How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

I don’t use sweetened condensed milk very often, but when I do I never seem to have it on hand. I recently looked at the list of ingredients on a can of store-bought sweetened condensed milk, and do you know what is in it? Milk and sugar!

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Not to mention that store bought sweetened condensed milk is expensive. Of course I decided to find out if I can make it at home, and it turns out you can! I tried it today, and it turned out great.

To make homemade sweetened condensed milk, you will need:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/8 cups powdered milk

The original recipe I followed said to make this recipe on the stove in a double boiler. A lot of people commented that they had trouble with this mixture burning, however, even with the double boiler. One of their readers suggested cooking it in the microwave, and that is what I did. No burning! Here is the original recipe from if you want to use the double boiler method.

To prepare this in the microwave, combine the above ingredients and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir really well and then microwave for another minute. At this point the mixture should be starting to boil so watch it to make sure it doesn’t boil over. If it does boil over a little, however, it will be much easier to clean up than the stove top! Stir and cook for another 30 seconds, and then stir and cook for another 30 seconds. At this point if the mixture is thick, it should be done. Carefully remove it from the microwave and stir it really well.

Let cool and then use as you would use store-bought sweetened condensed milk. This recipe made 1 1/4 cups of sweetened condensed milk. A store-bought can is 15 oz., so if you need that quantity you will need to make a double recipe. Either make two small batches or make sure your bowl is large enough that it won’t spill over in the microwave.

I was very pleased with how my homemade sweetened condensed milk turned out. I will admit I was skeptical, but it really does taste the same as the store bought kind. It is actually better, because I have noticed that store-bought milk actually takes on a little of the flavor of the metal can it comes in!

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