Some people like them in their tea, while others use them to make desserts. Both condensed milk and evaporated milk are forms of concentrated milk, from which approximately 60 per cent of the water content has been removed. Both are canned products and the major difference that sets them apart is sugar content: sweetened condensed milk contains sugar, while evaporated milk does not.

Condensed milk is known as both condensed milk and sweetened condensed milk (both can be used interchangeably). It has a long shelf life and is a type of concentrated milk from which about 60 percent of the water content has been removed. After this, sugar is added and it is canned. Condensed milk can contain upto 40 to 45 percent sugar. It’s rich and thick, and high in sweetness, with a light caramel color. There’s no such thing as unsweetened condensed milk; that’s essentially evaporated milk. Before condensed milk was developed, milk could be kept fresh only for a short period and was only available near lactating cows. Condensed milk was invented as a derivative that didn’t need refrigeration and was long-lasting. 

Condensed milk is easily found in kitchens around the world. It is commonly used in baked goods and desserts, and also as a sweetener in coffee and tea. Condensed milk is the main ingredient in the Brazilian candy brigadeiro, and is also used to make fudge in the UK. Countries like Vietnam and Cambodia use condensed milk to flavour hot or iced coffee. It can also be used to make ice cream.

Evaporated milk is similar to condensed milk, and true to its name, is also made by heating milk until about 60 per cent of its water content has evaporated. It is then homogenised, packaged, and sterilised. The resulting product is dense and creamy. It can be canned and stored for a long time. The high heat used in processing this milk also adds a slightly caramelised flavor and a colour that’s darker than regular milk. Evaporated milk comes in skimmed, low-fat, and whole milk varieties.

Evaporated milk is used in dishes that require a creamy texture, but not necessarily sweet. It may be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Condensed milk can be made from evaporated milk by mixing evaporated milk with sugar, heating the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then cooling it. Evaporated milk, however, cannot be made with condensed milk. 

Both condensed milk and evaporated milk have a long shelf life and other similarities, but they cannot be swapped for one another.