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Magic Caramel Pie

This Magic Caramel Pie recipe utilizes a unique cooking method to make a delicious, mouth-watering pie. It’s thick and rich and full of flavor. 

Prep Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 3 hrs
Total Time - 3 hrs 10 mins

The way this Magic Caramel Pie comes together is like a magic trick. You won’t believe your eyes. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel, pie
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Jennifer

  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • 3 cans (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
For topping:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  1. Remove labels from cans of sweetened condensed milk. Place cans unopened into a large and deep pot of water. Make sure there is enough to water to cover the cans with at least 2-3 inches of water. 
  2. Bring pot of water with the cans inside to a boil. Boil for 3 hours. While cans are boiling, add water as needed to ensure the cans are always fully covered with water. This will prevent cans from bursting or leaking. 
  3. After 3 hours, carefully remove cans from pot and allow them to cool on the counter top for 1 hour or more until they are cool enough to handle.
  4. Carefully open cans and use spatula to scrape caramel into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract and continue stirring until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour caramel pie filling into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until firm. 
  6. Chill small mixing bowl and beaters then beat heavy whipping cream along with sugar until cream forms a stiff peak. Spread fresh whipped cream on top of caramel pie or use a piping tip to decorate the pie with whipped cream. 

Making Caramel in a can?
Have you ever heard of boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk to make caramel? In case this is your first time hearing about it, it really does work and it’s amazing! 

The caramel sauce is thick and rich. It would be perfect on ice cream, on top of a piece of cheese cake or in this Magic Caramel Pie. The “magic” is in the cooking method. 

Now, if you look closely at the side of a can of sweetened condensed milk you may find some tiny print that says “Do not cook in unopened can” or something like that. So I’m not telling you to cook in an unopened can.

I’m just sharing how I made this delicious and easy caramel pie and you can make up your own mind if this recipe is something you want to attempt. 
Key to Success #1 – Keep It Covered
When you cook sweetened condensed milk in an unopened can, be sure to keep the cans completely covered with water at all times. Ideally, you’ll want the cans to be covered by 2-3 inches of water.

Every 15-20 minutes, check the water level and add a little bit more if needed. Just drizzle the additional water in the pot so that the temperature of the water won’t go down too much. 

I used a large stainless steel stock pot to boil my sweetened condensed milk. I didn’t have any problems keeping my cans covered with water.

A few tips – 
  • Completely remove labels from cans before putting them in the water. 
  • Place the cans on their sides so that they won’t make as much noise during cooking.
  • Pull-tab cans are okay. They work just as well with this cooking method. 

Key to Success #2 – Count the Cans
For my caramel pie, I had a 9-inch graham cracker crust so I cooked three 14-oz cans of sweetened condensed milk. This made a perfect full pie in the 9-inch pie pan.

If you are using a smaller pie pan, you may want to only cook two cans of sweetened condensed milk. Or cook three and have an extra can of caramel sauce for something else. 

Key to Success #3 – Cool it, Cool it
After the cans of sweetened condensed milk have boiled for three hours, carefully remove the cans from the water and set them on a heat-proof surface to cool. Be very careful – every part of the cans will be hot!

After the cans have cooled on the counter top for about an hour, they should be cool enough to safely open. When you open the cans, the caramel will start oozing up so be ready to pour the caramel into another bowl when you start opening them. Work fast – you don’t want to lose a drop of that deliciousness. 

Pour the caramel into a medium-sized bowl then stir in vanilla extract. Continue stirring 2-3 minutes until the caramel is smooth and shiny then pour into graham cracker crust.

Cool the Magic Caramel Pie for at least 4 hours before adding the sweetened whipped cream. Next time, I will put the whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe some pretty designs around the outside of the pie. 

This pie is easy to decorate and cuts beautifully so don’t be afraid to experiment with different decorating ideas. 

If you love caramel, you’ll love this easy caramel pie recipe. I hope you’ll give the magic cooking method a try. You won’t believe your eyes!


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