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54 Condensed Milk Recipes for the Holidays and Beyond

As far as pantry staples go, canned sweetened condensed milk is among the most magical. Not only is it rich, luscious and delicious on its own (we know you’ve licked the spoon clean before), but it’s also the secret to making homemade dulce de leche, cheater’s fudge and foolproof no-churn ice cream without trying too hard. Iconic treats like key lime pie, tres leches cake and Vietnamese iced coffee wouldn’t be the same without its thick, sweet splendor. Read on for 54 condensed milk recipes that prove you should always have a can on hand.

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1. Crème Caramel

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour (plus chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

This silky French custard gets a Vietnamese-inspired twist with the help of sweetened condensed milk. (We’re betting you already have the other five ingredients needed to pull it off, too.)

2. Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies with Dulce de Leche

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Wanna see a magic trick? Submerge a can of sweetened condensed milk in water and gently simmer it for a few hours. Abracadabra: You’ve got dulce de leche.

3. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Choose a bold, strong roast to balance the condensed milk’s sweetness. (You can also swap the coffee out entirely for black or chai tea.)

4. 3-Ingredient Ice Cream (with Endless Variations)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, no cook, beginner-friendly

No need for a fancy ice cream maker here. All it takes is a whisk or a stand mixer to whip up a killer pint. (See what we did there?)

5. Key Lime Pie with Coconut and White Chocolate

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Get in, we’re going to Florida. Not only does the filling nail the sweet-to-sour ratio, but the crust boasts graham crackers, coconut flakes and white chocolate.

6. Thai Iced Tea Panna Cotta

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

Ombré desserts are always guaranteed to impress. This one’s made up of two layers of panna cotta—one spiked with Thai iced tea mix, the other infused with vanilla extract. The finishing touch? A generous dollop of whipped cream.

7. Coconut Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

The Brits have been pairing rhubarb with cream to curb its bitterness for years. We up the ante by using whole milk, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk.

8. Horchata Three Ways

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 5 minutes (includes soaking and chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

A type of creamy agua fresca, horchata is a Mexican drink traditionally made by steeping rice in water with almonds and cinnamon. Once you nail the O.G., give the coconut and matcha varieties a whirl.

9. Caramel Coconut Macaroons

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, gluten free, crowd-pleaser

Sweetened condensed milk is the silky, creamy secret to the caramel sauce that holds these bite-sized cookies together.

10. No-Churn, 4-Ingredient Plum Swirl Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Cheater’s condensed milk ice cream has endless varieties. Opt for swirling in store-bought jam instead of our homemade plum version if you’re feeling extra lazy.

11. No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead, no bake

See ya, fussy water bath. All this cheesecake needs to set is a night in the fridge. Don’t skip the pretty lime zest garnish.

12. The Easiest 3-Ingredient Brigadeiro

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, one pot, <10 ingredients

For the uninitiated, brigadeiro is a type of Brazilian chocolate truffle rolled in sprinkles. Chocolate milk powder gives the classic treat its flavor, but strawberry milk powder works just as well.

13. Creamy California Avocado and Mint Sorbet

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 10 minutes (includes chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Homemade sorbet can turn out unpleasantly icy, but buttery avocados, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk ensure this one’s silky smooth texture.

14. No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

If you’re short on time, chocolate chips are a solid alternative to chopped dark chocolate. (Though you’ll have to wait for the cream to chill anyway, so why not go all out?)

15. Mini Key Lime Pies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes (plus chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

A teeny-tiny bite of pure sunshine. They bake in a muffin tin for just 20 minutes, so they’ll be in your mouth before you know it.

16. Crockpot Hot Cocoa

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Whole milk, heavy cream, condensed milk and quality chocolate? Just call this hot cocoa a liquid brownie.

17. Coconut Banana 3-Milk Cupcake with Nutella Buttercream

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, kid-friendly

Believe it or not, you can actually use Nutella hazelnut-cocoa spread in recipes instead of devouring it straight from the jar.

18. Gingerbread Swirl Fudge

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, make ahead, gluten free

Just one bite will put the Scrooge of your family in the Christmas spirit. The gingerbread swirl is loaded with molasses, cinnamon and warm spices.

19. Chocolate-Drizzled Buttery Pecan and Caramelized Condensed Milk Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Simmering the condensed milk over low heat for half an hour turns it ridiculously thick, so much so that it can hold its own as the cookie sandwiches’ filling.

20. Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, no bake, kid-friendly, make ahead

Complete with a flourish of chocolate and peanut butter chips, this dessert couldn’t be any more decadent. Use a store-bought graham cracker crust to save time.

21. Key Lime Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Sour cream in the batter guarantees a moist, tender crumb. Feel free to substitute regular lime juice if you can’t find key limes.

22. Loaded Peanut Butter & Chocolate-Covered Potato Chip Dulce de Leche Fudge

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

It’s safe to say that you’ll land a permanent spot on the nice list if you gift a sweet-and-salty batch to your friends and family.

23. Perfect Tres Leches Cake

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

The traditional Latin dessert couldn’t be easier to prepare. The cake is soaked overnight in a mix of whole, evaporated and condensed milks.

24. Fudge Ice Cream Tacos with Banana Peanut Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 10 minutes (includes chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Just like the Choco Tacos (RIP) you’d get from the ice cream truck as a kid…only a million times more gourmet.

25. Candy Cane Chocolate Swirl Fudge

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Five ingredients + ten minutes prep + a trip to the refrigerator = the easiest holiday fudge of all time.

26. Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Between the Honeycrisp apples, buttermilk crust and bourbon-spiked filling, this fall sweet is bound to be a home run on Thanksgiving.

27. Pumpkin Mousse

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 15 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

It’s your pantry’s time to shine. We’re talking easy canned pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and fall spices.

28. Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Brownies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Tangy, chocolatey and impossibly gooey. Simmer the condensed milk the night before so it has plenty of time to caramelize and cool before baking.

29. Southern-Style Banana Pudding

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, make ahead, kid-friendly

Topped with toasted meringue for good measure. Save time by using store-bought instant vanilla pudding.

30. Lemon Tres Leches Cake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Not only is there lemon zest in the cake batter, but the whipped cream topping also gets a dash of lemon extract to drive the citrusy flavor home.

31. Cookie Dough Tiramisu

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Between layers of coffee-soaked ladyfinger cookies and meringue-kissed mascarpone cream is a bed of chocolate chip cookie dough. Need we say more?

32. Cannoli Poke Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

BRB, going for a dip in a pool of sweet ricotta. Might we suggest topping the cake off with crumbled cannoli shells?

33. Coconut Cream Eggs

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

You’re only five ingredients (plus some pastel sprinkles) away from the cutest Easter favor of all time.

34. Easy Lemon Cream Pie

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Why We Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

A buttery brown sugar crust meets a sweet-tart cream cheese filling. Did we mention you don’t even have to turn on the oven to pull it off?

35. White Chocolate Buttered Rum Fudge

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, gluten free, <10 ingredients

Don’t worry, there’s not a drop of alcohol in this holiday treat. The key to its boozy flavor is rum extract.

36. Honey Brick Toast

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly

Think of it as sugary, custard-soaked French toast. This sweet breakfast dish is typically made with milk bread, but buttery brioche is a fine substitute.

37. Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies (Alfajores)

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

These traditional Argentinian sandwich cookies *will* change your life. Save yourself hours’ worth of simmering by using canned dulce de leche.

38. Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

The dulce de leche topping comes together in a water bath in the slow cooker, so you won't need to babysit the stove.

39. Blackberry, Pineapple and Coconut Swirl Italian Ice Pops

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 15 minutes (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, gluten free

The ultimate trifecta of canned pantry staples—coconut milk, coconut cream and sweetened condensed milk—make these ice pops possible.

40. Seven-Layer Bars

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Three types of baking chips, coconut flakes and nuts doused in sweetened condensed milk? Pinch us, we’re dreaming.

41. Dulce de Leche Apple Tart

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Look for Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Winesap apples—they’re prime choices for baking. Bonus points for topping the tart with apple rosettes.

42. Chocolate Caramel Fudge with Cracker Jack Popcorn

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, beginner-friendly

The nostalgia is strong with this one. Finish the fudge with a sprinkle of flaky salt to really make the flavors pop.

43. Strawberry White Chocolate Gooey Bars

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

How do these delectable handhelds only call for five ingredients, you ask? Chalk it up to sweetened condensed milk and store-bought strawberry cake mix.

44. Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, gluten free, make ahead

For ice cream sundaes, brownies and well, just about any dessert that could use a lil’ something extra. The recipe calls for melting down white chocolate chips, but you can substitute half with peanut butter chips if you’d like.

45. Atlantic Beach Pie

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

This summery pie is famous for its sweet-and-salty saltine cracker crust. (Though we’d argue that the three-ingredient citrus filling is just as noteworthy.)

46. Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Boxed cake mix and canned apple pie filling make this dessert super low lift. Besides, the real star is the caramel-topped cream cheese frosting.

47. Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Crust

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Trading graham crackers for chocolate wafers reinvents this old-school dessert in no time at all.

48. Bananas Foster Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

The layered masterpiece is drizzled in a rich, bananas foster-inspired sauce made from dark rum, maple syrup and butter.

49. Sweet Cream Cold Brew Fudgesicles

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, gluten free

Admit it: You wouldn’t mind waking up at the crack of dawn to start your day with one of these bad boys. (We’ll be letting ours melt into a hot cup of joe, thank you very much.)

50. Cold Brew Coconut Horchata

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Take it from one of Miami's best baristas: Sweet dreams are made of these ridiculously easy lattes. All you need is ice and a blender to pull them off.

51. Dulce de Leche Skillet Brownie

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

It doesn't get more ooey-gooey than this marbled masterpiece. (If you like your brownies less fudgy, bake for 40 to 45 minutes instead of 30.)

52. No-Churn Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 12 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, no bake, beginner-friendly, make ahead

Bye-bye, ice crystals. Your scoop will be smooth and grit-free, thanks to condensed milk and a dash of citrus liqueur. The only crunchy part will be the broken shortbread cookies.

53. Gingerbread Linzer Cookies with Dulce de Leche Centers

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

You're about to totally dominate the holiday cookie swap with these spicy, decadent, elegant treats. Use canned dulce de leche instead of making your own to save time.

54. Kool-Aid Pie

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, no bake, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

This vibrant, no-bake pie tastes like childhood. Choose any Kool-Aid flavor you'd like. Whipped topping and sweetened condensed milk pairs with just about anything.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.