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Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Make your own homemade sweetened condensed milk and you’ll know exactly what goes into it!
Sweetened Condensed Milk

So why would anyone want to go to the trouble of making their own homemade sweetened condensed milk? After all, there are only two ingredients in a can of store-bought SCM: milk and sugar. Pretty harmless, no?

Not so fast.

True, it’s probably less detrimental to your health than most canned food. But it’s still not all that healthy. Here’s why:

1) You don’t know the origin of the milk. It most likely came from cows fed GMO feed, raised in confinement and given hormones.
2) The sugar, unless it is specifically stated as cane sugar, is most likely from GMO sugar beets. 95% of sugar beet crops in the US were GMO in 2010 (source).
3) Most cans are lined with BPA to stop corrosion.

Besides, it’s kind of fun to make! Yes, you do need to keep an eye on the stove for 2 hours, but you only need to stir it every 15 minutes or so.

What do you think? Are you concerned about consuming canned food? Do you care about GMOs?

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

This homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe calls for just 3 ingredients and some time on the stove!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 ounces
Author Erica Lea


  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sugar I used cane sugar, of course
  • 1 tablespoon butter to thicken milk I forgot this, and it still turned out fine


  1. 1) Place the milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 2 hours or until the milk is reduced by about half. Stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the milk from burning.
  2. 2) Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if desired and stir in the butter. Store in the refrigerator until needed.

Recipe Notes

adapted from Just as Delish

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Recipe Rating

Wesley Bielinski

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Thank you for the recipe, I will try it, but I have an issue with the mixed metric/imperial measurements. 1L milk 1 cup sugar? Should be liters and grams OR Quarts and cups. :-)

Erica Kastner

Monday 25th of May 2020

Sorry about that! If you prefer, you can use a scant 4 1/4 cups of milk.

How to Host a Real Food Thanksgiving - Buttered Side Up

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

[…] For the yummiest pumpkin pie ever, Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree! You can also make the Sweetened Condensed Milk from scratch! […]

Erica Lea

Thursday 3rd of November 2016

Aw, thank you so much for your kind comment! It is definitely encouraging to me. :)


Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

I stumbled upon this post and applaud you for your desire for home-made goodness. After reading the comments...can I just say 3 things to future readers of this comment thread?

If you support GMO's...(and I don't say this arrogantly...I say it to spur you on to research it for yourself)1) You have not done your research on healthy eating (food that actually acts as medicine...not poison).2) You are ignorant to the fact that GMO's don't work (as far as helping end world hunger).and/or3) You have never had cancer. (and as far as the golden rice and beta-carotene debate...I don't know anything about it...but it's irrelevant because GMOs kill far more Americans than I'm sure the golden rice is supposedly saving...) Know someone with breast cancer? Thank GMO's.

America....let's open our eyes to truth and not lies.

Erica...I appreciate (x1000) all your hard work in formulating recipes that are healthy.....because substituting healthy ingredients is not always as easy "as 1,2,3" and I appreciate your honest and humble insight. Keep doing what is right.

Erica Lea

Sunday 31st of May 2015

Great idea to use maple syrup or honey! That's so cool that you could have completely home-grown sweetened condensed milk. :)