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!
4.79 from 33 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

Join today for free and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Robyn Stone

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

More about me

163 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Do you think this would work with Almond milk and a dairy free margarine”? I have a daughter that cannot tolerate dairy products.

  2. OK..I’m going to have to use this for making a Tres Leches cake…which is just really Yum! It’s the one Mexican dessert I adore!

  3. This looks great; but I am confused over the description and the amounts yielded. You say it is equal to a 14 ounce can or 1-1/4 cups. A 14 ounce can is 1-3/4 cups; not 1-1/4. So if the yield is 1-1/4 ounces you are falling short 4 ounces from a can. I would like to know.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this simple, yet REAL recipe. Nothing beats homemade and when we know what is in it, it tastes even that much better. No frankenfood here!

    Can’t wait to try this. 🙂


  5. Interesting recipie, but I’m wondering…what makes it thick? I can’t see anything in the recipie that would thicken it.

  6. Greetings from Iceland 🙂

    Sweetened condensed milk is almost impossible to get here in Iceland. I made your recipe last night and it was just perfect, so easy and cheap!! Thank you so much.

    I made the best 3 ingredient lemon ice cream with it. No eggs or churning. Amazingly yummy, better than any high end store bought!!

    2 cups heavy cream
    one large lemon
    sweetened condensed milk.

    Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
    juice lemon (should be about 2 tablespoons of juice)
    scrape lemon rind off with a grater.
    Combine juice, rind and SCM

    Gently fold liquid into whipped cream.

    Freeze and enjoy 🙂

  7. This was phenomenal. I did find that I had to cook it a little more after adding my butter to get the consistency I wanted. But I was super excited it turned out :). Thanks so much for something useful and easy.

  8. I’m making this right now and can’t wait for the results! I never thought I could actually make homemade sweetened condensed milk till I came across this recipe! Thank you!


  9. Hi! I have a quick question. is my homemade SCmilk supposed to be thickened BEFORE I take it off the burner? it’s been cooking for a good 30+ minutes and still is quite thin. I used maple syrup for the sweetener by the way:)

    Thank you!

  10. I only have unsalted butter in the house. Does the salt make a big difference (should a I a tiny amount) or would the unsalted be fine as is? Thanks for any info! 🙂

  11. You got me out of a pinch! I was making key lime pie, and I needed 2 cans of sweet condensed milk, but I only had one… I made your recipe and it turned out great! Your recipe saved the day!

  12. This recipe turned out better than anything I could have bought in a can. I had a dilemma of finishing the 7 layer bars I was making and the cupboard was bare of sweetened condensed milk. I found this recipe. Wow! I will make this next time, and the next time… Thanks for saving the day.

  13. Thanks for sharing this! As a FYI I think there’s a typo in the recipe. It yields 1.25 cups as mentioned, but that is only 10 fl oz. Cans of sweetened condensed milk are typically 14 fl oz / 1.75 cups. Make sure to adjust this recipe as needed. Also if you mix in the butter and vanilla before realizing you didn’t reduce enough, continue whisking on slightly lower heat to continue gently reducing it.

      1. Actually, if you look on the sweetened condensed milk cans they specify 14 oz., not 14 fluid ounces. If you measure out 14 fluid ounces you’ll be using too much 🙂 .
        I believe the volume of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk is 10 fluid ounces, or 1 1/4 cup.

  14. I made this. I used evaporated milk. It turned out very nicely. I tried it before adding vanilla and butter and again after. Both are good. I think it taste more like the canned stuff without butter and vanilla and more like caramel with it. This recipe is a success. Thank you.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      I’ve not tried making it with a substitute, so I can’t say definitely how it turns out. I’d love to hear how it is if you try it! Thanks so much! xo

    2. Hi Elizabeth. I am going to be trying this recipe using half and half cream, with xylitol for sweetening. Xylitol, along with Stevia and Erythritol, are natural sweeteners, with almost zero calories, and have no effect on blood sugar levels. They do no undergo any chemical processing like sucralose does, and they taste so much better! Stevia has a little aftertaste like artificial sweeteners, but xylitol and erythritol are so similar to sugar, it’s amazing! Research indicates that sucralose products can be harmful, but these natural sweeteners are a great way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and not worry about ill effect on your health.

      I’m planning on using my sweetened condensed milk to make Irish Cream for the holidays… lots of it! I’m very excited to find this recipe, as I have missed this wonderful dessert-style drink since abandoning sugar and starches in February. Yay… life will be complete once again!

  15. Very easy and delicious. Rich depth of flavor, creamy texture, better than canned. I made a double batch, so it took longer to simmer and reduce. But doubling works beautifully!

  16. I would like to use this recipe to make my granola bar recipe that calls for the can of eagle brand. will this be just as thick as the canned stuff?

  17. This recipe did not work for me. I simmered the milk and sugar 45 minutes but it did not reduce by half. The butter hardened in the refrigerator and left hard lumps in the milk. It was also pretty greasy with that much butter.

    1. Hello,
      I’m sorry this happened, but I’ve never had this problem. The recipe should have cooked down and the butter should have melted completely when stirred and combined well into the hot liquid mixture…so it shouldn’t have turned lumpy when refrigerated. Hope this helps! Thanks so much!

    1. Hmm…I’ve never had this happen, so I can’t be certain what caused it. You may have done this, but it needs to be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
      I hope this helps. Thanks so much.

  18. Thank you for this recipe. The amount you give to replace exactly one can of store-bought condensed milk is very useful.
    Do you think I can keep it in sterilised jars in my pantry at room-temperature?

    1. Hi Yunahime,
      I’m glad you enjoy this recipe! It is delicious and I enjoy making it for so many dishes!
      I’ve not canned this before and I can’t say how it would turn out.
      Thank you!

  19. Hi Robyn,
    Looks great, I’ll give it a try, and also, can I use heavy cream (32% or 38%) instead of the milk and butter?

  20. I made it just now using honey. It came out with little lumps. I wisked pretty often, every 3-4 minutes probably. It started out smooth once I got the honey whisked in well. What did I do wrong? Not hot enough to keep the honey melted, though it had a slow simmer?

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      It’s never been lumpy when I’ve made it and I’m sorry it turned out that way for you. I’m not sure what happened, but it is important to keep whisking the mixture often enough to keep it smooth throughout the whole time it’s cooking. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  21. Question – the sweetened condensed milk I get from the store only lists two ingredients: milk and sugar. If I’m making a fudge recipe that calls for 3 tablespoons of butter, do you have any idea if I should just add 3 tablespoons to the condensed milk (instead of the 4) or just omit any butter from the condensed milk and add it later? I can experiment, but I’d rather not waste money 🙂 . Thanks!

    1. Hi Rasta,
      I can say that the homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe is delicious when made as written, but I really can’t answer about how you could best make another recipe I’ve never made. I hope you enjoy this sweetened condensed milk if you give it a try!

  22. I live in Myanmar and the quality of the local product seems to be high in water, resulting in caramel (caramel slice) not setting. Do you think this recipe would be suitable for caramel slice?

  23. I just made this with half and half cream, and xylitol in place of the sugar. I had to simmer it for about an hour before it began to thicken much. I became impatient eventually, and put the heat closer to the medium setting, which finished it up in a couple of minutes. It is now nice and thick and sticky, and tastes just like the canned stuff! Step two for this recipe: into a blender with the other ingredients for Irish Cream. I’m excited!

  24. OMG thank you Robin you are a lifesaver I’m making homemade pumpkin pie and I was missing one ingredient condensed milk I have no transportation and thank God for your recipe I found online Lifesaver Happy thanksgiving. I’ll come back and tell you how it worked out for me.

  25. How well would this freeze? I am looking to make my own coffee creamer and it called for sweetened condensed milk and I thought it might be a good idea to make it myself and then use it to make the creamer. I only need 14 oz to make one batch, how much does this recipe make (or did I overlook it).

  26. I can not believe how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thank you so very much for sharing. I will be using this to make my ice cream from now on.

    1. Hi Jean –
      I made this from scratch as I wanted it fresh and homemade. I haven’t tried it with canned evaporated milk, so I’m sorry I can’t say what proportions would be. Thanks!

    1. Hi Janet,
      You can use evaporated milk in place of heavy cream in sauces, such as in Mac and Cheese. Just note that it is not a substitute in baking; however. xo

  27. We had some super nice snowfall yesterday, so wanted to make snow cream but didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk on hand. Used this recipe to make some, and it turned out awesome!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Mary! What a wonderful way to enjoy your snow! 🙂 Ours is slowly melting, but has been so beautiful. I love how quiet it is right after a snowfall! xo

  28. Used this to make a chai concentrate that required a can of condensed milk… Put it in the fridge and seems like the butter rose to the top… 
    Besides that… I stirred the butter  back in… I think this will work…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *