Evaporated Milk vs Heavy Cream – Which Is Better?

Evaporated milk can be kept for more than a year on the shelf without going bad. Also, it can be used in place of milk or half and half in delicious recipes. What more can you ask? Evaporated milk vs heavy cream, which is a better option for you?

Before you choose, note that heavy cream isn’t just any cream but one of the most popular staple kitchen ingredients in the world. Tasty, creamy, and versatile. What more can you ask for in a cream?

Evaporated Milk vs Heavy Cream – Which Is Better?

This comparison is a major discussion amongst kitchen dairy enthusiasts, and this is why I’m confident the breakdown will be a very interesting read. In this article, I’ll uncover the similarities and differences between these two products.

You’ll also learn about the nutritional benefits of both, and whether you can substitute one for the other.

What is evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk is first fresh milk before it is heated to take out more than half of the water. During the heating process, about 60% of the water content evaporates.

After that, it is homogenized, packed in a can, and then goes through a heat sterilization procedure which is a part of the canning process.

A standard can of evaporated milk contains 12 fluid ounces, and all of it is used in most recipes.

Evaporated milk comes in three types based on the amount of whole milk, low-fat, and skim milk it contains. You can add water and use it as milk or just pour it straight out of the can and use it as half-and-half. 

It is creamy, rich, and flawless for baking, custards, soups, and even ice cream.

The unique advantage of evaporated milk is its shelf-life. Canned milk can remain durable for up to two years for maximum flavor and possibly longer.

However, if you open a can of evaporated milk and notice a color change or you can see a  dark yellow or brown color, don’t use it. If you also notice a foul smell or you see it has curdled, it is no longer good for consumption.

SEE: Can Evaporated Milk Be Substituted For Half And Half?

What is heavy cream?

Heavy cream is also called heavy whipping cream. The Food and Drug Administration has labeled it as a cream with nothing less than 36% milk fat.

Heavy cream is milk fat that gathers on top of fresh milk if it hasn’t been homogenized. Commonly, you’ll only find heavy cream that contains 36% fat in a grocery store, while you get the one with 40% in restaurants.

Heavy cream is so versatile. You can beat it into a semi-solid form that keeps up its shape. You can use this for piping or to give a mousse a raise for lightness. Also, you can freeze it in an ice cream machine and can frost a cake with it.

For a delightful result, it is a great option to stabilize your soup or sauce. Heavy cream holds up a long time on the fridge, so you can always have some at home.

SEE: Can You Drink Heavy Whipping Cream?

Evaporated milk vs heavy cream

Evaporated milk is a good option for recipes used in baked goods. But, since it will not deliver thickness like heavy cream will and it does not whip as well, you should use the same amount as you’d use heavy cream.

In addition, evaporated milk gives body to your smoothies and serves as a sweetener and thickener for your cup of coffee. It adds taste and richness to creamy soups and chowders and improves the flavor of sauces and even oatmeal. For desserts, you can also use it instead of sweetened condensed milk.

On the other hand, heavy cream is good for decorating cakes or pies. You can use it to thicken your sauces and ganache. Heavy cream is also a wonderful option if you want to make ice cream and soup.

Although heavy cream is high in calories, it is also rich in healthy fat and contains several vitamins and minerals.

Typically, you should use it in small proportions in recipes that need a bit of creaminess or in coffee. So, it may not necessarily add substantial calories to your diet.

SEE: Does Evaporated Milk Go Bad?

Similarities between evaporated milk and heavy cream

Both products are not that similar. However, you can use both to add flavor and thickness to recipes in their different capacities. Both also share similar cooking and flavor properties, especially when used in recipes like mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie.

This means that you can substitute heavy cream with evaporated milk. It is a great way to add a soothing texture and flavor without consuming too many calories and fat.

How is evaporated milk different from heavy cream?

The major difference is that between milk and cream. While the process of making requires that evaporated milk has about 60% of its water removed by evaporation, heavy cream is gotten from a separation process.

Furthermore, evaporated cream has a very long shelf life. That’s because it has been sterilized. Meanwhile, heavy cream is super pasteurized to stay longer in the refrigerator.

Heavy cream contains more than twice the calories and five times the fat content of evaporated milk.

The first thing to note is that the serving size for heavy cream is half the serving size of evaporated milk. That is, one teaspoon of heavy cream equals two teaspoons of evaporated milk.

One ounce of heavy cream has 100 calories which are gotten from; 10 grams of total fat- out of which 7 grams are saturated fat, plus a cholesterol content of 40 mg.

Also, one ounce of evaporated milk has 40 calories- out of which 20 calories are gotten from 2 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams is saturated fat, and 10mg of cholesterol.

Can you substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream?

Yes, you can. Evaporated milk is an easy lower-calorie option to heavy cream in some recipes. It is best for recipes in which heavy cream is a liquid ingredient.

These recipes may include baked goods. For a reasonable outcome, use an equal amount of evaporated milk to substitute for heavy cream.

If you’re making the substitution in a dessert, you can add a few drops of vanilla extract as a sweetener.

Also, it depends on the recipe. If you’re making soup or sauce, you can do a 1:1 ratio of evaporated milk in place of heavy cream. But, if you’re making whipped cream or a baked good, you should stick to heavy cream.

Besides, to use evaporated milk as a heavy cream substitute, you have to look for the whole-milk variety. This contains at least 7.9% fat.

Which has a better taste, evaporated milk or heavy cream?

Both taste good. Evaporated milk has a taste very similar to regular milk, except that it’s just a little thicker and creamier due to the deduction of water content. It’s not too sweet since there is no added sugar, and it still has a fatty, milky taste.

Heavy cream also has a rich, fatty, and creamy taste. If you’re using it in some recipes, you may have to sweeten it.

Can you substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream in soup?

Yes, you can. If you want to go easy, you can substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream using the same measure.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream in ice cream?

Yes, you can. The high concentration of evaporated milk in solids gives your ice cream the richness and smoothness you can get from heavy cream.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream in mac and cheese?

Yes, you can. Evaporated milk contains more protein than regular milk, although it has less fat than heavy cream. The substitution makes macaroni and cheese a thick, creamy serving without too much greasiness.

Can you use heavy cream in place of evaporated milk in pumpkin pie?

Yes, you can use 1 ½ cups of cream or half and half or a mixture of the two in place of evaporated milk. When doing so, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, sugar, and flavors to help stabilize the pie.

Can you make heavy cream from evaporated milk?

Yes, you can. You can do this by creaming evaporated milk at high speed and adding whipped cream to it until it starts foaming.

This will take about a minute. You can add vanilla and sugar. After you do that, beat for another few minutes and allow it to and for a minute. Pour it into a glass and enjoy your heavy cream.

Which is healthier, evaporated milk vs heavy cream

Both creams are filled with vitamins. However, using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream may be a better option. This is because, nutritionally, one cup of heavy cream contains as much as  809 calories, with extra 85 grams of fat or more.

On the other hand, one cup of evaporated milk has only 338 calories and just about 19 grams of fat.

So, if you want to stay on the safe side, you can opt for evaporated milk with 2% milk fat, which reduces calories to 270 and fat to 5 grams.

Besides, evaporated milk also contains more protein than heavy cream. A cup of heavy cream contains only 3.4 grams of protein, whereas that of evaporated milk fills 17 grams.

Evaporated milk also contains calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health.

Heavy cream is also full of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. Conclusively, the two products have their positive and downsides.

Which is better for weight gain?

Taking evaporated milk is a good idea for you if you’re trying to gain weight or increase your mineral intake. Gaining weight can be risky If not done healthily.

This makes evaporated milk a good choice. It helps you gain weight healthily because of the absence of added sugars and a high concentration of nutrients.

However, it is important to consume in moderation as you know, too much of anything may be dangerous for you. Too much-evaporated milk may lead to the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, heavy cream is also a good option for weight gain. It is very high in calories and can help you gain weight if you consume it in large quantities.

SEE: Is Heavy Cream Gluten-Free?


What is the best milk for mac and cheese?

The best milk for mac and cheese is whole milk.

Can you whip evaporated milk?

Yes, you can. Since it has a considerably lower fat content, it won’t whip as expected. So, to work that out, place the evaporated milk and your beaters in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before you start the whipping process.

You can use evaporated milk in place of whipping cream.

Can you use evaporated milk as creamer in coffee?

Yes, you can. Most people don’t like their coffee all plain and black. This is why there are many alternatives to make it tastier and desirable. One of which is using evaporated milk.

Can you use milk instead of heavy cream for your pasta?

Yes, you can. Using milk instead of heavy cream in a pasta recipe will give you a good outcome.


For evaporated milk vs heavy cream, both products are good for you in their different capacities. So the important thing is to know what, when, and how to use both products.

That is, you must know when to switch one in favor of the other and not to the detriment of your health. Most importantly, ensure you consume both in a moderate manner to protect your health.

Thank you for reading.

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