Homemade Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk

Don’t want the stuff that comes in a can? Me either.

Homemade Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk
(Makes approximately 16 oz or 2 cups)
Printable Version

1 quart (4 cups) organic milk (use whole milk for best results)
1 3/4 cups organic granulated sugar

  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring the milk and the sugar to a boil over medium heat.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let the milk mixture simmer, very gently, for two hours (yeah, I know …). The mixture should be barely simmering and never bubbling at any point. You should give it a stir and scrape the bottom of the pan every 5 minutes or so to keep the milk from forming the “skin” on top and to keep the bottom from burning or developing the ugly brown bits. (Tip: a sturdy, heat-proof spatula comes in handy here.)
  • After 2 hours, remove the pot from heat, cover the pot with a kitchen towel (not the lid) and let the milk cool. The mixture will thicken further after it has cooled.
  • Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • When refrigerated, homemade sweetened condensed milk has thicker consistency than its commercial counterpart. It can be thinned out by an addition of a few drops of water and some light whisking.
  • 29 Responses to Homemade Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk

    1. Barry September 26, 2009 at 2:40 am #

      Thank you so much for posting this. I had to search a while to find your recipe for this. All others I found involved powdered milk. Who the hell wants to make it with that crap? I’d rather buy the cans than the powdered crap. Thanks again!

      • Mary Ellen December 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

        I agree. Although this is a time-consuming recipe and I might buy the cans, I would never use powdered milk. According to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, powdered milk is very toxic.

    2. M.A.D November 26, 2009 at 1:46 am #

      I echo the previous comment. SO glad to have a place to start to make fresh organic condensed milk for tomorrow’s pumpkin pie!


    3. Anonymous February 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

      There are only 2 cups to a pint?

    4. Leela February 11, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

      Ah, yes. Thanks for the catch. 🙂 Correction has been made to quart.

    5. Rebecca June 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

      Can this be done in a crock pot? I love the concept, thanks. Planning to use it for a coconut ice cream recipe.

    6. Leela June 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

      Rebecca – Good question. My first reaction is no. You don’t get good reduction/evaporation out of a crock pot and the consistency of sweetened condensed milk is achieved by reducing the milk and sugar mixture to a milky syrup. But I could be wrong.

    7. Cindy August 31, 2010 at 3:10 am #

      It works wonderful in a crock pot just a bit longer. Heat it up on high and then turn the crock pot down and leave the lid half off. I have a oval crock pot and I just turn the lid sideways. It takes a few hours to get it the right consistency. But certainly less stirring involved

    8. Leela August 31, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

      Cindy – Thank you so much. This is very helpful.

    9. Capability Green March 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      Wow I can’t believe how much googling I had to do to find a version without powdered milk? Do gives milk powder – I had no idea! Thank you for an actual homemade and pure version, you saved me from tons of work struggling to get it right.
      Very very nice.

    10. Poppy November 23, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      This is fabulous especially since I only eat organic dairy and cannot find organic condensed milk in the shops! Thanks so much!

    11. Ellie February 24, 2012 at 3:09 am #

      can this be frozen and thawed when desired? I would like to have some on hand, but since it only lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge I fear I’d be wasting some of it…

    12. Admin February 24, 2012 at 4:59 am #

      Ellie – I have no idea since I’ve never tried. Anyone want to help Ellie out?

    13. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Can you safely double this recipe?

    14. Admin June 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Anon – Sorry. I’ve never tried doubling the recipe. Anyone?

    15. jacques August 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Great recipe, thanks.

      Do I need to leave the condensed milk in the fridge for 2 weeks before using it, or can I use it as soon as it has cooled down?

      • Leela August 21, 2012 at 7:36 am #

        Once it’s cooled, you can use it right away. Two weeks is its shelf life.

    16. Renata September 27, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      Can you use agave nectar? I cant have sugar
      and cant find a sugar free version.

      • Leela September 27, 2012 at 10:50 am #

        No idea. Sorry. Does anyone know?

    17. kelly howard November 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      FYI y’all, I tried this using goat’s milk*, same amount of sugar. It tastes wonderful, but when I used it to make my classic keylime pie recipe (no gelatin), & it didn’t work quite right –wouldn’t set properly. But I intend to fiddle a bit & to try other recipes using sweetened condensed goat’s milk, & have fun doing it! Thanks for posting it!
      *fresh, not canned; the canned has a stronger flavor. I recently discovered goat’s milk doesn’t make me deathly ill the way cow milk products do; I’ve been trying to see what all I can do with goat’s milk. And eating pounds of goat cheeses to make up for several miserable cheese-free years. btw, there are goat cheddars, mozzarella, gouda, etc; but I haven’t found goat parmesan, darnit.

      • tarvae April 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

        Best sub for parmesan is get Manchego, trim the rind off, rub with a tiny bit of oil all over, sprinkle with salt and then leave it wrapped lightly in cheese cloth in a cool airy place for a week or two. It dries out to a close match 😉

      • Anna September 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

        Kelly… if you can’t find any commercially made goat-milk parmesan cheese you should try making your own parmesan cheese. I have dairy goats, and I have made absolutely phenomenal parmesan cheeses from their milk!!!

      • Anna November 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        I buy pecornio romano (sheep milk) in place of parmesan. I’m very dairy allergic

      • anonymous October 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

        Try Honey Bee. It is a goat parmesean alternative here in Canada.
        Also, have you tried ewe’s milk cheeses? There are many to pick from for a fantastic parm flavor and texture… Pecorino Croatenese is my personal favourite.

    18. tinatina December 7, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      That has to be one of the funnest tricks I ever learned!

    19. connie August 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      can this be canned at all to make the shelf life longer?

      • Leela August 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

        connie – I have no idea. Sorry. Anyone know?

    20. ph September 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      can this be done with UHT milk? would that extend the shelf life?

      • Leela September 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

        ph – This definitely can be done with UHT milk. Not sure if that extends the shelf life, though.