Kalakand Recipe (Indian Milk Cake)

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This two-ingredient, super fast recipe for Kalakand (a.k.a. Indian Milk Cake) comes together in just 15 minutes thanks to the help of a can of sweetened condensed milk. This fudgy sweet is easy to customize and is naturally gluten free, making it the perfect dessert to celebrate with.

top shot of squares of kalakand laid out on a piece of parchment

About This Kalakand Recipe

Kalakand is one of the most popular Indian sweets, and with good reason. This milk cake is creamy, dreamy and completely addictive; I could eat a whole batch just to myself! If you are looking for an easy Sweet Recipe for Diwali, this is the recipe you need.

To make kalakand traditionally, the milk is lightly curdled with a bit of alum or curd or citric acid and simmered until thickened. While the traditional method of making this dessert is rather long, I have found a great short cut: sweetened condensed milk!

The taste and texture of this milk cake is perfectly sweet, creamy, moist and granular – you’d never know that it was made with a can of sweetened condensed milk! The recipe yields about ½ kg kalakand, making a perfect amount for a small family. Feel free to scale the recipe to your needs.

If you’re unfamiliar with kalakand, this is a dessert that should absolutely be on your radar. Not only does this recipe make it super easy to throw together, but it is also completely customizable. I usually add cardamom powder and rose water, but saffron, vanilla, dried fruits and nuts can all be added to make your own perfect treat.

So just to review: this dessert recipe takes just two base ingredients and 15 minutes to make, is easy to customize and is gluten free to boot. What’s not to love?? So let’s get to the kitchen and start making this delectable kalakand milk cake.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Kalakand Recipe

Make Kalakand Mixture

1. Grate or finely crumble 250 to 300 grams paneer to yield about 2 tightly packed cups.

If the paneer is refrigerated, I suggest you grate it. If using freshly made paneer or chenna, then you can crumble it. Please note there should be no chunks in the crumble.

TIP: For the best results, I always suggest you use Homemade Paneer.

grated paneer

2. Add 1 tin/can (400 grams) of sweetened condensed milk to a thick bottomed pan or kadai.

condensed milk in a pan

3. Add the grated or crumbled paneer to the condensed milk.

crumbled paneer added

4. Mix very well.

paneer added to pan with condensed milk and mixed

5. I personally added 1 tablespoon of sugar to my batch. Add sugar according to your taste.

tablespoon of sugar added to mix

Cook Kalakand Mixture

6. Simmer this mixture over a low heat, stirring at intervals.

cooking kalakand over a low flame

7. Meanwhile, grease a pan or a tray with some ghee or oil. You can also line it with parchment paper.

greased square baking tin

8. Remember to stir the mixture often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

stirring milk cake batter with wooden spoon

9. The kalakand mixture will start thickening as it simmers and begins to cook.

kalakand milk cake batter is thickened

10. When the mixture is well thickened and begins to leaves the sides of the pan, switch off the heat. The mixture should not look dry, there should still be some moisture like in the photo below.

NOTE: It took me 15 minutes to achieve the right consistency over a low heat. Depending on the quality of your pan, pan thickness and size, and intensity of heat it may take 12 to 16 minutes.

preparing milk cake dough - the batter is holding a line made by the spoon

11. Remove the pan from the heat. Add ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder (or flavoring of choice) and 1 teaspoon rose water. Stir very well to evenly incorporate it.

cardamom powder added to flavor kalakand

Set Kalakand

12. Now pour the kalakand mixture in the prepared pan or plate.

kalakand mixture in thali

13. Shake the pan so that the mixture spreads evenly. You can also level with a spoon or spatula.

Coarsely crush pistachios, saffron and cashews or almonds in a mortar-pestle. You can also opt slice or sliver the dry fruits, if using.

kalakand mixture smoothed out

14. Sprinkle coarsely crushed dry fruits and/or thinly sliced or slivered dry fruits all over the kalakand.

dry fruits and nuts added to top of indian milk cake

15. Gently press the dry fruits into the milk cake with the back a spoon. Cover and allow the kalakand to cool completely at room temperature.

Cover with foil or lid and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.

pressing toppings into kalakand with the back of a spoon

16. This is the kalakand after setting in the fridge.

milk cake in tin after setting up in the fridge for a few hours

17. Slice kalakand with a knife. In case the kalakand didn’t set up properly, don’t fret. You can just serve it with a spoon like a halwa. It still tastes delicious!

kalakand piece removed from the tin to show side texture

Serve kalakand as a sweet or as a dessert. Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge. This sweet keeps well for 2 to 3 days when refrigerated.

squares of kalakand laid out on a piece of parchment for serving

FAQs

My kalakand is hard – is there a way to fix it?

Oops! Sounds like you may have cooked it a bit too long on the stovetop. Brush the top of the milk cake with additional milk and it should soften after it settles in.

It turned out chewy – did I do something wrong?

It sounds like you either used a lower quality paneer, or you overcooked the mixture. For best results, use fresh, homemade Paneer and only cook until the mixture is thick but not dry looking.

How long will milk cake last?

You can refrigerate kalakand for up to 2 to 3 days. Try to use fast it is a milk based dish.

Can I make fresh fruit flavored kalakand?

Sure! I suggest using ⅓ – ½ cup of thick fruit purée to sweeten the kalakand. Add it before cooking. You can add mango puree or strawberry puree. If adding fruit puree then adjust the sugar as needed.

More Indian Sweets To Try!

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squares of kalakand laid out on a piece of parchment

Kalakand Recipe | Kalakand Sweet

This two-ingredient, super fast recipe for Kalakand (a.k.a. Indian Milk Cake) comes together in just 15 minutes thanks to the help of a can of sweetened condensed mil
4.9 from 28 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Cuisine North Indian
Course Sweets
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Easy
Servings 16 pieces – 500 grams
Units

Ingredients

  • 400 grams sweetened condensed milk or 1 tin or can
  • 250 to 300 grams Paneer or 2 cups tightly packed grated or crumbled paneer
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder) or 6 to 7 green cardamoms – crushed in a mortar-pestle to a fine powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • 10 to 12 pistachios (pista)
  • 10 to 12 cashews or almonds (kaju or badam)
  • 7 to 8 strands of saffron (kesar) – optional

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Grease a pan or a tray with some ghee or oil.
  • Crush coarsely pistachios, saffron and cashews or almonds in a mortar-pestle. You can also sliver or slice the nuts.
  • Grate 250 to 300 grams paneer. You can also crumble the paneer. If the paneer is refrigerated, then I suggest to grate it. If freshly made, then you can crumble it finely. There should be no chunks in the crumble.

Making kalakand sweet

  • Take 1 tin/can (400 grams) of sweetened condensed milk in a thick bottomed pan or kadai.
  • Add the grated or crumbled paneer to the condensed milk. Mix very well.
  • I did add some sugar as I felt the sweet taste was less for us. I added 1 tablespoons sugar. You can check the taste and add accordingly.
  • Keep the heat on low or sim and cook this mixture of condensed milk and grated paneer.
  • Stir the mixture often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • The kalakand mixture will start thickening as it simmers and begins to cook.
  • When the mixture gets thickened well, looks like one mass and starts leaving the sides of the pan then switch off the heat.
  • Keep in mind that the kalakand mixture should have some moisture and should not look dry. It should not have a liquid consistency or be runny.
  • It took me 15 minutes on a low heat. Depending on the quality of your pan, pan thickness and size, flame intensity it may take 12 to 16 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add cardamom powder and rose water. Stir very well.

Setting kalakand

  • Now pour the kalakand mixture in the prepared greases pan or tray.
  • Shake the pan gently so that the mixture spreads evenly. You can also level with a spoon or spatula.
  • Sprinkle coarsely crushed nuts or slivered nuts all over the kalakand.
  • Gently press the nuts with a spoon. Cover and allow the kalakand to become warm or cool completely at room temperature. Then keep in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to set.
  • After it sets, slice the kalakand and serve. In case if you cannot slice the kalakand, then don’t worry. You can just serve it with a spoon like a halwa. It still tastes delicious.
  • Serve kalakand as a sweet or as a dessert. Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container. Kalakand keeps well for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Notes

  • Don’t overcook the mixture as this may result in a chewy and densely texture milk cake.
  • The flavorings can be of your choice. Feel free to add either one or a mix from the following ingredients – rose water, cardamom powder, vanilla extract, saffron strands and kewra water.
  • Use fresh and homemade paneer. If using frozen paneer follow the instructions to thaw it from the package.
  • You can skip to add sugar or a bit more of sugar according to your taste preferences.
  • The nuts can be omitted or you can add nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios and pine nuts.
  • The recipe can be scaled to make a smaller batch or a larger batch of kalakand sweet.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Kalakand Recipe | Kalakand Sweet
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 35mg2%
Potassium 105mg3%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 147mg15%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Kalakand Recipe post from the archives (May 2015) has been updated and republished on 23 October 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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95 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the super easy recipe. I loved cooking it. It’s so simple to make. I had prepared it for several occasions and every one loves the richness of kalakand melting in mouth.

  2. Hi Dassana,
    How much milk to use to make the required paneer at home? Should it be whole milk?

    Thanks,
    Chehak

    1. Hi Chehak, yes you will need whole milk – about 2 litres of milk to get the paneer quantity in the recipe. The paneer made will be slightly more, so measure and add it.

  3. Hi Dassana,
    My kalakand is hard from top, how can I rectify it, please to make it soft.

    1. sonia, looks like kalakand got cooked too much. just sprinkle or brush some hot milk from top and the kalakand will soften.

  4. Hi Dassana,
    First of all thanks to your step by step photo and explanation in every pic helps me a lot as i am not comfortable with video ones. The best thing about your recipe is your way of explaining. It helps a novice like me to understand what mistakes i can do and what are the tips to improve upon.
    The kalakand came out very good and it did not crumble down. I am so happy 🙂
    Happy diwali to you and your family and thanks for sharing the recipes!!!5 stars

    1. Welcome Manisha. Thanks for your appreciation and kind words. Glad to know that you liked the kalakand recipe as well as its presentation. Wishing Happy Diwali to you and your family.

      1. Hi..very eager to try this recipe for the upcoming Gowri Ganesha festival. Wanted to know how long it will stay fresh if refrigerated? Also, I would be using store bought paneer. Would 100 gms be enough for one tin of Nestle milkmaid?

        1. It will stay good for a week in the refrigerator. You will need more paneer. 100 grams won’t be enough.

  5. thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, Dassana. any suggestions on how do i make a mango-flavoured kalakand? that’s my favourite.

    1. thanks anu. for mango flavored kalakand add some thick mango pulp after you add paneer. if the mango pulp is sweet, you can skip sugar. you can add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of thick mango pulp.

  6. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Could you please let me know that instead of heating the paneer-condensed milk mixture, can it be steamed by keeping in a pressure cooker?

    1. swati, i have never tried this method. so i do not know if it will work or not.

    1. frozen paneer might become dense while cooking. in this recipe fresh paneer is better to use.

  7. Its really easy n delicious recipe. I made it on Diwali n was very much appreciated at home. Thanks for this awesome recipe.
    Anupam

  8. Hii…I wanna ask that can I curdle the milk in home and then make the paneer ??

  9. Dassana your recipes always come out so beautifully, even for someone like me who is clumsy in the kitchen! Here in the US, we Indian kids who were born here don’t always get to celebrate Diwali once we move away from our parents for school/work. Maybe we light sparklers or agarbathi, or eat store-bought mitthai, but we’re limited by insufficient cooking skills, or lack of access to Indian grocery stores, as well as by being away from family.

    Your recipes make it so easy to prepare Diwali sweets. I made this and it came out so well. I’ll be sharing with my friends as well as mailing to my parents. They will be so happy that I can still celebrate Diwali properly. Thank you Dassanathai for making me less homesick during Diwali. 🙂

    1. i can understand anjali as i have been in a similar situation some years back. i know how does it feel and i have been homesick too. i felt good reading your comment. food are memories and we all have special memories related to festival and food plays a major part in it. i am so glad that the kalakand recipe, made you feel at home. also nice to know that you will be sending it to your parents. they will definitely feel good. wish you a happy diwali.

  10. Hi I am a teenager and I made this recipe.It was so easy to make. My family loved it!

    1. thank you shweta for your positive views, glad your family liked the kalakand 🙂

  11. I used another recipe using ‘Ricotta'[widely available in the U.S.]Wikipedia says ‘Kalakand is from Alwar,Rajastand.I didn’t have enough pistachios,so I tosted walnuts in a toaster oven.Maybe that’s what they’d do in Shrinagar.[or toasted pine nuts!]

  12. Whn it comes to making sumthing new, 1st thing i ll search on ur site, tried kalakand turned out really yyummieeeeee,,,,my hubby luvd it,,,,all the credit goes to u….thanks4 stars

  13. Hi,just love your recipes.When to add the rose water during this preparation?

    1. when cardamom powder is added, that time rose water can be added. just before removing the mixture from pan.

  14. Omg!!!!I made this sweet dish and my father said worlds best kalakand!!!!love you so much I am regular follower of you!!5 stars

  15. Hi, I recenlty found this blog and the recipes look great. I plan to try the kalakand and was wondering what can i use instead of condensed milk, I cannot get it where i live.
    Thank you!
    Anna

    1. condensed milk is an essential ingredient in the recipe. though you can try using evaporated milk. i think the recipe should work.

  16. It turned awsome………..everyone loved it,……finished by family at the time i served. Thanks for such a beautiful dessert

  17. Thanx …
    Ur all dishes r awesome & very simple to make …
    But can u suggest me some dishes for school tifin which I can make one day before

  18. Hi….loved ur recepie …. Always have tried urs and it comes out well… Simple and delicious… Thanks for sharing these awesome recipe5 stars

  19. hi Dassana
    I am really hooked onto your site now and loving it . Wish I knew about your site earlier.
    Please can you send me recipe on how to make baked mushroom fillings – I have bought the
    large mushrooms – thank you very much – vishani

    1. pleased to know this vishani 🙂 have added baked mushroom to our request file and you are welcome.

  20. Hi Dassana,
    This recepie is simply awesome. All your recepies are excellent . Thank you very much for sharing these recepies with us.5 stars

  21. Can we add home made paneer in condensed milk when its hot at the same time when we make paneer or it has to be refrigerated before add in condensed milk thanks

    1. let the paneer cool at room temperature before you add in the condensed milk. don’t add hot home made paneer. if you refrigerate also, let it come to room temperature and then add.

  22. Hi Dassana,
    I follow your blog closely and try some the recipes. Recently I made kalakand with condensed milk and paneer. it tasted good but it was chewy or rubbery. I am not sure of the reason 🙁 It is not the first time I am trying this with paneer. Any idea why it could be chewy. Thank you so much for keeping everyone inspired by your blog!!

    Regards,
    Bhavya

    1. thanks bhavya. the chewiness could be due to over cooking the kalakand mixture. also can be due to the quality of paneer. so either one of them is the reason.

  23. Can I use store bought paneer.will it differ the taste as it contains salt
    which one is better store bought paneer or home made paneer5 stars

    1. homemade is always better. you can use the store brought also. if salt is there in it, then a very faint taste of salt will be felt in kalakand.

  24. thnks a lot…actually i live abroad so cant hav al these delicacies …your receipes r really very easy n helpfull..u r doing a great job … thumbs up for u..!!5 stars

  25. It’s was awsummmm.thanks a lot Dassana.my would be in laws liked it too much..plz keep posting such nice recipes..

  26. Hi Dassana, tried this out and it was real yumm. Tried it twice , one with the sugar added and without the extra sugar added. With the extra sugar added , it gave the taste of sugar and was felt a little sugary but without the extra it tasted really yumm.
    Can you also post the traditional way of making this recipe without using the condensed milk. Would really love to try that out as my whole family is a kalakand lover 🙂4 stars

    1. thanks annapurni. sweetness in any dish is relative to a person’s taste buds. some folks prefer more and some less. but i do agree that without sugar also, this recipe tastes good. i will plan to add the traditional way of making kalkand.

  27. Thanks a lot for this receipe and also kaju katli . Will surely try in festivals .
    waiting for some dry snacks receipes which can be preserved .

    1. welcome pooja. i will try to add some snacks recipes during festivals.

  28. Dear Amit dassana
    I have become a cook after experimenting your recipes. They are so simply explained..wow…great help n
    Thanks keep it up…

  29. Such a lovely and easy presentation, thanks for sharing the recipe….I am yet to try it, just wondering if I can replace paneer with cottage cheese? Your inputs would be appreciated, thanks in advance!!

    1. thanks. the recipes which i have seen online have used ricotta cheese instead of paneer. personally i have never used either the cottage cheese that one gets outside india or ricotta cheese. so unable to tell.

  30. Ahh…tried one more recipe n it came out delicious..yummy..once again lot of compliment from ma hubby feeling awesome..Thanks a lot for ur wonderful recipe..gonna try some more..even I’ve took click of kalakand n I could like to share it can u tell me d procedure..5 stars

    1. welcome priyanka. glad to know this. you can email the photo at vegrecipesofindia@gmail.com. we always share photos of recipes tried by readers in our facebook page. thanks in advance for sharing the recipe photo.

  31. Today I tried this receipe…it turned out to be very yummy… !!! thnks for sharing the easy way of making kalakand….5 stars

  32. I have been following your recipes for long..they are so well described and very easy to follow ,moreover very tasty and delight.thank you so much for your recipes and your passion.

    1. welcome praveen. glad to know this. thanks for sharing positive feedback.

  33. There is nothing like fresh kalakand or milk cake..my absolute favorite Indian sweet. Thanks for sharing!

        1. riya, then i suggest to use ricotta cheese. its mention on link as curd.

  34. Never thought making kalakand could be such simple 🙂 Will try it soon and let you know my experience. Thanks for sharing …!!

  35. One more question…
    Can this be made with readymade panner? (example – Govardhan paneer)

  36. I would prefer a “melt in the mouth” experience for my favourite Kalakand … Is it an important step to keep the kalakand in the fridge to set??? I’m asking because when I keep homemade cakes in the fridge, it loses moisture / softness….

    Please suggest …

    1. thanks payal. not required. in india its very hot and milk based sweets gets spoiled and are usually kept in refrigerator. homemade cakes don’t lose moisture if you cover them properly and keep.

  37. Hi dassana, these look sooooo tempting…… I have tried most of ur recipes n all of them r super delicious. Thank u for all ur yummy recipes n more to come:)))

    1. welcome navya. glad to know this. thanks for sharing positive feedback.