Condensed Milk Caramel

Condensed Milk Caramel

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September 20, 2014

  • Prep: 2 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yields: Enough for a cake filling or tart.


A can of sweetened condensed milk

Ring pull cans are ok ... Just place ring pull cans ringpull end down in the slow cooker


1Place unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into your slow cooker.

2Cover the can completely with water... It doesn't really matter the temperature of the water... I try to make sure there is at least 2 inches of water over the top of thecan (VERY IMPORTANT)

3Put the lid on. Your slow cooker... No tea towel.

4Put your slow cooker on high for up to 4 or 5 hours or 7-8 hours on low... Depending on how thick you want your caramel, to the amount of time it's in there. Mine was 4.5 hours on high.

5I checked mine every hour or so to make sure the water level hadn't dropped... It didn't...

6After the time is up, patience is required.... Allow can of caramel to cool completely before opening... The caramel is under pressure in the tin and you don't want molten caramel to explode out at you from a hot tin (VERY IMPORTANT)..... I just left mine in the slow cooker over night.

7Then open and use for your delicious treats.... We have been known in my house to eat the caramel straight out of the can with a spoon.... Yes it's that good!! ?

8*note... Some people have talked about the cans exploding.... Although that is a possibility, I have used this method heaps of times and it has been fine. Just make sure you always have enough water in your slow cooker and please make your own judgement call on what it is safe for you.


1Alternate non can method

2Note from Slow Cooker Central: Be sure water is tap temperature only. Boiling water could crack your bowl.

Submitted by Amanda Crowther


74 Reviews

Lisa Wright

August 14, 2022

Loved the results! Delicious caramel and so easy. I looked up the β€œcaramel questions answered” tag and followed the directions there as well as the above recipe. Placed caramel on for 6 hours and then cooled. A delicious surprise awaited in the morning as had left to cool overnight. Will definitely be doing again.


March 26, 2022

Very easy to make … takes nothing more than condensed milk, a slow cooker and some patience!

Well I can’t say I have tried to given it’s not something that will set like a frosting … but It would be yummy for sure πŸ™‚


March 14, 2022

can you frost a cake with this slow cooker carmel

Tiffany Cotterill

November 26, 2021

This is the best caramel to cook, so easy. First time cooking in mason jars though and results are fantastic, would highly recommend.

Pop them on their side Ann instead πŸ™‚

Ann Noonan

November 5, 2021

Hi Paulene
Wanting to make caramel but a little worried ….I have the ring pull cans which you say to put upside down in S/C. But I don’t seem to be able to get 2” water coverage above the can in either S/C it’s only about 1inch above the can will this be safe….😬


March 3, 2021

So delicious. Tastes way better than the store bought tin caramel. Will never go back to buying it.


December 28, 2020

Oh my goodness. This is the most delicious caramel. Made it exactly as per the instructions with the Coles home brand sweetened milk. Removed the label and put the can on it’s side. I filled the bowl well above the tin and kept an eye on it, but water didn’t need topping up at all.

Tracey Davies

December 23, 2020

Beautiful rich divine caramel for any dessert or eat straight from.the can!

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

November 27, 2020

Just tap temp or warm at most .. never boiling πŸ™‚

Judy Taberner

November 26, 2020

A new question for you Paulene, do you put boiling water in to start with or just cold water? Thanks in advance 😊

It can be used in so many ways … you’ll find recipes here that use it too πŸ™‚
Heating will help it become runnier/smoother, you could just stand can in some hot water before you use it


June 24, 2020

How do you use the caramel after it’s cooked? It’s so thick I can’t get it to smooth out! Do I need to heat it up or something before I can β€œpour” it over a pie base?!


December 25, 2019

Easy recipe. Will definitely make caramel this way from now on ☺️

Marie Elizabeth Donaldson

December 22, 2019

I want to make runny caramel to use as a sauce. How long should I cook it for please?


December 22, 2019

Omg best recipe yet. I cooked them for 6hrs on high abs let cool for 2hrs and it was thick and delicious.

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 21, 2019

Yes you can use ring pulls, yes you can do as many cans that fits in, 6hrs HIGH then leave them in cooling down water for extra 2hrs, yes then you can transfer to jar or do it in jar … all these answers and more answered here CARAMEL QUESTIONS ANSWERED πŸ™‚


December 20, 2019

Can I use ring pull cans? Do I place them with the ring at the bottom (can upside down). Can I do multiple cans at one? About 5 hours on high? Then transfere to a jar? Is it possible to do it in a jar? Do I need to put a lid on the jar? If it’s not cooked enough, can I put it back on the next day? Thanks

Angela Watson

December 19, 2019

Absolutely love this method of cooking caramel, the taste is amazing.

Doreen Briggs

November 18, 2019

my caramel has little bits of crystallized sugar in them. how can i get rid of them. can i put the caramel in a pot on the stove top and heat it so that the crystallized sugar will melt.


October 26, 2019

Hi can I make this with coconut milk as my child is dairy free?


October 1, 2019

I use Arnotts ginger nut biscuits as my base for tarts, I put upside down in muffin trays, put in a warm oven until they get soft, press into muffin indent in tray then let cool. Ready made tartlet bases. Ginger and caramel…. yum, yum, yum.

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

September 15, 2019

Yes totally ok to still use πŸ™‚

Doreen Briggs

September 15, 2019

I cooked my condensed milk in the can for 5 hrs. When I opened the tins I find that there are crystallized parts of sugar in it. Can I still use it.


July 3, 2019

Just did this today, left cans in on high for 5 hours and left to cool overnight

Next day i opened the cans to find beautiful and thick caramel perfect for my caramel slice

Sounds amazing!

Veronica Norman

February 6, 2019

Can the caramel be used as part of a filling with chocolate ganache in a red velvet cake? Or would it be too overpowering together?
Many thanks,

Tracey Davies

December 28, 2018

Tried first time as per recipe last might. Cooked on high 6hrs left in SC to cool overmight. Results did not dissappoint beautifully thick rich caramel. YummY!


December 20, 2018

Came out absolutely perfect!

Skye Elizabeth

December 15, 2018

Did this the other night, did 7 hours low. Used it tonight for little caramel tarts for dessert, amazing! (My partner ate 1 can, straight from the can aswell)

Yep you can do it without cans this way >> Condensed milk caramel the no can method

Brigitte Schapitz – Ashford

October 25, 2018

Can this be done with Pouches of Sweetened Condensed milk instead of the Cans ? and how long and at what temperature would i need to cook it?

Same time for multiple tins
If stored unopened in the cupboard they will last as long as the cans original use by date

Sharon Forrester-Jones

October 5, 2018

If i boil up a few tins at the same time, do i still cook them for the same time or cook for longer? Also, once cooked and cooled, how long can i store them, in the pantry or fridge? Thanks for the great info.

Yes you can
I use cold tap water to cool faster πŸ™‚


July 26, 2018

Currently cooking this! Just wondering if i can transfer this into a sink of water to cool once its finished cooking? I need to use my slow cooker after, and cant let it cool in slow cooker!
If so, hot water or cool top water?
Thank you!


July 21, 2018

Can always do this in glad bags…. just transfer into the sealed bags cover with water and cook on high for six hours. No fear of cans exploding. I do this often.


December 9, 2017

Made this for my son’s kinder teachers and helpers. Not the first time I have made it. Perfect every time. Thank you for the suggestion Pauline.

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

November 27, 2017

In my house – not long πŸ˜‰
Generally speaking I’d try to use it within a wk or so


November 26, 2017

Once opened how long does the caramel last?

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

November 22, 2017

I leave it sit in there to cool yes

michelle cooke

November 22, 2017

when it has finished cooking, do nyou leave it in the slow cooker with the water as wel


September 24, 2017

Tried making caramel for the first time last night. Success!!

I put it on high for 5 hours and it turned out exactly how i wanted it.

That’s fine just make sure that inch of water stays there (which it should) or top it up of you need to πŸ™‚


August 15, 2017

My slow cooker isn’t deep enough to have 2 inches of water above the top of the tin. I’m luck to have an inch if that. Does that mean I shouldn’t do it?

Sandy L

June 7, 2017

After 6hrs on high my can was rusted and the caramel was still very blonde. The ceramic bowl has rust marks on it that won’t clean off πŸ™
I moved it to a jar and put it back in the slow cooker for a further 6hrs and then it was perfect.
It’s a great easy method, but heating times vary greatly.

Fridge now that you’ve opened it πŸ™‚
Caramel Questions Answered


May 20, 2017

I made myou caramel last night. .just opened it..delicious. .now..I scraped it into a bowl with a lid. .do I now store it in the fridge or cupboard?

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 27, 2016

Yes you can .. many cans at once … same time πŸ™‚


December 24, 2016

Hi I’ve just unboxed a new never been used before 3.3ltr slow cooker it’s just a Tesco one, I’m just wondering if I cook 2 cans at the same time how long do I put it on for? Never used a slow cooker so new to this xx

Pat McLoughlin

December 22, 2016

Wowwwww!!! What can one say that hasn’t already been said…. I am not a very good cook so finding something so amazingly easy that comes out so incredibly delicious is a real boon. Now I need to find strength to not just sit with the can and a spoon! Mine worked fab for 5 hours and the water level never dropped although checked regularly anyway

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 19, 2016

Yes Marsha …. pantry while still sealed. Fridge once opened. Several cans at once is fine πŸ™‚
All this and more covered here for you >> Caramel Q&A’s

Marsha Yelton

December 19, 2016

Is is safe to store in the pantry, or does it have to be stored in the fridge? I’d like to make several cans, as I have ALOT of holiday baking to do. Plus I need a couple cans to eat! πŸ˜‰

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 14, 2016

Yes … See here Caramel Questions Answered


December 14, 2016

Hi, can you cook 2 cans in slow cooker at the same time. If so is the same cooking time?

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 13, 2016

No it’s to make recipes using caramel like desserts and baking etc as well as just eaten with a spoon if you are feeling really naughty πŸ˜‰


December 13, 2016

Will this also make caramel candies, or just to use in recipes.

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

December 12, 2016

That’s the danger with stove cooked caramel in the years past πŸ™‚
Always follow our basic safety of NEVER cooking without full water coverage at all times and NEVER opening hot πŸ™‚
And the canned stuff is nothing like the real thing – love our slow cooked caramel

Leanne greenhalgh

December 10, 2016

My mum cooked condensed milk like this for us . When I was 10, one day it went wrong, can exploded and I ended up with hot caramel burning my face, hand, neck and leg. I’ll never forget it eating through my skin and not being able to get it off, balls of watery blisters hanging off my face and years of surgery and skin grafts. You can buy it pre caramelised in a can guys. Highly recommend that!

I personally cook mine for more like 6hrs on high and always get great results πŸ™‚


December 3, 2016

Hi. Make banofee pie with. 250 g crushed plain bikkies (I used vanilla wines but any will do) 200g melted butter more or less to make s biscuit base. Press into a shallow pie or flan dish. Chill for an hour or more. Pour caramel over top. Back into fridge . Just before serving put sliced banana and cover with whipped cream. Top with grated chocolate or crushed flake and enjoy. Leftovers are great the next day (if there are any )

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

November 25, 2016

The canned top’n’fill style ready made caramel just isn’t as good I’m afraid as the real thing! πŸ™‚ It’s often much thicker also so harder to work with

Paulene @ Slow Cooker Central

November 25, 2016

They are pre purchased mini meringue nests. Filled with room temperature slow cooked caramel. Topped with crushed flake chcocolate πŸ™‚


November 24, 2016

You can buy Caramel Condensed milk will this be alright to use


November 23, 2016

How did you make those meringue treats? They look lovely! X

Karen Stuckings

October 18, 2016

Love doing caramel this way but recommend that you put some baking paper under the cans so it doesn’t mark you slow cooker insert


September 30, 2016

I used to have to do this at a restaurant in which I worked. We always did a few cans at a time and kept a close eye on the water being kept above the top of the can at all times. They were then left to completely cool.


August 5, 2016

I do this and then add the caramel to a biscut base (ie a packet of crushed arrowroot biscuits blended with melted unsalted butter and then put in a flan tin and set in the freezer) to make a tart and place whipped cream on top of the caramel and sprinkle a broken flake bar on the top. I then serve the tart with strawberries as a desert. It is so yummy. I usually find I have to drink a cup of tea with it as it is so sweet. But it is really decadent!


August 5, 2016

What treats do u usually make with the caramel looking for ideas

Lucy Adams

July 2, 2016

If you use the unopened can method you can do several at once. After they’re cool the unopened cans of caramel will keep for months in the fridge and can be used to make “instant” treats whenever you want!


June 13, 2016

Has anyone made caramel with the reduced sugar condensed milk. Can it be done? Any tips? TIA.

Janine morfett

June 10, 2016

I did this in my 1.5L slowcooker. Just checked the water level regularly. Turned out delicious?


June 10, 2016

I did this successfully in my 1.5L slowcooker. Just made sure I checked the water level stayed above the can regularly. Then let cool over night before opening.
Was delicious?

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