I love anything made with sweetened condensed milk.

There. I said it.

One day I will post an ode to sweetened condensed milk, but today’s not that day. Today I want to share my family’s super-secret recipe for Crema de Vie or Cuban Egg Nog.

Yes, Cuban Egg Nog. I know. Shut up.

I usually start making a couple of bottles around Thanksgiving weekend for the family. But then as it gets closer to Christmas I make vats of the stuff to give away.

I suppose making cookies would be way easier, but the packaging for the Crema de Vie is so much more sophisticated. Besides, it’s incredibly delicious in all its sweetened-condensed-milk-and-rum splendor.

You can make it a few weeks ahead. It should keep in the refrigerator for about 2 months. At least for the people who have that kind of self-control. (That is sooo not me.) You see, the rum acts as a preservative…for the egg nog I mean. =D


Crèma de Vie (Cuban Egg Nog)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
6 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup white rum
1) Mix the sugar and water together over very low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves – about 3 minutes. It has to be just low enough so that the sugar doesn’t carmelize, but makes a thick sugary water.
2) Put the egg yolks in a blender and mix with the condensed milk.


3) Slowly add the evaporated milk and mix completely.
4) Flavor with the vanilla.
5) Pour the mixture into the sugar-water and mix together.
6) Finally stir in the rum (as a preservative, remember?)


Makes about 5 cups, or two and a half bottles.

Regarding the “packaging” – I got these beautiful bottles from Pier One Imports, but I also go to my local wine cellar and ask them for their empties (which they are happy to unload for free!) and I just buy fresh corks. You can get a bag of corks from Michael’s.

Add a decorative label and a ribbon and you’ve got a classy, one-of-a-kind, such-a-fun-departure-from-cookies gift. Did I mention it has condensed milk and rum?


(This recipe was originally posted on MBFCF)

Share, por favor!

By Marta on November 30, 2009 · Posted in casa + cultura, food

9 Comments | Post Comment

Tia Mirtha says:

My old jefe, used to give me a bottle every Christmas. His mother-in-law was the one who made it. The last one I gave it to Carrie’s dad, he loved it. I retired on July 31, I guess I won’t be getting a bottle of Crema de Vie this year.

Posted on November 30th, 2009

Marta says:

Tia Mirtha,

This is EASY – make it yourself, mama!


Posted on December 1st, 2009

julie says:

sweetened condensed milk is just the best.
I wonder if this is anything like the Mexican liquor rompope?

Posted on December 6th, 2009

For You: Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas and Dulce de Leche says:

[...] to give gifts with a little more flair (and lots of leche condensada).I usually make Creme de Vie (recipe here).Or Dulce de Leche (Of course! recipe here).The cool thing about making either or both of those is [...]

Posted on December 13th, 2010

Maura says:

Marta I’m just finding this post for the first time because it was linked from the great post you did on creative packaging for crema de vie & dulce de leche… mama, you are a genius!
Maura´s last [fabulousness] ..¡Conectando con mi gente!

Posted on December 13th, 2010

Nathan says:

Haha Marta I would add atleast 1 cup of rum, probably 1 1/2- 2 cups lol.

Posted on December 13th, 2010

Barbara Garcia says:

Wow, this brings back great memories… growing up, my mom always made crema de vie for Christmas and I swear you could get drunk just sniffing the bottle! With dementia setting, in she doesn’t make anything any more, but from the photos yours looks to be the same color and consistency (moms was so thick you needed A LOT of time to pour yourself some). Thanks a bunch for sharing the recipe Marta!

Posted on December 13th, 2010

Becki says:

Your website was such a wonderful find! I love my culture and our food, but you can’t find much of either in Texas. I have an old, beat-up-copy of Nitza Villapol’s cookbook that I bought in Miami 35 years ago. It’s the only way I keep the passion alive!

My mom also used to make Crema de Vie when I was little. She used to add lemon rind and cinammon sticks to the sugar-water. I also added 4 oz. of cream cheese for “body”. I’ve made three batches already and everyone loves it. Thank you for sharing! What a treat!!

Posted on December 30th, 2010

Carrie says:

Becki, mucho gusto! We love it when new readers find us — and are delighted. It’s like finding a new relative!
Your Crema de Vie sounds awesome and you’ve inspired me to try to make it for gifts….(I give Dulce de Leche in pretty jars!)

Posted on January 5th, 2011