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What Is Condensed Milk Cheesecake?

By Brandon May
Updated May 16, 2024
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A condensed milk cheesecake is a type of cheesecake that uses sweetened condensed milk as an ingredient, which acts as both a sweetener and binding agent. Pumpkin cheesecake is a common condensed milk cheesecake which combines the flavor of traditional pumpkin pie with a conventional sweetened and slightly tart cheesecake. Since condensed milk is rather thick in texture, most cheesecakes made with sweetened condensed milk are slightly heavier and denser than desserts made with fresh milk. Despite this fact, most cheesecakes made with condensed milk are still fairly light due to the leavening agents present in the eggs.

Some cheesecake recipes call for the use of a bulking and binding liquid like milk, cream or evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk is often used in these cheesecake recipes, not only for its creamy and thick texture, but for its ability to act as a powerful and pleasing sweetener. A sweetened condensed milk cheesecake often calls for very little added sugar, or none at all, as condensed milk on its own is often sweet enough for the entire dish. When replacing evaporated milk with condensed milk in a cheesecake, it is often wise to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.

Pumpkin condensed milk cheesecake is a popular item served during the holidays, blending the flavors of pumpkin pie and cheesecake into one recipe. Due to the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, and the sugar content in the condensed milk, adding sugar may make the entire dish far too sweet. Another example of a cheesecake often made with condensed milk is key lime cheesecake, containing cream cheese, condensed milk, eggs and lime juice. Any cheesecake can successfully substitute the liquid found in cheesecake recipes with condensed milk, which will more likely enhance flavor and sweetness.

Since condensed milk is evaporated down into a thick liquid, and often made with a heavy amount of added sugar, the texture of condensed milk is always thick and creamy. Therefore, a condensed milk cheesecake is often thick and dense as well, yet still somewhat light and fluffy in the center. The action of the milk and the eggs may be responsible for the light texture of most condensed milk cheesecakes, as these ingredients often help baked goods rise when exposed to heat.

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Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On Feb 24, 2014

I was going to say I'd never had a condensed milk cheesecake, and then I saw it's often used in pumpkin cheesecakes. Well, that makes a certain amount of sense.

Otherwise, I was trying to imagine something already as rich as cheesecake having condensed milk in it. That sounds like adding insult to injury.

Not that I wouldn't ever make a cheesecake with condensed milk. It just sounds so rich and so decadent that it would have to be for a holiday and I would take it somewhere. There's no way I'd finish it before it ruined.

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