Evaporated Milk Vs Cream

Evaporated Milk Vs Cream – What’s the Difference?

When it comes to cooking and baking, dairy products are often an essential ingredient. Evaporated milk and cream are two common dairy products that many recipes call for, but what exactly is the difference between them? In this article, we will explore the differences between evaporated milk and cream and when you should use each one in your recipes.

What is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is a type of milk that has had about 60% of its water content removed through a heating process. The remaining liquid is then canned and sterilized to increase its shelf life. This creates a concentrated, creamy product that is thicker than regular milk but thinner than heavy cream.

One of the advantages of using evaporated milk in your recipes is that it can be a lower-fat alternative to heavy cream. Regular heavy cream is about 36% fat, while evaporated milk is typically made with 2% fat milk, resulting in a lower-fat alternative that can still provide a similar creamy texture.

However, because of its lower fat content, evaporated milk may not be as luxurious tasting as heavy cream. Also, it may not whip up into stiff peaks the way heavy cream does, which means that it may not be suitable for use in chilled desserts or topping hot drinks.

Evaporated milk is commonly used in many recipes such as custards, pies and sauces for an added richness and creamy texture. It’s also great for making creamy soups and adding to coffee as a milk substitute.

When shopping for evaporated milk, look for unsweetened canned milk, as sweetened varieties are usually used for dessert recipes.

What is Cream?

Cream, on the other hand, is a type of liquid that is obtained from milk by separating the fat from the milk solids. There are several different types of cream available, including heavy cream, light cream, and whipping cream, but all cream types contain at least 30% fat.

Heavy cream, also known as whipping cream, has the highest fat content, at about 36%. It is particularly useful in recipes that require a thicker, richer texture, such as whipped cream, sauces or soups.

Light cream, also known as coffee cream or table cream, contains slightly less fat than heavy cream, ranging from about 18% to 30%. It works well in recipes that require a lighter texture, such as soups or chowders.

Whipping cream is similar to heavy cream, but has a slightly lower fat content, typically around 30%. It’s great for topping desserts like pies and cake, and also for making whipped cream.

One of the disadvantages of using cream in recipes is that it is higher in fat content than evaporated milk. This means that it may not be suitable for some dietary requirements, particularly if you’re looking to cut down on your intake of saturated fats. However, heavy cream can be diluted with milk or evaporated milk to create a lighter or lower-fat version that still retains its richness and creaminess.

When choosing the right type of cream for your recipe, it’s essential to consider its fat content and the texture you are looking for.

Which One to Use?

The choice between evaporated milk and cream often depends on the recipe, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences.

If you’re looking for a low-fat alternative to cream, evaporated milk is an excellent option. It can be used as a substitute in most recipes that call for cream, but be aware that it may not have the exact same taste and texture.

However, if you’re making a recipe that requires the luxurious texture and richness of cream, it’s best to stick with the real thing. Heavy cream, light cream, and whipping cream are all great options, depending on the recipe’s fat content and the desired result.

If you’re looking for a compromise, you can also try a combination of evaporated milk and cream. By using equal amounts of both, you can create a texture that is similar to heavy cream but with a lower fat content.


When it comes to dairy products, evaporated milk and cream are two common choices that can add a creamy texture and richness to your recipes. While they are similar, they have different fat contents and textures, making them suitable for various recipes and diets.

Choosing between evaporated milk and cream is often a personal preference based on the recipe you’re making, and what you have on hand. However, by understanding their differences, you can choose the right one for your recipe and create delicious and successful dishes every time.

Keywords: Evaporated milk, cream, heavy cream, light cream, whipping cream, low-fat alternative, dietary restrictions, luxurious texture, richness, combination, canned milk.