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This homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe is creamy, sweet and perfect for use in recipes or stirring into coffee. A pantry staple made from scratch in just 5 minutes.
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
This homemade version of making condensed milk is actually surprisingly quick and easy, needing just a few common ingredients and a little bit of time.
It is used in many sweet dishes like pies, chocolates, and ice cream. When you make it at home vs a canned version, you can choose good ingredients and control how sweet it is. This way, you can make it just the way you like.
I started making my own pantry staples years ago, mainly because if I was out of one thing, I didn’t want to go to the store to get it. I’d end up with 30 more items that I “needed” and usually forget the one item I went in for.
During periods of time where grocery stores were a little less stocked (you know when I mean), making my own homemade sweetened condensed milk was a game changer. I was able to continue making things for my family without any issues.
Since then, I default to making a few batches of this around the holiday season, ready to use in recipes!
Check out how to make a basic white sauce (bechamel), too!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This recipe takes maybe 5 minutes, and most of that is finding the ingredients in the cupboard.
- Simple ingredients that you’ll find in your local grocery store, or your own home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use alternative sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol to make a sugar-free version. However, the flavor and consistency might slightly differ from traditional sweetened condensed milk made with sugar.
Yes, you can. You can use powdered versions of soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk as substitutes. The resulting flavor will have notes of the respective milk substitute used.
While a blender helps achieve a smoother texture, you can also use a whisk and some elbow grease. Whisking by hand will require more time and effort to incorporate the ingredients fully and dissolve the sugar.
Graininess might happen if the sugar isn’t dissolved completely. Make sure your butter/water/vanilla is VERY hot before blending the mixture, which will help prevent a grainy texture.
Recipes to use Sweetened Condensed Milk
You can use this recipe as a one-to-one substitute for store-bought sweetened condensed milk in most recipes, like dulce de leche, pies, fudges, ice creams, and desserts.
Try some of my favorite recipes:
- Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate. Decadently rich, creamy and thick – this recipe keeps warm for hours!
- Caramel Fudge (aka Russian Fudge). Made with butter, golden syrup and sweetened condensed milk. This classic fudge is perfect for gift giving!
- Toffee Caramel Cheesecake. Creamy, dreamy and easy to make, grab a fork!
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Dry milk powder. Also known as powdered milk, you’ll find this in the baking aisle, sometimes the bulk food section. I have seen it in the cereal aisle too! Look for Nestle Nido, Carnation, or store brands. You can use whole milk or lower fat versions.
- Sugar. This is plain white sugar.
- Vanilla extract. This will be the main flavor of this recipe, don’t leave it out!
- Butter. You can use salted or unsalted. It won’t make a ton of difference. If you use unsalted, add a small pinch of salt.
- Blender. A standard countertop blender is suitable for this recipe. Ensure it’s clean and dry.
- Microwave-Safe Jug or Bowl. You’ll need a container that’s safe to use in the microwave for heating the vanilla, butter, and water. A glass measuring jug or a microwave-safe bowl would work well.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons.
- Storage Container. For storing the condensed milk in the refrigerator. Glass jars with lids or plastic containers with tight fitting lids are excellent choices.
How to make sweetened condensed milk
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
In a blender, combine sugar and dry milk powder. Pulse briefly to mix.
In a microwave-safe jug or bowl, combine the vanilla, butter and water and heat until it boils (you can use a medium saucepan if you need to, just keep an eye on it). You could also use melted butter and boiling water.
Pour the vanilla & butter mixture into into the blender and pulse it for a few minutes, until thickened, and the sugar dissolves. It will thicken up more as it cools, so don’t get hung up on the texture at this point.
Pour into a clean jar and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
More homemade pantry staples recipes:
Do you love making your own kitchen basics? Try these!
- How to make Almond Butter. Skip the store-bought, get out your food processor, and watch the magic! Uses just one ingredient!
- Homemade Applesauce. A simple, no-frills homemade recipe, that is perfect for families of all sizes. Make a big batch for all of you to enjoy!
- Homemade Pancake Mix. Make a delicious, fluffy, vanilla-y batch of pancakes that taste WAY better than boxed. YOU can be the breakfast super-hero!
- Homemade Chocolate Syrup. A cinch to make (and you can pronounce all the ingredient names), this Homemade Chocolate Syrup is delicious and versatile!
Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe
- Microwave safe jug or bowl
- Storage jar or container
- In a blender, combine 2/3 cup granulated white sugarand 1 cup dry milk powder. Pulse briefly to mix.
- In a microwave-safe jug or bowl, combine the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup water and heat until it boils (you can use a saucepan if you need to, just keep an eye on it). You could also use melted butter and boiling water.
- Pour the vanilla & butter mixture into the blender and pulse it for a few minutes, until thickened. (It will thicken up more as it cools, so don't get hung up on the texture at this point).
- Pour into a storage container or jar and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- Store in the fridge and use as regular condensed milk.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.