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How to Make Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

This sweetened condensed milk recipe is absolutely fabulous and so easy to make. Made with just 4 simple and fresh ingredients. Once you taste homemade you will never go back to the canned stuff again!

Bonus: You can also make sweetened condensed milk using just a can of evaporated milk and sugar. The process is in the recipe card notes section!

✔ Main Ingredients Notes

When making from scratch you just need these four simple ingredients

  • Milk: My go-to for this recipe is whole milk, however, you can use the low-fat 2% milk. Almond milk can be substituted.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar sweeten the milk. The sugar can be substituted with honey or maple syrup.
  • Vanilla Paste: This gives the milk that deep classic flavor. If you don’t have vanilla paste then you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract.
  • Butter: Always use unsalted butter.

See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

(Note: please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the complete written instructions.)

Pour milk and sugar into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisking until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Milk and sugar in saucepan with green handle.


Allow the milk to slowly simmer for about 30 mins, it will reduce by half. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Milk burns easily so keep an eye on the saucepan.


Once it has been reduced by half, remove the heat. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and whisk until it’s well combined.

Pour the mixture into a heat safe container and let it cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge for storage or use it right away.

📖Helpful RecipeTips

If the butter separates while cooling just stir it back together. Be sure to shake well before use.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon Affiliate Links) Check out my other recommendations on my Small Kitchen Stor page

🍽️Suggested Ways to Use Condensed Milk

  • Making quick fudge
  • No churn ice cream
  • Makes a great lemon tart filling
  • Cook it further to turn it into a caramel sauce
  • Dollop in your coffee

Storage

This recipe will stay fresh in a covered container for up to 5 days. The condensed milk can be frozen for up to 2 months. This is a wonderful recipe to keep on hand during the holiday season for those impromptu fudge recipes!

My favorite recipe that uses sweetened condensed milk

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Mason jar with chalkboard label and filled with sweetened condensed milk.

Small Batch Sweetened Condensed Milk

This sweetened condensed milk recipe is absolutely fabulous and so easy to make. with just 4 simple and fresh ingredients. Once you taste homemade you will never go back to the canned stuff again!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8 ounces
Calories: 160kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Equipment

  • Mason Jar

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Instructions

  • Pour milk and sugar into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisking until the sugar has completely dissolved.
    2 cups whole milk, ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • Allow the milk to slowly simmer for about 30 mins, it will reduce by half. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Milk burns easily so keep an eye on the saucepan.
  • Once it has been reduced by half, remove the heat. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and whisk until it’s well combined.
    1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pour the mixture into a heat-safe container and let it cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge for storage or use it right away.

Notes

  • Choose the right milk: Use full-fat milk for the best results. The higher fat content contributes to a richer and creamier condensed milk.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan: A heavy-bottomed saucepan helps distribute heat evenly, preventing the milk from scorching or sticking to the bottom.
  • When simmering the milk, use low to medium heat. Avoid high heat, as it can cause the milk to scorch or form a skin on the surface. Slow heating allows for gentle evaporation and caramelization of the sugars.
  • Stir the milk frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to ensure even heat distribution. Use a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon for stirring.
  • Making sweetened condensed milk is a slow process that requires patience. It can take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours of simmering to reduce the milk to the desired consistency. Avoid rushing the process by turning up the heat, as it can result in burnt or grainy condensed milk.
  • Add the sweetener  after the milk has reduced by about half. Adding the sugar too early can interfere with the evaporation process and affect the final texture of the condensed milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 24mg | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 77mg
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