Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.42 from 65 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.

how to make dulce de leche, Homemade dulce de leche, DIY dulce de leche, dulce de leche recipe, Recipe, recipes, easy desserts, best desserts, DIY videos, DIY recipes, how to videos, how to reicpes, how to make, simple recipes, recieps, baking, baking techniques, simple baking techniques

How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.42 from 65 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.

how to make dulce de leche, Homemade dulce de leche, DIY dulce de leche, dulce de leche recipe, Recipe, recipes, easy desserts, best desserts, DIY videos, DIY recipes, how to videos, how to reicpes, how to make, simple recipes, recieps, baking, baking techniques, simple baking techniques

How to Make Dulce de Leche

4.59 from 41 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!

Submit your own photos of this recipe

9 Images

Mary Aris

Mary Aris

Mary Aris

Shruti Premkumar

Danyah AL-Tamimi

Cherry Reyes

232
Comments & Reviews

avatar

newest oldest most useful
lizzielee7
Member
lizzielee7
17 days ago

I did exactly as the recipe instructed but my caramel came out pale in color. How can I make it dark and rich even after opening the lid? My question is – how do you know when the dulce de Leche has the deep caramel color if the can is sealed? Can you tell by shaking the can? If it’s thick it won’t move? Help!

lizzielee7
Member
lizzielee7
18 days ago

In your video you cover the pot with a lid. In your instructions you do not mention to cover the pot. Confused for the dulce de Leche condensed milk

lizzielee7
Member
lizzielee7
23 days ago

Hello Gemma, I am super fussy when I make desserts for the family. Not only does it have to look good, but it has to taste even better. I love your youtube video on how to make dulce de leche. In your honest opinion, which one do you suggest to make for the ultimate best taste? Condense milk or milk/sugar? I’m going to attempt to make the 10 layer Russian honey cake with your dulce de leche recipe for Thanksgiving.

Thank you in advance!!!

DARLA
Guest
1 month ago

I love your tip “You can do this, heat the condensed milk in a double boiler. Stir constantly until you get a thick and light caramel color.” I needed the same thing, I did it and it was wonderful. Thank you so much Gemma.

DevikaSapra
Member
DevikaSapra
1 month ago

Dear Gemma,
I intend to make a recipe with Dulce de leche but I require only half a tin for that. I don’t want to use the whole tin as I would use the other half for making ice cream. Also I don’t have the time (and patience!^_^) to make Dulce de leche with method 1. So can I just heat condensed milk over a double boiler to make Dulce de leche? Would it work? Please help.
Thanks
Best wishes.

Reynaldo caberte jr.
Guest
Reynaldo caberte jr.
1 month ago

Hi Gemma! I am one of your subscriber in your youtube channel and i have tried your dulce de leche in can by boiling, and i would like to know if can i leave the can into the water to cool after the boiling process or do i need to remove the can immediately right after? Thanks!

Nims
Member
Nims
4 months ago

Hello Gemma! The sauce turned out beautifully but I forgot to add vanilla essence, can I add now after it has cooled down

Barbara McMahon
Guest
Barbara McMahon
4 months ago

Hello Gemma,

I always seem to be short on time, so I wonder what you think about putting the can in a pressure cooker for about one third of the time you would boil it in a pan. Or do you think the temperature would be too high?

Barbara

p.s. I love all your recipes!

Kat Diane
Guest
Kat Diane
5 months ago

So I’m thinking about doing the milk and sugar method. I just want to clarify somethings.

I’m going to combine the two and bring them up to a boil right? How long should it be boiling for before I turn the heat down? Also, I have an electric stove, so the heat selection is already written on the appliance itself. Should I put it on simmer or low? While it’s simmering should I look for bubbles or just steam? I always find that the simmer on my cookware only produces steam no gentle simmering or bubbles.

Lisette
Guest
Lisette
5 months ago

Hi. I made this with “wholesome” brand biodynamic sugar which is just a tad bit healthier. My family thinks I’m crazy that I don’t use white sugar. Anyway, it didn’t get caramelly at all or the color of caramel. It was more of a light beige and the consistency of medium thick homemade oat milk. I couldn’t get it to simmer on low, sometimes it went too low, so I would increase it and then it went too high. Big stressful mess. but I refrigerated it anyway and the next day it was the color of caramel but hard as… Read more »

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 a FREE profile and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new dessert recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

Buy the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook by Gemma Stafford