Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe makes a delicious, made from scratch version of sweetened condensed milk that you can use in coffee, baking, ice cream and more! 

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe - This Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe makes a delicious, made from scratch version of sweetened condensed milk that you can use in coffee, baking, ice cream and more! // addapinch.com

This homemade sweetened condensed milk is a recipe that I hope you love as much as I do. It isn’t an ingredient that we use a lot in cooking, but when I do, I like to turn to this homemade version. It is perfect for making homemade ice cream, fudge, pies, and so much more!

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe - This Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe makes a delicious, made from scratch version of sweetened condensed milk that you can use in coffee, baking, ice cream and more! // addapinch.com

What is Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is a milk that has been heated to remove any water from the milk. This reduces the milk by at least half and thickens the consistency of the milk into a thick liquid.

How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is made with just four ingredients that you most likely already have on hand.

milk – for the milk you can use your favorite milk. You can use dairy or dairy-free milk options based on your personal preferences. I have tested and loved using almond, cashew and even oat milk as a dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. The flavor will change based on the milk that you use.

sweetener – use your favorite sweetener here. You can use granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup or any other favorite. I have even tested it with Splenda as a sugar-free sweetened condensed milk. The sweetener that you use will change the flavor. For example, if you use maple syrup the sweetened condensed milk will have maple undertones to it (which is delicious, by the way!)

butter – I used salted butter when I make this recipe but you can use whichever butter you have on hand or prefer. It adds a silkiness and so much richness to the recipe and enhances it in my personal opinion. If you prefer not to use it, you can omit it from the recipe.

vanilla extract – the vanilla extract adds so much depth to the condensed milk.

Can I Use this Recipe in Place of Store-Bought Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Absolutely! I’ve tested the recipe time and again to make sure that it yields just the right amount to use for recipes that call for a can of store-bought.

That way, it removes any guesswork from using this homemade recipe in place of the standard can from the grocery store. It is equal to just a bit over a cup, 1 1/4 cups each time I’ve made it. Once you make your own, you’ll be so surprised at how easy it is, I think!

How Long Does Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Last?

Once made, store in a clean jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months. If frozen, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then shake vigorously in an airtight container with lid on or pour into a larger container and whisk until smooth and consistent throughout.

Favorite Recipes Using Sweetened Condensed Milk

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Easy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Easy Fudge Recipe

+ more recipes using sweetened condensed milk

Here’s my Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe

This Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe makes a delicious, made from scratch version of sweetened condensed milk that you can use in coffee, baking, ice cream and more!
4.82 from 37 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course Dessert
Calories: 120kcal
Serving Size 1ounce
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 cups whole milk dairy, almond, cashew, oat, etc.
  • 3/4 cup sugar granulated or cane, honey, or maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Whisk together milk and sweetener in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisking often, bring to a low simmer. Continue to simmer, whisking often, until milk has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Once reduced, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Allow to cool completely and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Makes 1 1/4 cups.
Nutrition calculations are based on using whole dairy milk and granulated sugar. 
To make sugar-free:
Use your favorite heat-safe sugar substitute in the appropriate amounts for the recipe. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1ounce | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3.4g
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Robyn xo

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe - This Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe makes a delicious, made from scratch version of sweetened condensed milk that you can use in coffee, baking, ice cream and more! // addapinch.com

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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188 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Thank you Robyn for sharing this recipe! I made sweetened condensed milk from powdered milk before but your version seemed like a true winner.

      1. I just tried doubling this recipe. 4 cups of milk and 1.5 cups of honey. Looks like it separated and there’s a big foam cover on top.

      2. Lorenzo, you can try reheating the mixture on low but make sure you whisk continuously while it is heating to make sure the butter is fully incorporated into the mixture. This should also eliminate the foam on top. Hope this helps!

      1. I made this and ended up with about 1 2/3 cup of condensed milk… I’m debating boiling it more before I use it for baking so it reaches the desired volume… I know that I’d have to add more vanilla at the end, but what about butter? Would making the mixture simmer it again ruin it all?

        Also, how does this recipe freeze?

        Thank you!

      2. Sara, you can just heat the mixture you have on simmer until it reduces down. You won’t need to add more butter or vanilla. You can freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months then thaw in refrigerator. I hope this helps.

      1. Stacey, you can try reheating the mixture on low but make sure you whisk continuously while it is heating to make sure the butter is fully incorporated into the mixture. I hope this helps.

    1. I make this with lactose-free milk all the time. It is a tiny bit less thick but just the same in every other way. I do have to say, I have never added the butter out of habit. My grandmother never added the butter so I just never have. It does not seem to affect the quality.

      1. How thick is this supposed to be? Mine was very thin after 40 minutes of simmer……and measured more than two cups of milk I originally added! I used it anyways because I was trying to homemade vanilla ice cream for my grandsons who need to visit during this lockdown. I had promised them ice cream but it was raining and since we can’t go into a venue – nor would I with the virus threat – with the little ones. So I thought for sure I could make them ice cream since I had just bought farm fresh cream. So I ploughing ahead with the three ingredient recipe…..fingers crossed the condensed milk contribution works!

      2. This should reduce down to 1 1/4 cups, Bev. It should not take that long for it to thicken and reduce. You may have to turn the heat up a little until it thickens. Just be careful that it stays at a simmer and does not come to a boil. You can put it back on the heat until it thickens.

  2. It’s awesome…tastes just like store bought (maybe better? :o) but it’s much thinner in consistence so I’m wondering if that will have an impact on the recipe you use it in. Thanks in advance for your help.

  3. Hi Robyn

    I compared your recipe to others and the ingredients are slightly different but the cooking is the same. I’m guessing your recipe with the vanilla extract adds wonderful flavor that the others do not especially in baking. Why did you add salted butter and vanilla?

    Thanks for this and I’ll post my picture when it’s done. Happy holidays.

  4. In what recipes do you use this?  Robyn, it caught my eye because I was looking for a recipe for homemade custard that we would pour over jello at Christmas.  Did your family do this and do you have a recipe for it? When my aunt died, we all realized that no one but her knew how to make it.  Thank you, Sherry

  5. Hi Robyn,
    I saw in your recipe that you can use honey. Do you use the same amount of honey as you do the regular sugar? 
    I make my own coffee creamer and have used store bought sweetened condensed milk. However, this week I learned I need to cut as much sugar out of my diet as I can but can’t use a lot of the other sugar substitutes on the market due to other health issues. 
    If I can make my own with honey this will be great. 
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I look forward to trying it.

  6. I made this recipe using 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup Sa Via canned coconut milk. I lessened the butter to 1 Tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. I did however tweak it a bit by boiling it at low heat until it was thick. You do need to watch and scrape down the sides as the mixture begins to thicken. It took about an hour or a little bit more to reach the consistency of a condensed milk. It was delicious and I couldn’t stop licking the spatula. I absolutely love this homemade condensed milk recipe. Thanks.

  7. I just made this, but the milk would not reduce. I followed the recipe to a T, but after 30 minutes, I still had nearly 2 cups of milk. So, I turned the heat up a bit, and kept stirring for another 15 minutes. Still had almost 2 cups. 🙁 Can I still use it? 

    1. I tried this also, it reduced a bit but never thickened, still, I put it in the jar along with the butter but the butter stayed on top after beating it in. So I dumped it back in the pot put it on high and boiled the heck out of it for 8 minutes. It still
      didn’t thicken! I thought perhaps it was the high altitude that had something to do with it. All my measurements were correct. I will still use it anyway and hope for the best.

  8. The butter seems to settle on top when I add it after I remove from heat. Do I pour into the Mason jar right after and put in fridge?  Leaving it to cool in the saucepan seems to have that separated butter on top. 

    1. Hi Winnie,
      I’m sorry you had that happen. I have never had the butter settle on top so I’m not sure why it happened with yours. Make sure you mix the butter thoroughly into the hot milk as soon as you remove it from the heat. I pour it into the mason jar, place the lid on, allow it to cool and then place it in the refrigerator. Hope this helps!

  9. My cans of SCM are 14 oz. Your recipe makes 1-1/4 cups (12oz) in your experience but you said its interchangeable in recipes. Am I missing something? I hope it really does work out the same, because I want to make it with monk fruit for recipes. 

      1. Awesome! Thanks, going to try it tomorrow. I’ve fallen in love with Vietnamese coffee…

  10. Is the final amount of condensed milk in this recipe equivalent to a 14oz can of sweetend condensed milk?

      1. Rosemarie, I have not made this with evaporated milk but you should just replace the amount of milk in the recipe with the same amount of evaporated milk.

  11. I needed 1/3 cup of SDM for a recipe and I didn’t want to open a can just for that. I figured there had to be a way to make it or substitute it and I came across your recipe. I cut the recipe in half, and because I was running low on vanilla extract, I split open about a quarter of a vanilla pod and cooked it with the milk. Oh, my, I almost ate it with a spoon when it was finished! Pure genius recipe, thanks!!

  12. I am for the most part dairy free with the exception of butter. I made this recipe with my banana pudding recipe and it was a winner!!!! I used almond milk, granulated sugar as the sweetener, vanilla paste and the butter and man oh man was it heavenly!!!!! Thank you so much for saving the day with this recIpe!!!

  13. Worked perfectly. Who knew? I used all white sugar for the first try. Made my pumpkin pie without having to run to the grocery store. Thanks!

  14. This is the best recipe I’ve tried. I used whole milk, tasty butter, and vanilla…pure yumminess. It’s the original dulce de leche! I might never buy canned again. As others have said, it’s a ittle thinner and doesn’t quite reduce by half, but I was able to use it in a recipe in place of a can with delicious results.

  15. I just made this recipe and it tastes way better than store bought. My husband has been wanting flan and when I checked to see if I had all of the ingredients, guess what I was missing? I didn’t even know you could make your own. It did take quite a lot of time to get it to simmer. Once that started, it took about 30 minutes to reduce. It looks and tastes amazing. I am waiting for it to cool so I make my flan custard. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for a great recipe.

  16. The flan turned out to be the best I have made and he loved it. It take a little longer to cook all the way through, but that’s okay. I will be making my own from here on out.

  17. To facilitate knowing how far to reduce the mixture, I used a toothpick.
    After mixing the milk (I used coconut milk to make dairy free) and sweetener, I placed this in a my large ScanPan[coated] skillet and used a toothpick to dip into the mixture and marked where the level of the liquid was on the toothpick. Toward the end of estimated reducing time, I dipped the toothpick into the liquid to check if the mixture was reduced halfway from the initial mark. I cooked a bit longer, retested until just right. I then added the butter and vanilla and when lukewarm, I poured the mixture into my stick blender container and whirled it with my stick blender to insure the sweetened condensed milk would stay homogenized when chilled. Perfect. Thank you for this great recipe.

  18. I made tonight for use in a recipe tomorrow the Stevia. It smells amazing…it looks about right (waiting for it to cool), and if it works, THIS will be a game changer. THANKS!

  19. I decided I wanted to make a key lime pie. Unfortunately, I was one can of sweetened condensed milk short. I decided to try this recipe and let me tell you…it does not disappoint! I used one can of evaporated milk (I didn’t have any whole milk in the house) and topped it up to the 2 required cups with 1%. It took almost an hour to reduce to the 1 1/4 cup yield. It’s delicious…I’m not sure I still have enough because during taste-testing, I kept helping myself to another spoonful. Definitely recommend!

  20. Could light cream be used instead of milk to cut down on carbs when using a sugar substitute. I love all your recipes. THEY WORK!!

  21. Hi, do you think I could use brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar as a sweetener? Would the amounts be the same?

    1. I haven’t tried making this with brown sugar, Jeremy, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It would have a different flavor than one with granulated sugar.

  22. I was trying to make healthy chocolate icing for picky lactose intolerant boyfriend. The easiest healthiest recipe called for sweetened condensed milk. Your substitute sweetened condensed milk worked perfectly! I made it with maple syrup. It made thin drizzle icing which is what I was going for. I mostly just added dark chocolate chunks Bakers to make a drizzle chocolate icing. Boyfriend ate it with no complaint and no stomach ache. Thanks a million!!!!

  23. probabaly answered but i have no time to search through your recipes.i use your recipes alot so please help me with this one too.if i use honey will it be 3/4cup also or should i use less ?thank you

  24. I was just wondering if anyone had tried to reduce this mixture using the microwave? I make all my cream sauces in the microwave.

  25. Thank you so much for this recipe, Robyn. I made this with lactose-free milk and it turned out just like condensed milk form the supermarket!

  26. It’s great. I have had to boil the milk much longer, sometimes 2 hours to reduce it, but as lons as it doesn’t burn, it’s ok. I use maple real syrup, and whole cow’s milk. I use this to make ice cream.

  27. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong here, I am a baker and I’ve been baking, as a passion, my entire life, but this is just not reducing down at all…. I’ve been cooking the milk and sugar mixture for well over an hour and it has not reduced one bit. Gone from constant whisking, to barely whisking, medhigh heat to lowmed heat, etc. Etc……. idk, but it’s midnight now and I’m exhausted and beyond frustrated. What a waste of ingredients and my night. Thanks for the recipe, it seems to have worked for everyone else 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ #somylife

    1. CeeCee, I’m sorry this has not reduced for you. It should not take that long for this to reduce down. It will not be the consistency of the canned sweetened condensed milk but should thicken more after it cools.

  28. Tastes amazing!! And recipe is perfect. I just halved the recipe to put in a small batch of caramels. Used medium heat to get it to reduce and whisked constantly. AMAZING!! Will never buy canned again haha well just for food storage but this will be my go-to from now!! Thank you!

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