Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.42 from 118 votes
Make creamy, homemade dulce de leche with either one of my two easy methods. My dulce de leche recipe is perfect for cheesecakes, ice cream and more!
How to make Dulce de Leche - 2 Easy ways to make Dulce de Leche at home.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Dulce de leche (pronounced “DOOL-se de LE-che”) is a creamy caramel sauce that is used in many desserts like my Ice CreamBanoffee Pie, cheesecakes and more. My dulce de leche recipe includes two simple methods.

What is Dulce De Leche?

Dulce de Leche is similar to caramel and comes from sweetened milk, such as condensed milk. When heated, the sugar in the milk becomes caramelized and transforms into that sweet golden-brown color with deeply decadent flavor.

 

How to Make Dulce De Leche: Method One

My homemade dulce de leche can be made in two ways. The first uses sugar, milk and a touch of vanilla. These ingredients are combined in a saucepan, brought to a boil and then simmered. This process thickens the mixture after 1 hour and thirty minutes to 1 hour and forty-five minutes. Once past this point, stir the mixture often to avoid burning the milk. Be careful and watch your pan.

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How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.42 from 118 votes
Author: Epicurious.com
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Author: Epicurious.com
Servings: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (32oz/1000ml) milk
  • 1 ¼ cups ((10oz/300g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Stir together milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and thickened, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. (skim away any foam that forms during simmering)
  • After about an hour, stir more often as milk caramelizes, to avoid burning.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  • Transfer to a bowl to cool. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

How to Make Dulce De Leche: Method Two

With time and a watchful eye, you can make dulce de leche with condensed milk. First, remove the label from your can so you don’t have a watery paper situation in your pot. Place a rag in your pot and beneath your can of condensed milk to keep it from rattling throughout the next two and a half hours. Fill your pot with cold water, making sure it comes up to one inch from the top of the pot. Keep in mind that water will evaporate so it is highly important to watch your water levels and replenish the water when needed.

On medium-high heat, bring your water to a simmer then lower the temperature to maintain that simmer for 2 and a half hours. You’ll yield a beautiful and smooth dulce de leche.

Be very careful not to burn yourself when you remove your cans! Safety is paramount. Use tongs or an oven mitt to remove your can (or cans). Your dulce de leche will store for up to a year once done and will be great on a variety of treats.

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How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.5 from 74 votes
Make creamy, homemade dulce de leche with either one of my two easy methods. My dulce de leche recipe is perfect for cheesecakes, ice cream and more!
Author: Epicurious.com
Servings: 1 can
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Make creamy, homemade dulce de leche with either one of my two easy methods. My dulce de leche recipe is perfect for cheesecakes, ice cream and more!
Author: Epicurious.com
Servings: 1 can

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Remove the label from the can of condensed milk. It is no longer needed! If you leave it on, you'll get a papery mess in the water.
  • Place the can in a small pot and fill it with enough water to come up to one inch (2.5cm) from the top of the can. You will need to add more water during the cooking process to make sure water doesn't go below this level as it evaporates. Don't let the water come higher than 1/2 inch (1.25cm) from the top of can, though, as you don't want any getting on the top of the can and going into the holes you pierced.
  • To prevent the can from rattling in the water (which can be annoying when you consider that it'll need to be in there for several hours) put a rag under the can.
  • Place the pot on your stove and turn it on to medium-high heat.
  • Watch the water closely until you see the water come to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat to hold the water at a simmer. A soft Dulce de leche takes about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the can with tongs or an oven mitt and place on a rack to cool. Be careful when emptying the contents, as you can get burned.
  • Open the can carefully with a can opener and pour into a bowl. The top will be more fluid, and there will be thicker, darker chunks at the bottom which will need to be scraped out. When everything is in the bowl, whisk together to make it homogeneous.

Find dulce de leche in my other recipes:

 

Watch The Recipe Video!

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Comments & Reviews

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Maxim
Guest
Maxim
25 days ago

Hello! This was my first time making dulce de Leche and I was a bit hesitant at first, but it came out great! It took my a bit longer than 1 and a half hours, but it was well worth it, Thank you!

Bianca Daze
Guest
Bianca Daze
1 month ago

Instructions are not clear. I followed exactly what it said for the milk and sugar method and it turned out lumpy. What a waste

Katherine
Guest
Katherine
3 months ago

Im a little confused… in the video you show the condensed milk version covered with water. In the written instructions in step to it pierced with holes but don’t state that in the video. Is it necessary to pierce with holes? Or is that an optional step?
Thank you! Once made is it stored in the fridge or pantry?
Thank you!

Natalie d
Guest
Natalie d
1 day ago

Hi there
I’m planning to make an old skool caramel tart tomorrow. Can uou tell me the best sugar to use for the caramel you made. Thank you.
Natalie x

Alex
Guest
Alex
22 days ago

One time it says “making sure it comes up to one inch from the top of the pot” but then later “one inch (2.5cm) from the top of the can” — which is correct? Thanks

Jen Cullen
Guest
Jen Cullen
27 days ago

Can i half this recipe? I tried to make quarter just to test it but it became really sticky and difficult to work with and just stuck to the pan

rekha chandak
Guest
rekha chandak
28 days ago

Hello Gemma, I tired boiling milk method and my Dulce de leche is hard as rock. Where did I go wrong?

Victoria
Guest
Victoria
1 month ago

Hi Gemma,

Can i reboil my dulce de leche can? Im wasnt sure if it is cooked well inside. Thanks!

Poomie
Guest
Poomie
1 month ago

hi Gemma.
i love your recipes.
i tried your shortbread cookies yesterday and they came out perfect.

i want to try this dulce de leche tomorrow with milk, sugar and vanilla.
i just want to know if you must boil at a high heat before the sugar dissolves?
should you stir at all while it’s boiling?
how do you know the sugar has dissolved?

thank you Gemma, keep up the great work.

love from South Africa

cjq
Guest
cjq
1 month ago

May I know how to store it for long term use? Must I refrigerate it?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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