Milk Barfi
Milk Barfi
5 from 83 votes
Make your own homemade mithai with this milk powder barfi recipe. A simple and easy barfi recipe prepared with basic ingredients. You will never need to go to the Indian sweet shop again!
Milk Barfi

Milk Barfi! The mere mention of this rich, delectable Indian sweet takes me back to festive occasions and family gatherings. While it’s said that this creamy confectionery made its debut in the Northern regions of India,

 its popularity quickly spread far and wide, making it a beloved choice for many sweet-toothed enthusiasts around the globe.

Milk Barfi, if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying it, is a sweet, dense milk-based treat infused with a subtle hint of cardamom and adorned with the crunch of crushed almonds and pistachios.

Its difficulty level? Surprisingly simple! With just a few ingredients, which might already be resting in your pantry, and a pinch of patience, you’ll be able to recreate this classic at home.

Over the years, many culinary creatives have taken a spin on the traditional Milk Barfi, introducing a plethora of variations. From chocolate-drizzled barfis to those imbued with saffron strands,

the world of Milk Barfi is vast and varied. But no matter the variation, the heart of the Milk Barfi remains the same: its smooth texture and the delightful dance of flavours on the palate.

When it comes to making the perfect Milk Barfi, the quality of ingredients is paramount. Choosing the best milk powder, for instance, can make a world of difference in achieving that creamy consistency we all yearn for.

And those little touches, like the freshly crushed cardamom or the high-quality butter, can elevate the dish to an entirely new level of deliciousness.

Now, you might be thinking that such an exquisite sweet treat would require hours of labour in the kitchen. But that’s the beauty of Milk Barfi; it’s a no-fuss dessert that promises big on flavours.

Whether you’re preparing for a grand festival or simply craving a decadent treat to pair with your evening tea, Milk Barfi is a sure winner.

To those new to the world of Milk Barfi, you’re in for a treat. And to the seasoned Milk Barfi aficionados, here’s a little trip down memory lane, with a recipe that promises to be as authentic and delightful as the ones from yesteryears. Ready to embark on this sweet journey with me? Let’s dive in!

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Embarking on a culinary journey, especially when crafting a dessert as delicate as Milk Barfi, means understanding the heart and soul of each ingredient. It’s not just about mixing them together; it’s about creating a harmonious blend of flavours and textures.

Each ingredient in this recipe has been chosen for its unique contribution to the final product. Let’s delve deeper into what each one brings to the table and explore possible alternatives if you’re looking to experiment.

Butter: This creamy component acts as the base for our barfi, ensuring a smooth and velvety texture. The richness of butter complements the milk powder, creating that signature creaminess that Milk Barfi is known for.

While butter is a top choice for this recipe, if you’re vegan or dairy-sensitive, you can opt for coconut oil. It will give the barfi a slightly different flavour but still be delicious.

Milk Powder: The star of the show! Milk powder is responsible for the dense yet soft texture of the barfi. It offers the authentic milky taste that is iconic to this sweet treat.

If you’re unable to find milk powder, a good alternative is condensed milk. You’d have to adjust the sugar in the recipe, though, since condensed milk is inherently sweet.

Sugar: The sweet symphony wouldn’t be complete without sugar. It balances the flavours, ensuring the barfi isn’t too overpowering.

If you’re watching your sugar intake, honey or maple syrup can be used as natural alternatives. However, do note that they can change the texture slightly and impart their own flavours to the barfi.

Cardamom Powder: Ah, the aromatic allure of cardamom! This spice gives the barfi its unique and fragrant scent, enhancing its overall taste profile. A pinch is all you need to transport your senses. If cardamom isn’t your cup of tea or is not available, you can try a hint of nutmeg or even vanilla for a different twist.

Milk: The liquid magic! Milk is vital as it helps bind the milk powder and gives the barfi its soft texture. Opt for full-fat milk for the best results. Almond or coconut milk can be suitable substitutes if you’re looking for a dairy-free version.

Almonds: Crushed almonds not only add a wonderful crunch to the otherwise soft barfi but also bring a nutty flavour that pairs beautifully with the milk base. If almonds aren’t available or you’d like a change, walnuts or cashews are great alternatives.

Pistachios: These green gems are more than just a garnish. They add a touch of colour and an additional layer of nutty goodness. Can’t find pistachios? Give hazelnuts a try or simply double up on the almonds.

In wrapping up this ingredient rendezvous, it’s crucial to remember that while the traditional recipe holds its charm, there’s always room for innovation in the kitchen.

Whether you’re sticking to the classic ingredients or venturing out with alternatives, the essence of Milk Barfi remains – a delightful blend of sweetness, creaminess, and a touch of crunch. Happy cooking!

My Adventure with Milk Barfi: From Novice to Pro

Ever since I was introduced to the ethereal world of Milk Barfi, my sweet tooth hasn’t quite been the same. I remember the first time I savoured this dessert; it was at a family gathering, and I was completely taken by its velvety texture and the intriguing balance of sweet and nutty flavours.

Initially, I presumed that such a refined treat would be a challenge to recreate at home. The mere thought of attempting it felt daunting. But one day, I mustered the courage, and boy, was I in for a surprise!

Armed with a handful of simple ingredients – milk powder, butter, sugar, cardamom, and a mix of almonds and pistachios – I embarked on my Milk Barfi journey. The butter melted seamlessly into the milk, and as I slowly incorporated the milk powder,

 the mixture began to take form. The addition of sugar and cardamom only heightened the excitement. After a good stir and some patience, I was staring at a glossy mixture that smelled divine.

A sprinkle of crushed nuts later, and a brief waiting period for it to set, I had my first homemade Milk Barfi! The joy of crafting something so delightful from scratch is unparalleled.

Over time, as I continued to make more batches, I fine-tuned my technique, experimented with flavours, and eventually felt like a Milk Barfi pro.

If you’re looking to try your hand at this delectable Indian treat, take it from me: it’s simpler than it seems. And the satisfaction of enjoying your own homemade Milk Barfi? Absolutely worth every bit of effort.

The Subtle Nuances of Flavour in Milk Barfi

When I first ventured into the realm of Indian desserts, Milk Barfi stood out as a true representative of subtle elegance. On the surface, it might seem like a simple milk-based treat, but delve deeper, and you’ll discover a symphony of flavours that captivate your taste buds.

The primary flavour that hits you is the unmistakable richness of milk, thanks to the milk powder. Its depth and creaminess set the base tone for the barfi. This dairy delight is enhanced with the addition of butter, which gives it that extra layer of velvety smoothness.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Enter sugar – the sweet counterpart that elevates the Milk Barfi, making it a dessert worthy of celebrations. The sweetness isn’t cloying; it’s just right, hitting the sweet spot (pun intended).

However, what truly intrigued me was the inclusion of cardamom. This spice, albeit used sparingly, leaves a lasting impression. Its aromatic essence intertwines gracefully with the milky base, introducing a fragrant dimension that’s simply mesmerizing.

And just when you think you’ve deciphered the flavour palette, the crushed almonds and pistachios make their grand entrance. These nuts not only lend a delightful crunch to the otherwise smooth barfi but also introduce a nutty undertone, complementing the primary flavours perfectly.

Each time I savour a piece of Milk Barfi, I find myself appreciating these layers of flavours even more. It’s a testament to how a handful of ingredients, when combined thoughtfully, can create magic.

The next time you indulge in this treat, take a moment to unravel its intricate flavours. Trust me; it’s a journey worth embarking on.

How Milk Barfi Became My Signature Dish

I always fancied myself a decent baker, trying out cakes and cookies from various parts of the world. But when I was introduced to the elegant world of Indian desserts, Milk Barfi swiftly claimed the top spot on my list. Not only for its deliciousness but also for the rave reviews it garnered every time I served it.

I remember preparing Milk Barfi for the first time for a potluck. The main draw was its simplicity. Just milk powder, sugar, butter, cardamom, and nuts. As I mixed the butter with milk,

 followed by the other ingredients, I was captivated by the evolving aromas. The kitchen smelled heavenly, with cardamom reigning supreme.

Once set, I neatly cut the barfi and presented it on a decorative platter. At the potluck, guests gravitated towards it, taking cautious bites, only to return for seconds and thirds.

Many were in disbelief when I told them about its straightforward ingredients. By the end of the night, not a single piece remained.

Since then, Milk Barfi has become synonymous with me. Birthdays, anniversaries, or casual get-togethers – my Milk Barfi is always a hit. And with every batch I make, I’m reminded of the power of simple ingredients and the joy they can bring when mixed together with love.

Exploring Variations of My Beloved Milk Barfi

Experimentation is the essence of culinary adventures. While I hold the classic Milk Barfi dear to my heart, the idea of introducing variations to this traditional recipe started to intrigue me. Each twist brought its own charm, adding layers to an already fantastic dish.

My first endeavour was with flavours. While cardamom is the classic choice, I decided to introduce saffron to the mix. As the golden threads steeped in warm milk, they imparted a vibrant hue and a luxurious flavour.

The end result? A Milk Barfi with royal overtones. The saffron not only enriched the taste but gave it a beautiful golden-yellow shade, making it look as stunning as it tasted.

Another time, I tried swapping regular sugar with jaggery, a natural sweetener popular in Indian cooking. The outcome was a barfi with a deeper colour and a rustic sweetness, a pleasant deviation from the usual.

I also played around with the nutty element. Hazelnuts and cashews became worthy contenders, offering their unique flavours and textures to the dish. Cashews provided a creamier bite, while hazelnuts introduced a delightful crunch.

The dairy component also saw a switch on occasion. Coconut milk became a favourite alternative, lending the barfi a tropical touch. The coconut’s creaminess paired beautifully with the milk powder, creating a variant that was devoured as quickly as the original.

These experiments have taught me that while traditions are valuable, a little twist can lead to equally delightful results.

Whether you’re a purist or someone who loves to experiment, the world of Milk Barfi offers endless possibilities. After all, the joy of cooking lies in innovation, and what better way to innovate than with a dish as versatile as Milk Barfi?

Diving Deeper into the Magic of Cardamom in Milk Barfi

Cardamom and I go way back. Before my affair with Milk Barfi began, I had already been charmed by this little pod’s capacity to uplift a dish. So, it was no surprise when I found out that this fragrant spice plays a pivotal role in crafting the perfect Milk Barfi.

When added to Milk Barfi, cardamom takes the driver’s seat. This seemingly humble spice packs an aromatic punch that’s nothing short of extraordinary. Its fragrance wafts through the room as the barfi sets, promising a treat for the senses.

Traditionally used in many Indian desserts, cardamom is no stranger to sweet dishes. What’s intriguing is how this spice can both stand out and blend in simultaneously. In the Milk Barfi, while it is distinctly detectable, it never overpowers the primary flavour of rich milk.

I’ve realized the importance of the quality of cardamom. Freshly ground cardamom pods offer an aroma that’s far superior to the pre-packaged powder.

The fresher the cardamom, the more pronounced its flavour, giving the Milk Barfi a richer and more nuanced taste.

The Art of Pairing Beverages with Milk Barfi

The joy of relishing Milk Barfi isn’t just in its standalone taste but also in the beverages I choose to accompany it. Over time, I’ve realized that the right drink can elevate the Milk Barfi experience manifold.

Tea, especially the spiced Indian masala chai, is a personal favourite. The strong flavour of the tea juxtaposed against the creamy sweetness of the barfi creates a symphony in the mouth. Every sip of the warm tea, followed by a bite of the cool barfi, feels like a celebration.

On warmer days, I lean towards cold coffee. The bitterness of the coffee provides a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of the Milk Barfi. The creamy texture of both the coffee and the barfi complements each other, making it a match made in heaven.

Whichever beverage one might choose, the key lies in contrast. A balance between the flavours ensures that both the drink and the Milk Barfi shine in their own right, yet together they create a harmony that’s hard to resist.

A Seasonal Twist: Celebrating Festivals with Milk Barfi

There’s something immensely special about festivals. I’ve always believed they bring out the best in food, and each festival I’ve celebrated holds fond memories of unique dishes. When it comes to Milk Barfi, I’ve found that its adaptability and charm fit perfectly into various celebrations.

Take Diwali, for instance. As homes are illuminated with diyas and lanterns, the kitchen too sparkles with a variety of dishes. Amidst the plethora of offerings,

 my Milk Barfi – with its soft texture and gentle sweetness – always finds a revered spot. The crushed almonds and pistachios sprinkled on top mirror the festive sparkle, making it a treat both for the eyes and the palate.

Christmas is another festival where my Milk Barfi has found fans. Amidst the rich plum cakes and mince pies, these delicate squares offer a refreshing change. I sometimes add a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg, giving it a Christmassy warmth.

While the barfi is inherently Indian, it’s fascinating how seamlessly it fits into global festivals. The universal appeal of milk and sugar, I believe, transcends boundaries.

Evolving with Milk Barfi: My Journey from Novice to Pro

There’s something poetic about the journey of learning, especially when it’s about a dish as close to my heart as Milk Barfi. It wasn’t always smooth sailing – like any other culinary journey, mine too was speckled with hits and misses. But with each attempt, my bond with this dish only grew stronger.

In my initial attempts, I recall being overly cautious. Measurements were followed to the T, and the fear of going wrong loomed large. The barfi was delightful, but there was a certain mechanical perfection to it. It lacked the warmth of intuition, the touch of personal flair.

Over time, as I became more acquainted with the ingredients and their behaviour, I started taking small liberties.

A little more cardamom here, a reduction in sugar there, or an innovative twist with the garnishing nuts. The results varied – sometimes they were astounding, and at other times, they served as lessons.

But each batch of Milk Barfi bore a testament to my evolving culinary prowess. The dish transformed from just another recipe in my repertoire to a reflection of my growth as a cook.

In recent times, when I melt the butter or mix in the milk powder, there’s an air of confidence. I know the ingredients and the process inside out. The fear of faltering has been replaced by the thrill of potential innovation.

Milk Barfi has not just been a dish; it’s been a teacher, a companion in my culinary journey. Through its simple ingredients and the magic they weave together, I’ve been reminded time and again of the joys of cooking and the endless possibilities it offers.

Decoding the Texture: How Milk Powder Shapes Milk Barfi

I often think of texture as the unsung hero. While flavours get most of the limelight, it’s the texture that often makes or breaks a dish. When crafting my Milk Barfi, I owe its velvety consistency to one prime ingredient: milk powder.

Milk powder, when added to the butter and milk mixture, undergoes a transformation. It absorbs moisture and gives the barfi its signature grainy yet smooth feel. The melt-in-your-mouth experience is primarily because of how this ingredient interacts with the liquid components.

I’ve come across versions of Milk Barfi that use condensed milk or even fresh paneer, but none match the unique consistency that milk powder offers. The condensed milk, while rich and creamy, often lends a stickier texture. Paneer, on the other hand, tends to make the barfi crumbly.

But milk powder? It’s the golden mean, striking the perfect balance. What I’ve also noticed is that the quality of milk powder significantly affects the outcome.

A finer powder ensures a smoother barfi, whereas a coarser one might result in a grittier texture. Both are delightful in their own right, but I have a slight bias towards the former.

The Unsung Heroes: Almonds and Pistachios in Milk Barfi

Let’s talk about garnishing. Often perceived as mere adornments, garnishes play a crucial role in many dishes. In the case of my Milk Barfi, the almonds and pistachios aren’t just there for a decorative touch; they elevate the dish, making every bite a nutty delight.

Almonds, with their subtle sweetness, complement the milk’s creamy flavour. When bitten into, they introduce a crunch that contrasts beautifully with the barfi’s softness. Their nutritional value is an added bonus. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, almonds add a healthful edge to the indulgence.

Pistachios, on the other hand, bring more than just nutrition and crunch. Their vibrant green hues add a dash of colour, making the barfi aesthetically appealing. Flavour-wise, pistachios have a unique earthiness that balances the richness of the Milk Barfi.

There have been times when I’ve played around with other nuts – like cashews and walnuts. While they each lend their own charm, nothing beats the classic combination of almonds and pistachios.

Their presence in the Milk Barfi isn’t mere embellishment. It’s a testament to the philosophy that in cooking, every ingredient, no matter how small, plays a pivotal role.

Check Out These Other Recipes

As I savoured every bite of the delicate Milk Barfi, my mind couldn’t help but wander to the rich tapestry of desserts that have long held a special place in my heart. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Rice Kheer.

Oh, how it takes me back to those festive evenings with its creamy, luscious texture and delicate hint of cardamom. Then there’s Gajrela, a luxurious concoction of grated carrots, milk, and dry fruits, ensuring a symphony of flavours with every spoon.

The sweetness of Gulab Jamun dances on my palate, a dessert that drips with syrupy goodness, always managing to be the showstopper at every gathering. Speaking of gatherings, how can I not mention the Rasmalai with milk powder? Those soft, spongy cheese balls soaked in creamy,

saffron-infused milk, a dessert that epitomizes indulgence. Last but certainly not least, the Milk Seviyan, a delightful vermicelli pudding prepared with milk, weaving a tale of tradition with every bite.

Each of these desserts has its own story, a tale of love, tradition, and flavour. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with these desserts. Do you have a favourite or perhaps a cherished memory associated with them? Let’s journey through the world of desserts together.

Milk Barfi

Milk Barfi

by Nabeela Kauser
Make your own homemade mithai with this milk powder barfi recipe. A simple and easy barfi recipe prepared with basic ingredients. You will never need to go to the Indian sweet shop again!
5 from 83 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 16 Pieces
Calories 147 kcal


  • 50 g Butter
  • 300 g Milk Powder
  • 100 g Sugar
  • ½ tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 200 ml Milk
  • Almonds Crushed
  • Pistachios Crushed


  • In a greased baking tin add the crushed almonds and pistachios – leave some crushed nuts for the top as well
  • On low heat add the butter and allow to melt completely
  • Add the milk and gradually allow it to heat until warm
  • Once heated add the milk powder in small increments stirring continuously to break the lumps and keep mixing until everything is incorporated
  • Add the sugar and cardamom powder then fold the mixture continuously on low heat for 10 minutes
  • Add mixture into the baking tin then top with the remaining almonds and pistachios then leave to set for 1 hour
  • Serve alongside some freshly brewed tea and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 95mgPotassium: 270mgFibre: 0.02gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 274IUVitamin C: 2mgVitamin D: 2µgCalcium: 188mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Dessert, Food, Indian, Indian Desserts, Indian Sweets, Milk Desserts, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!
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2 years ago

Can a sugar substitute be used? As in another sweetner?

2 years ago

What size pan is needed in inches please?

2 years ago

5 stars
When it says leave aside for 1 hour do we keep it in fridge uncovered or just kept out in kitchen on counter tops uncovered at room temperature?

1 year ago

5 stars
this site is wonderful, I really appreciate your efforts for writing posts on barfi.

1 year ago

5 stars
This recipe is amazing, thank you. Should I store in fridge?

1 year ago

5 stars
Hi, this is currently setting in the fridge but it is not yet solid. Where did I go wrong? ? It is very soft!

1 year ago

5 stars
Hey Nabeela,

How where do I store the barfi and how long does it keep for?
Thanks a lot for this helpful recipe!

6 months ago

5 stars
Hello! Can milk powder be replaced by custard powder?

1 month ago

If I want to put chocolate on top then when should I do it?

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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