Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

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

full-fat coconut milk poured into a bowlHomemade 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.

boiling coconut milk on the stove

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.

pouring honey into the coconut milk

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.

sweetened condensed coconut milk in a glass

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

4.3 from 17 votes
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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
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.
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 12 ounces
Calories: 91 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz . can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 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.
Recipe 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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Comments

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!

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?

Jules

I thought it took closer to 2 hours to cook down, but I did double the recipe using classic coconut milk (full fat) and honey as the sweetener. My end product is a beautiful creamy white color and the double batch filled a small batter bowl from Pampered Chef.
I licked the spoon afterwards and it was yummy. I really hope it works well in the pumpkin pie Thursday. If following a standard pumpkin pie recipe, do you use the same 14 oz. amount in lieu of regular sweetened condensed milk?

Bunny

Does anyone know if you can cook the sweetened condensed coconut milk down and caramelize it to make a non-dairy version of dulce de leche? I would love to use that to make a sauce or topping for coconut cake. If anyone has tried this, please let me know.

Erin

I was searching for a condensed milk replacement as I and my children are all lactose intolerant. I am pleased to have found this, thank you. I have made 4 batches so far, 2 with regular white sugar and 2 with honey. All of them took much longer than 45 min to cook down, so don’t be discouraged. I just kept it on and kept stirring (every 10 min or so) and I have a beautiful dairy free version. One batch ended up too hot for too long, but it didn’t ruin it, it just turned a darker tan.
Less fat versions do not work as well. The reduction in fat is usually caused by adding water to the “milk” there by defeating the purpose of boiling the water away and you end up with less product.
We are making gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan holiday cookies for friends and family. This recipe just made my life easier. Thanks.

Rebecca

Hi all. I’m a Chef that specializes in allergy free foods. You can also buy Coconut Cream at your Asian market. There is even less water in these cans vs Full Fat Coconut Milk cans. I’ve made Condensed Milk this way often but, I go ahead and use about 1/4 c. confection sugar in mine.

    bebverley

    Hi, could you please tell me if i can make a double batch of the sweetened and condensed coconut milk and make it in one saucepan at a time.. kind regards Bev

    Marci

    Is coconut milk/cream the only alternative? I am sensitive to coconut and coconut milk. Is there an almond or rice milk alternative?

    Carol Ricard

    Great idea using confection sugar – I want to use it as an icing for an apple cake – this would work! Thanx.

Carmen

OMG, so I am truly in love with this recipe. I don’t usually drink coffee but when I do, I put a ton of creamer in it. This is the perfect replacement for regular creamer, thank you so much!

Janet Paula

Can the sweetened condensed milk be frozen? Thanks.

    Tyler

    I don’t think it’ll substitute regular condensed milk as seemlessly if you freeze it. I made this recipe to use in a frozen dessert, and I found that freezing the condensed coconut milk left a strange film around my teeth. Maybe it was from the coconut milk separating as it froze.

Jessica

Has anyone tried making his with liquid stevia extract? If so how much did you use?

    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! 🙂

    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.

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.

Gerry/Gewoon Lekker Gewoon

Why do you have to sweeten the coconut milk. Doesn’t it thicken otherwise? The concentrated milk will be sweet on its own, I think?
Greetings from Holland, Gerry

    Megan Gilmore

    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.

    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.

Keo

I am trying to find out if this can be canned for long term storage. Anyone canned condensed milk before?

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!

    Jennifer

    It worked!

Veronica

Can you use 100% coconut cream?

Emily

Could I use maple syrup or golden syrup, not honey?

Claire

Could you use coconut cream?

Sharon

Have you tried turning the condensed milk into a caramel? There is a south African dish that uses the tinned caramel milk

Jan

I love chocolate dipped macaroons and found this recipe interesting. I’d like to use some sweetened coconut that I’d already purchased. Would I get the great results as shown if I use full fat coconut milk without honey?

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