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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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4.38 from 205 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
  • 2 cups (16floz/450ml) full fat milk or low fat milk*
  • cups (5oz /142g) white sugar
  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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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Smutek on July 21, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Hi Gemma 🙂
    Well, I tried to make it..
    I wasn’t very successful. I had the same problem that a lot of people had – it couldn’t thicken. So I had to leave it to simmer for about two hours instead of 35 minutes, it has more brown colour then the photos.
    I have noticed that the dish you used was round while I used a normal sauce pan. Would it affect the condensed milk somehow I wonder?
    I was so desperate that I wanted to cheat and add a little bit of corn flour.. but since I was making it for ice cream I thought that the milk had to be condensed and has no water content.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2019 at 3:01 am

      Hi there,
      there are two things to remember here.
      1. the water content needs to evaporate, reducing the milk to about 50% of its initial volume.
      2. the larger the surface area of the milk, in other words, the larger the pan, the quicker it will happen.
      So, if this was your first time to do this then you have already learned a lot. You need to see the surface of the milk shimmering, then you can be sure the evaporation is happening.
      I hope this helps, do not give up, this is a traditional way to preserve milk, carried out in many households as a matter of course. You can do it!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Tineke on July 17, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Hello Gemma, hello community

    i would like to know for how long it´s durable.

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Tineke,

      Store in a labeled jar in the fridge and it will last for 6 months!


  3. Ayla on July 16, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Thank you for this recipe 🙂

  4. Lisette on July 15, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Sorry I can’t comment on brownies page. I know you said a couple of days. But can I make the batter on Wednesday and have them baked on Saturday? Is 3 full days ok?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 16, 2019 at 4:24 am

      Hi Lisette,
      I thought I had responded to this comment, apologies if not.
      This type of batter does not have any raising agent, which makes it easier to store it. I think all will be well for three days. Do cover it down well and keep it in the coldest part of the fridge. The alternative is to freeze it, which works well too.
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Claudia Hamilton on July 14, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    My granddaughters are Vegans, would love to make the 3 ingredients cookies for them. When making the coconut cookies. What should I replace the condense milk being they can’t have condense milk? Please answer back. Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2019 at 2:34 am

      Hi Claudia,
      you can make condensed milk from any alternative milk. coconut milk works well. The objective is to reduce it to about 1/2 of its volume, when it will thicken for you with the sugar, really like a step on the way to a caramel.
      I hope this is of help, and that your granddaughters enjoy this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Aaron Cookson on July 14, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Hi Gemma.
    I have made your condensed milk a fair few times using fresh milk with good results.I had some UHT milk in my pantry and decided to make it with that and it has come out a little differently. A lot of small lumps in it.Could it be something in the UHT that’s not in fresh milk? I did everything the same as usual.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2019 at 1:53 am

      Hi Aaron,
      funny enough if you had asked me before you proceeded I would have said go for it! I have no idea why it formed a curd. Ultra Heat Treated milk has been treated at really high temperatures which effectively denatures the milk so that it is difficult, though not impossible, to get a curd when trying to get it.
      I am wondering if the date was ok on the pack, or if it was getting to the end of its life!
      I know this is not much help to you Aaron, I am sorry, but I cannot think why that would happen,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Aaron Cookson on July 16, 2019 at 12:39 am

        Thanks Gemma.Its probably more help than you think.The UHT only has a week left Use by on it.Thats sort of why I wanted to use it up rather than buy a whole carton of fresh that I would have to go to the supermarket for.I sort of figured being UHT it didn’t change during its shelf life.
        But good lesson for next time though.

        • Gemma Stafford on July 16, 2019 at 4:18 am

          Hi Aaron,
          I am happy you got to the end of this, thank you for letting me know. I guess ‘shelf life’ is an arbitrary thing too, depends on the shelf is the right one for all fo the life of the product.
          Thank you for letting us know,
          Gemma 🙂

      • Ayla on July 16, 2019 at 1:36 am

        Aaron, the structure of the milk changes during the UHT processing

  7. Rebecca Stcroix on July 11, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Mine didnt change colour what did i do wrong? And i let it simmer for a while… and nothing… it stayed a creamish colour kinda like eggnog.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

      Hi Rebecca. It is not supposed to go on full brown. Creamish with a syrup consistency. If you’d like to get a darker color, you’d have to cook it even longer. Once it turns golden brown, then you’ve got dulce de leche. Gemma ????

  8. Slaxx on July 6, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Hello Gemma! Just curious, when you mention “cracking”, i assume this is a reaction of the sugar (not the milk), is that correct? Although it will affect the overall consistency of the resulting condensed milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Hi! Yes, this is the reaction of the sugar and not the milk. If it cracks, it will crystalize and affect the texture of the condensed milk. it will not be as smooth as it should be. Gemma ????

  9. Irit on July 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Hello Gemma yesterday I tried to make this recipe and it went well the color changed to cream color and the amount of milk reduced by two and the taste was exactly like purchased condensed milk and also the texture was like you showed on the video but after it was completely cold in the fridge it remains liquid it didn’t stabilized at all so I would love to know where i was wrong and if there is any chance to fix this? Thank you very much for your all wonderful tips and amazing recipes and have a wonderful weekend ♥️♥️♥️

    • Gemma Stafford on July 6, 2019 at 4:24 am

      Hi Irit,
      Did I get to this earlier? not too sure, so here we go.
      I am wondering about your sugar, what was that? if id was a sugar alternative then there is a good chance that it would not thicken the milk as it will not caramelize, and you are depending on that.
      Do let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Irit on July 6, 2019 at 5:52 am

        Hi Gemma thank you for your quick reply I used a regular white sugar and it did change the color to cream so it did caramelize I’m really confused , What’s confusing is that the taste is just like purchased condensed milk thank you for your help I’m really appreciate it have a great day and wonderful weekend

        • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 9:22 am

          It should taste like purchased condensed milk. This is an alternative when you don’t have it in a pinch. Gemma ????

  10. Karen on July 5, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Hi Gemma. I did this yesterday and I have a few thoughts. One is that the flavor is as I might expect it to be. At first it simmered too low, after 45 minutes it was not the correct color, nor reduced, so with hesitation, I increased the heat and pressed on for another 30 minutes. I did see what needed to be skimmed off, and the color got creamier, but not as dark as yours or others above in the picture. After cooling it and pouring it into a jar into the frig it went. It is not as thick or as dark as your’s was in the video; but I do have just slightly below the 1 cup mark.
    If you would please give your feed back and whether this was a fail, and if I need to begin a new. Is it the darker color and the thickness my goal? I used organic while milk and pure cane sugar. Thank you in advance.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 6, 2019 at 2:44 am

      Hi Karen,
      that sounds really good to me!
      The cane sugar, if it is golden, can be a bit confusing, as it adds a little color to the mix.
      If you wish to get it thicker then you have to reduce it further. You have the idea now though, getting the simmer just right is important. I think this batch is ready to use. You can take it further next time and learn a little more. If you keep going too far you will get a Dulce De Leche/caramel milk.
      When you are doing this at first you can use a ruler to measure the reducing milk. Have one for your kitchen. You measure it in the pot at the start and then as it you go. It should be reduced by about 1/2.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Lisette on July 4, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Gemma. I was just kidding about stalking. Lol. I did it again. I did a double recipe for the ice cream and it’s exactly 14 oz. so it’s thick but not as thick as yours, surprisingly enough since it’s suppose to be 16oz. I don’t think too reduce more because I think it will work for ice cream. Next time I’ll get it right. Also, totally unrelated but I want to make milk chocolate with very little ingredients. My research shows I can do it with milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa powder and confectioners sugar. Actually most of them say vegetable shortening which I rather not use. Any chance you can guide me on amounts. We really like it to be more on the milk chocolate side than dark. I know you love bittersweet. I’m thinking more milk powder than cocoa powder but not sure the measurements. Let me know if you can advise. Just want to try a little batch for your brownies recipe. Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on July 6, 2019 at 2:19 am

      Hi Lisette,
      I am glad you are getting to grips with the ice cream recipe, well done you. Perseverance is everything I find!
      I am not too sure about the chocolate recipe. My only experience of this was in seeing it made, but that was using cocoa beans, not cocoa powder. The amount of cocoa butter I think is what matters, and in manufactured milk chocolate there are additional ingredients such as milk powder and sugar. Here is the one I came across in Nigella’s community:
      50 grams of cocoa butter
      50 grams of icing sugar
      25 grams of milk powder (Full fat)
      13 grams of cocoa powder (Unsweetened)
      I also saw one which suggested coconut oil in place of shortening in your recipe – but honestly, I have not done it.
      Do let us know how you get on with this, other bold bakers will be interested and may be able to help too,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Darlene on July 6, 2019 at 9:10 am

      I make milk chocolate all the time. it is way easier to use evaporated milk and WHOLE milk powder tha to just use sweetened condensed milk. Reason being if you add just a touch too much sweetened condensed the texture is a bit off. Same thing happens if you just used evaporated milk in the cocoa butter, cocoa powder recipe. After experimenting A LOT. LOL This is the best way I have decided that works for me. 1/2 cup cocoa butter, 1/2 cup Confectioners (powdered / icing) sugar 3 Tbsp evaporated milk, 3 Tbsp nido whole milk powder (powdered even more in a little coffee grinder) 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use fry’s), 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (DO NOT USE vanilla extract is water based) pinch of salt. I also use 2 oz of bakers milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips for seeding while tempering. You can not totally temper cocoa powder type milk chocolate but I find it does work quite well so you do not get the chocolate instantly melting in your hand. I heat the evaporated milk then incorporate the powdered whole milk powder together then I slowly add it to the melted cocoa butter/ cocoa powder mixture in the double boiler. Check out tempering online also.

      • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 9:39 am

        Thanks for sharing! Very detailed and valuable tops here, Darlene! Gemma ????

  12. Lisette on July 3, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I’m stalking you. Just really trust your recipes so far not one has disappointed anyone too much. Anyhow, I want to make ice cream but last night I did this and I believe I was scared about boiling that the simmer was too low. Doing it again but since I already did for 45 minutes in a barely simmer do I have to do it again in a real simmer and for how long? I don’t think you will respond in time so I’m just going to do it and watch and hopefully, it will get to the right creamy thick point. Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 2:11 am

      Hi Lisette,
      my job here is to teach and yours is to learn and ask questions when you need to. That is what makes it a collaboration!
      You are right, and now you have learned a lot, the simmer has to be sufficient to evaporate the water content of the milk. Then the sugars come into play to thicken it almost like the softball stage of a caramel made with water.
      Trust yourself, you can do it, return it to the pan and keep going,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Rimpi Rajput on June 18, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Thanks a lot for posting this. This was my first time, so I was worried about it setting too much and I think I didn’t get it all the way through. The condensed milk is still more runny after a day in the fridge. I was wondering if I should take it out in the pan and heat again to evaporate more?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, that is exactly the right thing to do. The first time you make this it is always a learning curve, you will know the next time,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Marina on June 18, 2019 at 5:17 am

    Hi Gemma! Can i make this using powdered milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 11:58 am

      Hi Marina,
      yes! Condensed milk is a step on the way to a Dulce De Leche, caramel milk, which thickens as the water content of the milk evaporates and the sugars caramelize. That will help you understand that you can do this, with any milk really.
      I hope this works out well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Sergio Serrano on June 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Gemma! I have a question can we use brown sugar instead of white sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Sergio! you can use brown sugar if you like but of course the color wont be quite as white. Gemma

  16. Clare on June 13, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I’ve made the condensed milk and it’s lobely however it doesn’t stay thick when I make a lemon meringue pie. It gets very runny and the meringue slides off it sometimes. Is this homemade condensed milk not meant to be made for lemon meringue pie? Many thanks Clare

    • Gemma Stafford on June 13, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Clare! This is a strange thing you tell me. It is meant to be used as normal canned condensed milk. I am not entirely sure why this happened to your lemon meringue pie. Did you use the condensed milk as a topping and not incorporated into the lemon curd? Gemma

      • Clare Hogan on June 18, 2019 at 6:54 am

        Hi Gemma,
        I used it as normal condensed milk with egg yolks and lemon. It is nice and thick before and As soon as I put in the over to cook/bake the egg white and when I take it out it is runny and doesn’t seem to go hard again. It’s in the oven for about 3minutes

        • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 12:14 pm

          Hi Clare,
          I do not have a recipe which uses condensed milk for lemon curd, and so I am not too sure what is going wrong for you here.
          If you think I can help will you let me know how this is made? A curd will need something to thicken it, a bit like a custard, eggs are traditionally used for this purpose. If you do not use eggs you will need to use something else to set it and to hold it, otherwise, it will turn back to liquid when it is heated.
          Check out my Lemon curd recipes here ( There are a few, read through these, it will help you to figure it out,
          Gemma 🙂

  17. Crystal Rose on June 13, 2019 at 6:17 am

    I made this yesterday and had the same issue that other people commented on- it never thickened. I followed the recipe as listed, used whole milk and regular sugar. I actually ended up cooking it longer than the 40 minutes and reducing it a bit more than half. Still, it didn’t thicken up, not on the stove or after it had cooled in the fridge.

    It’s not a loss for me though. I made this to use as coffee creamer. Even though the ingredients are the same it tastes much better than plain milk and sugar.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 13, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Crystal. I am so sorry it did not thicken in that amount of time, it definitely needed more time to do so. I know this requires a little more patience. The amount of time will also depend on the water content of your milk. So give it another go, and all will be well. Gemma ????

  18. Jeanne Bagnall on June 9, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I recently made the condensed milk and I didn’t get a nice thick milk. It tasted like sweetened condensed milk, whoever it didn’t thicken. 🙁 Not sure what I did wrong. It was the 2nd time for it. The first time, I went into another room (since I had 35-40 minutes) and when I came back, it had boiled over and made a mess. So I tried again and it didn’t thicken. I wonder if I didn’t have the heat up enough because I was afraid that it would boil over. I was wanting to make your ice cream again. I made it one time and my husband loved it so I was going to make it again. If you can tell me what I did wrong, I’d appreciate it.
    Thanks Jeanne

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2019 at 4:12 am

      Hi Jeanne,
      if you get over the fear here and remember this, condensed milk has been made at home by generations of people around the world. It was a way to preserve the milk for winter use, back in the day when milk, along with so many other ingredients, was seasonal.
      So, you need to bring the milk to a gentle simmer, not boiling, just shimmering, a little steam rising, and then trust it. If it is not thickening then you have either not given it sufficient sugar, or you have not simmered it for long enough.
      Think about it like this, it is a step on the way to caramel. Dulce De Leche if you take it too far, it has to thicken, it is inevitable.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Anna Farah on June 7, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Hi Gemma!
    I live in Syria where a lot of ingredients like buttermilk, cream cheese, and many other ingredients are not available or so hard to find. That was the reason why I couldn’t do a lot of recipes that I watch on Youtube. But because of you I can now make them at home (like cream cheese and butter milk). I just want to thank you so much for everything and every recipe you taught us.
    I made your Red Velvet Oreo, Chocolate Cake, and Buttermilk Biscuits and they were so GOOD and so TASTY!.
    Now I’m trying to make your Ice Cream recipe. But the condensed milk didn’t thicken yet. I’m a little bit scared because it has been three hours since I put it in the fridge. Is it normal? If it didn’t thicken could I use it as it is now to make the base of the Ice Cream?
    Thank you so much for everything!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 8, 2019 at 4:23 am

      Hi Anna,
      I am happy to hear that you are finding the recipes useful.
      Did the milk reduce to about 1/2 in volume? The way to test this is to measure the level in the pot at the start, you can do this with a spoon or a ruler. Then keep an eye on this as it reduces. If it has not thickened by now then you can return it to the pot and carry on, you may have been a bit too gentle with it. When you get this right one time, you will always get it right.
      I hope this works out well for you now,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Determined Di on June 6, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I prefer to cook and bake from scratch so thanks, I don’t have to go to the store and buy this in the tin anymore.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2019 at 11:29 am

      I know, and your name says it all, a determination is at least half of the battle. Persistence is the other half!
      This made me smile, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Priyanka Basu on June 3, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Hi Gemma thanks for this recipe … I want to know can this be stored this for future use.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Hi there,
      Milk was condensed and evaporated as a method of preserving it at a time when milk, as with so many things in nature, was seasonal. It was canned for storage, and the canning process was used for lots of foods, vegetables, fruits, etc. However, this does require specific equipment and canning jars too to ensure a good seal and proper processing.
      For a short period of time, the fridge will work well for you. Again though the jars you use should be sterilized and the lids airtight. Then it should hold for at least three weeks unopened.
      I hope this is of help. There are good tutorials online about canning if that is of interest to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. BABY ABRAHAM on May 29, 2019 at 3:05 am

    I made this condensed milk several times . Always perfect. My grand children love this . Now I use it for others dishes lavishly !!! No need to buy them . Thank you for this wonderful easy recipe . Thanks a lot Gemma

    • Gemma Stafford on May 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Yay!!! I’m thrilled to hear that.

      Thanks for trying them out.

  23. Sharon Kuester on May 25, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I have made several flavors of your ice cream and they all turn out so perfect. My favorite is butter pecan….So delicious! I follow your instructions using what you recommend and have not had any trouble. All your recipes are fabulous.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 27, 2019 at 7:27 am

      I’m delighted to hear that,Sharon!

      Thanks for trying it out 🙂


  24. Kristian Moyers on May 25, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    GEMMA! I am so sad. This is the first time I have ever failed at one of your recipes. It turned into a clumpy mess! Do you think I left it going too long? It was barely simmering for around 35 minutes, at 3.5-4 (out of 10) heat. The bottom was burned and the top layer was still white. My thoughts are that perhaps I used a too large pan with too great a surface area? Let me know what you think!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

      Hi Kristian,

      Apologies for my very late reply. I somehow missed your message. So this can be for a few reasons. It might have been maybe the saucepan wasn’t maybe a heavy bottomed one therefore protecting the milk form getting scorched on the bottom.

      It also can be with simmering too hard and fast but that fact that you said it was at half heat for 35 minutes then I don’t think it was that reason.
      Its a low and slow process. And if you use a good saucepan that really helps.


  25. Darlene on May 23, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Do you know if Lakanto Monk Sugar will work?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 27, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Hi Darlene,

      Yes I’m pretty sure i’m right in saying that Lakanto will work for this recipe.


      • Darlene on May 27, 2019 at 9:42 am

        Thanks. I will have to try this recipe now. 🙂

        • Listya on June 18, 2019 at 7:02 am

          I just made it using lakanto, but the one with erythritol and monk fruit! But instead of milk, i used whipping cream to make it keto friendly. It’s perfect. I used it to make gemmas homade ice cream and its amazing. gemma’s recipe was soo much simpler than any other keto ice cream recipe i found online. ❤❤❤❤❤

          • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 11:47 am

            Hi Listya,
            I am not too sure about subbing cream for milk on a keto diet, it is really high in fat, so overall it may not be better than milk, I suppose it depends on the portion you use. However, well done you, that is quite an understanding of how things work. Erythritol and monk fruit is a great combination, and as it does not caramelize so easily, so it may now work so well with the milk in condensed milk, I have not tried it.
            Thank you for your input, it is worth the discussion for sure,
            Gemma 🙂

  26. 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.

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

        Thank you very much!

  27. 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 🙂

  28. 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 🙂

  29. 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 🙂

      • Carrie Kelly on June 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

        Could I try using less Sweetened Condensed Milk so that the ice cream isn’t as sweet? Do you think it will it still freeze ok?

        • Gemma Stafford on June 30, 2019 at 2:59 am

          Hi Carrie,
          yes! or more cream to get a bigger serving. Usually, it is a 1:1 ratio, condensed milk to cream. I think you can take it about 1/4 more cream than indicated in the recipe, particularly when using 35% fat cream. A higher fat content may make it too rich.

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

    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 🙂

  31. 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,

      • 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?


        • 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,

  32. 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. (
      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 🙂

  33. 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.


  34. 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 🙂

  35. 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!

  36. 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 🙂

  37. 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 😀

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



    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 🙂

  39. 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 🙂

  40. 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 🙂

  41. 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).


    • 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.

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

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

  43. 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☺️

  44. 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.

  45. 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 😀

  46. 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!

  47. 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 😉

  48. 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.

      • 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 ( 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 🙂

  49. 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.

  50. 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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