 3 hours to make caramel. Would this recipe work?

  • Toni

    Could one use coconut cream for this ? It seems it would have even less water.

  • […] cup Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk — The Detoxinista has the simplest, best recipe for sweetened condensed coconut milk in my opinion — it makes possible SO many recipes that I never thought could be dairy […]

  • Jesse

    This is great! I use this in my treat smoothies and I will try them in other recipes. I added some molasses to mines and it tastes amazing.

  • […] condensed milk inspiration from: Detoxinista  […]

  • Thank you for this – I cannot wait to try it! I am severely lactose intolerant and haven’t had condensed milk since for almost 15 years!!!

  • Christin

    I am addicted to Thai Tea but there is typically so much sugar in it! made this condensed milk with 1/8th cup agave and the tea is cooling right now, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for the help :)

  • […] Nguyen (available at Asian store)2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk (vegan recipe from here)Directions- Pour condensed milk on the bottom of a 12-oz glass.- Set the phin filter over the […]

  • […] Condensed Coconut Milk: – The condensed milk concept is from Detoxinista, but I decided to go with maple syrup instead of honey. In a sauce pan, take a can of full-fat […]

  • […] *If you have a dairy allergy you can also use a 1/4 of organic raw honey, both the condensed milk and honey add sugar, but divide that count by total recipe and the glycemic impact is negligible. If you want zero sugar try Hollow Honey or you can make your own sweetened condensed coconut milk by heating coconut milk and adding honey or Swerve to sweeten. See recipe here by Detoxinista. […]

  • Denise

    Made this today. Came out perfect. I did cook it slightly higher than a simmer and the thickness came out perfect. Will definitely make again. Can’t wait to try it in holiday recipes!

  • […] cookie with great results. You can make also make this a dairy free version by making your own Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk and using Earth Balance soy free baking bars. I’m not a fan of the honey in this mix, so try […]

  • Kellie

    Would this turn in to caramel, like regular sweetened condensed milk does. I have a wonderful recipient I’ve used in the past for caramel (just one can of sweetened condensed milk and a crock pot of water and 8 hrs later is like magic goodness). Would this do the same thing?

  • […] also like oat flour for baking. -Sweetened condensed milk: Try homemade sweetened coconut milk (see Detoxinsta for recipe) or just plain full fat canned coconut milk. -1 whole egg: Switch to 2 egg whites or egg replacer […]

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