Sweetened condensed milk has many uses, and it’s a shortcut to make many tasty desserts. It’s usually made from whole milk and sugar, where the milk has very little water content left, which helps preserve it for longer.
But when does it make sense to freeze it? Does it freeze well? To discover everything you need to know about freezing sweetened condensed milk, keep reading.
The Shelf Life Of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened condensed milk has a very thick texture once the water is removed, making it perfect for baking. The added sugar also helps elongate the shelf life, making it last for a much longer time than normal, untreated milk.
It also goes through a heating process, which ensures any bacteria which could otherwise shorten the life of condensed milk are gone.
All of these aspects, as well as the canning process, means that sweetened condensed milk will last for at least a year, maybe two, if it’s stored unopened in a cool cupboard.
Once opened, most manufacturers recommend that you use the condensed milk within 3 to 5 days for optimum freshness, but you may be able to extend this to a week or longer.
But if you’ve forgotten about the whole can of condensed milk, and the expiry date is looming, why not open it, and freeze it?
When frozen, sweetened condensed milk will last anywhere from 3 to 6 months, making it worth freezing. Aim to use it within a month for best results.
How Do You Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk?
Preparing Sweetened Condensed Milk For Freezing
Make sure to take the condensed milk out of the can before you try to freeze it. Cans aren’t suitable for freezing, and you could end up giving yourself food poisoning.
To make things easier, portion the condensed milk as you transfer it into a different container. This will ensure that you only defrost what you need, and it will take less time to do so.
If you don’t have a lot of room in the freezer, or if you’re only freezing a small amount of condensed milk, transfer it into an ice cube tray, or several. Make sure to leave some room at the top for it to expand.
Wait until the condensed milk is solid – this should take a couple of hours. Remove the tray from the freezer, and put the cubes into a resealable freezer bag, label, seal and freeze it.
If you’d prefer to freeze the condensed milk in larger portions, feel free. Transfer the condensed milk into a rigid, airtight container, making sure to leave some headroom for it to expand. Seal the container, label it, and freeze it.
How To Use Leftover Condensed Milk
If you’ve used some condensed milk in a recipe, but the recipe called for more than you actually needed, you may struggle to find ways to use it up when you don’t want to freeze it. We’ve got you covered.
There are limitless options when it comes to using condensed milk for baking. You can use it in tarts, to make decadent fudge, milk cake, tablet, trifle, tiramisu (see also Freezing Tiramisu), pancakes, and more.
Try to go for a recipe that already wants condensed milk, rather than using it as a substitute, as you may need to adjust the other ingredients to balance out the incredible sweetness condensed milk adds.
Add Some Velvety Goodness To Hot Drinks
If you have a very large sweet tooth, you can pep up any hot drink like tea (see also Can You Freeze Kombucha) or coffee by adding some condensed milk. Only add a little before you taste it, just to make sure you don’t mind the sweetness.
Make Some Decadent French Toast
If you’re a little bored with normal French toast, add some sweetness by incorporating your leftover condensed milk into the mix, creating a velvety French toast. Balance it out by adding a pinch of salt, or something a little more savory in the topping.
Sweeten Sour Fresh Fruit
Give extra tart pieces of fruit some softness by drizzling them with condensed milk. Wash and pat dry the fruit as normal, and then add the condensed milk. It’s also a great way of encouraging picky eaters who have a sweet tooth (see also Freezing Donuts , or Freezing Chocolate) to eat more fruit.
Sweet Pie Filling
If you’re a fan of custard pie fillings (see also Can You Freeze Pastry Cream?), this is a great way of using up leftover condensed milk. Make it as you usually would, and add the condensed milk to the filling for an extra level of sweetness.
Make Your Own Ice Cream
If you are an ice cream fiend, and you love making your own, why not add some condensed milk to give it that sweet kick? Condensed milk is perfect for no-churn ice cream recipes, and those that don’t require an ice cream maker, just a freezer.
How To Thaw Sweetened Condensed Milk
Depending on what you want to use the condensed milk for, you might not even need to defrost it. If you’re using it in hot drinks, drop as much frozen milk into the cup, and it’ll defrost pretty quickly.
If you’re using it for anything else, you’re better off transferring the condensed milk into the fridge, and let it defrost slowly, and normally this will be ready in the morning.
How long it will take to defrost depends on the amount you want to thaw at a time, so leave it overnight to be safe.
If you notice some separation, stir well to reincorporate the fat.
Condensed milk is easy to freeze (see also Can You Freeze Coconut Milk), and while it has a long shelf life within its packaging, this visibly shortens when you open it.
Freezing condensed milk only takes minutes to do (see also Freezing Cow’s Milk), and it will extend the life of the milk to a few months, saving on potential waste, and allowing you to use it at a later date.
There are no downsides to freezing condensed milk (see also Can You Freeze Evaporated Milk), unless you’re pushed for freezer space, but you can freeze it in ice cube trays to maximize the space you have.