Learn how to make your own vegan sweetened condensed milk from scratch! Use it in coffee or to make custards, fudge, desserts, and more! Rich, creamy, vegan, and just 4-ingredient! Plus, it's coconut-free!
Introducing vegan condensed almond milk!
If you like Vietnamese coffee as much as I do, you probably know that one of the key ingredients is condensed milk. The thing is, vegan versions are usually made with coconut milk, and while I enjoy coconut coffee once in a while, it's not something I want all the time.
This vegan condensed milk is made with almond milk for a subtle flavor that will not cover or alter your coffee! It is sweet, rich, and super creamy! Perfect to make truffles, puddings, cakes, iced tea, coffee, and more!
📘 What is Condensed Milk
Condensed milk, or sweetened condensed milk, is milk that is been simmered down with sugar until thick. During the simmering process, about 50% of the water is removed from the milk, resulting in a dense and thick texture.
Traditionally, condensed milk is prepared from cow's milk. Here, we will be making a dairy-free version by using homemade nut milk!
🥣 How to Make Vegan Condensed Milk
Making sweetened condensed almond milk requires just 4 ingredients:
- Raw almonds - For a sweet and delicate flavor. I used raw unblanched almonds here, but you can also use the blanched ones.
- Raw cashews - Cashews bring the fat and make this condensed milk extra creamy! Make sure you are using raw cashews, not the roasted ones.
- Sugar - White sugar works best and yields a very mild flavor. If you want a refined sugar-free version, take a look at the note below.
- Vanilla extract - Optional, but it adds a fresh and delicate aroma.
- Salt - To balance with the sweetness.
Here is a quick note about the sugar: I tried making this condensed milk in two different ways, one with white sugar and another one with maple syrup, to keep it refined sugar-free. Both thickened perfectly and were delicious, but I had a preference for the one made with white sugar as it didn't alter the flavor too much. The one made with maple syrup had a strong maple flavor, and it's not something I necessarily want in my coffee. I'm thinking agave might make a good substitute too, for a healthier version.
Steps to Prepare Vegan Condensed Milk
- Start by preparing plant-based milk by blending the soaked almonds and cashews with water. Next, strain through a nut milk bag, and your milk is ready!
- It's now time to condense it. Pour the milk into a saucepan along with the sugar, a pinch of salt, and, optionally, some vanilla extract.
- Let the milk simmer for about 30 minutes or until it has reduced by about half and is thicker. Just be aware that it will thicken even more as it cools, so don't reduce it for too long; otherwise, it will be too thick.
☕️ Where to Use Vegan Condensed Milk
- Coffee and tea: It's perfect to sweeten and add creaminess to your iced coffee or tea!
- Puddings: Substitute some of the sugar for this condensed milk for a richer pudding. You can also use it to prepare caramel flan!
- Cakes: Condensed milk will act not only as a sweetener but as a binder too.
- Truffles, fudge, ganache, and more!
- Can I use store-bought cashew or almond milk for this recipe? It will probably work, but you won't get the same texture as store-bought plant-based milk are not as rich.
- Can I make caramel from this condensed milk? Unfortunately, no, it won't work to make dulce de leche.
- How long can I keep this sweet condensed milk? It will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
This sweetened condensed milk will take your coffee to the next level by bringing creaminess and sweetness. It can also be used in desserts, poured over berries, or as a base for sweet dipping sauces!
🥛 More Vegan Basics
- How to Make Hazelnut Milk
- Easy Almond Milk Creamer
- The Best Vegan Cream Cheese
- Vegan Cultured Butter
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vegan Condensed Milk (From Almond Milk!)
- ½ cup raw almonds soaked overnight
- ¼ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup sugar or maple syrup, see notes
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Prepare the milk: drain the soaked almonds and cashews and transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add the water and blend for about 30 seconds. Filter the mixture through a nut milk bag and save the pulp for other uses (cookies, bread, etc.).
- Pour the nut milk into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low-medium, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the milk has reduced by about half and has started to thicken. It will thicken even more once cold, so be careful not to reduce it too much, or you will end up with a cream consistency.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a clean jar, and let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. Use in coffee, lattes, desserts, or as a base for sweet dipping sauces!
- Sweetened condensed almond milk will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
I just need to say, I love you! I cannot stand coconut. There are so many recipes I cannot make because of the coconut thing. You just made my day with this recipe! I cannot wait to make this.
I need to try this for ice cream recipes to replace all that coconut cream.
Thank you more than words express!!!
Thanks Tomi 🙂
Hope you will like this condensed milk!
Hi Thomas, Another great recipe, as always. QUESTION: Would this recipe work substituting erythritol or a product called "Lakanto" (combination of monk fruit + erythritol) for ther sugar? I can't have sugar or maple syrup because of the high glucose content. Thanks!
I guess erythritol will work, however the other one I never heard about it.
Yes, any will work…I google to make sure “cooking” it will not deteriorate it. For instance, honey loses ALL added health benefits if heated over 110°F, but retains sweetening function. (Which is why American “heat extracted” honey is not allowed to be labeled as honey (Miel) in France, but is sold as “cooking sweetener”.
Hi Thomas, Another great recipe, as always. QUESTION: Would this recipe work substituting erythritol or a product called "Lakanto" (combination of monk fruit + erythritol) for the sugar? I can't have sugar or maple syrup because of the high glucose content. Thanks!
Usamos leite condensado em todo tipo de receita doce aqui no Brasil. Principalmente no nosso famoso brigadeiro. A versão vegana sempre fiz com o leite condensado de Coco, mas não gostava do sabor de Coco no meu chocolate. Tentei com amêndoa, mas demorava muito pra alcançar a cremosidade desejada, então a ideia de adicionar castanha de caju é perfeita. Obrigada mesmo pela receita.
Omg, why have I never thought to do this myself. I always want to make vegan magic bars and I can never remember to buy sweetened condensed coconut milk. This is way better, thank you so much for the idea and the recipe.
Thanks Tori 😀
Could this be used in a recipe like flan to substitute traditional condensed milk?
That should work!
So I made this and used it for a caramel slice using the highlander condensed milk recipe it taste exactly like what I remembered caramel slice use to taste like
Good to hear it worked it your recipe Lynn!
I made this recipe using coconut sugar and it was fantastic. I would love to see some vegan dessert recipes using it. ; )
Glad to hear you liked it Casey!
just wondering, why couldn’t you just use almond milk from the store instead of making your own? as it is, it is hard to find good quality nuts and they are costly.
You could, but first it won't be as creamy since they usually use less almonds, and secondly it would not be as natural.
It's the same as making your own almond milk vs buying it 🙂
Jo I had the exact same thought! Since it's a pretty small amount of nuts in this recipe though, I might make just half a batch and then it will hardly be a loss in case I mess something up.
Looks very good! Any suggestions for a substitute instead of a nut milk bag? I don't have one, nor am I interested in purchasing one since I am not in the habit of making nut milk from scratch. A few ideas that I do have: Fine mesh strainer, tea bags, French press...do you think any of those would work?
You could use a thin kitchen towel, a t-shirt, etc 🙂
Wow, I have just dreamed to make plantbased condensed milk so long! I tried to cook a coconut one, but can’t say I liked the result. Now I have got one more chance Thanks a lot
Let me know if you try it!
First of all thank you for the great recipe !
Before turning vegan I used to regularly use condensed milk in cake as one of the substitutes for
egg ....will this vegan version work in cakes?
You're welcome! I cannot say for sure as I have yet to try this condensed milk in sweet recipes.
What would you recommend using instead of almonds for someone who has a bad reaction to nuts, coconut and tofu? I know it’s a tough question. Thank you!
Maybe oats? You could use coconut but it will have a coconut flavor, which may not be what you want.
Good idea. Someone with an allergy to coconut couldn’t use coconut oil, but oats are a great idea. Thank you!
Hey, can I turn this into Dulche de Leche, if I let the sugar go brown? Thanks 🙂
I doubt it will work with this sweetened condensed milk.
Can you use natural cane sugar for this
That should work!
Hi! This looks like a great recipe, thanks! How do you think powdered sugar would do in this recipe?
Powdered sugar should work just as well.
Finding a wonderful website like yours really made my day! Knowing that a foreigner loves our traditional beverage always brings a smile to my face. Thanks alot for making this fantastic blog Thomas!
Oh thank you so much Nam! I spent a year there and I can't wait to go back again, loved it!
Awesome recipe. Do you know the approximate yield of the almond milk? I already had some cashew milk made and wanted to get the ratios right.
I'm afraid I don't have the exact amount of almond/cashew milk but it's probably around 2 cups. It doesn't have to be exact though, as you reduce the milk later.
Hey Thomas I am going to try this because I want to make my sister who is lactose intolerant a key lime pie for Christmas this year. I hope it turns out good. It sounds good. if it doesn't turn out right, I can always make pudding or something else for her.
I am not sure how you will use this in a key lime pie, but hope you will like the recipe!
How does this freeze? I would love to freeze it in an ice cube tray to use in smoothies or coffee. Thanks for the recipe!
I haven't tried freezing it yet, but I don't see why it wouldn't freeze well 🙂
In the 20 years I have made my own nut milks (BlendTek way creamier than Vitamix, Vitamix is also great…we used them side by side for years).
This comment is actually to say there is no need to flavor enhance with the age-old addiction to the standby preservative, SALT!
Almonds are naturally, literally sodium free, the purchased almond beverages add salt.
I suggest that the “Salt” be labeled as “optional”. Only the salt addicted need it.
I love your recipe and plan to use it (and love it) for my vegan pies instead of the purchased condensed versions.
Thanks for your feedback Rock, and you can totally omit the salt 🙂