, , ,

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetend condensed milk

I bet more than a few of you blinked at the screen upon reading the title of this latest recipe.

“What??  You are suggesting something made with SUGAR??? ”

My reply is unequivocally “Yes, and unapologetically so.”  Sugar is, after all, sucrose, which is almost 50-50 glucose to fructose and the body does prefer glucose as fuel over fat.  In fact, sugar definitely has its place in fixing a broken metabolism.

Intrigued?? More on that in our post A Case for Sugar coming up soon but for an intro into why sugar should not be the villain in your life read Sugar:: Friend or Foe.

This is one of those recipes you never really think you can make.  It’s kind of tantamount to realizing that Hamburger Helper is actually only macaroni, beef, and cheese, or that Macaroni and cheese is just that; macaroni and cheese; and yet you are forever shackled to thinking “inside the box”.  Cheez Wiz, Hostess Cupcakes, beans in a can; there are just some “foods” we inextricably associate with a package.

Sweetened condensed milk is one of those foods.

Alarmingly simple (though does require patience), it is one of those staples (I always kept a can for Vietnamese Coffee and for certain ice creams) that, in recent years, has fallen prey to more and more devious and mysterious ingredients such as stabilizers such as carageenan and preservatives with rather nondescript letters and numbers meant to look innocuous and keep you off guard.  Couple that with the fact that the milk is coming from feedlot dairies raised on corn, hormones, and antibiotics serving up milk full of puss and bacteria….It was enough to send me off on a quest to make my own.

Luckily for me the answer lay in the Metabolic Blueprint Cookbook  by Josh and Jeanne Rubin.  I immediately loved the fact that the recipe contained gelatin, an anti-inflammatory superfood,  on top of having only a few ingredients. Even better, the recipe contained butter (which is a good source of healthy saturated fat).  I was hooked.

Again, it takes a fair bit of patience as the reduction of the milk mixture can take a few hours and needs to be stirred frequently during the process but the finished product is nothing short of divine.


Makes about 2/3 cup


* 1 1/2 cup whole milk (I used raw but at least unhomogenized is best.  Goat’s milk works pretty good too.)

* 2 tbsp. Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate   (Gelatin that can dissolve in cold liquid)

* 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (I used evaporated cane juice but coconut sugar or jaggery works well too)

* 3 tbsp. grass-fed pastured butter (remember, butter is yellow, not white!!)

* 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped


1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, whisk in collagen hydrolysate with milk.  Add in sugar and stir until incorporated. 

2. Heat on medium-low to a very slow simmer, stirring often.  Sugar should be dissolved by now.  Turn heat to the lowest heat (on the smallest burner possible) and let simmer.  You must watch this mixture.  It will develop a “skin” if you aren’t careful and trap heat underneath which will heat the milk to boiling.  You want to stir about every two minutes and if the mixture starts to develop a rolling boil, take it off the heat and let it cool for a minute before putting it back on the low heat.

3.  Reduce mixture by half.  Depending on the pot and the burner, this can take a few hours.  With me it takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  

4.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

This freezes well (I freeze in ice cube trays for Vietnamese coffee) or stores in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Pro-thyroid and metabolism charging, good source of protein and healthy saturated fats.  Oh and did I mention delicious??  What’s not to love??


  • would ghee work as a substitute for the butter?

    • thedetoxdiva

      Ghee COULD work as a substitute for butter, but if you did that, you would still need a thickening agent such as coconut oil. The butterfat is what gives the milk mouth feel. Coconut milk would replace some of that and ghee would give the taste.

  • Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will try this at home