Sustainability made simple

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk: Recipe and Tips

homemade sweetened condensed milk
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Devanath

Homemade sweetened condensed milk is easy to make. We’ll share a quick recipe with just five steps and only a few simple ingredients.

Sweetened condensed milk is perhaps better known as “carnation” milk, a nestle product. Nestle is the largest food company in the world and is connected with a long list of truly horrifying human rights scandals. To avoid supporting this supermassive company, as well as save a few bucks, try making your own homemade sweetened condensed milk. 

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk: Recipe

condensed milk
Making your own condensed milk at home is a more ethical alternative to buying the original nestle product. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Theujulala)


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons food starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine half the milk with the sugar and vanilla extract in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining milk with the food starch and baking powder. 
  4. Fill the milk-starch-baking powder mixture into the mixture on the stove. Allow to boil for one minute and then continue to simmer for an additional ten minutes. 
  5. When the milk is thick and slightly golden, your homemade sweetened condensed milk is finished. Fill into a sterilized glass jar

Tips and Tricks

condensed milk on waffles
Drizzle your homemade sweetened condensed milk on waffles for a decadently delicious weekend breakfast. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Enotovyj)

Here are a few tips to fine-tune your homemade sweetened condensed milk:

  1. Instead of vanilla extract, you can use organic, fair-trade vanilla beans. Scrape out the tiny seeds inside the pods and add them directly to the milk in step 1 of the recipe. Strain them out at the end when your condensed milk is finished. For two cups of milk, you’ll need two vanilla beans.
  2. You can also make a caramelized version of this homemade condensed milk recipe. Here’s what to do:
  • Heat half of the milk in a small pot
  • In a separate pot, slowly melt the sugar over low heat, being careful not to let it burn. 
  • Pour the heated milk over the melted sugar and stir well for several minutes until combined.
  • Mix the remaining milk, food starch, and baking powder in a separate bowl, and then add to the heated milk and sugar mixture. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and stir until your homemade condensed milk thickens to the proper consistency. 

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Gezuckerte Kondensmilch selber machen: So einfach geht’s

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