sweetened condensed coconut milk … my life is forever changed

First of all, I have to tell you something.

I knew the minute I figured out how to make sweetened condensed coconut milk that my life would never be the same.

But I don’t think I understood how much it would change.

Because I like to use sweetened condensed milk.

In ice cream (and we make a lot of ice cream in our house).

In coffee.

In tea (especially a rich aromatic chai tea).

And now that we’re moving deeper into Spring I’m looking forward to the days when I can indulge in iced coffee (as made by Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman) … a treat I have enjoyed since she first posted this dang recipe about two years ago!

It’s just so easy.

But I know it’s not good for us.

First of all, it comes in a can.  And if it comes in a can, there are likely hormone-blocking BPAs lining that can.  Not that they are leaching into the milk.  It’s not as though the milk is acidic (like tomatoes).

And then I look at the ingredients.  Sugar and Milk.

I’m pretty sure it’s refined sugar.

And that unless the sugar is organic cane sugar, it’s likely from GMO sugar beets or some other GE crop.

I know that unless the milk is organic, there are likely growth hormones and antibiotics lurking in the milk.  And I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any growth hormones or unprescribed antibiotics in my milk.  Thank you very much.

But to buy organic sweetened condensed milk … well … here in Bozeman a small 14 oz can costs $3.53.  (A conventional can of sweetened condensed milk runs a little under $2.00).  So it’s expensive.

So then what?

I could make my own sweetened condensed milk.

And I do.

On occasion.

But what about when we’re having dairy-free friends over for dinner on Saturday night?  Or paleo-pals over for brunch on Sunday?  What if we just don’t have any organic sweetened condensed milk in the house?  And we run out of milk?

What about then?

Here’s my answer:

sweet coconut milk

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.

So good.

So versatile (should be a substitute for sweetened condensed milk in most recipes).

And absolutely worth the effort (and by effort I really mean time).


  • 14 oz can organic full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raw honey (or pure grade B maple syrup)


Bring coconut milk to a boil in a non-reactive stainless steel sauce pan (3-5 minutes).  Lower the heat and whisk in the honey or maple syrup until totally dissolved.  Let simmer for about 35 minutes, until it reaches the thickness you desire.

Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.  It makes about 12 ounces of condensed coconut milk and should last about a week refrigerated.

One thing … there’s definitely a “nutty” flavor in this milk that differs from regular sweetened condensed milk.  So it’s not an “exact” substitute.  But if you like coconut, and enjoy the rich sweetness of sweetened condensed milk, but looking for a healthier option in which you can control the sweet and the ingredients, this might just be your ticket!

Now that I’ve made it … I don’t know that I’ll ever go back.  I’m trying it in the iced coffee this weekend!

Happy Friday,


We’re linked up:

This Chick Cooks
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Nourishing Simplicity
Nourishing Gourmet
Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

15 thoughts on “sweetened condensed coconut milk … my life is forever changed

  1. LOVE the Pioneer Woman’s Iced Coffee recipe, have been making it for some time now and I am addicted. I, too, use the sweetened condensed milk and really, almost no other milk. It STILL cuts out more calories than my daily Starbucks tall order. I just started to explore alternatives to using sweetened condensed milk and my search to see if I could find a coconut milk version led me to you. Will be trying this first of the week! Thank you!

    1. Fun!!! Isn’t that iced coffee unreal?? Good luck with the coconut condensed milk. One word of advice … be more patient than you want to be. It doesn’t happen immediately 🙂

  2. Since you say this only lasts about a week, I want to know if I can freeze the sweetened condensed coconut milk? Thanks.

    1. Hi Janet,
      I haven’t tried to freeze it so I don’t know. If you do decide to try it, will you let us know? Thanks! Jeanne

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