Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vegan Cooking Hack: Sweetened Condensed Milk

I've been ovo-lacto vegetarian for about 13 years now. I'm still ovo-lacto, but in the past couple of years I've started trying to cook exclusively vegan food when I'm responsible for meals (which I succeed at about 95% of the time), but when other people are cooking or I'm at a restaurant or whatever, I just go ovo-lacto.

Until recently, I've just forgone any recipes I used to make that included sweetened condensed milk. However, a few weeks ago I had some fantastic macaroons at Bread & Roses in Toronto (in Bloor West Village), and wanted to try and make a vegan version of them. As it happens, I need sweetened condensed milk for that, but haven't been able to locate a commercially-available version (and certainly not in the city where I live!). I figured "hey, sweetened condensed milk is just basically milk and sugar and thick, and I can do that vegan." After some research on the internets I found a few recipes, but most of them included soy milk powder, which I think is teh gross. This is what I devised instead.


  • 3T corn starch
  • 1&1/4c soy milk
  • 3/4c coconut milk
  • 1&3/4c sugar (white or brown or a combination thereof, depending on what you're making; brown will give it a more caramelly taste, but will also make it, um, brown)
  • Mix the corn starch with 1/4c of the soy milk in a small bowl, and stir to mix.
  • Combine the remaining 1c soy milk, coconut milk, and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until it starts to boil.
  • Stir the corn starch mixture again, and add to the saucepan, whisking constantly.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until thickened (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Cool and use as you would sweetened condensed milk!
This yields a little more than 2 cups, which is approximately equal to 2 small cans of sweetened condensed milk.

My first attempt at macaroons are cooling as we speak! If they turn out, I'll post the recipe soon!


  1. That sounds awesome. The ingredients themselves make perfect sense. I hope the macaroons are as tasty as the ones Bread & Roses. BTW, I would have thought that your first post would have "claimed" the formula for the Champion Sandwich.

  2. Champion Sandwich is coming...needed to go and *eat* one and take photos (mission accomplished). Post will come soon!

    And the macaroons turned out *great*. I want to do one more test batch (adjusting the cooking time, the type of coconut) before posting though!