How to Make Your Own Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Eliza Cross
by Eliza Cross
10 ounces
45 min

Dear friends,

I was recently going to try a new recipe for homemade ice cream that called for a generous portion of canned sweetened condensed milk.

I love sweetened condensed milk (SCM) in recipes like pies and cookies, but as a primary ingredient I hesitated because to me the commercial product always has a slight canned flavor.

Thus began my quest to see if I could make sweetened condensed milk from scratch. The short answer is, yes! You can make your own SCM, and I promise you will love it!


Why It’s Worth Making Your Own

  • Save money! A 14-ounce can of Eagle Brand SCM is $3.49 at my store. My cost for the homemade version was $1.40.
  • Use organic ingredients if you like. No additives or preservatives!
  • No canned flavor.
  • It’s so good you can eat it with a spoon. In your closet. With the door closed. At least that’s what I’ve heard.


I’m always grateful to other cooks who blaze new trails, and owe a debt of gratitude to Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking and Add a Pinch for sharing their recipes for homemade sweetened condensed milk.


What is Sweetened Condensed Milk, Anyway?

I’m so glad you asked. Milk is considered condensed or evaporated when 60% of the liquid has been cooked out. Canned evaporated milk is unsweetened, while sweetened condensed milk is always…well, sweetened, and much thicker due to its sugar content.


To safeguard against accidentally using SCM when you meant to use evaporated milk, I always recommend making your Enchiladas Suiza before getting into the margaritas.


The recipe is very simple and uses just 4 ingredients. The only step that requires attention is watching the stove and keeping the temperature just right near the end of the process.


Shall we get started?


Cooking Sweetened Condensed Milk from Scratch

After whisking together milk, sugar, corn syrup or honey, and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, you’ll cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it just comes to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low and fiddle around with the heat until the mixture is just barely simmering with a few lazy bubbles here and there.

When the color of the mixture starts to deepen a little, keep a close eye on it. Once it starts developing that light caramel color, it quickly thickens. Pull it off the stove as soon as it is just a little thinner than store-bought sweetened condensed milk.


For me, the doubled recipe perfectly filled 2 empty Bonne Marie jam jars with a little extra left over to stir into my coffee.

By the way, you’ll need 10 ounces or 1-1/4 cups of SCM to equal a 14-ounce can of the commercial product. The difference is due to the fact that canned goods are measured by weight, not liquid volume.


Here’s the easy recipe, and if you enjoy it I’d be thrilled if you clicked those stars below to give it a 5-star rating.:


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I love sharing your culinary creations. If you prepare this recipe and post a photo, tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @elizacross or @theyoloblog or use hashtag.


How About You?

What have you been cooking this month? Have you been staying closer to home and trying more new things? Do you like to try cooking commercial products from scratch? I’d love to hear what you’re enjoying during these precious days of August.

Best always,

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How to Make Your Own Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
Recipe details
  • 10  ounces
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole pasteurized milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Instructions

Whisk the milk, sugar, corn syrup and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and fiddle around with the heat until the mixture is just barely simmering - a few bubbles here and there. You want it just hot enough to release steam and reduce down the mixture, but not so hot that it turns into caramel.
When the color of the mixture starts to deepen a little, keep a close eye on it. Once it starts developing that light caramel color, it cooks fast and thickens quickly. Pull it off the stove as soon as it is just a little thinner than store-bought sweetened condensed milk (about the consistency of pancake syrup). It will thicken slightly as it cools.
Cool for 15 minutes and pour in a clean, sterilized jar. Cover and rest until completely cool. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks. Makes about 1 1/4 cups or 10 fluid ounces, which is the equivalent of a 14 ounce can (which is measured by weight).
Tips
  • If you want your SCM to have a hint of vanilla flavor, whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture before cooking.
  • For a creamier SCM, you can substitute 1/2 cup heavy cream for 1/2 cup of the whole milk.
  • Sweetened condensed milk can be used as a yummy coffee creamer for hot or iced coffee.
Eliza Cross
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