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The Best Substitute for Evaporated Milk in Pumpkin Pie

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You are hosting Thanksgiving when you realize you need a substitute for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie. You have guests that have a dairy allergy and it just isn’t Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie.

Let’s face it, even if pumpkin pie isn’t your favorite, it’s kind of understood that pumpkin pie is a necessity at a Thanksgiving feast. So, how can you successfully make a pumpkin pie that has a non-dairy substitute for evaporated milk?


Have no fear, I’ll tell you what to use to replace the evaporated milk in pumpkin pie.

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here. Keep in mind food production can change, always check food labels to be sure products are free of your particular food allergen. For further information please see full Disclaimer.

Dairy Free Thanksgiving Guest

Roughly 2.5% of children under the age of three are allergic to milk (1). Milk allergies are also one of the most common food allergies in adults (2).

Most holiday meals include dairy as key ingredients, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Making a pumpkin pie that is dairy free is sure to delight your guest with a milk allergy.

What is the Difference Between Evaporated Milk and Regular Milk?

It comes down to water content. Evaporated milk is much thicker and creamier than whole milk. Over half of the milk’s water content is essentially evaporated into the air. 

So in theory, you could create an evaporated milk substitute for pumpkin pie by boiling down popular non-dairy beverages to create a substitute for evaporated milk.

Substitute for Evaporated Milk in Pumpkin Pie

Substitutions for Evaporated Milk in Pumpkin Pie

Many pumpkin pie recipes call for 12 ounces of evaporated milk. In order to replace evaporated milk in pumpkin pie be sure to think about the viscosity of the product you intend to use as a substitute.

1. Soy Milk

Soy milk can be boiled down to create evaporated soy milk. Keep in mind that normally evaporated milk has a reduced water content of about sixty percent. There is no need to be exact, but if you plan to use soy milk in place of evaporated milk, boil down 24 ounces of soy milk to create 12 ounces of the evaporated soy milk.

Of course, do not use soy milk if your guest has a soy allergy.

2 . Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is an excellent choice for substituting evaporated milk in pumpkin pie. The naturally thick consistency of coconut milk makes it an ideal replacement for condensed milk. Therefore, you do not need to boil the coconut milk to reduce the water content.

You can use coconut milk as a replacement for evaporated milk as a 1:1 ratio.

3. Plant Based Milks

Flax milk, Quinoa, Rice, Oat, or Hemp milk is a plant based alternative to evaporated milk. You may want to boil the hemp milk down a bit or add a thickening agent such as cornstarch in order to achieve a consistency that is similar to evaporated milk.

Oat milk tends to be fairly neutral in taste, so you may want to add some sugar if you plan to use oat milk in place of evaporated milk.

4. Nut Based Milks

Popular brands such as Carnation that routinely produce traditional milk have now come out with products such as Carnation Almond Cooking Milk (made by Nestle). This product is easy to use as a substitute for evaporated milk for those who have a dairy allergy.

You could also heat nut milks to evaporate off some of the water content if you are in a rush and don’t have time to go to the store but happen to have some almond, hazelnut, or cashew milk available.

Of course, do not use nut based milk if there is a nut allergy.

In Conclusion

Thanksgiving is a special time where family members clear their busy schedules to unite. The pumpkin pie is often one of the most sought after dishes at Thanksgiving.

Substituting evaporated milk in pumpkin pie can easily be achieved by following a few simple steps.

Considering a loved one’s food allergy during a holiday shows support and exemplifies what so many of us are celebrating during this holiday. A chance to show gratitude and love for one another.

What is your favorite evaporated milk substitute? Leave me a comment. Be sure to check out some of my other blog posts about substitutions.

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4 Substitutions for Dry Milk [Brands Included]

Mustard Substitutes: Why Horseradish and Wasabi May Not be Good Substitutes

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