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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 here. You can also use Nut Milks and other sugars such as stevia. 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:

4.9 from 21 reviews
How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk (Bold Baking Basics)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (16floz/450ml) full fat milk or low fat milk*
  • ⅔ 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 an almost grey 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.
Notes
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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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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577 Comments

  1. Hannah c on May 18, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hello Gemma,
    I have tried to make the condensed milk recipe once with honey and second time with coconut sugar and full fat whole milk but both times it has curdled do you know why this has happen?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Hannah,

      I’m sorry to hear that. I’m honestly don’t know why that would happen. Maybe someone else can chime in with a solution?

      I have only used sugar and milk and it has worked every time.

      Best,
      Gemma.

    • Hannah c on May 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Gemma,

      Thank you for your reply! I love your ice cream recipe and I was trying to make it sugar free also (that’s why I was using honey and coconut sugar). I will keep on experimenting and hopefully find way!
      Thanks!!

  2. Ruth on May 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I generally never comment, but I just wanted to let you know how awesome you are for taking the time to respond to all your fans, and comments.
    I am so happy that I came across your site and am now able to make so many wonderful basic ingredients.
    I try to avoid perservatives, chemicals and additives in commercial product and finding easy ways to make them myself (cream cheese, condensed milk, food colorings, etc) has been such a blessing.
    You’re the best foodie on the internet.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Hi Ruth,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Glad to have you as part of the community.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  3. Emma Reed on May 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    I recently made this recipe and it worked perfectly! I put it in iced coffee and iced tea. It was delicious!
    Thanks for the awesome recipes! They are so much fun:)

    • Gemma Stafford on May 12, 2018 at 3:37 am

      Hi Emma,
      Thank you for letting us know. That sounds delicious, I will have an iced coffee please!
      Gemma 🙂

  4. clique aqui on May 10, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I like condensed milk too much, as I always can, I think it’s delicious. I’m glad I found it with this tip. Loved it.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 12, 2018 at 4:18 am

      Hi there,
      Good! I am happy that you found us too, stay tuned, lots more to come,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. MICHAEL CASTRO on May 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Can I lower the heat after it’s reached the “ready” point and keep it cooking for a while longer to make the product go straight into Dulce de Leche or do I need to do a two step process by then removing and placing the SCM into a closed canning jar and then cooking it again to turn it into dulce de leche?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2018 at 3:53 am

      Hi Michael,
      Yes, and this is exactly how it would have always been done, in Mexico, and south America in general. It was a way to preserve milk really, and to have a sweet treat too.
      Try it, it is just a caramel made with milk, and it works!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Sam on May 1, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Gemma, I am trying to make an ice cream base and I got a recipe of 2 heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, 3 egg yolk, 1 tea spoon Vanilla and 1/2 tea spoon salt
    My question is how much condensed milk (Eagle brand) should I use to replace 2/3 cup of sugar as I don’t wanna use sugar.
    Also we don’t get heavy cream here so can I use whipping cream for the same above quantity

    • Gemma Stafford on May 2, 2018 at 3:45 am

      Hi Sam,
      I am not sure about swapping out the heavy cream, as I do not know what your whipping cream is. In this recipe it should work, it is a bit like a gelato, and I imagine you are cooking out the eggs in a custard. I would replace some of the cream with the condensed milk, and omit the sugar. So, 2/3 cup of cream removed, replaced with the condensed milk, and this should work well for you.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sam on May 2, 2018 at 5:51 am

        Hi Gemma, Thank you so much for helping me. I am making this recipe for rolled ice cream and having little concern as wanna make sure it rolls properly on the rolled machine. I m using Neilsom whipping cream 35%. Gemma any specific reason to replace 2/3 cup whipping cream with condense milk as I was thinking to replace 1/3 cup of milk with condense milk as both are milk. Sorry I am not doubting your recipe but it’s just I m trying to get some knowledge from you as you are the best in making all this dessert. Sorry for so many questions.

        • Gemma Stafford on May 3, 2018 at 3:53 am

          Hi Sam,
          This whipping cream should work well for you. When you say you will replace the condensed with milk do you mean with more cream?
          This is a two ingredient ice cream base, the two ingredients are really important, if you change the recipe, you change the results.
          The ingredients here are low in ‘water’ content, and so will freeze without making ice crystals, if you use milk, it is largely water, and you will get ice in your ice cream. Ice creams made with milk are usually churned.
          I feel you want to reduce the sweetness, and perhaps a little more cream will work for this purpose, the additions usually balance this out.
          I hope this helps,
          Gemma 🙂
          I hope this is of help.

          • Sam on May 3, 2018 at 12:15 pm

            Hi Gemma, Thank you once again!! I actually got this recipe from one of the chef who makes it with Cream, Milk, Sugar and egg yolk. After coming across you channel on YouTube I became a big fan of yours and like the idea of using condensed milk instead of sugar which would taste better so was trying to replace sugar with condense milk and decrease the quantity of whole milk and add condense milk as it has both milk and Sugar. I dont know why this chef using milk, could be to increase the quantity of liquid base or control calories and cost. You know what I will email you a bit in detail on your email biggerbokderbaking. I really appreciate all your help.



          • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2018 at 4:53 am

            Hi Sam,
            Thank you, and you are right, it may be a chef’s way to increase the amount, and thicken the mix, but it is not traditional.
            Condensed milk was a method used to preserve milk in times of plenty, for times when there was not so much, a long time ago. Food tended to be seasonal, even eggs had their season at one time. Modern agriculture has changed all that! Good or bad, it is as it is!
            Gemma 🙂



  7. Aurora on April 27, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Hi!
    I tried the recipe using maple syrup but it created small “bread-like” pieces and a thick crust. Any suggestions?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 28, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Aurora,

      I’m a bit stumped by that. Did you stir it a lot while it was simmering?

      Sometimes a scum floats to the top and you have to skim that away to end up with a clear condensed milk.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  8. Michal on April 26, 2018 at 1:58 am

    Hi Gemma!
    Thank you!
    can I make it with soya milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Although I haven’t tried it Michal I think that would work. I also have a recipe for a coconut milk one on the website.

      Best,
      Gemma.

    • Pam on April 27, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Can I use Truvia in place of sugar?

      • Gemma Stafford on April 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm

        Unfortunately no as it does not caramelize. honey or maple syrup will work but not stevia or trivia.

        Best,
        Gemma.

  9. Cynthia on April 24, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Hello Gemma:
    I think I detect some confusion here with net weight and volume. My sweetened condensed milk is 14 ounces net weight, and is approximately 10 fluid ounces (measured volume), which equals 1 ¼ Cup. If you notice the back of the Eagle Brand label, it says that there are about 10 servings of 2 Tablespoons. 4 Tablespoons = ¼ Cup, so 20 Tablespoons would equal 1 ¼ Cup. Using your three to one recipe, and reducing the milk by half; achieving the equivalent of one can of Eagle Brand would require 2 ½ Cups milk and ⅔ cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar. I suspect that the extra one fourth cup of fluid would not be missed in most recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 27, 2018 at 6:23 am

      hi Cynthia,
      You are a genius! I am not at all mathematical, tending to head for the hills at the mention of it!
      You are right though, it will not matter a great deal to have a little less. I use a ruler to measure the depth of the milk in the pot, then keep an eye on this, it is a good indication of when it is ready, it tends to thicken further when cold. Practice makes perfect!
      Thank you for your input, it will help others.
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Sumaiya on April 19, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Can I use powdered milk? Would it make much of a difference

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Hi there,
      You can use powdered milk for this. However it will not have the same flavor as fresh milk. Do try it though, if that is what you have then it is worth it. If you can find fresh milk, then that is preferable,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Ufuoma on April 16, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Can I use evaporated milk instead of the full fat milk and just add the required sugar and simmer until it thicken?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 2:42 am

      GREAT QUESTION!
      Haha! I wondered when someone would ask this, yes, you certainly can. Use a can of condensed milk, and use 150g of sugar/maple syrup/agave nectar/light honey, depending on your taste. Do not use a sugar sub which does not caramelize, it will not work for you.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ufuoma on April 17, 2018 at 3:21 am

        Evaporated milk you meant to say? You wrote condensed milk

        • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 7:49 am

          Apologies, I am happy you are more awake than me! lol,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Ufuoma on April 18, 2018 at 3:45 am

            Thanks! A can of evaporated milk where I live is just 150ml. How much of it would I need for 150g of sugar?



          • Gemma Stafford on April 18, 2018 at 4:17 am

            Hi there,
            I think you can use 120g of sugar for this quantity. It may work well with less but I think 120 will be good,
            Gemma 🙂



          • Ufuoma on April 18, 2018 at 8:04 am

            Hi I just made condensed milk using 300ml of evaporated milk and 240g of sugar. It came out so good. Condensed milk is sooo expensive where I live but with this method I was able to get double the quantity for half the price! My mango chunks are freezing and my entire family is looking forward to mango sorbet for dessert! Thjanks Gemma! So glad I found your site!



          • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2018 at 3:27 am

            YEA!
            This is what I love to hear, thank you so much for letting me know.
            If you take it a step further you will have Dulce De Leche, and that recipe is here too.
            Good for you, well done, and thank you for letting us know,
            Gemma 🙂



  12. manushee05 on April 5, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Can the sweet condensed milk be stored?
    If yes, for how long and under what conditions?
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on April 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Yes, keep its in the fridge for roughly for up to 2 week. However I have kept it for even longer.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  13. Mariah on April 3, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Could I substitute the sugar with brown sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 3, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      Yes you can just note that it will be a darker color.

      Gemma 🙂

  14. skydancer on April 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

    can anyone tell how to make confectioners sugar?

  15. Kavya on March 31, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Thank you for this recipe

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      I’m delighted to heat that. Thanks for trying it out.

      Gemma 🙂

  16. Kavya on March 31, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Love you and thanks for all your tips

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Gemma

  17. Epcibha Oliver on March 26, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Hi Gemma.. thank u for the recipe..can I use brown sugar Instead of white..
    Epcibha Oliver

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Oliver,

      yes you sure can no problem. :)It will just turn it a darker color.

      Gemma.

  18. Kausha on March 26, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Hi, thank you so much for sharing your secrets!!
    Mine didn’t turn out very thick as yours. I was scared to cook it more after 40mins. Its almost cold and I though to warm it up and leave it till it thickens. Hope I don’t waste it 🙄

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Hi,

      Don’t worry it will thicken once in the fridge for a few hours. The sugars will set and thicken once cold.

      Don’t be afraid to hold your nerve and cook for 40 minutes. 🙂
      Gemma.

      • Kausha on April 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        It worked !! I made another batch. Tried your ice cream recipe. Flavours were Frapuccino, chocolate, strawberry and caramel and toasted almonds…. I’m so in love with the recipes. Bless you. Have a wonderful day !! ❤

        • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2018 at 4:26 am

          Hi there Kausha,
          So happy to hear this, thank you for letting us know.
          I love your flavors too, well done you,
          Gemma 🙂

  19. Megan on March 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Gemma my father is diabetic and I am looking at alternative ways to make his favorite dishes and that includes ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk can I use an alternative sugar to make this? Such as Splenda or truvia?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 23, 2018 at 4:05 am

      Hi Megan,
      That is a challenge, but it is worth getting to grips with this.
      Get to know your sugar alternatives, what they do, and how they work in a recipe.
      Stevia is a great sugar alternative, and xylitol/splenda/truvia etc. but they are different to each other.
      In order to condense milk need to be able to caramelize, that is what it is, a step on the way to a caramel, like the soft ball stage.
      Therefore the subs you use need to be able to caramelize, and none of the above will do this.
      Agave/honey/maple syrup will caramelize, but they are high in Fructose, so it is important to know this.
      There is no easy answer here. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/category/recipes/dietary-preferences/low-sugarlow-carbs/) there are some recipes here which may suit.
      I hope this is of help, a bit of research will help you,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Denisef on March 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I want to try this because I just used my last 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk for a lime pie. Since most recipes that I use call for a 14-oz can, would you begin with 3 cups milk and 1 cup sugar to make 14 oz?

    BTW, I really enjoy your recipes & videos, I learn something new every time I search your site. Your site has become my “go-to for how to’s” :). My mother and grandmother were both “always make it from scratch” bakers and cooks, so I’ve made that my habit these 40 years of homemaking (for both the frugality and quality end results). One of my favorite how-to’s is making sour cream from leftover whipping cream. It’s delicious, easy and uses up cream that may otherwise go bad. I’ve even made it from thawed whipping cream. For a thicker end product, i eliminate the 1/4 cup milk as suggested.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Denise,
      Thank you for that tip about the sour cream/whipping cream. A great idea to make sure to use every little thing.
      This is how you measure the end result for your condensed milk: For 14ozs of condensed milk you will need 28ozs of milk. Yo uare basically removing 50% of the water content, and thickening it with sugars. I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Maham Arooj on March 16, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I try but their thickness is not exactly the same that as your condensed milk have.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Hi there,
      You need to take it back a little more, gently, it will happen.
      The sugars thicken this milk, it is a traditional thing in many places,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Emily Bolmen on March 15, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Is it possible to make a reduced sugar version of this – 50%, perhaps?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Emily,
      NO! this is a particular thing, actually a milk on the way to being a caramel. The water content is evaporated off (50% or so) and the sugar thickens the milk. If you take it too far it is Dulce De Leche. It is the sugar which thickens it, it will not thicken without it,
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Mohd Zaid on March 12, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Thank you Gemma for sharing this.. Have been looking for condensed milk in my area for some time, but due to low demand, all the local shops have stopped selling it. And buying it online is costlier. I have got a long unfulfilled longing for quality ice cream and kheer. Will definitely try it today and hopefully that longing will end by tomorrow 😀 👍

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Haha! Yes, I do know what you mean!
      I hope this is the answer for you, follow the recipe, take it nice and easy, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Karyam on March 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Gemma! This makes 1C, correct? Is that how much one needs for the Ice Cream recipes? (In the ice cream recipes it says 14oz or 1can of condensed milk, but doesn’t give how many cups)

    Thank you!
    Karlie

    • Karyam on March 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Ahh! I’m so sorry I just saw the note at the bottom that said yield is 1C/8oz. I was going to triple recipe just to be safe, because it lasts so long in fridge. So sorry, I can’t delete my first comment. Thank you!

      • Gemma Stafford on March 8, 2018 at 3:45 am

        No problem Karyam,
        Yield of condensed milk will be approx 50% of the original volume.
        All questions have value, we learn from each other here on BBB,
        Gemma 🙂

  25. Marisol on February 24, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I followed the recipe twice with lactose free 2% milk. The first time it was a light caramel color and had reduced by half, but it didn’t thicken even after being chilled. The second time I used a bigger pot and while it thickened, it turned into a caramel color rather than the off white color in the pictures. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 25, 2018 at 4:49 am

      Hi Marisol,
      Really this is a matter of reducing the milk by evaporating off the water content, and thickening it with sugar. This is a step on the way to caramel, and this is what I think is happening to yours, it is going too far.
      A larger pot will give you a larger surface area and make it easier to evaporate the water.
      Lactose free milk will works as well as any milk here.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂
      Measuring the reduction is difficult too. I find using a sterile ruler, drop it into the pot to start the measuring, then periodically through the process, you will see the level dropping.
      If you take this too fast you may have a problem too, this is a slow process, you need to give it time!

  26. Thangaraj on February 23, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I like your post but I am failed to make it home

    • Gemma Stafford on February 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Hi,

      Did you have trouble making this recipe?

      Gemma.

  27. Sana on February 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Gemma 🙂
    How many ml do you end up having when the condensed milk is done, and how long does it last in the fridge?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 23, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      This is a good question!
      When you condense milk it reduces by about 50% of the original volume. You will know when it is right as it will thicken. If you are nervous about it use a sterile ruler to measure the depth of the milk in the pot to start, then periodically through the process.
      Do use the correct measurements of sugar to milk. Unless the balance is right it will NOT thicken,
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Hien Nguyen on February 18, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Hi Gemma,I LOVE condensed milk I LOVE your recipe. I wonder if I cook the mixture until it starts becoming caramelized, will it happen to be dulce de leche?
    Thank you for all the great recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2018 at 3:15 am

      Hi there,
      YES! This is exactly what this will be, it is a caramelized milk, a way to preserve milk, used by lots of people around the world.
      You can also do this with coconut milk, and other nut milks too, it is the reason for the high sugar content. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/dulce-de-leche/).
      Evaporated milk is reduced in the same way, but it will never thicken, because it lacks the sugar!
      Well done, you figured this out,
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Kathy on February 17, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I LOVE that you have so many basic ingredient recipes on your site. Thank you Gemma for it all!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 17, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Thank you Kathy, it is our aim to keep things simple, and as we have a world wide audience we need to address the differences in available ingredients,
      Gemma 🙂

  30. MuhsinaAzhar on February 15, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Gemma….itz mee Muhsina.
    Vry glad to try dhz receP. But i cookd it for one n half hrs… then also i didnt get it as in thick consistency….wot measure i need to adopt?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2018 at 3:28 am

      Hi there,
      You keep on simmering until it thickens!
      There are a few things which make a difference.
      1. time, what you are doing is trying to evaporate the water content from the milk, reducing it by 50% or so.
      2. The larger the surface area of the milk, the quicker it will be. This means the larger the pot the quicker it will be.
      3. do not try to speed it up by boiling it, it will not work.
      4. If you have a slow cooker you can use this, on high, with the lid off.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Matanah on March 29, 2018 at 10:28 am

        How long will it take in a slow cooker?

        • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2018 at 4:15 am

          Hi there,
          set at high, with the lid off, get the sugars dissolved then leave to evaporate for at least 4 hours, or until it reduces by 1/2. You can measure it with a ruler, a sterile one, it is a good way to be sure.
          I hope this helps,
          Gemma 🙂

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