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11 Sweet Treats to Make with Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is the secret weapon of Latin American bakers for desserts and confections that are subtly sweet and creamy. But its versatility extends beyond classic Brazilian brigadeiros and Mexican tres leches cake. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it. For especially rich, fresh flavor, try making your own condensed milk from scratch.

  • Recipe

    Classic Key Lime Pie

    This classic pie includes a flaky pastry crust, billowy whipped-cream topping, and of course a silky, aromatic sweet-tart custard filling. If you can’t find fresh Key limes, you can substitute common lime juice, which will be tart but without the floral notes found in Key limes. Bottled Key lime juice is an even better choice as long as it’s 100% juice. The pie needs to chill for at least 5 hours before serving.

  • Recipe

    Salted Sesame Caramel Macaroons

    These were originally created for Urbanbelly,a restaurant in Chicago. Tahini in the macaroons and seeds on top give a double dose of rich sesame flavor.

  • Recipe

    Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling

    Always a hit at summer picnics, these addictive squares strike the perfect balance between tart and sweet and chewy and crunchy.

  • Recipe

    Milky Swirl Brownies

    These rich, almost creamy brownies are an amazing treat for chocolate lovers. The condensed milk lightly caramelizes at the brownie edges during baking. You might not want to share those delicious edges—we won’t tell.
  • Recipe

    Vietnamese Coffee

    Vietnamese coffee requires patience, as it can only be made one serving at a time, either in a special filter, as shown, or with a regular drip cone. But whether you drink it hot or iced, this intensely flavored coffee, traditionally cut with sweetened condensed milk, is worth the wait.

  • Recipe

    Boozy Berry-Topped Tres Leches Cake

    This take on the classic Mexican tres leches cake is generously topped with tequila-spiked whipped cream and sweet, juicy summer berries.

  • Recipe

    Lemon Icebox Pie

    This icebox pie, excerpted from David Guas and Raquel Pelzel's cookbook, DamGoodSweet, is simple and quick, plus it keeps in the freezer for over a week; it's a great dessert to make ahead for a dinner party. For a creamy key lime pie-like texture, let it sit out for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing.

  • Recipe

    Chocolate Brigadeiros

    Like many Brazilian sweets, fudge-like chocolate brigadeiros are named after a famous personality. Brigadier Eduardo Gomes was a well-known Brazilian Air Force commander who loved chocolate. Legend has it that brigadeiros were created for and named after him.

  • Recipe

    Frozen Lime and Dulce de Leche Terrine with Blackberry Sauce

    A delicious twist on Key lime pie, this frozen dessert has dulce de leche, a Latin American milk caramel, tucked inside. Fresh blackberry sauce adds a burst of summery flavor and color, and balances the intense creamy sweetness. See our no-bake dessert tips.

  • Recipe

    Flan Imposible (Impossible Chocolate Flan)

    This dessert, excerpted from the cookbook My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson, gets its name from a magical thing that occurs in the oven. You fill a caramel-lined cake pan with chocolate cake batter, pour a layer of flan on top, and bake. When it comes out of the oven, you find that the flan has disappeared, and all you see is chocolate cake. You wait for it to cool, unmold it, and there is the flan! This is a sticky, rich, sweet dessert that is not for the faint of heart.

  • Recipe

    Banana-Toffee Tart (Banoffee)

    If you don’t have a tart pan with a removable bottom, use a 9-inch springform pan.

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