Salty Milk Jam



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This Salty Milk Jam is a caramelized, thick milk mixture that is sweet and salty. Put it on ice cream, your favorite fruit or use it in a sundae.

Salty Milk Jam

A few holiday seasons ago, my friend Cassie gave me a jar of Chinese mustard. I put it literally on everything for months: scrambled eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pretzels, grilled cheese. You name it, I smothered it on all the things.

I’ve always been a lover of making condiments, but after her gift, it made me love the homemade iterations even more. So, with that good memory in mind, that’s what we’re doing today.

This recipe is as easy as can be. It may not seem like that in the beginning–the milk mixture does weird things, like go from white to light brown to dark, dark brown. It also foams up a bit–so be sure to use a big enough pot so it doesn’t boil over. But in the end, you’ll be met with a thick, jammy (in texture), caramel-y, milky-tasting treat. I can’t describe it exactly but I will say I LOVE it on all sorts of things. I put it on ice cream, which I think is the most obvious choice, but there’s also a slice of toast, in coffee (yes, says the coffee snob) or even on a warm, fluffy biscuit.

Salty Milk Jam

What is Milk Jam?

Milk jam is very similar to dulce de leche. The main difference is that dulce de leche is made with sweetened condensed milk while milk jam is made with whole milk.

Milk Jam also differs from dulce de leche, too. This has a smoother, thinner texture and a lighter less fatty flavor.

This recipe is good to make, jar up and give to friends. It’s a good way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning. It’s the perfect gift to give someone who is having a rough month. And if you have a friend who is having a good month, it’ll make it even better.

Salty Milk Jam

How to Make Milk Jam?

  • Start with combining the sugar and vanilla bean. Sometimes vanilla can lump up so I like to mix it with my fingers throughout the sugar.
  • Pour in the milk and add the baking soda. The baking soda will help it caramelize the fat solids in the milk so it’s an important ingredient.
  • Cook the mixture for about 1 hour. This will caramelize and cook the milk solids. It will go from a pale yellow to a golden brown.
  • Run it through a sieve. This will eliminate any lumps and give it a silky smooth texture.
  • Store it! It’s good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to give this away as gifts so feel free to double or triple the recipe.

If you make this Salty Milk Jam, let me know on Instagram! 

Salty Milk Jam

5 from 1 vote

Milk Jam Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
This Salty Milk Jam is a caramelized, thick milk mixture that is sweet and salty. Put it on ice cream, your favorite fruit or use it in a sundae.


  • 1 medium saucepan


  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, pure cane or white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved, lengthwise, and scraped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • Just a heads up: The baking soda will make the milk jam foam up so be sure you’re using a big enough pot so it doesn’t boil over.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and vanilla bean caviar. Rub it together, until the vanilla bean is thoroughly distributed. To a medium to large saucepan, set over medium heat, pour in the whole milk, the sugar/vanilla mixture and vanilla bean and baking soda.
  • Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer, about 5 minutes. Once it reaches a simmer or light boil, immediately turn the heat down to low. Allow the milk mixture to simmer gently for about 1 hour. Give it a stir from time to time. During this 1 hour, the milk mixture will foam up and it will go from white milk to a light brown and then to a dark brown.
  • When the milk jam thickens and reaches a dark brown color, take it off the heat for a few minutes. Run it through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in a pinch of salt and then pour it on everything: ice cream, cake, coffee, get creative with its applications.
  • This milk jam stays good in the fridge for up to 1 week. Store in an air-tight container.



Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

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  1. I followed your recipe to the T, unfortunately it came out grainy. Any ideas on how to make it smooth?

  2. Hi this looks divine. I am from Bangladesh and we use the thick light brown color thickened milk a lot for our desserts but never seen it brought down to this dark jammy consistency. Definitely on my weekend to do list. I was wondering Can I can this the same way I bottle jams?

    1. Hmm…I have a feeling it won’t work. Bottling things like this can be a bit complicated because you have to make sure the pH balance is correct. I’m pretty sure there won’t be enough acidity in the final product to do so.

  3. This is the same recipe I use for making Cajeta…caramelized goat milk. It is divine and since goat milk is not that easy to come by I need to try it with ‘just milk.’ I’ve never felt that heating a can of condensed milk was a real recipe anyhow. 🙂

    1. It helps with the giving it that super smooth texture and it helps with coloring/caramelization.

    1. Thank you! The speckled one with the salt is made by me! And the other one with the milk jam was purchased at Piece Collective in Venice. Here’s a link!