Homemade sweetened condensed milk is easy to make and the perfect ingredient for your fudge, ice cream, and pie! I'll show you how to make condensed milk, and you only need two ingredients to make this recipe.
As you know, I LOVE cooking up recipes from old cookbooks, and that is precisely how I got the idea to make my condensed milk. Luckily there are a lot of old recipes about making homemade basic ingredients like butter and vanilla sugar for me to try.
For those of you that are wondering, condensed milk is a reduction of milk with sugar. It is often used to make ice cream and fudge or tres leches cake.
To be honest, I didn't expect making my own homemade condensed milk would be so easy. I made about 1 cup or 200-250 ml with this recipe. Because it contains so much sugar, you can keep it closed and in the fridge for a few months or use it right to make fudge as I did!
Condensed milk and evaporated milk are not the same. The main difference is the amount of sugar that is in it. Both are made by reducing the water content of the milk but evaporated milk doesn't have extra sugar added to it.
A little history lesson
In the past, drinking milk was not always safe. Because milk spoils quickly and, things like talc were often added, many people got sick after drinking milk. The American Gail Borden thought that this could no longer continue.
In 1863 he developed a way to give the milk a longer shelf life by evaporating the water from the milk and adding sugar to it. He applied for a patent for this machine in 1856, and he soon opened two factories.
It was not until 1861, when the American civil army gave condensed milk to their soldiers, that it became a success.
Europe had to wait a little longer. The production of condensed milk in Europe began in 1866 after the brothers George and Charles Page opened their first factory in Switzerland. They hoped it would be just as successful as in the USA.
That same year, Henri Nestlé opened a factory where he also produced baby formula. In 1905 these brands merged, and the brand that we still know as Nestlé was created. As in those days, condensed milk is very popular in tropical climates.
Milk - whole milk gives the best result. You can use skimmed milk, but I haven't tried this yet.
Sugar - regular white sugar is best when making your own condensed milk.
You can find the complete ingredient list and instructions on the recipe card below!
Sweetened condensed milk is made by slowly simmering milk and sugar to reduce the water content and create that luscious, thick milk used for desserts or hot drinks.
You don't need fancy equipment or a double boiler to make this recipe. All you need is a heavy-bottomed saucepan and a little patience.
Because of the high sugar content, it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. You can also freeze condensed milk, but it can become a little thicker. Let it cool completely before you put the milk in the freezer.
More kitchen staples to make next
How to make condensed milk
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- Put the milk and sugar into a saucepan.
- Turn on the heat and keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and let the milk simmer on low heat for about 30-35 minutes until it thickens.
- Take the milk off the heat, pour it into a jar, and let it cool completely.