If you do a lot of holiday baking, like I do, then you have probably made dozens of recipes with evaporated or sweetened, condensed milk. My favorite recipes usually call for one or the other (my husband’s grandmother has an amazing pumpkin pie recipe that uses sweetened, condensed milk), and I never gave a thought to the contents of the cans in the past.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t like the idea of canned milk. Who knows what preservatives are in there, and the cans leech metal into the milk. Yuck. So this year, I decided to try my hand at making my own versions.
It turns out, the recipes are incredibly simple. All you need is milk, sugar and a stove.
Homemade Evaporated Milk Recipe
Evaporated milk is the easiest thing to make in the world. You don’t even have to have a sweetener on hand.
- 4 cups of milk (will make 2 cups of evaporated milk- slightly more than the standard can size of 14 or 15 ounces)
- Small pot
- Pour the milk into the pot on the stove. Turn the stove to “low.”
- Keep the milk hot, but not boiling, until the milk has evaporated to half its size (it took me about 2 1/2 hours). Stir the milk every 10 minutes or so. You can remove the skin from the top of the milk, if you like.
- Allow the milk to cool to room temperature before using in a recipe.
- Store the milk in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Sweetened, Condensed Milk Recipe
What is the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk? Sugar!
- 4 cups of milk (for 16 ounces of sweetened, condensed milk)
- Small pot
- 1 ½ cups of sugar, honey, or sweetener of your choice (I used raw sugar)
- Mix the sugar into the milk, then place on the stove under “low” heat.
- Wait about 2 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes. After 2 hours, the milk should be about half the size it was before.
- When it is reduced by half, remove it from the stove and allow to cool before using in a recipe.
- Store the milk in the refrigerator for up to a week or can it for later use.
- Note: With both milks, overcooking can happen quickly. I overcooked my milk twice trying to make it for this recipe. What happens is you think, “Oh, this is looking pretty good, but I think it can cook down a little more.” If you allow the milk to start boiling (particularly with the sweetened milk), it will turn into milk candy. Then it will burn. Very quickly. So watch out. 2 to 2 ½ hours is about all the heat it can take.
Did You Know?
If you can condensed milk, it can last for several months without refrigeration. This is a perfect way to ensure the canned milk in your stockpile is healthy and chemical-free.
Have you made your own condensed milk? What tricks or sweeteners do you like to use?
Patrick @ Survival at Home says
Very nice! I’ll bet it’s cheaper this way, too, right? :) Kudos!
Gregg Carter (The Rural Economist) says
This is awesome! Okay now my question is do you think you can make a large batch and can this?
Brenda Priddy says
I don’t see why you couldn’t. I’ve never tried to can milk products, but from what I’ve read online, it’s perfectly safe if you use a pressure canner. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!
I have an elderly aunt that has been teaching me “old ways”- she said she cans milk rather than let it go bad and throw it away. Told me the length of time to pressure. She said it would be like evaporated milk.
I can whole milk for 20 mins at q3# pressure. It comes out like evaporated milk.
Do you just can it like everything else in a glass jar? Thanks for the recipes! I am lactose intolerant so this is great!
If you are lactose intolerant, it wouldn’t make any difference if the milk is heated and reduced in volume, would it?
No, but she could make the recipe with Lactaid milk.
Is there any difference between evaporated and condensed milk.? If not why are recipes calling for one or the other?
I believe that there is a difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk. The difference would be that they leave out an important word when comparing the two. Condensed milk is usually sweetened condensed milk. If you are making your own, you need a recipe that calls for sweetener of some sort along with the dairy product.
NEVER artificial sweeteners. They are toxic, poison!
How would it work in crock pot?-Stacy
Thats what id like to know as well, you’d think in a crock pot on low 8 hours would work, Think i will try this method.
Have you tried it yet in a crockpot?
Can u made a large batch n can it in jars to have on hand?
Can you use non-dairy milks for this?
Mom Prepares says
I don’t see why not. Feel free to try a small batch and let us know how it turns out.
Could u use a crockpot on low?
Mom Prepares says
Hmm. That’s a tricky one. To be honest, I haven’t tried that myself. If you do try it out let us know! Love the idea!
Wow! I was just gonna ask the same thing. I wonder if cooking on low with lid slightly ajar would be easier to prevent burning, although would take longer.
Im going to be making fudge this weekend. I have condensed milk on my shopping list, instead im going to try the first batch with this recipe.
Mom Prepares says
Very cool! If you take a picture, I’d love to see it :)
Canned milk came about so that people wouldn’t drink spoiled milk and die. Generally on ships making long voyages. “Yuck” indeed.
Just made the condensed milk – so easy and extremely nice. Wont buy a tin of it ever again :)
Wow, that is so awesome. How did you cook it. On the stove? I want to try this to. I will never try or evening think about buying ever again. Knowing whatever the stuff the company who makes them that put whatever they want in their that’s is bad for our bodies. This recipe is very healthy and good for our families. And not to worry about all the junk they put in the cans. I am going to do this. I love this recipe site. God bless.
If we want to can it what pressure for how long?
Home scanners don’t reach high enough temperatures to safely can milk.
Christina Covert says
Yes hon, but we have been doing it for years with no problems. I have about 50 quarts of milk (canned) on hand right now for my family. I keep about that much on hand at all times.
It’s great in coffee, teas, cereal, and baking.
Can I use 1% milk instead of whole?
Could you use honey instead of sugar? or even chocolate
Karin C says
You can’t safely “Can” milk products, tons of info on this .
Yes, you can! I have a cow that I milk, but I stop milking her in the winter for a few months. I can 14 quarts of fresh milk to get me thru those 3 months. it works fine. Just because the government says it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it doesn’t!
I assume your pressure-can into jars. How many pounds of pressure and for how long?
I could have used this years ago when I milked goats and a Jersey cow!
Thanks for your reply.
Donna Wilson says
I bring my pressure to 10 lbs and remove from heat immediately. Let cool naturally and done. Never had a problem.
I use sweetened condensed milk to dolce de Leche ( caramel) can that still be done here?
Learned a lot. Glad I found you. Many thanks!
I have made sweetened condensed milk from concentrated milk powder.Just use a lot less water for reconstituting and it will thicken and tastes just like canned condensed milk really simple and easy.
You list milk as an ingredient but you don’t say what kind (ie. whole,low-fat,non-fat,skim)
Antoinette E. Stokes says
Thank you! You have answered all of my questions. I will definitely be making both of these milks. Besides I need them for my Ice coffee’s.
Once, again thank you.
Tonie Asher says
I’m going to try this recipe,I use both of these milks on the Holidays,So Thank You ? So much for Your Recipes,Just found your blog by looking on Facebook.
Thank you so much for the recipes for the milks can’t wate to make both of them
I don’t have 2-21/2 hours. What can I do?
Sorry self correction changed my question
Can you substitute munkfruit for sugar in the condensed milk recipe?
June Patterson says
Thanks for the recipes. I am definitely going to try it. I was wondering if you think this would work in a double boiler.
Ive been making my own sweetened condensed milk for a couple years now, and its a different recipe than yours. Don’t even remember where I got it. Its 1/3 cup boiling water, 4Tbsp butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup powdered milk. And I suggest you sift it to avoid any lumps that might remain. Combine everything except the milk in a bowl and gradually add the powdered milk and whisk until it thickens. This too stores well in fridge.
This is the recipe that I have always used it. Except instead of risking mine I put it in the blender. It’s very good. But I am anxious to try this recipe to
To Cherir / Joyce,
,Do you cook the milk on low heat after you mix in blender?
Ginger Steed says
Cindy, You said you can milk every winter. But you didn’t say what temperature you need to reach or for how long. I tried canning cheese sause once but it didn’t come out right at all! Please elaborate the directions. Thanks. Ginger
I need to make the sweetened condensed milk sugar free for my diabetic husband. Can this be done?
Can you use almond milk to make evaporated or condensed milk?
Lynn taylor says
When canning this milk how long and at what pressure do you can it?
Linda Wagner says
I didn’t read anything on whether this could be frozen or
with it thaw and separate? Linda W.
At our house this is called Iggle Brand milk.?
I too would like to know if keto sugar substitutes can be used?
we can only get UHT milk can i use that or do you need to use fresh milk?
Susan duke says
I use powered milk hot water, sugar, margarine. It works great with my handmixer.