Separating cream from raw milk does not have high yield. This should be easier when the milk is concentrated, as we want to separate the watery part of milk, which is already disappeared in evaporated milk. I have not seen any guide for getting cream from evaporated milk.

I have two questions:

  • Is it possible/easy to get cream from evaporated milk (it should be tricky)?
  • Is it possible to use evaporated (concentrated) milk instead of cream in recipes like ice cream?

In general, I am curious why evaporated milk is not popular in recipes. Preparing evaporated milk from raw milk is not difficult (even at home). It can be prepared much easier than cream with better yield.

NOTE: My question is about evaporation of raw milk, not commercial canned evaporated milk. In other words, I am referring to high-fat evaporated milk.

  • 1
    Note that you can also make a frozen confection from milk. Ice milk is not perhaps as creamy or delicious as ice cream, but you should find many recipes by googling "ice milk recipe". Those fortified with eggs should have a somewhat richer and creamier mouthfeel.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jul 29, 2013 at 16:34
  • 1
    I guess that it isn't popular because cream tastes better and gives you a better texture where a substitution is possible. (See saj's answer for where it isn't possible).
    – rumtscho
    Jul 30, 2013 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


Even if you produce your own evaporated milk, it is highly unlikely to help you in separating the cream, because it is only reducing the water phase of milk; it doesn't change the fat phase.

Nothing in this process makes the cream easier to separate from the water phase.

You may be able to use the reduced product in some recipes where cream is called for, but it is not going to whip, and it will now have a cooked flavor from the cooking necessary to do the evaporation.

You certainly could use it in a frozen dessert similar to ice cream, but it will bring the cooked flavor, and have a slightly different texture due the different balance of sugars, proteins and fat compared to cream.


You're not going to be able to get cream from evaporated milk because it has been processed to either separate or homogenize the milk fats.

As for using it in recipes, you frequently can use evaporated milk in place of cream. The concentration of milk protein mimics the extra fat of cream in some ways. In general, you should be able to sub it 1:1, but the results may be slightly off depending on the function of the cream in the original recipe. Ie, if it's just to add richness, you'll be fine, but if the cream was tenderizing the product, it will be tougher with milk.

  • Thanks for the useful answer. 1) I am referring to evaporation at home, not commercial evaporated milk. Thus, the cream is there. 2) Good to know that evaporated milk is a substitute to cream, but I wonder why it is not popular at all.
    – Googlebot
    Jul 29, 2013 at 16:08
  • If you evaporated the milk at home, you would be skimming the cream off first, no?
    – SourDoh
    Jul 29, 2013 at 17:08
  • you mean skimming the cream before evaporation process or during that? No, cream is there, I avoid separation by continuous stirring.
    – Googlebot
    Jul 29, 2013 at 17:12
  • As SAJ14SAJ pointed out, by simmering it you're only reducing the water, so while you might get thicker cream, you won't get any more of it (and you might actually get a bit less).
    – SourDoh
    Jul 29, 2013 at 17:32
  • Most commercial evaporated milk is prepared from "whole milk", i.e. somewhere in the vicinity of 3-4% milkfat. So while some cream may have been removed, it's perhaps overstating the case that "the cream was separated prior to the milk's processing".
    – Marti
    Jul 29, 2013 at 17:37

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