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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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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.

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.

I use Condensed Milk a lot in my baking. 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 fruity then try my Homemade Sorbet in 5 minutes (No Machine) If you cannot find it in your country you can easily make it yourself at home.

This Condensed Milk 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 hereYou can also use Nut Milks and Other sugars such as stevia. See the Notes section in the recipe.

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Simmering milk and sugar on a low, controlled heat will yield you a thick, syrupy milk.

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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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4.9 from 18 reviews
How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 cup
  • 2 cups (14 oz/414 ml) full fat milk or low fat milk*
  • ⅔ cups (5 ⅓ oz / 150g) white sugar
  1. Add the milk and sugar into a 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 low/medium 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 an almost grey color, has reduced by half and thickened (After about 15 minutes, you'll notice that the milk will start to turn dark and thicken – that's ok and is exactly what's supposed to happen)
  5. You may notice some foam forming on top. Gently skim it off with a spoon.
  6. When ready, remove from the heat and pour into a jar to cool (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)
  7. Let the condensed milk cool completely before putting on the air tight lid.
  8. Store in a jar in the fridge and it will last for months. Don't forget to label it. 🙂
The condensed milk when ready will measure 1 cup/8oz.

You can use any Nut Milk instead of Regular milk

You can use Stevia, coconut or other natural sugars instead of white sugar



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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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  1. EricaInUpstateNY on September 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    This is awesome! I am on a quest to make/find/tweak the perfect key lime pie recipe. So many recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, and I’m like – no way am I using anything from a can! This could prove piviotal. Very excited to try.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 20, 2017 at 2:50 am

      Hi Eric,
      Yes, and you can condense other milks too, like coconut milk, almond milk etc.
      Evaporated milk is made in this way too, but without the sugar, milk will only condense with the sugars, and some sugar alternatives will not caramelize, which is really what is happening in the condensed milk, it is a step on the way to Dulce De Leche, the soft ball stage of a caramel, if you will!
      I am happy that you are with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Traci on September 19, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Your recipe calls for 2 cups (14 ounces)?
    Was this a misprint? 2 cups = 16 ounces…not 14. I’m just a bit confused

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      So i get how it can be confusing. It is 2 cups or a 14oz tin of condensed milk. For some reason condensed milk is usually sold in a 14oz can. So basically, you just need a can.

      Hope this helps,

  3. SheNiteOwl on September 13, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Love this recipe! But I am lazy so now make it using a half gallon of milk in my slow cooker. I cook on high with the lid off for 8 or 9 hours. I stir every 30 minutes or so but do not worry if you forget, as I have, because it just does not seem to burn. I store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator. I make lots of ice cream so it does not last long….

    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2017 at 2:50 am

      I love this! So great that you have added this to the store of knowledge here on BBB. Other Bold Bakers will be delighted to have this great suggestion, it is wonderful to have this, when it is right it is right.
      The sterilized jars are really important for any food you are keeping for any length of time.
      Well done, I am happy that you are here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Martina on August 25, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    I can get stevia is it okay to use Splenda

    • Gemma Stafford on August 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      sure, you might just need to use less. i don’t know the exact measurements because I haven’t tried it. 🙂

    • Jillian on September 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Hey! Can I use skim milk for this?

      • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2017 at 3:54 am

        Hi Jillian,
        Yes, all milk will condense, the fat content will not matter, you are simple reducing the ‘water’ content by about 50%,
        Gemma 🙂

  5. judy on August 25, 2017 at 11:32 am

    where i’m from (philippines) condensed milk is always available in our grocery stores. but i want to try homemade condensed milk so i plan to do make it one of these days. my question is, can i substitute carabao’s (water buffalo) milk instead of using a store-bought milk?
    oh, by the way i love your recipes and how you make them easy to follow.
    and thanks for this awesome website!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      So great question. I do think you should be able to use water buffalo milk and it will work.

      I’m really delighted you like my recipes. Thanks for bring apart of the community, Judy. 🙂


  6. Jessica Miller on August 23, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Gemma, thanks so much for this recipe and the 2 Ingredient Ice cream! So simple and I can use organic ingredients and have an organic product for a fraction of the price! This may be a silly question but your condensed milk makes 8 oz but your 2 Ingredient ice cream calls for 14oz. If I double the condensed milk recipe I’ll have 16oz and would then have to remove 2oz to make the ice cream. Is there a reason you didn’t make the condensed milk recipe to match the need of the ice cream recipe? Just wondered if I was missing something. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2017 at 1:40 am

      Hi Jessica,
      Good question, thank you for asking this, it will help others.
      Really what matters is balancing the two ingredients. 400ml condensed milk/450ml cream. The amount of the cream is slightly more than the condensed milk, so that is what you will change. To your 16oz of condensed milk you can add two to three ounces of extra cream. The base will take extra cream, and even a mix of fresh dairy cream and coconut cream, you can experiment a little with this. My Mum tells me that she uses coconut cream/fresh cream/condensed milk and 5 teaspoons of cacao, for a really smooth chocolate ice cream! I did not try it, but you can!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Kelly on August 21, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Hi! Quick question…Can you substitute raw honey for the white sugar? TIA.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 22, 2017 at 2:49 am

      hi Kelly,
      Yes, or maple syrup either. The condensed milk will take on the flavor of either, but if that is not an issue for you get to it!
      Same measurement, 150ml of liquid sugar.
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Dave on August 20, 2017 at 11:56 am

    For how long can it be kept in a refrigerator?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Hi Dave,
      Remember that this was a way for people to preserve milk, and still is in some places. If it is properly bottled, in sterilized jars, it will last for a considerable time.
      In a bowl in the fridge I would use it in a week or so,
      Gemma 😉

  9. Ain on August 14, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Could this recipe using in popsicle ice cream??..

    • Gemma Stafford on August 14, 2017 at 3:18 am

      Sure, really any of the frozen recipes can be used for ice cream!
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Jamie Volner on August 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe Gemma. I made it today with half and half and it tastes way better than even the most expensive store bought! I have already used it in a fudge recipe of mine, it performed gorgeous. Nice, rich creamy. A keeper forever!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Hi Jamie,
      forgive me if I am repeating this response, the website was having a health check, and some comments seem to have disappeared.
      I am really happy that this recipe was good for you, and delighted to get your tip re the half and half. This really would produce a very rich condensed milk. Other Bold Bakers will be interested in this!
      Gemma 🙂

  11. kn on August 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Do you think cream would work in this recipe instead of milk ? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 8, 2017 at 5:09 am

      Hi there, NO!
      If you simmer cream it will thicken, really quickly, but it will never be a condensed milk. Best to use milk for this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

      • kn on August 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

        Hi Gemma,
        I did not read your post before I made it with non-homogenized, non-stabilized cream from a local dairy and it turned out great. I don’t think it would work with supermarket cream because the local dairy I get cream from does not add thickeners so it is thin compared to other creams. Thanks for your help.

        • Gemma Stafford on August 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm

          great Kim! Happy Baking 🙂

  12. SAUL on August 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe it is cheaper than buyin condensed milk at the store this is a recipe I will always use thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2017 at 3:05 am

      Hi Saul,
      Great, I am happy that this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Catherine on August 4, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I made this tonight. I did a quadruple batch using half and half and a baking blend of stevia and raw cane sugar. It took 4.5 hours, but was very hands off and perfect. Once it had reduced by half and turned colors, I strained it through a fine mesh sieve before putting it into two Mason jars. I started with 8 cups half and half and ended with 4 cups sweetened condensed milk. Yum!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 5, 2017 at 1:41 am

      Thank you Catherine for this lovely description of this process. It is indeed a process, and takes time, and it is not laborious. I like that you managed to adjust the sweetener a bit too. Stevia on its’ own will not do this as it will not caramelize, so the mix is a great idea, thank you for that.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Misty on August 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I have got balky found you again ?I made the sorbets last summer for my 2 small children. Making the sweetened condensed milk now. Looks amazing. Book marked this time and wrote down in my book of recipe keepers (ones the family really enjoyed)

    • Gemma Stafford on August 2, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      that’s fantastic! I love to hear that 🙂

  15. Ariella on August 1, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Can I make it with almond or soy milk? Will it work?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2017 at 3:03 am

      Hi Ariella,
      Coconut milk will work best for this purpose. you can experiment with the other milks, and they will work to a degree, but coconut is the best alternative, and delicious too,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Ariella on July 27, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Hi Gemma. I tried making this tonight – where I live we don’t have whole milk, there’s 3% or 1%. I used the 3%. It was on the fire for almost an hour and did indeed reduce but it wasn’t thickening at all and I just gave up… Is it not possible to use 3%? Or is there something I can add to make it work?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Ariella,
      you did not leave it long enough! It will take longer, and it will happen! this is a traditional recipe in many countries, families make this every day. Put it back on the fire, allow it to sit there at a low temperature, it will work!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. sewdva4de on July 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Gemma and Bold Bakers
    Gemma I am a 38 yr old Texas born southern belle living in Germany. I have lived on and off in Germany since the 80’s. I moved to Germany permanently a few years ago. I am a true foodie!! I love my southern recipes and I love German cuisine (ok I love all cuisine) but I have found some things that have taken me a little by surprise. Sugar is not just sugar and milk is not just milk. Your recipe for condensed milk is exactly what I am used to from stateside made by Eagle brand. I tried making my red velvet ice cream and my chunky monkey no machine ice cream with the German 10% condensed milk and cream and it did not turn out the same. It was very liquified. I tried my recipes again using your base recipe using Domino sugar vs the German sugar and your condensed milk recipe and it came out perfectly. With the German sugar my ice cream was not as sweet as I wanted it to be. However the same amount of Domino sugar was sweet enough. Is there a difference with German (or other) sugar and condensed milk or are my taste buds conditioned to American flavors? I have had gastric bypass surgery so I am ultra sensitive to sugar. With German sugar I can use it freely. With Domino sugar I have to cut the amount. What is your take? Thanks for your wonderfully informative recipes!!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Hi there,
      I hope you have found a happy home in Germany. They really do love their food, and have many fabulous recipes. I am a little mystified by the difference here. Domino granulated sugar is much the same as any granulated sugar that I know about. They will each have 15 calories per teaspoon.
      The cream is a different matter. I use a double cream/heavy cream. This is cream, which is a natural part of cow’s milk. It is a fresh product, the full fat version of which is known as Double cream and is 35% – 49.4% (Heavy) fat content. This information is usually printed on the label of the cream. I wonder if this is what is causing the issue for you. Let me know your thoughts!
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Amber Zane on July 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    So I just checked my fridge and I have no milk! Thanks kids! Summer means cereal and milk are life in this house… Anyways, I’ve been dying to make this recipe that requires sweetened condensed milk so my question is, I have some evaporated milk in my pantry would that suffice or should I run to the market? I do have almond milk but I really wanted to try it with cows milk first. Halllp!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Hi Amber,
      Evaporated milk is a milk, which has had the water content reduced, a bit like condensed milk, but it does not thicken, because it does not have the sugars.
      Condensed milk is a step on the way to making a Dulce De Leche, like the soft ball stage in caramel making, this is what thickens the milk, and makes it useful for my ice cream recipe1 I hope this helps, but it does mean a trip to the store!
      Have a great summer with your kids, it will pass!
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Alice on July 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hey, can I use normal milk instead of low fat/full fat milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      oh absolutely you can, use normal milk anywhere you see me write milk. 🙂

  20. Dawn Frame on July 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for such a simple way to make condensed milk. It sounds like it would be a wonderful change since I prefer to make what I can instead of buying a lot of preservatives in a package.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 16, 2017 at 3:07 am

      Hi Dawn,
      this is of course a tradition method of preserving milk. When milk was plentiful it would be preserved for later use, prior to refrigeration. It is used widely all over the world really, and would be a weekly task in many homes.
      Good to have you with us, thank you for your kind comment,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. T on July 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I’m just trying the sweetened condensed milk… I did 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 coconut sugar but it is not getting thick… I skimmed the foamy stuff off the top…

    • Gemma Stafford on July 16, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Hi there,
      If you give it the time required it has to get thick! what you are doing is evaporating the water content of the milk, and caramelizing the sugars to the soft ball stage to thicken the evaporated milk. Understanding this will help. it takes time, stick with it,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Minichef13 on July 14, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Oh and by the way I really love your recipes ,they’re affordable and easy to make I think I even topped my mom in cooking variety and that says alot from a girl who nearly chopped her fingers off by just peeling an orange

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2017 at 3:05 am

      Haha Rhona, that is too funny! I am glad that you retained your fingers, but I can hear my Mom saying, do not cut anything into your hand! Good advice it seems.
      thank you for being with us well done!
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Kathryn McMorrow on July 11, 2017 at 1:27 am

    I doubled the recipe in an electric frying pan. It’s almost finished, looks great, and practically cooked by itself. I would have liked to upload a photo. It looks better than the canned stuff, so glossy, creamy and thick! It’s 1:22 a.m., so I think a photo will be of the next batch!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 11, 2017 at 1:56 am

      Kathryn, you are a genius, but get to bed!
      I am delighted that you got this to work for you, a great way to keep the temperature right. There is a crock pot method too.This is a great way to add sweetness to lots of things, and perfect for our sorbet and ice cream recipes. Thank you for letting us know,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Irene on July 9, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Thanks very much for sharing?

    What about honey? Can I use it in place of sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Hi Irene,
      Honey will taste in the milk, so choose a mild one. Agave powder, coconut sugar will work well too, but not Stevia which will not caramelize for you.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Kathy on July 5, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I doubled the batch and it’s taking forever to cook. Have you tried doubling it and what is the extended cook time?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2017 at 10:18 am

      it literally does take double the time. Use a large pot and that will help it cook faster but it will take an hour or more.

  26. mustafa on July 4, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Hi gemma
    Could you please tell me why it makes lumps and thick skin when i semmir it?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2017 at 3:43 am

      Hi there,
      When this is simmering you return to it periodically to stir it through. This will distribute the solids and thicken the mix, it is an important step,
      Gemma 🙂

      • mireland on July 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        I’m a little confused — step 2 says specifically *not* to stir while it’s simmering:

        >Do not stir once the mix starts to simmer otherwise it can crack and crystalize

        Would you mind clarifying? (I have not made this yet, but I planned to tonight.)


        • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2017 at 3:09 am

          Hi Molly,

          So once the sugar has dissolved, bring it to a simmer and then no more stirring. For more clarity watch the video again because that is a better step by step instruction.


  27. Lucia on July 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This is a great recipe. Thank you for sharing !
    Do you have a diferent kind of recipe for diabetic people who can’t have sugar in their diet ?
    Thank you !

    Best wishes,

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2017 at 3:13 am

      Hi Lucia, – this is a sugar substitute chart which is here on the website.
      It is really interesting to do a little research around these. Stevia for example, which has been used for eons in some South American countries has a dedicated web presence. Research suggests that it has a curative effect, though you would need to verify the research.
      Stevia is great for drinks, but it will not caramelize. You need to use xylitol, or agave powders to get the milk to come to a soft ball stage of caramelization, this is what condensed milk is, take it a little further and you will have caramel (Dulce De Leche).
      I hope this is of help to you. Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Minichef13 on July 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Hi just wanted to ask if I could use brown sugar instead of white

        • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2017 at 3:06 am

          Hi again, yes, but it will change the color of the condensed milk, and give it a slightly different flavor too,
          Gemma 🙂

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