With the holidays coming up I thought it would be a great time to offer this new tutorial: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk! Sweetened Condensed Milk is used in a huge variety of recipes, and because most store bought brands are made with low quality dairy and high fructose corn syrup, it’s worthwhile to know how to make your own healthier version.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)
Are There Any Good Store Bought Options?
Absolutely! There are some organic brands (<– Amazon Link) of sweetened condensed milk that don’t use milk from conventionally farmed cows and use organic cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. The the 365 brand from Whole Foods Market is made with both organic whole milk and organic cane sugar, which are the exact same ingredients I use in my version. But for you die hard ‘Do It Yourselfers’ I have a simple recipe that doesn’t take much effort, just a little bit of time.
The Recipe: How to Make Your Own Sweetened Condensed Milk
What you need: a heavy bottomed pan.Wondering how you can use this recipe? Try it in my no churn ice cream!
A simple recipe that requires little tending
- 2 cups organic whole milk
- 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
- Optional: 1 teaspoon Vanilla paste or extract note: I usually end up using this condensed milk in recipes that already require vanilla so I often leave it out. If you choose to omit it, your milk will be a little lighter and whiter than pictured, and that's just fine
Place milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, stir for 20 seconds with spatula
Place on cooktop and heat pan on low heat until sugar is dissolved, gently stirring here and there
Once sugar is dissolved, turn heat to medium and bring milk/sugar mixture to a simmer (do not stir from here on out)
Allow to simmer (not boil) for 40 minutes. Milk will thicken and darken a little. When done condensed milk should thickly coat a spoon and measure about two cups, but that measurement doesn't have to be exact. If it's not quite thick enough and you need to give it a little extra time, do! No harm will come from letting it simmer a little longer. Milk will also get thicker once it's placed in the refrigerator.
If a foam forms on top just skim off with a spoon
When ready, remove from heat and allow to cool
Once cool, if using vanilla, add it now and stir. Pour milk into a jar and place in the fridge. Allow condensed milk to get cold, (thickening even more) before using.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?
We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated!
Hi, thanks for the recipe. How long would this keep in the fridge?
I have read that it will last as long as the milk would last. In other words, check the expiration date on the milk and go with that.
Wow that is so flippin’ easy! Would coconut milk work do you think?
From what I have read, yes! But I have not tried it myself so I can’t vouch for it.
You can buy sweetened condensed coconut milk in 7 oz cans.
My Vietnamese friend just introduced me to “Asian coffee” with seeetened condensed milk in it, and I’m hooked! Cans of it are so spendy and garbage! This looks too easy to not try! And I have the two ingredients already! Now to see how it works with raw goats milk ?
That sounds delish! I am thinking for coffee you may want to cut the recipe in half. I assume you won’t use a ton and 2 cups might be more than you can use before it goes bad:)
With goats’ milk if you let the milk cook longer, the result is delicious cajeta ( toffy ).
I have never tried it with goat’s milk. Sounds delicious!
This is so great Linda. I’m seeing recipes popping up everywhere that have the canned stuff listed in the ingredients. Thank you for providing a better option!
I would freeze the finished sweetened condensed mill in 1 cup portions for cooking! Thanks for recipe!
While I have never done that, it sounds like a great idea!
This will definitely come in handy for holiday cooking. Thank you!
Linda, this recipe is so super helpful, thank you! And wow so easy (haha, as long as you don’t forget it’s on the stove!) 🙂
Always the problem right? I swear I burn the first batch of pine nuts every time!
What a wonderful alternative to the classic canned option. And I had no idea it was this simple to make! Great post!
Will this work with other milk besides whole milk? I have extra 2%, was wondering if I used double the amount of milk and cooked longer to cook off the water content, if this would work.. was gong to use it for coffee creamer, so it may just not be as creamy. Thoughts?
I have never made it with anything but full fat milk so I can’t really say. My guess is it will not be very thick or creamy. But that’s just a guess!
I just tried the recipe but haven’t tasted it or cooked with it so far. Thanks for providing the recipe. I am a vegetarian allergic to corn and have to make all my own food, including vegetarian marshmallows. Anyway, I am curious if we can just add a thickener like arrowroot flour instead of boiling it for 40 minutes. Would it work out the same?
Hi Brian! I am afraid arrow root won’t work. The simmering doesn’t thicken the the milk and sugar it actually condenses it intensifying the sweetness and creaminess. I wish I could tell you there’s a quicker way, but if there is, I don’t know about it. Sorry about the corn allergy. Probably a lot harder to avoid corn than most people think being that they put it in everything! But welcome to the club of cooking from scratch:)
Do any of you know how the goat milk sweet n condensed milk works in pie? Say in lemon ice box merengue pie does it get firm?
Sorry Sandy, I have no idea.
Great flavour! However, mine curdled and was nearly all evaporated (which, I know is part of the process — but a bit too much here 🙂 before 40 minutes was up. I had my stove on the lowest setting and did not stir as instructed. Was it supposed to be covered while simmering by chance? Does it matter if the cane sugar is raw (mine is)? Thanks for any insight!
Hi Gina, I am so sorry that happened. I am not sure if raw sugar would make a difference, but kind of doubt it. I would suggest that if yours is evaporating quicker, just take it off earlier. That said if it’s low enough heat, it shouldn’t curdle!Not sure what to make of that.