How to make sweetened condensed milk as a substitute if you run out is so easy if you have evaporated milk on hand.   You only need 3 ingredients and a little time.  I usually keep evaporated milk on hand in the cupboard but for some reason never have the sweetened condensed milk.  This recipe makes a little over a cup of sweetened condensed milk.  You can use it in recipes that call for the real thing.  If you make this sweetened condensed milk, it will keep in the refrigerator about 4 or 5 days just like the canned type.

Is there a difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk? 

There is a difference in evaporated milk and condensed milk.  The evaporated milk has about sixty per cent of the water removed by evaporation, is darker in color than regular milk and is used in gravies and sauces and as a substitute for cream in sweetening coffee and teas.  Sweetened condensed milk has sugar added and is used in pies, candies and baking.   DON’T SUBSTITUTE ONE FOR THE OTHER.  They both come in cans and will spoil easily once opened if not refrigerated.

We often will receive this question: Do you use sweetened condensed milk or unsweetened? There is only sweetened condensed milk.. that is what makes it.. the addition of the sugar. To learn more about this process you can read our article Evaporated Milk vs Condensed Milk.

Three Simple Ingredients Needed

  • evaporated milk
  • sugar
  • vanilla extract

If you are a dessert maker then you know condensed milk is an ingredient you use quite frequently. We love making these 3 ingredient macaroons, they are simple and so good! Here a few more of our favorite recipes that included condensed milk.

How to Make Condensed Milk - The Southern Lady Cooks

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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Easy homemade sweetened condensed milk

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time30 minutes

Course: Dessert, Sauce

Cuisine: American, southern

Keyword: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Servings: 1 cup

Author: The Southern Lady Cooks

  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Combine the three ingredients in a sauce pan on top of the stove.  Bring to a boil on medium heat and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes stirring often or will burn and may overflow the pan.

  • Cook this kind of like you would homemade gravy.  It will rise and fall while cooking just like gravy.  You can tell when it begins to thicken.  You don’t want it too thick as it will continue thickening as it cools.

  • Twenty minutes was perfect for me.  It may take some shorter or longer periods depending on how hard it is boiling.

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