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Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe – Condensed Milk Substitute

With just 2 simple ingredients and 40 minutes spare, you can make your own Homemade condensed milk which can be used in so many different recipes.

Recipe Overview

Skill Level:

INTERMEDIATE

Prep Time:

5 MINUTES

Cook Time:

40 MINUTES

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A person is lifting a gold spoon from the jar of condensed milk as it drizzles from the spoon back into the jar.

What Makes This Recipe Great

A simple recipe that can be so useful when you need condensed milk. It’s also a great money-saving recipe too!

When you make your own homemade version of recipes from scratch you know exactly what is going into your food. Plus, you gain the satisfaction in making something in your own home kitchen.

Condensed milk can be used in so many ways, from homemade ice-cream to Banoffee Pie to Coconut Ice and Caramel Bars. Making your own Homemade Condensed milk is a good substitute for the shop-bought version of canned sweetened condensed milk.

Condensed Milk Recipes:

Here are some great recipe ideas that you can use your homemade condensed milk in.

Equipment Needed:

  • Measuring Equipment: It’s best to weigh the ingredients accurately in this recipe to get the best results. Use digital scales and a measuring jug.
  • Large Saucepan: Use a large pan that is big enough to hold the milk without it spilling over the top if the milk bubbles up. Choose a heavy-bottomed saucepan to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan as it heats.
  • Wooden Spoon: You can use a large spoon or rubber spatula to stir the milk at the beginning and to remove any build up of milk scum as it warms through.
  • Sterilised Jar with a Lid: Use a clean jar that has been sterilised. It needs to be big enough to fit at least 250ml of liquid inside. If you plan to use the condensed milk within 1-2 days you can simply use an airtight container.

Ingredients:

A labelled photo with the ingredients needed to make sweetened condensed milk.
  • Full-Fat Whole Milk: Stick to full fat milk for the best results.
  • Caster Sugar: Use white caster sugar and not golden caster sugar. It’ll be easier to see the colour change and predict when the condensed milk is ready.

Substitutions and Additions:

Wondering if you can substitute or add an ingredient? Here, I will tell you if that’s possible.

Substitutions:

  • Sugar: You can use white granulated sugar if you do not have caster sugar. I don’t recommend brown sugar as it will be hard to tell when the milk is ready.

Additions:

  • Vanilla Extract: If you wish to flavour the condensed milk slightly, try adding half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
A jar of condensed milk with a gold spoon inside surrounded by decorative pink themed items.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Homemade Condensed Milk

  • Combine Ingredients: Pour whole, full-fat milk into a large saucepan and add caster sugar.
  • Dissolve the Sugar: Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.
A hand is pouring caster sugar into a saucepan that is filled with milk.
A hand is using a wooden spoon to start milk and caster sugar together on a stovetop.
  • Simmer the Mixture: Allow the sweetened milk to simmer over low heat stirring only occasionally for about 30-40 minutes. Use a spoon to remove any scum that forms on the sides of the pan.
  • Thicken the Milk: Continue simmering until the milk has thickened, reduced by about half, and turned a slightly creamy colour. This might take shorter or longer than stated so it’s best to keep an eye on the milk rather than watch the clock.
  • Cool and Store: Pour the condensed milk into a sterilised jar and allow it to cool completely. It will thicken further as it cools. After cooling, place an airtight lid on the jar and store the condensed milk in the fridge, where it will keep for about 1 month.
Sweetened milk simmering in a saucepan on a stovetop.
Two hands are pouring prepared condensed milk into a sterilised jar.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is my condensed milk not thickening?

If your condensed milk isn’t thickening, it might need more time to simmer. Ensure you’re cooking it over low heat and allowing it to reduce by about half. It will also thicken more as it cools.

What should I do if my condensed milk turns grainy?

Graininess can occur if the sugar hasn’t dissolved properly. To fix this, you can strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any undissolved sugar crystals.

How can I prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan?

To prevent scorching, cook the milk over low heat and use a heavy-bottomed saucepan.


Mastering This Recipe – Expert Tips

  • Keep the Heat Low, Don’t Rush: Maintain a low heat throughout the cooking process. High heat can cause the milk to scorch or boil over and ruin the results.
  • Dissolve Sugar Completely: Stir continuously at the beginning to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved before letting the mixture simmer. Otherwise the end result might be a little grainy.
  • Skim the Foam: Occasionally skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface to keep the condensed milk smooth and creamy.
  • Monitor Consistency: Watch for the milk to reduce by about half and thicken to a syrupy consistency. It should coat the back of a spoon. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so don’t overcook it.
  • Clean the Sides of the Pan: You can use a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down the sides of the pan occasionally. This prevents sugar crystals from forming and falling back into the mixture, which can cause graininess.
A jar of condensed milk with a golden spoon inside. In the background there are decorative pink items including flowers and a candle.

Storage

  • Storage: Store homemade condensed milk in a sterilized, airtight jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 1 month. Ensure the jar is sealed tightly to prevent any absorption of fridge odours and to maintain its freshness.
  • Freezing: Condensed milk can be frozen for up to 3 months. You will find that due to the high sugar content, condensed milk will not freeze solid. Defrost it in the fridge overnight before use. If you find that the milk begins to separate as it thaws, simply give it a stir to make the consistency smooth again.
A jar of condensed milk surrounded by pink-themed decorative items.

Homemade Condensed Milk – Sweetened

5 from 2 votes
You only need 2 simple ingredients to make homemade condensed milk. You can make this pantry staple with minimal equipment for use in lots of different recipes.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 250 ml
Calories: 964kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 ml Whole Milk, Full-Fat
  • 170 g Caster Sugar

Instructions

  • Pour whole, full-fat milk into a large saucepan.
  • Add caster sugar to the milk.
  • Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat.
  • Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Allow the sweetened milk to simmer over low heat stirring gently and occasionally for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Occasionally, use a spoon to remove any scum that forms on the sides of the pan.
  • Continue simmering until the milk has thickened, reduced by about half, and turned a slightly creamy colour.
  • Once the condensed milk is ready, pour it into a sterilised jar.
  • Allow the condensed milk to cool completely in the jar; it will thicken further as it cools.
  • After it has cooled, place an airtight lid on the jar.
  • Store the condensed milk in the fridge, where it will keep for about 1 month.

Recipe Notes

For ‘Prep Ahead Tips,’ ‘Smart Shortcuts,’ and ‘Mastering This Recipe’ guidance, visit the full recipe post!
  • Simmering Time: The simmering time may vary slightly based on your stovetop and the size of your saucepan. Keep an eye on consistency rather than strictly adhering to the time.
  • Preventing Crystals: Wipe down the sides of the pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming and falling back into the mixture.
  • Refrigeration: Store in a sterilised, airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. Ensure the jar is tightly sealed to maintain freshness and prevent absorption of fridge odours.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze it for 3 months.
  • Vanilla: Add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract after the mixture has thickened for a rich, vanilla-flavoured condensed milk.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 964kcal | Carbohydrates: 193g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 777mg | Sugar: 194g | Vitamin A: 835IU | Calcium: 636mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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