Difference Between Evaporated Milk And Heavy Cream

Evaporated milk and heavy cream are both ingredients commonly found in the kitchens of bakers and cooks alike. But for those who are not familiar with these two, it’s easy to mistake one for the other. While both can be used to enhance the taste and texture of dishes, they differ in key ways. In this article, we will explore the difference between evaporated milk and heavy cream, and offer insights into when it’s best to use each of them.

What is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is made by removing 60% of the water content from fresh milk. This is done by heating fresh milk in a vacuum container that allows the steam to escape, leaving behind a creamier, more concentrated solution. Then it is later canned and transported to grocery stores where it’s sold.

Evaporated milk can have a shelf life of up to a year and can be a good replacement for fresh milk in many recipes. It has a creamy, nutty taste, and can be used in making pies, flans, custards, and other baked goods. It is also a great ingredient to use in savory dishes like soups, casseroles, and sauces.

It is important to note that evaporated milk is not the same as sweetened condensed milk which is made with added sugar.

What is Heavy Cream?

On the other hand, heavy cream is a high-fat liquid that can be whipped to make whipped cream. It has a fat content of at least 36% and is richer and thicker than regular milk. Unlike evaporated milk, it cannot be substituted for milk as it has a different taste and texture.

Heavy cream is commonly used in making desserts, such as custards, mousses, and ganaches, and as a base for sauces such as Alfredo or carbonara.

It is important to note that heavy cream is also known as whipping cream or full cream.

Difference between Evaporated Milk and Heavy Cream

1. Fat Content

One significant difference between evaporated milk and heavy cream is their fat content. While evaporated milk usually contains up to 8% milkfat, heavy cream has at least 36% milkfat. This means that heavy cream is a higher-fat dairy product, which makes it richer and creamier than evaporated milk.

2. Texture

Another significant difference between them is their texture. Evaporated milk has a consistency that is thinner than heavy cream, with a nutty taste. Additionally, the milk is lighter in color than heavy cream, usually being an off-white color or light cream.

Heavy cream, on the other hand, has a much thicker consistency compared to evaporated milk, with a rich, creamy flavor that some people describe as buttery.

3. Usage

While both evaporated milk and heavy cream have their uses, they are not interchangeable. Evaporated milk is often used in making pies, flans, custards, and other baked goods, as well as in casseroles, soups, and sauces. Its nutty taste adds a unique flavor to the dishes it’s used in.

Heavy cream, as mentioned earlier, is mostly used as a base for desserts and whipped cream. Apart from that, it can also be used to create sauces such as Alfredo, carbonara, or béchamel.

4. Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional values, Heavy cream is a dense source of calories and fat, while evaporated milk has less fat content and fewer calories. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the consumption of any dairy product in excess poses risks to health.


In summary, evaporated milk and heavy cream are two dairy products that offer different tastes and textures to the dishes they are added to. While both can be used to make desserts, sauces, and savory dishes, they cannot be used interchangeably. Evaporated milk is thinner in texture and nuttier in taste, while heavy cream is thicker in texture and has a buttery taste. Both have their unique nutritional benefits, and it’s important to use either in moderation.

So, next time when you’re in the kitchen, you’ll know which one to use based on the recipe you’re working on. Whether it’s Evaporated Milk or Heavy Cream, let it enhance the flavor of your dish!