6 Evaporated Milk Substitutes for Pumpkin Pie

Many pumpkin pie recipes include evaporated milk. That’s because evaporated milk contains less water content, allowing the pie to achieve that gorgeous silky smooth texture. Is it the only ingredient that can produce such wonderful results, though? Nope.

There are many excellent substitutes for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie. Sweetened condensed milk is a top-notch solution, although you’ll need to leave out any sweeteners. You can also use heavy cream, whole milk, non-dairy milk, cream cheese, or make your own evaporated milk.

Hello! My name is Michelle, and my family and I love to eat pumpkin pie, especially during the holidays. I have made my fair share of pumpkin pies (OK, and pumpkin cheesecakes and muffins). I don’t always have evaporated milk on hand, so I’ve found some suitable swaps.

Let’s bake some pumpkin pies, pumpkin!

Top 6 Substitutes for Evaporated Milk in Pumpkin Pie

Is evaporated milk an excellent ingredient for pumpkin pies? Absolutely, which is why I recommend buying it in bulk, so you have enough of it in your pantry. 

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful without it. In fact, there are six top-notch substitutions for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie.

Let’s dive into my tried and true substitutions!

1. Sweetened Condensed Milk (Number One Sub)

Sweetened condensed milk is, without a doubt, a top swap for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie.

The main difference between these two dairy products is that evaporated milk is thin with less water content. Sweetened condensed milk is thicker, almost “gloppy,” with a high sugar content.

Due to the high amount of sugar, there’s no need to include other sweeteners in your pie. Simply swap a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk for a 12-ounce evaporated milk. Nix the sweeteners, bake in the oven, and enjoy an utterly delicious pie.

Honestly, there are so many pumpkin pie recipes on the net featuring sweetened condensed milk. It’s no wonder why this is such a perfect sub!

2. Heavy Cream (Runner-Up)

Evaporated milk and heavy cream are two very different dairy products. Evaporated milk has 60% of the water content removed and is slightly thinner. Heavy cream contains more fat and is, therefore, relatively thick.

What does this mean for your pumpkin pie?

Using heavy cream instead of evaporated milk will give you a slightly thicker yet still luxuriously smooth pie. You’ll also get an extra dose of decadence – and who doesn’t want that?

When using heavy cream, replace a single 12-ounce can of evaporated milk with one cup of heavy cream.

(You might enjoy the results so much that you never go back to using evaporated milk. Try it and find out!)

3. Whole Milk (Most Convenient)

If you don’t have any “specialty” dairy products like evaporated milk or heavy cream, there’s a good chance you have whole milk in your refrigerator.

Whole milk can be used.

The issue is that it isn’t nearly as thick as heavy cream. It also contains more water content than evaporated milk.

When replacing a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk with whole milk, you’ll need to use one and a half cups of whole milk plus two tablespoons of thickener. Cornstarch and flour can both be used to thicken them up. This will ensure your pumpkin pie is creamy, not loose.

3. Non-Dairy Milk (Best Vegan Sub)

Hello, vegans!

If you’re searching for a top-notch vegan swap for evaporated milk, you’ll be glad to know you can use your favorite non-dairy milk. Whether it’s oat, soy, or almond, you can use it to make your delicious pumpkin pie.

Here’s the catch – non-dairy milk can’t be used alone. Like whole milk, it’s simply not thick or creamy enough to render desirable results.

Follow the same procedure. Mix two tablespoons of a thickening agent with one and a half cups of your preferred non-dairy milk. This will replace a single 12-ounce can of evaporated milk.

Tip: Using full-fat coconut milk is an excellent idea! Coconut milk will add a subtle hint of coconut sweetness to your pie. Paired with the pumpkin pie spice, it’s a delectable flavor you won’t soon forget. 

In fact, you may end up using it every time. (No need to add a thickener for coconut milk – it’s thick enough!)

5. Cream Cheese/Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream (Most Unique Sub)

What? Has Michelle lost her mind?

No  – not entirely, anyway.

I’m just someone who enjoys stepping outside of the box and trying out new things. And let me tell you, replacing evaporated milk with one of these ingredients is a game-changer.

If you don’t mind a little zest and tang in your pumpkin pie (it’s mouthwatering, trust me), then simply replace a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk with a cup of cream cheese, greek yogurt, or sour cream. Bake as usual. Enjoy a pumpkin pie, unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

6. DIY Evaporated Milk

Yes, you read that correctly. You can actually make homemade evaporated milk. That way, you won’t have to worry about alterations to your dependable pie recipe.

How do you do it?

  • Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat
  • Pour three and one-fourth cups of whole milk into the saucepan
  • Simmer on medium-low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally – never allow the milk to come to a boil!
  • After 25 minutes, you’ll notice a creamy color. You should have around one to one and a half cups of liquid remaining
  • Strain the “evaporated milk,” if necessary
  • Allow to cool before using in your recipe

So simple, right?


This brings us to the end of this article. Or does it? Before you hit the “X” mark on your browser, I recommend checking out these frequently asked questions. They’ll offer additional information that may help you with evaporated milk substitutions!

Can I substitute sweetened condensed milk for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie?

You can successfully use sweetened condensed milk for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie. However, due to the high sugar content, you’ll need to leave out any sweeteners in the recipe, such as sugar.

Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk?

Any type of milk, such as whole, 2%, and 1%, can be used instead of evaporated milk. However, I recommend using whole milk as it contains more fat, making it thicker, creamier, and all-around more decadent. Ensure to mix the milk with two tablespoons of thickener.

Can I substitute evaporated milk for half and half?

You can substitute evaporated milk for half and half and vice versa. So, if your pumpkin pie recipe calls for evaporated milk, you can use half and half instead. Many people use a combination of ½ cup half and half and ½ cup heavy cream for additional creaminess.

There Are So Many Great Subs for Evaporated Milk in Pumpkin Pie!

Although a lot of pumpkin pie recipes call for evaporated milk, you can easily get by without it. My favorite swap is sweetened condensed milk because it’s so thick and tasty. However, you can use other options like heavy cream, whole milk, or sour cream.

What do you use in place of evaporated milk in pumpkin pie? Have you tried any of these options? What do you think? Comment below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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