17 Delicious Ways to Use That Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk In Your Pantry

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie
Photo: Jennifer Davick

While cleaning out your pantry, did you find a can of sweetened condensed milk shoved way in the back? You can't remember why you bought it, but you do know it is the secret ingredient to some easy yet indulgent desserts. From summertime's sweetest icebox pies and homemade ice cream flavors to giftable fudge and candy for the holiday season, sweetened condensed milk is the key to so many of our favorite Southern sweets. Mama knows that this clever shortcut helps keep the ideal flavor and consistency in her famous treats, all while keeping the ingredient list low. Thanks to sweetened condensed milk, our Kool Aid Pie calls for just five ingredients, a few of which you might already have on hand. Now, that's a recipe worth saving next time you receive a last-minute invitation! Want something that will really dazzle in your holiday cookie tins? Pick up a few extra cans of sweetened condensed milk and whip up our Christmas Fudge, Coconut Balls, and Homemade Turtles. These edible presents will be a sweet gesture that your friends and neighbors won't soon forget. Next time you're tempted to throw out that can of sweetened condensed milk lingering on a back shelf, scroll through this list of delicious recipes and find a new cooking project instead. These Southern favorites won't disappoint.

01 of 17

Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Magic Cookie Bars

If you've never had these heavenly chocolate-coconut bars at a school bake sale, neighborhood potluck, or cookie swap, you're in for a real treat.

02 of 17

No-Cook Peach Ice Cream

No-Cook Peach Ice Cream
Southern Living

Recipe: No-Cook Peach Ice Cream

Our secret to homemade peach ice cream without a time-consuming custard base? You guessed it, a trusty can of condensed milk.

03 of 17

Coconut Balls

Coconut Balls
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Coconut Balls

Skip the store-bought truffles and make these coconut-almond treats in your very own kitchen. Covered in a firm layer of chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and almond butter combine in one irresistible filling.

04 of 17

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

At the end of a summer day, is there anything better than slicing into a cool and creamy icebox pie? We don't think so. Made with fresh strawberries and a pretzel crust, this pie is sure to please fans of salty-sweet desserts.

05 of 17

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
Jennifer R. Davick

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Tell Mama you've got dessert covered and turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into an unforgettable Sweet Potato Pie.

06 of 17

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Greg DuPree; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey

Recipe: Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Don't wait until your birthday to whip up this no-churn ice cream at home. You'll need a second scoop after tasting the cake crumbles folded into every bite.

07 of 17

Key Lime-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Buttery Cracker Crust

Key Lime-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Buttery Cracker Crust
Photo: Oxmoor House

Recipe: Key Lime-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Buttery Cracker Crust

We've combined everything you love about buttermilk and key lime pies, packed them into a buttery cracker crust, and finished it all off with homemade whipped cream.

08 of 17

Christmas Fudge

Christmas Fudge
Micah A Leal

Recipe: Christmas Fudge

We all know that dense, chocolate fudge is the first treat to disappear from the cookie tins that the neighbors bring by. Follow our lead and make sure your batch is just as irresistible this year.

09 of 17

Icebox Fruitcake

Icebox Fruit Cake
Micah Leal

Recipe: Icebox Fruitcake

A fruitcake with no baking required? You better believe it! Our base relies on graham crackers, maraschino cherries, dried fruit, and sweetened condensed milk.

10 of 17

Mango-Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Saltine Cracker Crust

Chocolate Icebox Pie
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Mango-Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

If you've never used Saltines in a pie crust, this summer treat just might make the crackers a staple in your baking repertoire.

11 of 17

Pineapple Ice Cream

Pineapple Ice Cream
Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Pineapple Ice Cream

We can't think of a better way to welcome summertime guests than with a bowlful of pineapple ice cream. Our homemade version calls for just four ingredients and no special equipment is required.

12 of 17

Strawberry-Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Gingersnap Crust

Pink Lemonade Icebox Cake
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Strawberry-Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie with Baked Gingersnap Crust

Pick up a basket of strawberries from your local farmers' market and spend Saturday afternoon whipping up this heavenly pie for your friends and family to enjoy.

13 of 17

Seven-Layer Cookies

Seven-Layer Cookies
Southern Living

Recipe: Seven-Layer Cookies

The bake sale favorite was sent to Southern Living by Mrs. N.L. Boyd of Gadsen, Alabama. Published in our July 1966 issue, these seven-ingredient treats will make a delightful addition to any summer gathering.

14 of 17

Kool Aid Pie

Kool Aid Pie
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Kool Aid Pie

Last-minute party invitation? Requiring just five minutes of hands-on time, this 5-ingredient pie is here to save the day.

15 of 17

Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles
Southern Living

Recipe: Homemade Turtles

It's hard to turn down this decadent combination of crunchy pecans, from-scratch caramel, and semisweet chocolate.

16 of 17

Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

We've taken all the sweetness of a homemade buttermilk pie, added fresh lemon, and topped it off with a bold blueberry compote. Some may call it gilding the lily, but it sounds just sweet enough to us.

17 of 17

Easy Fudge

Easy Fudge
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Recipe: Easy Fudge

This one-bowl, microwave take on homemade fudge just might make you forget about the old-fashioned, stovetop version altogether.

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