Salty Milk Jam

Desserts, DIY

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

Milk Jam Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serving Size: 8
Calories: 48kcal
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.


  • 1/2 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.


CuisineAmerican, Japanese
Keyworddulce de leche, make milk jam, milk jam, what is milk jam
Nutrition Facts
Milk Jam Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 48 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 103mg4%
Potassium 81mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 99IU2%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Kate May 8, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I really like this recipe and can’t wait to use it, but where do I add in the baking soda?

  • Reply Mollie May 8, 2015 at 7:04 am

    To be honest, the title made me cringe, but the final result made me hungry!!

    xoxo Mollie

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Hahha! Now that I think about it it does sound a lil’ gross.

  • Reply S Lauren | Modern Granola May 8, 2015 at 8:33 am

    How interesting! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to make caramel sauce, but lacked cream in my fridge. I’m imagining this in an epic stuffed french toast. Yum!

  • Reply Amber | Loves Food, Loves to Eat May 8, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Interesting… so, it basically has a caramely flavor? I love caramels and dulce de leches, but I hate hate hate the taste of milk… does it have an actual milk flavor to it??

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 8, 2015 at 10:34 am

      It’s hard to explain! Traditional caramel has more of a burnt sugar taste, but this has more of a caramelized milk flavor, which makes me think you might not like it if you hate milk!

  • Reply Dani Meyer May 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Ha! This is on my post draft list too!! Just found out about it a few weeks ago and I’m so excited to make some!

    Beautiful post!!

  • Reply Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps May 8, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I would like to drown all sweet things in this, but I’m guessing I’d love it equally as much by the spoonful. This stuff looks seriously delicious!

  • Reply Mary Frances May 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

    This looks so delicious-like an interesting, deeper dulce de leche! I love your beautiful natural, earthenware dishes too. They’re so organic and pleasing to look at.

  • Reply Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk) May 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Yum! Looks great. The idea of making dulce de leche with a can makes me so nervous because I’m worried it will explode. This sounds much better!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 8, 2015 at 11:22 am

      It always scares people but I swear I’ve never had a problem. I still love this version though!

  • Reply J'Marinde May 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

    What about dairy free? Can I use almond milk or coconut milk for this? I am highly allergic to dairy. Thank you!

  • Reply Chrissy May 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I am so intrigued by this! I have to make it in the coming weeks. I also love any sort of homemade or artisan condiments. The best gifts!

  • Reply Hillary May 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Love your ceramics in the last pic!! Handmade or please share the source!! Thx

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is May 9, 2015 at 5:09 am

    […] salty milk jam. dying to […]

  • Reply Judy May 9, 2015 at 8:09 am

    How long will it keep in the fridge?

  • Reply Lorna May 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    This sounds so yummy. Totes want to make!

    Lorna | xx

  • Reply Abby May 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I’m so curious what the baking soda actually does?!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 10, 2015 at 3:51 pm

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

  • Reply Barbara | Creative Culinary May 11, 2015 at 9:46 am

    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. 🙂

  • Reply DizzyElle May 14, 2015 at 7:14 am

    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?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 15, 2015 at 9:57 am

      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.

  • Reply love, in this moment. | Floptimism May 16, 2015 at 12:39 am

    […] love. this milk jam. [!!] these crispy peanut butter cups with toasted quinoa and coconut. this coney island […]

  • Reply Ellen September 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Is it possible to double or triple the recipe, or will it throw the chemistry off?

  • Reply Maki March 25, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Will this work with stevia or other lower calorie sugars?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 26, 2019 at 8:18 am

      no sorry this really needs real sugar in order to caramelize.