Pantry Saver: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk at Home

Sweetened condensed milk is one of those ingredients that I rarely have on hand, and then, of course, I’m often caught off guard when a recipe I really want to make calls for sweetened condensed milk.

In the past, I’ve then moved on from that recipe, seeking an alternative to what I desire rather than running to the store. But now I’ve changed my ways since discovering that it can be made at home very easily.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before? All it is is milk that has been sweetened and reduced or “condensed”. It’s just one of those things that has completely slipped my realm of can-be-homemade.

It’s not the fastest process BUT it is an easy one!

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened Condensed Milk

Making your own sweetened condensed milk

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on what the recipe calls for. Just be sure to keep the ratio the same.

Makes a scant cup 


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


1. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan combine the milk and sugar.

2. Over medium heat, bring the milk and sugar to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat until it is just simmering and cook like that for about an hour, or until the milk has changed from white to a creamy, ivory color, it’s slightly thickened and reduced by nearly half.

3. Pour the condensed milk into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

4. So now that we have sweetened condensed milk (we will  never be stuck without it again) what should we use it for?

That’s it! And, now that you’re done…

Recipe ideas using homemade sweetened condensed milk

What about a classic tres leches cake? It starts with a sponge cake and is then evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk is poured on top and left to sit until the cake soaks it all up. Finally a crowning layer of whipped cream goes on top.

Dulce De Leche

Go one step further and turn your sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche.

Oh my goodness. This french toast recipe is just pure brilliance. Buttery toast that is then bruléed then sits on top of a pool of warm half-and-half and sweetened condensed milk. I could see a few roasted apricots hanging out on top of that toast.

If you’ve ever ordered Thai Iced Coffee you know that sweet creaminess that makes it so addicting. Well, did you know that that is sweetened condensed milk? Why not take it a bit further and turn the whole thing into a coffee shake? Martha did. Of course she did.

I can imagine this coconut pound cake has just the right soft texture that we all crave in a pound cake. How could it not when it’s made from sweetened condensed milk?

Have you heard of milk fudge?

Caramel, creamy and cool flan is a great way to use your sweetened condensed milk.

My favorite? Turn that sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche — a sweet and creamy caramel that makes the world’s best apple dip. Check back next week, when I’ll teach you two different ways to make your own dulce de leche.

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