Make this creamy vegan condensed milk recipe to substitute for condensed milk in your favorite recipes, like vegan fudge! Vegan sweetened condensed milk is easy to make even if you need it for a recipe you’re making right now.
Several of my recipes call for vegan condensed milk and I realized that my process for making it is unique, so I thought I’d share it with you. If you like some more vegan “how to” recipes, you should check out my post on How to Make Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream, How to Make Vegan Meringue, and how to make Vegan Condensed Milk (which is great for savory recipes in addition to sweet ones).
Once I realized sweetened condensed milk wasn’t vegan, I sought ways to create a non-dairy sweetened condensed milk. I’ve tried several different processes to make this recipe and finally settled on this one.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using cornstarch creates a thick vegan condensed milk that firms up as its own layer in baked goods, like magic bars
- Making this condensed milk from scratch is pretty easy, making it easy to adapt and use for your favorite recipes
- Adding vegan butter adds a creamy texture and flavor that you’ll love
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Plant-based milk — Use your favorite plant-based milk, such as soy or almond milk. It can be plain or vanilla-flavored. I oftentimes use soy, but you can also use coconut milk to make sweetened condensed coconut milk (see instructions below).
- Sugar — I use granulated sugar, but you can substitute maple syrup (it will impact the color, but it will taste the same). You can experiment with different quantities of sugar, between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.
- Cornstarch — condensed milk is thick, so we’ll use cornstarch as a quick way to make this vegan condensed milk thick too.
- Vegan butter — Adding a bit of vegan butter adds flavor.
What Vegan Milk is Best for Condensed Milk?
There are various dairy-free milk options when making homemade sweetened condensed milk. You can use oat milk, almond milk, pecan milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and more. I tend to choose soy milk because it starts out with a thicker consistency. The good news is, thanks to the ingredients we’ll be adding, you can use any plant-based milk you prefer.
How to Make Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Combine the plant-based milk in a large microwave-safe bowl along with the corn starch, and sugar.
- Stir until there aren’t any lumps from the cornstarch.
- Microwave for about a minute and stir. Repeat this until the mixture is nice and thick, usually 3 to 5 minutes of cooking.
- Use potholders to remove from the microwave.
- Stir in the vegan butter until smooth.
- Allow it to cool before covering and placing it in the fridge.
- Be sure to use a large dish to prevent spillage in the microwave.
- To make this on the stovetop, add the ingredients to a saucepan and stir. Place the pan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer while stirring. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened.
- If lumps form, simply pour the thickened milk into a blender and pulse until smooth.
Once the mixture cools, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze it in appropriate freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. Transfer it to the fridge overnight to thaw before using it in recipes.
Making Thick Condensed Milk
After the first heating in the microwave, your vegan condensed milk will be runny.
After a couple of rounds in the microwave (or over the stove if that’s your preference), it will thicken up nicely. I usually let it cool on the counter and then refrigerate it until I’m ready to use it in my recipes, such as the ones listed below.
You know the dairy-free sweetened condensed milk is done when it’s thick, just like the regular kind and it will thicken even more as it cools.
Making Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk
If you prefer making sweetened condensed milk without cornstarch, you can use coconut milk. Coconut condensed milk is rich and creamy, and relatively easy to make. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with a 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk and pour it into a saucepan.
- Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar (substitute maple syrup if you prefer).
- Heat over medium-high heat until boiling, then reduce heat to medium.
- Whisk regularly to prevent the milk from burning so the pot doesn’t boil over.
- Simmer (low boil) for 30 to 45 minutes until it’s reduced by half and is nice and thick, stirring regularly.
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla and then set aside to cool completely before using it in your recipe.
Because coconut milk has lots of fat, you won’t need to add vegan butter.
Is condensed milk suitable for vegans?
Typical store-bought condensed milk is made with cow dairy and is therefore unsuitable for vegans. However, there are now vegan condensed milk products available for purchase and great recipes for vegan condensed milk too.
Where can I buy vegan condensed milk?
You can buy dairy-free condensed milk in health food stores and sometimes the health food and/or baking section at your local grocery store as well. If your store doesn’t carry it, be sure to ask them too. The more requests they receive, the more likely they are to carry it.
Can I make sweetened condensed almond milk?
You can use almond milk to make sweetened condensed milk. It’s easy to make and creates an excellent, thick condensed milk that you can use in recipes just like regular sweetened condensed milk.
So that’s it for my recipe for vegan condensed milk, and some supporting recipes to go with it!
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 cup plant-based milk vanilla flavored*
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- Combine the plant-based milk, corn starch, and sugar in a large, microwave-safe bowl.
- Stir until there aren’t any lumps from the corn starch.
- Microwave for about a minute and stir. Repeat this until the mixture is nice and thick, usually about 3 minutes (see notes for stovetop instructions).
- Use potholders to remove from the microwave. Stir in the vegan butter until incorporated.
- Allow to cool before covering and placing in the fridge.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days.
(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.