How to Use Up the Rest of a Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

June  6, 2016

My mornings these days start off with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a scoop of thick sweetened condensed milk. I skip the cream and sugar all together, since sweetened condensed milk—milk that's been concentrated and heavily sweetened; its viscosity is like molasses or honey and it moves just as slowly—gives creaminess and sweetness in one product.

My mother always had a can in the pantry at any given time. It was a staple in our home. We baked with it, sweetened Jamaican cornmeal porridge with it, and my mother used it in her tea. Once I've opened a can, I store the remaining milk (poured out of the can) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. (And if you want to met it yourself, Stephanie Le has a simple recipe for making a batch of sweetened condensed milk of your own.)

But what to do with an open can of it besides stir it into coffee? Here are a few practical uses for a leftover sweetened condensed milk:

  • Sweeten tea and coffee by scooping a dollop of sweetened condensed milk into your mug. Try it chilled in iced coffee or tea, too.

  • Drizzle over fresh fruit. It brightens up the tangy and sour flavor of grapefruit really well.

  • Substitute half of the milk needed in baking cornbread with condensed milk for an added subtle sweetness.

  • Anthony Myint's French Toast Crunch uses condensed milk to create a sweet chamomile custard for dunking the French toast into before baking it.

  • Sweetened condensed milk is one of the three milks in a tres leches cake, and this Coconut Tres Leches uses a full can of it.

  • Spread a thick coat of condensed milk butter on a slice of toast or make Darjeeling Tea Pain Perdu.

  • The filling of Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie is simply a can of condensed milk with beaten together with a few egg yolks and lemon juice (and then baked together on a crust of saltine crackers).

What are the ways that you use condensed milk? Comment below to let us know!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Jeninks June 15, 2019
Popsicles, just puree’ fresh fruit of choice and a bit of milk to thin and sweetened condensed milk for sweet and creaminess. Delicious!
Cassandra C. November 20, 2018
I made a batch of chicken penne and pumpkin alfredo and used condensed mix mixed with regular milk to make the alfredo bit sweeter which blended very nice with the pumpkin. Great for picky kids.
Rachel October 24, 2016
This soup uses a small amount and I make it every fall (of course that is how I ended up here, looking for uses of my left over can lol)
Rachel October 24, 2016
This soup uses a small amount and I make it every fall (of course that is how I ended up here, looking for uses of my left over can lol)
Rachel October 24, 2016
This soup uses a small amount and I make it every fall (of course that is how I ended up here, looking for uses of my left over can lol)
Marlene M. June 11, 2016
Awesome and authentic ways of using a not so old fashion staple from your cabinet. Good item yo havr around and for us West Indians/Caribbeans this is a major versatile item to have in our pantry
Marsha G. June 7, 2016
Ran across these recipes recently but haven't tried them so can't vouch: Something Swanky's Cheesecake Brownies and Spend with Pennies' Millionaire Pie. Both call for an entire can, but if you only have 2 T missing from a can as I currently do (that's all the recipe called for), then nearly an entire can should suffice for either recipe. Looking forward to trying my leftovers in hot and iced coffee and on a piece of toast.
AntoniaJames June 7, 2016
At Girl Scout camp eons ago, we toasted thickly sliced bread over a fire and then smeared sweetened condensed milk on it, which we ate for dessert while still warm. Heaven. ;o)
Author Comment
Briana R. June 7, 2016
Yes, that sounds divine! Adds to list of things to do with condensed milk!
Aditi June 7, 2016
I like it as a sauce over coffee jelly (jello)
annabelle June 6, 2016
Flan's denser cousin Quesillo!
Also, as a kid in the Caribbean it was poured over a banana, for dessert
Author Comment
Briana R. June 7, 2016
My mom is Jamaican and she put it on everything!
nicole June 6, 2016
I never thought to add condensed milk into my coffee! We always have cans in the pantry too, from overstocking for commonly used recipes. It's good to know there are other ways of using what's leftover.
Author Comment
Briana R. June 7, 2016
It's so gooood! It is worth the try for morning coffee!
AntoniaJames June 6, 2016
Muesli: Maximilian Bircher-Benner, the inventor of muesli, used sweetened condensed milk, and so do I! Highly recommended. ;o)
HalfPint June 6, 2016
We (Vietnamese) make a snack of dipping fresh baked French bread (not sourdough) into sweetened condensed milk. The saltiness of the bread and the sweetness of the condensed milk is a great combination.
Author Comment
Briana R. June 7, 2016
The salty sweet combo is one of my favorites!
Sheila June 6, 2016
Vietnamese coffee popsicles:
Author Comment
Briana R. June 6, 2016
Thanks for the share! I love this recipe!