5 Ingredients or Fewer

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

April 26, 2014
4 Ratings
  • Makes just under 1 cup
Author Notes

It's quite easy to hop out to the store and buy a can of sweetened condensed milk, but I prefer to make my own. It takes a couple of (mostly hands-off) hours, after which you have a jar of simple, creamy sweetness. —stephanie le

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, if desired
  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, mix together the milk and sugar. Take note of where the milk reaches on the side of the pan.
  2. Over medium heat, warm the milk-sugar mixture until just steaming. Then lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, or until it thickens slightly.
  3. When the mixture has reduced by about half, stir in the vanilla extract. Cool completely. As it cools, the milk with thicken.
  4. Pour the condensed milk into a clean, dry airtight container (I like to use a glass jar) and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  5. Notes: This won't be nearly as thick as canned sweetened condensed milk, but it does have the same sweet, milky flavor. The vanilla is optional: It adds an extra hint of creaminess, but isn't absolutely necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Detrishious
  • Aly Waterfall
    Aly Waterfall
  • Andrea Vaughan
    Andrea Vaughan
  • stephanie le
    stephanie le
Obsessed with food, photography, good design, potatoes and noodles. Recipes and ramblings at www.iamafoodblog.com. My first book, Easy Gourmet is coming out September 2nd, 2014 and is available for preorder on Amazon!

11 Reviews

mousouchop May 6, 2017
Just made this, super simple... Good way to extend and repurpose my raw milk when it has become a little too sour to drink. I reduced the sugar from 100g to 75g (about 50g per 1 cup of milk). I may reduce further to 40g per 1 cup next time I make this.

Question, is there a reason this needs to be cooled completely before putting it in the fridge? Won't the fridge hasten the cooling process? I know putting *hot* things in the fridge can have adverse effects on other items in the fridge-- but 8oz of warm milk can't have that big an effect. Just want to make sure the cool completely (at room temp) isn't required for proper setting/thickening of the milk.
Dianna September 29, 2014
I accidentally put the vanilla extract in along with milk and sugar...is this bad?
Detrishious August 15, 2014
Can this be sweetened with anything other than sugar? Like coconut sugar or honey?
Barbara P. July 29, 2014
I have a question. Can you use this making key lime pie, or any other recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk?
amali May 7, 2014
I'd also like to know if this can be done with any type of dairy-free milk.
stephanie L. May 7, 2014
I've only tried with milk, but I think coconut milk would work!
Aly W. May 7, 2014
I wonder if using heavy cream would make it thicker?
Allison (. May 6, 2014
I'll have to try this! I do love adding sweetened condensed milk to strong coffee...
cocoromy May 5, 2014
Could you substitute with coconut milk? Thank you
stephanie L. May 7, 2014
I haven't tried with coconut milk, but my friend Erika has (http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2014/04/08/vegan-taiwanese-shaved-ice/) and it turned out great for her!
Andrea V. April 28, 2014
Interesting....at least you know there are no preservatives...