Sweetened Condensed Milk – Make Your Own!

Making my own sweetened condensed milk was surprisingly uncanny to its store bought counterpart. I’m a sucker for anything homemade! For those times you don’t want to run to the store for a can of this decadence, why not read on?

Milk and sugar. That’s all condensed milk really is, so that’s all you mostly need to make it! You can use full fat milk for the best kind of condensed milk, but I used 2% and it turned out great. Great news for vegans, this recipe will work with pretty much any nut milk. Imagine!

I typically use a wide pan for the 2 ½ cups of milk I am going to condense. You can use something smaller, but it will take longer and this could lead to scorching. You can add the sugar right away and turn the heat on medium high.

While it comes to a boil, stir it constantly. A flat bottomed wooden spoon works best for this as it reaches the corners. We want the sugar to dissolve completely.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Stop stirring it, but still keep a watchful eye that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. You don’t want to stir it too much while it simmers because this can create unwanted sugar crystals.

In total, it takes about 30-40 minutes of simmering in the pan I use before it’s ready. About 20 minutes in, I stir it frequently enough that I can see how thick it’s becoming. Important tip: the condensed milk thickens more as it cools, so don’t let it cook too thick!

When the milk leaves a good gap with the run of the wooden spoon, I take it off the heat and stir it down smooth. I then add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. I am not sure what this does, but it might give the milk a little lift and possibly inhibit curdling. Do you know?

Once cooled, this condensed milk is best kept in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep it in the refrigerator and it will last for weeks, maybe even months. I end up with one cup of sweetened condensed milk when I make it, but this amount can vary depending on how long one cooks it. Every second counts!

Splendid condensed milk is not only a key ingredient in cakes and candies to name just a couple, it’s used as a sweetener in many specialty coffees and is even amazing on toast! My current favourite use, in HOMEMADE NO CHURN, TWO INGREDIENT ICE CREAM. What is yours?


Check out a video for this recipe here!

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Yield: 1 cup


  • 2-1/2 cups milk (whole milk, 2% or any nut milk)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


  1. In a thick bottomed saucepan, combine milk and sugar.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Once boiling, stop stirring. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the mixture thickens, stir more often. When the milk is thick enough for the spoon to leave a slight gap at the bottom of the pan, remove from heat.
  4. Stir in baking soda.
  5. Once cooled, store sweetened condensed milk in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.