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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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4.39 from 154 votes
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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903 Comments

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  1. Aviad on May 21, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Hi Gemma the professional is a wonderful site
    I’ve made the condensed milk for the third time and it always turns me into a jelly with pieces like that. I always make sure the sugar is dissolved
    I use plain milk and coconut sugar
    Thanks in advance

    • Gemma Stafford on May 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m really glad you like my recipes.

      I’m a bit stumped by your results. I haven’t used coconut sugar personally in this recipe so it’s hard me to judge. I really think this should have worked.

      We are working on a ‘refined’ sugar free version of this recipe so please stay with me and we’ll try and get it sorted.
      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Aviad on May 22, 2019 at 1:18 am

        Thank you very much!

  2. Cata on May 18, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Hi, can i use 2% milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2019 at 2:24 am

      Hi there,
      yes! think about it like this; condensed milk is a step on the way to a caramel. There is no dependence on fat in this. What is happening is that the water content in the milk is being reduced, and the sugars are thickening the residue. A bit like the softball stage in a caramel made with water. Try it, it is worth having this in your repertoire,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Nashwa on May 17, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Can i make this recepie without the rum ???

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2019 at 1:12 am

      Hi there,
      I cannot see which recipe you mean? The one here is condensed milk and this, of course, does not have rum.
      Rum, or any alcohol, is always easily omitted from a recipe, the exception being extracts, where the alcohol will need to be replaced with glycerin.
      Let me know if I got this right for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Natalie on May 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I used Nestle condensed milk to make no machine ice cream base after flavored and frozen it’s too sweet. There’s no reduced sugar condensed milk here. This Homemade condensed milk sweetness level is like nestle one? Can I reduce sugar’ quantity to make it less sweet or do you have other suggestion? Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 17, 2019 at 2:46 am

      Hi Natalie,
      the problem is that the milk will not condense without the sugar. Condensed milk is a step on the way to a caramel. What allows this recipe to work is the low water content of both the high fat cream and the condensed milk. If you have a high water content in ice cream you will get ice crystals, which will need churning/stirring through the freezing process.
      The additions tend to reduce the sweetness, and you can increase the cream percentage a little too, that will also help. Freeze it before you taste it too, it will taste differently once frozen,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Charlene Girardi on May 13, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Gemma,
    I would like to thank you for sharing all of these tips and recipes! I’d also like to thank you for not bloating your page with ads. Too many recipe pages are not all ads and it’s irritating when they are blinking, flashing and taking over half of the time. Thank you for NOT doing that. I don’t want to see nothing but ads and you keep yours pretty clean!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2019 at 3:16 am

      Hi Charlene,
      thank you for your kind words.
      I know, and I hear you, the ads are a distraction sometimes. The ads are what allow us to do this work though, so we need to be able to enable the type of advertising which fits with our content. Within that restriction, we try to keep it ‘clean’ as possible.
      We are currently upgrading the website too to enable you to go right to the recipes when you come here, stay tuned, we are getting smarter!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Jake on May 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Hey Gemma,

    I followed your recipe, but it did not thicken. The colour is also brownish, almost like Dulche de Leche. Can I reheat it or do I have to start over?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Jake,

      Did it thicken as it cooled? what happens is that it gets thicker once put in the fridge.

      Let me know,
      Gemma.

      • Jake on May 11, 2019 at 11:50 am

        Hello Gemma,

        I put it in the fridge for a day and it did not thicken. It’s still as liquid as it was the day before. I also used lactose free milk, does that have to do with anything?

        Jake

        • Gemma Stafford on May 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm

          Hum, You know Jake I know her people who have use soy milk or nut milks and it has worked so honestly I would guess it would work with lactose milk.

          Don’t throw it out ok. Use it in your desserts like maybe bread pudding or rice pudding.

          Hope this helps,
          Gemma.

  7. Bayan O. Abu Saada on May 8, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Hi gemma, I made a recipe but the textures were high density. I could have repainted

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2019 at 1:56 am

      Hi there,
      It sounds like you took this a little too far. If you were to continue with this you would have a Dulce De Leche. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/dulce-de-leche/).
      I am not too clear about what you are saying. Do you mean that you could not use it? If so then do carry on with it, and make the caramel, that is delicious in lots of recipes.
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Elizabeth Williamson on May 2, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Gemma, can i use Powdered Stevia for this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Great question! the answer is no because stevia doesn’t caramelize so it won’t work. What you can use is coconut sugar and that will work really well.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Mrs Danvers on April 24, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Gemma, I’m going to make this with xylitol for a cheesecake for my diabetic customers, fingers crossed it works…

    Mrs Danvers

    • Gemma Stafford on April 25, 2019 at 1:13 am

      Hi there,
      the principal behind condensed milk is that the milk thickens by the caramelizing of the sugar. I think xylitol will struggle to caramelize. That means that you may need to use something like cornstarch to thicken it, this should work for cheesecake. Try too erythritol which hase a slightly different structure.
      If this is a baked cheesecake then you do not need to condense milk, just use the alcohol sugar as your sweetener directly.
      Do let me know how you manage this,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Ali on April 22, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for the simple recipe.

    Although I reduced the milk by half (eye-balling) and rested in the refrigerator overnight, mine did not come out as thick as yours. (I used pasteurized milk and granulated sugar and simmered for about 50 mins.)

    Do you think that, I can reheat it and reduce it further? Or will it crystallize or something?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      Hi, yes you can reduce it farther! Let me know how you go!

  11. Suzette Armenta on April 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    This didn’t work. Followed it to a tee. I used organic whole lactose free milk and organic coconut sugar. I doubled the recipe to get 14 oz. for a key lime pie recipe. It reduced but never got thick. I never boiled or over cooked, stirred it etc. Any idea what went wrong? Need a condensed milk recipe ASAP. I have to make this pie for Easter tomorrow. 🙁

    • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2019 at 4:28 am

      Hi Suzette,
      you did not cook it out long enough. It is inevitable that this will thicken as the water content of the milk is evaporated, it is a bit like the soft ball stage of caramel making. get this back in the pot and continue, bring it back to a simmer and keep going, it will work,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Juanita on April 16, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Question: Your two ingredient ice cream calls for a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, but this recipe makes one cup. Using a converter of oz to cups of scm, 14 oz is given as 1 1/3 cups of scm. Should I, can I double the recipe to equal 2 cups in order to get 1 1/3c to make ice cream or will one cup of this recipe be sufficient? Thank you. Looking very much forward to trying some of the recipes on your site.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      Yes, for those recipes i would suggest doubling the recipe so you have more 😀

  13. Monty Howard on April 12, 2019 at 1:29 am

    SERIOUSLY, WHY ARE YOU BUSTING YOUR CAN REDUCING WHOLE MILK?

    You can purchase in BULK INEXPENSIVE WHOLE DRYED MILK. THIS IS WHOLE MILK THAT HAS HAD ALL THE MOISTURE REMOVED.

    To use this powered milk add enough water to the powder until you reach your desired consistency. Like magic the time wasted heating milk to a reduction has vanished.

    After preparing the thickened milk, add sugar and you’re done!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2019 at 5:15 am

      Hi Monty,
      I hear you!
      For sure you can do this, using about 40% water to powder as the milk quantity indicated, if that is not too complex.
      The thickening of the milk, no matter how it is done, is actually the caramelizing of the sugar as it comes to the soft ball stage, so it needs to be included early in the process, to dissolve, and to caramelize.
      Powdered milk is not as readily available as you may think, though it is changing, I never say it I Ireland growing up, as we have a huge dairy industry. You can make condensed milk too from evaporated milk, and you can evaporate powdered milk easily too, so it is another way! Point well made and taken,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. gauri dalvi on April 11, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Gemma Ma’am Can I use powdered sugar in this recipie?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2019 at 4:55 am

      Hi there,
      yes, but I am not sure why! Powdered sugar tends to be more expensive than white table sugar. You can use any sugar which will caramelize, coconut sugar/maple syrup/honey etc.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Paige on April 3, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    If I would like to substitute white sugar with honey/maple syrup, does the measurement remain the same? Is there any details I should pay attention to if substitute is being used?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 4, 2019 at 6:54 am

      Hi Paige,
      The important thing is that whichever sugar you use must be able to caramelize. I think the proportion will be 3:1, that is 3cups milk to 1 cup maple syrup or light honey/agave. I have not done this! If you use evaporated milk for this you can reduce the time considerable. 1 can (410g) of evaporated milk to 150ml of maple syrup, bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes, do not walk away from it though!
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Leibel on March 31, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the recepie.

    I multiplied the recepie as I was doing a school-wide baking project that required a lot of condensed milk.

    1) It was on simmer for over an hour and nothing happened. I increased the fire until it bubbled slightly. When it started changing colors from white I brought the fire down to a simmer.

    After over 2.5 hours and it showed a peachy/brown I turned off the fire to cool.

    It’s almost cooled down as of this typing but it’s still a bit watery/not thick.

    Any advise going forward; to salvage what was made or in making a new batch?

    I used a total of 1.5 gallons of low fat 1% milk and 8 lb of granulated sugar (which is 24 cups of milk, or should result in 12 cups of condensed milk).

    Ty!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Hi, yes this recipe might not thicken correctly if making such a big batch. I might suggest you continue to cook it down in smaller batches.Let me know how you go.

  17. NICOLENE DE ALLENDE on March 26, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Oh ok, I will make a new batch & let you know, thanks Gemma☺️

  18. NICOLENE DE ALLENDE on March 26, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Hi Gemma, love the recipes, they’re awesome. My condensed milk came out granulated. It’s not sugar granules, it’s soft granules like Creamy granules. I used normal pasteurized cows milk & white sugar. What could it be? I followed the recipe. Can you assist?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Hmm , it seems like the sugar might have crystallized. This can happen when it is over heated then cooled, but it usually goes away when reheated. Let me know what you think!

      • NICOLENE DE ALLENDE on March 26, 2019 at 11:12 am

        Oh ok, I will make a new batch & let you know, thanks Gemma☺️

  19. Louisa Sadiq on March 24, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Hi Gemma, This looks so great. I am going to make it now. I once had Havanna brand Dulce de Leche in Argentina, some recipes say you take condensed milk and cook it down until it becomes caramel. But it has never tasted the same rich toffee caramel flavour that I had before. Do you maybe have any recipes or ideas for this. Thanks so much.

  20. Norma Gahm on March 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Why aren’t you having anymore shows?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 20, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Hi there, we still release our shows on Thursday and Sunday 😀

  21. Pam Miles on March 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Does this recipe scale up well to make larger batches? or is it better to make this in smaller batches?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      Hi, yes this can be made in larger batches!

  22. Honey on March 13, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Awesome recipe. Should I take the film layer on top off as well as the foam while simmering?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 14, 2019 at 3:18 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, but it is not essential, to do this, just to be sure the water is able to evaporate from the milk, that is what matters.
      I hope this goes well for you,
      Gemma 😉

  23. Grace N Birungi Mirembe on March 12, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    hey Gemma, what causes to stay more liquid like than creamy? And also can I use chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup instead of fresh puree?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Grace,

      Can you clarify for me what recipe do you want to use syrup instead of puree?

      Did your condensed milk stay liquid rather than creamy?
      Let me know.
      Gemma.

      • Grace N Birungi Mirembe on March 13, 2019 at 9:55 pm

        Hi Gemma,
        I want to substitute Chocolate for Chocolate syrup and strawberry puree for strawberry syrup. It’s been a rough season so strawberries are scarce in my country. So can I replace the purees with syrups?
        And also the sweetened condensed milk turned out more liquid than creamy, so how can I change that?

        • Gemma Stafford on March 14, 2019 at 3:23 am

          Hi Grace,
          The condensed milk was not properly reduced, you need to return this to the pot and continue the process, it takes time!
          Here are my syrup recipes (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/ice-cream-sauce-chocolate-raspberry-butterscotch/). These are great served with ice cream. If you are incorporating these into frozen desserts you have to remember that there is a water content, and water freezes like ice, so go easy with it!
          I hope this is of help,
          Gemma 🙂

  24. Donna on March 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Can you use erythritol (Sukrin) instead of sugar? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Hi, yes you can, it might change the texture or cause it to be a bit thinner.

  25. Bella Conner on March 2, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Hi there Gemma, I was wondering when you heat the pan do you have to put cooking spray into the pan

    • Gemma Stafford on March 2, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      Hi, no i do not.

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