Condensed Milk Caramel

Submitted by Amanda Crowther

Condensed Milk Caramel

4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 2 minutes


  • A can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Ring pull cans are ok ... Just place ring pull cans ringpull end down in the slow cooker


  • Place unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into your slow cooker.
  • Cover 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)
  • Put the lid on. Your slow cooker... No tea towel.
  • Put 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.
  • I checked mine every hour or so to make sure the water level hadn't dropped... It didn't...
  • After 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.
  • Then 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!! ?
  • *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.


  • Alternate non can method
  • Note from Slow Cooker Central: Be sure water is tap temperature only. Boiling water could crack your bowl.

79 thoughts on “Condensed Milk Caramel”

  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 )

  7. 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!

    1. That’s the danger with stove cooked caramel in the years past ๐Ÿ™‚
      Always follow our basic safety of NEVER cooking without full water coverage at all times and NEVER opening hot ๐Ÿ™‚
      And the canned stuff is nothing like the real thing – love our slow cooked caramel

  8. 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! ?

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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 ๐Ÿ™
    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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. Sharon Forrester-Jones

    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.

  19. Brigitte Schapitz - Ashford

    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?

  20. 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)

  21. 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!

  22. 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,

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. How do you use the caramel after itโ€™s cooked? Itโ€™s so thick I canโ€™t get it to smooth out! Do I need to heat it up or something before I can โ€œpourโ€ it over a pie base?!

  29. 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 itโ€™s side. I filled the bowl well above the tin and kept an eye on it, but water didnโ€™t need topping up at all.

  30. Hi Paulene
    Wanting to make caramel but a little worried โ€ฆ.I have the ring pull cans which you say to put upside down in S/C. But I donโ€™t seem to be able to get 2โ€ water coverage above the can in either S/C itโ€™s only about 1inch above the can will this be safeโ€ฆ.?

  31. Tiffany Cotterill

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

  32. Loved the results! Delicious caramel and so easy. I looked up the โ€œcaramel questions answeredโ€ 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.

  33. 5 stars
    Easy easy easy and absolutely delicious. The top n fill does not even compare and itโ€™s a wonderful idea for gifts.

  34. 5 stars
    Tried it with Woolworths brand, 6hrs on high, forgot about it so it sat on warm for 5 more hrs so we took it out of water to cool. Is absolutely perfect not overdone and not a bit bitter like the bought one. Going to try the jar method next time looks so pretty as a gift.

  35. I tried your recipe today and cooked on high for eight hours, then allowed it to cool in the slow cooker. I just opened the can and it looks and tastes like sweetened condensed milk. It isn’t anything like caramel. Any ideas what went wrong? How can I salvage it? I had planned to serve on my ice cream pies for Easter dinner tomorrow. Thanks!

    1. Hi Wanda, I always only do mine for 6hrs on HIGH and it’s always perfect so it’s unusual that yours wouldn’t be cooked in 8hrs unless your slow cooker is unusually low? Or it was in fact on low by mistake and not on high?
      You can still salvage it though no worries but putting the unopened cans back in, or by using this method Caramal Jar Method

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