How many cups in small can evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk comes in various sized cans, with the small can typically containing 5 ounces or 150 ml. To determine how many cups this equals, we need to know how much volume is in 1 cup. In the US customary system, 1 cup equals 8 fluid ounces or 240 ml. With this conversion, we can calculate:

  • 1 small (5 oz) can evaporated milk = 150 ml
  • 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 150 ml / 240 ml per cup = 0.625 cups

So a small, 5 ounce can of evaporated milk contains about 0.625 cups or a little over half a cup. While not exact, for practical purposes you can round this to 2/3 cup or 0.66 cups per small can of evaporated milk. Let’s explore this topic further.

What Is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk, sometimes known as just “evap milk”, is a shelf-stable canned milk product in which about 60% of the water content has been removed through evaporation. This makes it more concentrated and thick compared to regular milk. The evaporation process also gives it a slightly caramelized, sweeter flavor.

Evaporated milk is heat-treated to destroy bacteria and enzymes that would otherwise cause spoilage. This enables it to be shelf-stable without refrigeration until opened. Once opened, it should be handled like fresh milk and stored in the refrigerator.

Some key facts about evaporated milk:

  • It contains about 30-40% water compared to 90% in regular milk
  • The evaporation process removes water while concentrating the nutrients
  • Shelf-stable until opened due to heat treatment killing bacteria
  • Higher protein and nutrient content than regular milk
  • Slightly caramelized, richer flavor compared to regular milk

Evaporated milk is commonly used in recipes for desserts, casseroles, sauces, and more where a creamy condensed milk is needed. The removal of water makes it similar in viscosity and consistency to cream.

Common Can Sizes for Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is available in several standard can sizes:

  • Small can – 5 ounces or 150 ml
  • Medium can – 6 ounces or 180 ml
  • Large can – 12 ounces or 355 ml
  • Extra large can – 15 ounces or 440 ml

The small 5 ounce can is the typical size used for baking recipes that call for evaporated milk. The larger cans are more suited when making large batches of recipes.

Small Can – 5 Ounces

As covered at the start, the small 5 ounce or 150 ml can contains about 0.625 cups or 2/3 cup of evaporated milk. This is the equivalent of 5 fluid ounces.

Knowing this standard small can size makes it easy to scale and halve recipes as needed.

Medium Can – 6 Ounces

The medium 6 ounce or 180 ml can contains about 0.75 cups evaporated milk. This is equal to 6 fluid ounces. So just a bit more than the small can.

Large Can – 12 Ounces

The large 12 ounce or 355 ml can is double the volume of the small can. It contains about 1.25 cups or 10 fluid ounces of evaporated milk.

Extra Large Can – 15 Ounces

The extra large 15 ounce or 440 ml can contains approximately 1.5 cups or 12 fluid ounces of evaporated milk.

Converting Between Cups and Ounces

Knowing how to convert between cup and ounce measurements is helpful when working with evaporated milk recipes:

  • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
  • 1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons or 30 ml
  • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons

Some example conversions:

  • 5 ounces = 0.625 cups
  • 6 ounces = 0.75 cups
  • 10 ounces = 1.25 cups
  • 12 ounces = 1.5 cups

And reversing the ratios:

  • 0.625 cups = 5 ounces
  • 0.75 cups = 6 ounces
  • 1.25 cups = 10 ounces
  • 1.5 cups = 12 ounces

Knowing these conversion equivalents makes scaling recipe quantities easy.

Substituting Fresh Milk for Evaporated Milk

In a pinch, fresh milk can be substituted for evaporated milk using the following ratios:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk = 1 1/4 cup fresh milk + 1/3 cup butter
  • OR 1 cup evaporated milk = 1 cup fresh milk + 1/4 cup butter

The butter helps achieve the thick, creamy texture of evaporated milk. For 1 cup evaporated milk, use anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 cup butter melted into fresh milk.

For small amounts, use:

  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk = 1/3 cup fresh milk + 1 tablespoon butter

When substituting fresh milk for evaporated milk, the results may not be quite as thickened or caramelized in flavor. But in a pinch it will work.

Making Your Own Evaporated Milk

It’s also possible to make evaporated milk at home by slowly simmering regular milk to remove water content. To make 1 cup evaporated milk:

  1. Pour 2 1/4 cups fresh milk into a saucepan
  2. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently
  3. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low
  4. Continue cooking and stirring until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to an airtight container
  6. Refrigerate for up to 1 week

The key is to frequently stir and reduce the milk slowly to avoid scorching or burning. Homemade evaporated milk will have a slightly different flavor and color compared to canned versions.

Storing and Handling Evaporated Milk

Unopened evaporated milk has an extended shelf life at room temperature due to the canning process. An unopened can will typically stay fresh for:

  • 6-12 months past the printed expiration date

However, for best quality it’s recommended to use within:

  • 2-3 months of purchase

Once opened, evaporated milk should be handled like regular milk. Store opened cans in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Do not return unused portions back to the original can, which can contaminate the milk. Instead, transfer to an airtight container or bottle.

Signs that evaporated milk has gone bad include:

  • Sour odor and flavor
  • Curdling, clumps, or texture changes
  • Mold development

Discard evaporated milk if it smells or looks abnormal, or past 1 week refrigerated.

Uses for Evaporated Milk

The thick, creamy texture and slightly caramelized flavor of evaporated milk makes it useful for:

  • Baking – Adds moisture and richness to cakes, breads, muffins, quick breads
  • Desserts – Puddings, custards, mousse, whipped cream
  • Candies – Fudge, caramel, truffles
  • Sauces – Creamy pan sauces, gravies, cheese sauce
  • Casseroles – Adds creamy texture to mac and cheese, potatoes
  • Coffee Drinks – Adds richness to lattes, smoothies, milkshakes

Evaporated milk can lend a silky, creamy mouthfeel to both sweet and savory dishes. It also helps baked goods stay moist. Get creative experimenting with evaporated milk as a cooking ingredient!

Nutrition Facts for Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is nutritionally concentrated compared to regular milk since reducing the water content condenses the nutrients. Per 1 cup serving, evaporated milk contains:

  • Calories: 330
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbs: 24g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Calcium: 483mg or 48% DV
  • Vitamin A: 382mcg or 42% DV
  • Vitamin D: 124IU or 31% DV

It provides a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins A and D, riboflavin, and other nutrients found in dairy milk. Just with higher concentrations per serving compared to normal milk.

Cost Comparison of Evaporated vs Normal Milk

Evaporated milk generally costs more than regular milk per volume:

Milk Type Average Price
Evaporated Milk (12 oz can) $1.59
Regular Milk (1 gallon) $2.99

However, when taking into account the fact that evaporating removes about 60% of the water, the pricing is fairly comparable per nutrient density.

Is Evaporated Milk Healthy?

Evaporated milk can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. Some benefits include:

  • High calcium for bone health
  • Quality protein for muscle maintenance
  • Source of vitamins A, D, and B vitamins
  • Helps add creamy texture to healthy dishes and desserts

Potential downsides to watch out for:

  • Higher in calories and fat compared to regular milk when used in excess
  • The canning process reduces some heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and folate

Enjoy evaporated milk in moderation or when a recipe calls for it specifically. Water down recipes that use a lot of evaporated milk if trying to limit fat, calories, and sugar.

Lowfat and Fat Free Evaporated Milk

For a lower calorie option, choose lowfat or fat free evaporated milk, which contain:

  • Lowfat – 5g fat per cup
  • Fat free – 0.5g fat per cup

These have fewer calories while still providing the thick, creamy texture. The taste is slightly different though since the caramelized flavor comes from the milkfat.

Canned vs Powdered Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk also comes in a powdered form, which is more shelf-stable for storage but not as easily substituted in recipes:

  • Canned – Shelf-stable when unopened, provides creamy concentrated milk.
  • Powdered – Very long unrefrigerated shelf life but needs to be reconstituted with water.

Powdered evaporated milk is not a 1:1 swap in recipes calling for the canned version. Follow package instructions for proper reconstitution ratios.

How Evaporated Milk Differs from Condensed Milk

Evaporated and condensed milk are canned milk products that differ in a few ways:

  • Evaporated – 60% water removed, no sugar added
  • Condensed – 60% water removed, sugar added as sweetener

So while both are concentrated canned milks, condensed milk has sugar added to sweeten and thicken it even more. The two cannot reliably be swapped for one another in recipes.


To summarize key points:

  • A small 5 oz can of evaporated milk = 0.625 cups or about 2/3 cup
  • Evaporated milk is shelf-stable and nutritionally concentrated
  • Works well in desserts, baked goods, sauces, casseroles
  • Refrigerate after opening, use within 1 week
  • Lowfat options available for fewer calories
  • Differs from sweetened condensed milk

Understanding the volume equivalents of different can sizes, conversions, substitutions, and uses provides helpful insights when cooking and baking with evaporated milk. With its creamy richness and versatility, evaporated milk can be a useful staple ingredient to keep stocked in the pantry.

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