Caramel Bubbling on the Stove
Caramel bubbling on the stove


Got a question?  Have a look through the list below for our most commonly asked questions.. 

Can't find the answer? Contact Us here

Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative Queries..

1. What is it made from?

Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative is our deliciously sweet and sticky oat and rice based sweetened condensed milk alternative.

2. What are the ingredients?

Sugar, water, oat and rice flour, sunflower oil.

3. If the product contains oat flour is it gluten free?

Yes, we source gluten free oat flour for this product and conduct testing to ensure the product meets the strict requirements to claim, ‘gluten free’.

4. Which allergens are in the product?

May contain traces of milk (this is because it is produced in a factory which handles milk and whilst every effort is made to ensure no milk is in the finished result, we can’t guarantee this is the case).

5. If the product ‘may contain traces of milk’ how can it be vegan?

The ingredients used in our Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative are sugar, water, oat and rice flour, sunflower oil. However, we make this in a factory that also produces dairy products so whilst every effort is made to ensure no milk is in the finished product, we can’t guarantee this is the case.  The lovely people at the Vegan Society have approved the use of their logo on our pack. Yay!

6. Why is Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative light brown in colour and what does it taste like?

The golden oat colour comes from the natural lightly toasted oat flours in the product.  The toasty oats will add a light oat flavour to your bakes.  We’ve noticed that loads of Vegan desserts are coconutty – and whilst we have nothing against them, we’ve made our sweet sticky Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative more neutral in taste so that not all your bakes and desserts taste of coconut!

7. Can I just sub Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative for standard Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Not in every situation so we’ve developed a specific set of vegan recipes with the aim of keeping as close to the much-loved dairy based recipe as possible for a no compromise result! See recipes here.

8. What’s the shelf life?

As per fresh milk 3 days once opened

9. Can I freeze Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative?

The product will not freeze due to the high amount of sugar in the product.

10. Can I reconstitute Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative?

Our product is designed for baking and has sugar added – so can’t be reconstituted back to an oat/rice drink.

11. Can I boil the unopened can of Carnation Vegan Condensed Milk Alternative to make Caramel?

We don’t recommend that you boil the unopened can of vegan.  See this recipe for a perfect caramel!


Product Queries..

1. Can I boil the can of condensed milk?

We don’t recommend this as bursting may occur – and besides we’ve done all the hard work for you with Carnation Caramel – look out for it next to the Condensed Milk in the store. Simply open the can and use the caramel as directed in the recipe.

2. Can I use Carnation Condensed Milk Light in place of the standard condensed milk?

Yes the products can be used interchangeably – but be careful if you’re changing the other ingredients in the recipe to light versions at the same time or the recipe may not work! Look out for our Lighter recipe pages here.

3. What’s the difference between evaporated and condensed Milk?

Condensed Milk is made with concentrated milk and sugar and Evaporated Milk has no sugar added, we just add Vitamin D and a small amount of stabiliser to keep it in tip top condition. See more on our product pages here.

4. What is condensed milk and how is it made?

We start with fresh milk and add sugar. It’s then heated to concentrate it and carefully cooled to give it that wonderful silky smooth texture. Carnation have full cream (standard) and light which is fat free and made with skimmed milk. See more on our product pages here.

5. What is evaporated milk and how is it made?

We start with fresh milk and heat it to concentrate it. It’s then filled into cans and sterilised. Simple! Carnation have full cream (standard) and light which is made with semi-skimmed milk. See more on our product pages here.

6. How long can I keep evaporated milk for once open?

Treat it like fresh milk – 3 days once opened.

7. How long can I keep condensed milk for once open?

Treat it like fresh milk – 3 days once opened.

8. Can I freeze condensed milk?

The condensed milk will not freeze solid as the sugar it contains will prevent it (this is the reason it makes sublime no -churn ice cream – it keeps the ice crystals small!). Try out some of our ice cream recipes:

9. Can I freeze evaporated milk?

Yes you can – make sure you decant it into a suitable container first.

10. How do I reconstitute evaporated milk?

A rough guide would be 1 part evaporated milk to 1½ parts cold water.

11. Is evaporated milk suitable for babies?

Evaporated milk is not nutritionally suitable for babies. It should not be used as a substitute for formula nor should it be added to formula. We do not recommend including this product as part of the weaning diet. For more advice on what to feed your baby, visit Start for Life (

12. Is your packaging recyclable?

Our canned products are widely recycled, the 450g bottles you will need to check local recycling and we’re working on the rest!

13. Where can I buy Carnation products?

Our products are widely stocked in supermarkets and online.

14. How do I make the Carnation Caramel more firm?

We’ve designed the caramel to be spoonable from the tin – so all you need to do is gently spread it into your pie shell, tart case etc. If you beat the caramel it will become softer and will not re-set to a firm texture.

Culinary Queries

Fudge trouble shooting

1. Why hasn’t my fudge set?

It’s likely that the mixture hasn’t got hot enough – ideally use a sugar thermometer and aim for about 113-116°C which can take around 10 minutes to reach this stage. Ensure that your sugar is completely melted first. Finally cool the mixture for 10 minutes and then beat it until it thickens (the start of the setting process). If it isn’t thickening when you beat it its likely it won’t set. Stop beating when it starts to set – see our video!

2. Why is my fudge grainy?

It might have got a little too hot or the mixture was beaten too long. It’s still delicious!

3. Why is my fudge burnt?

It’s important to ensure you use a good quality non-stick, heavy based saucepan for this to avoid the mixture burning. Make sure that you keep the mixture moving to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.

4. Why is my fudge hard or crumbly?

The fudge may have got a little too hot or it may have been beaten a little too long. For best results invest in a sugar thermometer (aim for around 113-116°C) to be completely sure…

5. I don’t have a sugar thermometer – how do I know my fudge will set?

Keep a small bowl of ice water beside the cooking fudge and then you can drop a little of the mixture into it to see if it will form a soft ball. Leave the mixture for a moment then carefully pick it up in your fingers and see if it will form a soft ball. If not return the mixture to the boil for another minute or so and test again. The boiling stage usually takes at least 10 minutes for a standard quantity.

6. Why is the recipe for fudge on the can slightly different to the one on the website?

Space is a little limited on the can – so we have been more descriptive on the website. The ingredients are the same, however, we’ve suggested you cool the mixture slightly before beating which isn’t absolutely necessary but does make the last stage slightly quicker and easier. They will both result in scrumptious sweet and creamy fudge.

7. How do I add liquid ingredients to my fudge?

For flavourings like vanilla, small amounts of liqueur etc. we recommend beating them in after the mixture has cooled slightly.

8. Can I use Carnation Caramel to make fudge?

We have a really easy no cook salted caramel fudge which uses white chocolate to help set the fudge. Caramel is not recommended for using in our Ultimate Fudge recipe.

9. How long can I keep fudge?

We recommend keeping the fudge for no more than 3 weeks – it will go slightly grainier over this time. Keep it in a clean, airtight container, away from light and heat.

10. My Fudge hasn't set - can I re-boil it?

Yes you can try this by adding a splash of milk to the fudge, gently heating first then bringing up to a boil again.  Ideally you check the temperature with a sugar thermometer (113-115C). As soon as it reaches this temperature remove from the heat, cool for 5 minutes and then beat until its really thick and looses its shine (see video).

Other Recipe Queries..

1. I’ve only used some of my Condensed Milk from my can or bottle how can I use it up?

These recipes use only a smaller proportion of condensed milk in them:

Or you could swirl it into yogurt and top with fruit or make it into chocolate spread or caramel.. the opportunities are endless!

2. How do I cut my Millionaires Shortbread without squashing it?

Choose a good strong cooks knife for cutting and dip it into a little hot water then dry briefly on kitchen roll before cutting – just let the knife do the work! The more you press down on the hard chocolate layer then more it will squish the caramel…

3. Can I use Carnation Caramel for making Millionaires Shortbread?

We recommend Carnation Condensed Milk for Millionaires as you can make the caramel good and firm which makes cutting easier. Using the caramel increases the risk it will squidge out of the hard layers of chocolate and biscuit! But maybe more fun and messy to eat – up to you!!

4. How long can I keep a fresh dessert like banoffee pie or cheesecake?

About 3 days but it never lasts that long in the Carnation Kitchen! The bananas on banoffee pie will brown over this time but will still be delish :)

5. Can I freeze my dessert?

We think most of our recipes are best fresh – however you can freeze the sponge cakes, brownies, tray bakes (without banana) etc. quite easily. For best results wrap your cakes in baking parchment and then cling film or foil. Just ensure you defrost them thoroughly when you want to use them and eat them up with 3 days.

6. How will my cheesecake set without gelatine?

We use the addition of citrus juices (usually from lemon or lime) to magically set the cheesecake – the acid in the juice works with the condensed milk to thicken the mixture enough to be able to cut into slices.

7. Why hasn’t my cheesecake set?

Our cheesecakes are a softer set using citrus juices to thicken our condensed milk and this means we can avoid using gelatine. Best to use large lemons and to give it the full 2 hours in the fridge or longer if you can.

8. Why do you suggest using buttery spread in sponge cakes?

Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat, and it’s recommended that we replace saturated fats like butter, for unsaturated fats like spreads where possible. We’ve tested our baking recipes and think they work well using a baking spread with a minimum 70% fat percentage. Fat is important in a cake, making it light and fluffy, so if a spread is too low in fat the recipe may not work. Check the label of your spread to ensure it’s suitable for baking.

9. Why have my brownies sunk in the middle?

Brownies should be dense and fudgy so don’t require lots of beating – if the mixture gets overworked then the big air bubbles could cause the centre to sink. Also the oven temperature is best preheated before the brownies go in.