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How to Make Condensed Milk: Easily make condensed milk at homemade with just milk and sugar. The result is the same as store bought.

How To Make Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)

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Easily make my Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe and use it to create ice cream, cookies & more!


Hi Bold Bakers! 

Working as a professional chef, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years. Now I’m going to share with you some Bold Baking Basics that will help you along your baking journey to make it fun and for you to improve your skills. I’m often asked, “Is there a substitute for sweetened condensed milk?” Well, did you know you can make Homemade Condensed Milk? That’s right, now you don’t just have to go to the store for it.

What is Condensed Milk?

Condensed milk is traditionally cow’s milk that has much of the water content boiled away and then sugar added. I use Sweetened Condensed Milk a lot in my baking. If you cannot find it in your country you can easily make it yourself at home. It is one of the main ingredients in my 2 ingredient No Machine Ice Cream. If you like your frozen desserts a little lighter and fruitier then try my Homemade Sorbet in 5 minutes (No Machine)

Can I Make Dairy Free Condensed Milk?

My condensed milk recipe contains milk, however if you are dairy free and/or like vegan baking I also have the exact same recipe but using coconut milk rather than dairy milk. It is just as easy to make and it tastes great too. Find my Dairy Free Condensed Milk recipe.You can also use Nut Milks and other sugars such as Truvia. See the Notes section in the recipe for more details.

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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Simmering milk and sugar on a low, controlled heat will yield you a thick, syrupy milk. Once it cools it will thicken and be ready to use. It will last in the fridge for weeks if you don’t need it straight away.

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What is the Difference Between Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk?

The biggest difference between condensed and evaporated milk is the sugar content. Both are made by reducing a percent of the water content from the milk but the condensed version has sugar added which is why it’s called Sweetened Condensed Milk.

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Use your homemade sweetened condensed milk to make:


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How to Make Condensed Milk: Easily make condensed milk at homemade with just milk and sugar. The result is the same as store bought.
How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Easily make my Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe and use it to create my 2 ingredient ice cream, cookies & more!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (16floz/450ml) full fat milk or low fat milk*
  • cups (5oz /142g) white sugar
Instructions
  1. Add the milk and sugar into a small, heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Heat it on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Once all of the sugar has dissolved bring the mix to a simmer over medium low heat. Do not stir once the mix starts to simmer otherwise it can crack and crystalize.
  4. Gently simmer for roughly 35-40 minutes, or until the milk has darkened to a creamy color, has reduced by half and thickened slightly. You may notice some foam forming on top, gently skim it off with a spoon. (if there are sugary bits hanging around the rim of your pot don’t stir them into your condensed milk, this can also crack your mix)

  5. When ready, remove from the heat and pour into a jar to cool. Let the condensed milk cool completely before putting on the airtight lid. Just note, it thickens up alot after a few hours in the fridge.
  6. Store in a labeled jar in the fridge and it will last for 6 months.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

The condensed milk when ready will measure 1 cup/8oz.

You can use any Nut Milk instead of Regular milk

You can use coconut sugar/maple syrup/light honey or other natural sugars instead of white sugar.
The substitute you use needs to be able to caramelize. stevia, xylitol, splenda will not caramelize so will not work in this recipe.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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995 Comments

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  1. Thắng on September 6, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Tôi mốn hỏi ly sữa mà trang icrem roll hay sử dụng có phải là sữa đặc

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Yes, the milk in the picture is condensed milk. Thanks for being here.

  2. Melinda Carr on September 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Gemma. I love your recipes and enjoy watching your videos on the things you make. Is there a difference in the taste of homemade condensed milk compare to store bought and is there a way to make it less fattening? Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 6, 2019 at 10:40 am

      It tastes the same, well it would slightly differ in taste when using different kinds of milk, or milk substitutes. You can use coconut milk if you want to avoid using dairy, which is more fattening. You can reduce sugar, but only to a certain extent as it’s an essential ingredient that’s needed to achieve the desired consistency of the condensed milk.

  3. CRYSTAL CHAN on September 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    May I know why my condensed milk won’t be sticky even I cooked it 40mins? I used cane sugar and i had less 20 grams of sugar from the recipe. It’s the problem of the sugar?
    Thanks for your help.
    Crystal

    • Gemma Stafford on September 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      It may be the sugar because it is the essential ingredient for it to thicken. Maybe you also needed to cook it a little bit longer in order for its liquid to be reduced.

  4. Stephanie Logan on September 1, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Hi.
    I’m going to try this today with lactofree milk and was wondering if I could use it straight away to make caramel for millionaires shortbread or does it need to cool first before I can use it?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2019 at 4:14 am

      Hi Stephanie,
      See this recipe (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/dulce-de-leche/).
      Dulce De Leche is a step on from condensed milk.
      Condensed milk was and still is a method of preserving milk in the summer months for winter use, especially in places where the farming practices are still organic and seasonal. The Dulce De Leche is a wonderful extension of this. It needs to be warm when you pour it on to the cookie base, and it will be perfect. How dark it depends on you, and your eye! it is a delicious thing for sure.
      Let us see your millionaire shortbread when it is done!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Ourania Fielding on August 31, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Hi Gemma
    You’re a life saver! It is nearly midnight and I thought I had a few cans of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry to make some lemon meringue pie! Nope – one measly can! What to do at midnight? Go to your website and find a recipe to make my own!! Took a little while with the cooking and cooling, but I was able to finish my pie without a midnight run to an all night shop!
    You’re the BEST chef out there! No-one has recipes like you AND shows you how to make the ingredients if you don’t have them as well! You’re simply magic and I LOVE your website, FB page, everything – I’m waiting for your cookbook to arrive soon as I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait to sit down in a quiet place and go through your book tagging the one’s I’ll try first!!
    Thank you so much Gemma – you’ve make me a BIGGER BOLDER BAKER!
    Ourania

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2019 at 10:04 am

      I’m delighted that you’re able to whip up a solution from scratch! Well done, you. Thank you for inspiring me to create recipes that are delicious as well as practical to make. Gemma

  6. Katie on August 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Hi, can I use lactofree milk and get the same result? I’m quite excited to find your recipe for homemade ice cream and if I can use lactofree milk for the condensed milk it will be perfect for my family. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Katie! Absolutely! Lactose free milk will work. The critical thing here is using a sugar that caramelizes. Go for it and would be happy to hear back from you. Gemma ?

      • Katie on August 28, 2019 at 11:27 pm

        Thanks so much for the fast response, I cannot tell you how excited I am, I am so going to surprise my husband this weekend! I can easily get lactofree cream and I will use granulated white sugar. I’ll let you know how I get on, thanks.
        Ps, I’m in the UK and found your description of ingredients available in different parts of the world so helpful. I noticed you didn’t mention whipping cream in Ireland, growing up there I believe it’s just one type, good delicious cream that can be whipped amazingly!

        • Gemma Stafford on August 29, 2019 at 3:18 am

          Hi Katie,
          yes! I am happy to hear this, use caster sugar in the UK. Granulated sugar here in the US is really fine, there is just one grade.
          The cream in Ireland is delicious for sure, I think it is down to the grass-fed cows, rich and creamy for sure. Now the grades have changed too so we can get 35% fat cream, which is the old fashioned one, and 49% fat, called double cream in Tesco, which is also delicious!
          Thank you for being in touch, let us see the result!
          Gemma 🙂

          • Katie on September 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm

            Hi Gemma, I haven’t had a chance to try the recipe yet but now I’m ready! However I have another question, this recipe yields 1 cup/8 ounces and for the homemade ice cream you need 400ml/ 14 ounces…, So what measurements do we start with to make the right amount for the ice cream?! Thanks, I don’t want to mess up the measurements….. Katie

            • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

              Hi Katie. I recommend that you make 1 and 3/4 recipe of condensed milk for one recipe of homemade ice cream. I hope this helps.



  7. Christin on August 28, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Hello, I’m looking for Coffee Creamer recipes (unfortunately they are not available here in Germany) and I came across your great recipes AND the recipe for the condensed milk. <3

    My question would be how durable the condensed milk is and can be stored?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Christin! Thanks for being here! Store in a labeled jar in the fridge and the homemade condensed milk will last for 6 months. Gemma ?

  8. Sally Forth on August 18, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve tried this recipe 8 times and it only failed the first time I tried to do a double batch. I have found the double batch takes roughly twice the time as a single batch! I’m getting ready for Christmas baking! Is there a Recipe for Chocolate Sweetened Condense Milk? I want to use it in my coffee!!!! I get one cup of milk a day from Meals On Wheels. Although I don’t drink the milk every day, I can’t bring myself to throw it away so I put it in the fridge and sometimes forget it’s in there. sigh Now I’m using up my leftover milk every week by making it into Sweetened Condensed Milk. Thanks, Gemma, for sharing this recipe and helping me to not waste milk!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 20, 2019 at 2:54 am

      Hi Sally,
      good for you, what a great idea, I hate waste so I would be all over this one too. Lovely addition to your coffee too. Here are my recipes for coffee creamers. You can adjust these recipes to your taste. Cocoa will make great syrup. To add this to your creamer you just need to dissolve the cocoa in a little boiling water and add to the creamer, it will take a little of the sweetness away and will be delicious! I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma.

  9. Zash on August 17, 2019 at 2:03 am

    IS it possible to make unsweetened condensed milk the same method, just no sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Hi,

      Unfortunately no. I’m not sure how they do that but if you leave out the sugar you will end up with evaporated milk. You need sugar for condensed milk.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  10. Kathy on August 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Hi Gemma

    I was wondering if it is possible to reduce the sugar and still cause the necessary chemical reaction to cause the thickening?
    Thanks, Kathy

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Sorry for my late reply. Yes you can reduce the sugar a little by maybe at the most 1/4 less. Like you said it does start to mess with the make up of the recipe. We will be making one soon that is with an all natural sugar so stay tuned for that.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Kathy Sowders on August 20, 2019 at 4:11 am

        Hi, Gemma, I’m so sorry that this response is so very late. Thank you for you responding to my question. I appreciate the time that you take to answer respond to everybody’s! AND I love love love your recipes!!

        Kathy

  11. Rosario on August 12, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Can I reduce cooking time if Iuse powdered milk and put in half of the water? Will it caramelize enough?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Hi,

      Good question but for this recipe you need it to slowly reduce by simmering, this is what caramelizes and sets the condensed milk. You can use dry milk but I don’t recommend reducing the water.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  12. Ana S Brito on August 6, 2019 at 11:24 am

    The taste is so good!!!
    I live in Portugal and we have condensed milk in all supermarkets, but I was wondering if it tasted the same… but It`s even better 🙂
    Thanks Gemma I learn something new

    • Gemma Stafford on August 7, 2019 at 3:56 am

      Hi Ana,
      condensed milk is quite a traditional ingredient in Portugal, and in South America too. It would have been made at home from summer milk for winter use, so really the idea may well have come from you!
      I am delighted with your very kind review of this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

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