This homemade organic sweetened condensed milk is deeply flavorful, only contains 2 ingredients, is easy to make, and it’s something you can feel good about making for your family.

More correctly, this is a no-refined-sugar spin on dulce de leche because it is definitely thick and caramelized, but you can use it as you would sweetened condensed milk, especially when adding some caramel flavor would be most welcome.

Don’t miss my caramel vanilla ice cream made with this goodness, friends!

dish of homemade dulce de leche made with palm sugar

Why This Recipe?

Making your own staples is almost always about saving money and having control over the quality of ingredients you use.

Standard sweetened condensed milk (scm) is definitely sweet and milky, but making it with palm sugar ensures it will have a deeply caramelized flavor.

Purchase your own organic whole milk and some organic palm sugar, and all you’ll need besides is a pot, a stove, and some time.

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All Sugars Are Not Created Equal

While regular sugar, even organice sugar, is sweet, it doesn’t have a lot of character.

Coconut palm sugar, on the other hand, is full of caramelly good flavor right out of the container.

Reduce your mixture by 25% to 40%, and you have a lovely thick, pourable scm.

I’m sure you can imagine how much deeper the flavor becomes when it’s mixed with milk and then reduced on the stove top by 60%! Now you have magically made organic dulce de leche!

What you end up with is a thick and deeply caramelized milk and palm sugar mixture that is much thicker than store-bought sweetened condensed milk.

Unrefined Sugar Lends More Flavor

Not only will you be able to make ice cream (or anything) with more depth of flavor, you can feel good knowing that you’re using an organic product that you made yourself, that only contains 2 ingredients and contains no added refined sugar at all.

Even if you are not concerned about consuming refined sugar, this SCM has so much flavor that you will want to use it in all the no-churn ice cream you make.

The Difference Between Sweetened Condensed Milk and Dulce de Leche

Both are similar in that each is made using the same two ingredients.

The difference is in the how long you cook them, or more specifically, how much you reduce them.

Reduce your mixture on the stove by 20%-40%, and you have sweetened condensed milk.

Reduce your mixture by 60%, and you’ll have dulce de leche.

The more you reduce the mixture, the thicker and more concentrated it will be, and the more flavor it will have.

How to Make It

As promised, you’ll only need two ingredients:

Collage of ingredients needed to make sweetened condensed milk.
  • whole milk: When it comes to milk products, the one that has enough water to reduce without burning but has enough fat in it to keep the mixture from breaking is whole milk. Do not sub in half and half or cream. You could potentially sub in some half and half for a portion of the milk, but that’s as far as I’d go, or you run the risk of burning it
  • palm sugar: full of flavor and simply delicious. You can sub in organic granulated sugar if you prefer


Very few ingredients, meet very few steps.

Here’s how you make this:

  1. Pour milk and palm sugar into a pan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until it has reached your desired thickness.
  4. Stir frequently at first, and then almost constantly as it thickens.

Serving Suggestions

Wooden dish of ice cream with a spoon.

I am sure you can think of a ton of ways to use this stuff, friends. But I will get you started with these ideas:

  • Use it as an ice cream topping
  • Swirl it into ice cream for a deeply flavorful caramel swirl
  • Use it as (or in) a fruit dip
  • Sweeten your coffee with it
  • Spread it on waffles or pancakes
  • Stir it into hot or cold milk to make some ridiculously good caramel milk
  • Spread it between cake layers
  • Fold it together with whipped cream to make an easy caramel mousse

Now that you’re hungry for it, let’s make some, shall we?

Can I Make a Vegan Version?

Yes you can make it vegan.

Substitute full fat coconut milk for the whole milk. Use the canned kind and not the boxed beverage.

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes
dish of organic sweetened condensed milk and a container of palm sugar

Homemade Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk (No Refined Sugar)

Jennifer Field
Homemade organic sweetened condensed milk is easy to make, takes only 2 ingredients (and time) to make, and contains no refined sugar. It’s deeply caramelized flavor is a delicious bonus!
4 from 9 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes
Course Dessert Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 157 kcal


  • 32 oz organic whole milk
  • 6 oz organic coconut palm sugar


  • Combine the milk and palm sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful it doesn’t boil over.
  • Adjust heat to medium low to keep the milk at a very low boil/high simmer.
  • Reduce the weight by 25%-40%, and you’ll have a lovely sweetened condensed milk. Your final weight will be between 22.8 oz (at 40%) and 28.5 oz (at 25%).
  • Reduce by 60% by weight. Your final weight of your mixture should be 15.2oz. (See Notes)
  • Please See Notes for a few more specifics.

Did You Make Any Changes?


You can scale this recipe up or down, keeping the ratio of 1 oz palm sugar to 5.3 oz milk. Base as written is 32 oz milk to 6 oz palm sugar.
Occasionally pour/scrape the simmering milk mixture into a heat proof container on a scale you’ve zeroed out. You’re looking for the final weight of the sweetened condensed milk to be 40% of the original weight, or 15.2 oz.
If you’re going to use this as an ice cream sauce or in your coffee, you can certainly stop the reduction at any point once the sweetened condensed milk has thickened up some.
If you’re going to use it to make no-churn ice cream, go ahead and reduce it all the way. If you leave too much water in the mixture, your ice cream will set up too firmly and could possibly develop an icy texture.


Serving: 1ozCalories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 53mgSugar: 27g
Keyword homemade dulce de leche, organic sweetened condensed milk
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends. Whether you use this as sweetened condensed milk or cook it down further to make dulce de leche, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Take care, and have a lovely day.

pin image for organic sweetened condensed milk. Text reads "homemade organic sweetened condensed milk, 2 ingredients, no refined sugar"

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  1. I tried this recipe twice today, once with whole milk and once with 2%, they both curdled and i had to throw them out. I am quite upset because the coconut palm sugar is so expensive.

    1. I am very sorry this didn’t work out for you, Brenda. Perhaps you cooked it at too high a temperature? I am happy to help you troubleshoot if you can tell me exactly how you made it. Feel free to email me directly at onlinepastrychef (at) yahoo (dot) com.

      I did do a bit of reading just now, and replacing part of the milk with heavy cream will help to keep the mixture from curdling, giving you a little leeway with how hot you have your burner set. I have never made it using heavy cream, but I trust the source. That might be an option you’d like to try Brenda.

  2. I am thinking of making this to add to Cold Start Instant Pot Yogurt instead of the canned kind? How many cups does this make and how long does it keep in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi there! This makes roughly two cups. I use weight for everything, and the final weight should be 15.2 oz. It will keep in the fridge for a good 2 weeks or so. You’ll find lots of ways to use it, including in oatmeal, in ice cream, as a coffee sweetener, and also for your yogurt, so it shouldn’t hang around too long! Please let me know how the yogurt turns out. I’m interested to hear, Jenae!

  3. Hi, Jenni! I’ve been looking for a recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk for some time so that I can make it using goat milk due to my cow’s milk allergy. I’m also allergic to coconut, so I would need to replace that with cane sugar. Would brown sugar work fine? I do love brown sugar and prefer it over granulated. Anyway, I’m guessing with goat milk, it may come out something a little like cajeta (spelling?), the goat milk caramel that Patti Jinich talks about a lot on her PBS show.

    1. Hi, Maranda! Yes–you will end up with cajeta, which is completely delicious! I think I would just go with white sugar, mainly because it is going to cook down so much, caramelize and become very complex. The bit of molasses that is blended into white sugar to make brown sugar might tend towards bitter when reduced. If refined sugar isn’t an issue for you, I’d just go with granulated. You will end up with deeply caramelized deliciousness that is about as far from white sugar in flavor as you can get!

  4. This recipe looks luscious. Palm sugar is just as much refined sugar as regular old table sugar….. Could have different flavor. This is a very rich dessert with the same consequences to ones health if over consumed, as its counterpart regular non organic.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tess! Yes, it is indeed very rich, and anything sweet should be enjoyed in moderation, of course. I disagree about the amount of refinement because palm sugar is unfiltered and does contain trace minerals, but yes, it has a much more robust and complex flavor than “regular” dulce de Leche. Enjoy just a touch in your coffee and see what you think! In no way am I selling this as health food. Just a potentially healthier option. 🙂

  5. Hi,
    Why do you call it condensed milk instead of dulce de leche?
    I am from Brazil where dulce de leche is quite popular, and this is how it’s made.
    And since you said this got the texture of dulce de leche, and from the pictures, also the color, I really would like to know why this is condensed milk.
    This is an honest question, I am trying to figure out the difference and when and why should we call them condensed milk or dulce de leche. 🙂
    Thank you!

    1. Hi, Carla! I’m calling it sweetened condensed milk because that’s what I made it to replace: the sweetened condensed milk I use in my no-churn ice cream. And it’s *also* dulce de leche. I’m fairly sure if I made it with granulated sugar it would be a lighter color, although I haven’t made it that way so I can’t say for sure.

      I didn’t mean to be confusing, and I know you are asking honestly, but I’m not sure there is really a hard line between the two, especially the way I made it. I think if I tried to make sweetened condensed milk that is like the light-colored, pourable canned kind we get in the US, I might start with evaporated milk first and then just dissolve a boatload of sugar into it to keep the light color and pourable consistency.

      I don’t think I’ve cleared up the confusion, but I guess a rose by any other name applies in this case. Whatever you call it, it is crazily delicious!

      Thanks for stopping in and for your comment. I appreciate it!

    2. 1 star
      Sweetened condensed milk is cooked down from milk until it has been reduced to half the original volume, while dulce de leche is reduced to 1/4 the orginal volume. It is different! If you used lighter sugar, it wouldn’t look like dulce de leche. But they are the same ingredients and same steps! Dulce de leche just takes longer to cook down! Sometimes people accidentally make Dulce de leche when they wanted sweetened condensed milk

      1. Thanks for making that distinction. So it’s just a matter of degree of cooking down. Sweetened condensed milk is “proto-dulce,” so perhaps I got carried away with my reduction. It is delicious and is fantastic in the ice cream I used it in. I on purpose used coconut sugar because I didn’t want to use refined white sugar in this recipe. Have a great day.

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