Swirling in a few spoonfuls of rich, thick sweetened condensed milk adds decadence to any recipe. The one hitch: You often don’t need to use the whole can. So what to do with the extra? We asked First for Women test kitchen director Susan Chiusano for her best tricks, and her ideas are so easy and delicious, we might not even wait for leftovers to make ’em! Keep reading for her scrumptious uses for leftover sweetened condensed milk that are sure to delight your sugar cravings.
What is sweetened condensed milk?
Sweetened condensed milk is milk that has been heated to remove all of its water content. This process reduces the milk by at least half and thickens its consistency. After it has reduced, sugar is added for flavoring — that’s what makes condensed milk different from evaporated milk. The end result is a thick, creamy goo that might not look so appetizing but tastes amazing in some of our favorite treats.
Need a dairy-free alternative to condensed milk? Try store-bought or homemade coconut condensed milk. It boasts a sweet and fruity flavor, and can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for the regular kind in recipes.
What are some uses for leftover sweetened condensed milk?
To ensure your can of condensed milk doesn’t go to waste, here are Susan’s top nine ideas:
1. Make your own caramel sauce.
Did you know that you can make your own caramel sauce from sweetened condensed milk? Susan notes that all you have to do is pour a can of it into a casserole dish and bake it in a preheated oven at 425°F for 60 to 90 minutes until it’s turned a golden brown color! “I like to drizzle caramel sauce over ice cream for an even sweeter treat,” she says.
2. Use it as a dessert topping.
While you can transform it into caramel sauce, sweet and rich condensed milk is great as a dessert topping on it’s own, too. Simply spoon your desired amount onto ice cream, brownies, pie or pancakes. Yum!
3. Make key lime pie.
Speaking of pie, one of the uses for leftover sweetened condensed milk is to make your very own key lime pie, which is the ideal combination of tart and sweet. Just click through for our super simple Key Lime Pie recipe.
4. Craft a heavenly cocktail.
Dessert cocktails steal the show at any dinner gathering, and sweetened condensed milk is the perfect nightcap when combined with bourbon and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.! Susan suggests mixing 1 ½ oz. of milk with 1 ½ oz. bourbon and a pinch or two of ground spices to make a single-serve drink.
5. Replace your favorite candy bar.
Condensed milk acts as a rich sweetener in these Almond Joy Fudge Bars, which get a good-for-you kick thank to nutritious superfoods like dark chocolate, almonds and coconut. Once you try these, we guarantee you won’t be going back to the store-bought version anytime soon.
6. Use it as a coffee creamer.
Sweetened condensed milk is a great coffee creamer and sweetener. Since it’s so concentrated, you’ll want to add just a small amount at first. Start by stirring in 1 Tbs. per cup of coffee and adjust to taste.
7. Drizzle it on fruit.
Instead of topping your favorite fruits like strawberries and sliced peaches with whipped cream, drizzle on a dash of condensed milk. It makes a light yet heavenly snack!
8. Stir it into brownie batter.
As if brownies weren’t enough of a treat, Susan says to fold in about ½ to ¾ cup of condensed milk into your batter before baking, and you really won’t be able to resist. The milk will add richness and extra sweetness to your finished product.
9. Make no-churn ice cream.
One of Susan’s favorite tricks with sweetened condensed milk? “Use it to make ice cream without churning in a machine — all you need is a food processor or blender”. The condensed milk’s thick consistency helps produce a velvety frozen treat as if it were churned in an ice cream machine. Try this recipe for 2-Ingredient Condensed Milk Berry Ice Cream to see the results for yourself.
Our top 4 favorite condensed milk recipes
In addition to those uses for leftover condensed milk, Susan shares four recipes to turn the sweet ingredient into macaroons, popsicles or whatever your taste buds desire!
1. Flan Cheesecake
Topped with caramel sauce and kissed with cinnamon, this easy from-scratch beauty is sure to win rave reviews.
- 6 almond toast cookies, from 6.6-oz. pkg., such as Stella D’oro (Buy from Walmart, $15.99)
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 (¼-oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 3 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce
- Active: 45 mins
- Total time: 9 hrs, or overnight
- Yield: 16 servings
- Coat 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In food processor, pulse cookies with sugar until fine crumbs form. Add butter; process until blended. Firmly press into bottom of pan.
- On medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Beat in cinnamon and salt. In 1-quart microwave-safe bowl, combine honey, vanilla and 1 Tbs. water; stir in gelatin. Let sit until absorbed, 5 minutes. Microwave until melted, 10 seconds. Stir in 1 cup cream cheese mixture (if lumps form, microwave in 15-second intervals until smooth). Stir gelatin back into remaining cheese mixture. Fold in 2 cups topping; spread over crust in pan. Cover; chill until set, up to 8 hours or overnight.
- Run knife around cake edge to loosen; remove side of pan. Transfer cheesecake to serving plate; spread caramel sauce over top, letting some drip down side. If desired, transfer remaining 1 cup topping to pastry bag fitted with star tip; pipe rosettes or spoon dollops around cake edge. If desired, garnish with raspberries and mint.
2. Frozen Key Lime Pops
Oh so refreshing, this tart ‘n’ creamy treat is a guaranteed lip smacker!
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¾ cup key lime juice
- 8 drops yellow liquid food coloring
- 4 drops green liquid food coloring
- Active: 15 mins
- Total Time: 4 hrs, 15 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings
- In bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, water and green food coloring.
- Dividing evenly, pour mixture into ten ⅓ cup each ice pop molds. Insert sticks. Freeze until solid, about 5 hours or overnight. Run molds under warm water 30 sec. to release.
3. Coconut Macaroons
Impressive has never been so simple thanks to these gluten-free treats — dip ’em in melted chocolate for even more mmm.
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ tsp. almond extract
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 (14-oz.) pkg. sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Active: 40 mins
- Total Time: 2 hrs, 30 mins
- Yield: 36 servings
- In large bowl, whisk together milk, almond and vanilla extracts and cornstarch. Stir in coconut until well combined; reserve. In separate bowl, on medium-high speed, beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into coconut mixture until combined. Cover; chill 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop coconut mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into 1 ½-inch wide mounds 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake until bottoms are golden, 16 to 18 minutes Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer from baking sheets to racks; let cool completely.
4. Apple Pecan Swirled Bundt
Impress everyone when you slice into this stunning showstopper to reveal its rich cream cheese filling.
- 1 (15-oz.) box yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, diced
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 (8-oz.) package + ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp.vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Candied pecan halves (optional)
- Active: 20 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins
- Yield: 12 servings
- Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour 10-cup Bundt pan. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using eggs, oil and 1 cup water, adding cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In separate bowl, combine apple, chopped pecans and flour; toss until evenly coated. Fold apple mixture into cake batter.
- On medium-high speed, beat 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, ½ cup condensed milk and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour half of cake batter into Bundt pan. Spread cream cheese filling over top, leaving 1-inch border around inside and outside edge of pan. Pour remaining cake batter over top to cover cream cheese layer completely. Bake until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 min. Let cool on rack 15 minutes. Transfer from pan to rack; let cool. Invert cake onto cake plate or cake stand.
- On medium-high speed, beat maple syrup and remaining ½ cup cream cheese and ½ cup condensed milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour glaze over cake, allowing some to drip down side. If desired, arrange candied pecans on top of cake.
There you have it. Never again will you toss away a can of precious sweetened condensed milk. With these genius uses for leftover sweetened condensed milk, your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied!
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