Sweetened condensed milkHow 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.  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.

Easy instructions on how to make sweetened condensed milk:

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.  Enjoy! You may want to check out these 3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons!


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  1. Thanks for all the information to make your own SCM . I have read something years ago that said it was possible to make SCM (like Eagle Brand) by placing thecan of vaporated milk in a pot and cover with water bring to boil then turn down and simmer—–time I don’t remember has anyone else heard of this?.

    1. Ramblin’ says:

      I think that was making Carmel sauce or pie filling by boiling sweet condensed milk can not evaporated . But now they have Carmel in the can alongside sweet condensed

  2. Ideas on something to use instead of evaporated milk for a dairy free sweetened version? Thanks

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Sorry, this is the only way I have ever made this.

  3. I was just talking to my wife about this last night. What a wonderful recipe as we stock evaporated milk. And I’m going to utilize it to make those 3-ingredient coconut macaroons, as well as to make Vietnamese style coffee. I was surprised to see how much the evaporated milk aided the boiling time for making it. Whew. Too Cool, and thank you very much.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You’re very welcome. I am so glad this tip is going to come in handy for you and your wife. Thanks for the comment! Have a wonderful day.

    1. The Southern Lady says: