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How to make Dulce de Leche - 2 Easy ways to make Dulce de Leche at home.

How to Make Dulce de Leche

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Making homemade dulce de leche has never been so easy. With one of my simple two methods, my dulce de leche recipe is fool-proof.

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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4.43 from 59 votes
How to make Dulce de Leche - 2 Easy ways to make Dulce de Leche at home.
How to Make Dulce de Leche
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 cups (32oz/1000ml) milk
  • 1 ¼ cups ((10oz/300g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Stir together milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. 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)
  3. After about an hour, stir more often as milk caramelizes, to avoid burning.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  5. 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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4.67 from 39 votes
How to Make Dulce de Leche
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!

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Argentina
Servings: 1 can
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place the pot on your stove and turn it on to medium-high heat.
  5. Watch the water closely until you see the water come to a simmer.
  6. Lower the heat to hold the water at a simmer. A soft Dulce de leche takes about 2 1/2 hours.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

The leftover dulce de leche will keep for a couple of weeks, refrigerated. It would be great stirred into coffee or cocoa, spread on toast, or warmed and drizzled on ice cream. Try it with peanut butter on a sandwich (surely the top trade at the school lunch table).

Find dulce de leche in my other recipes:



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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Nims on July 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm

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

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2019 at 8:02 am

      I’m thrilled to hear that! The vanilla is just an extra, thats ok if you didn’t add it.

      Thanks for trying it out and letting know 🙂


      • Nims on August 1, 2019 at 9:55 am

        Thanku for the prompt reply????

  2. Barbara McMahon on July 24, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    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?


    p.s. I love all your recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2019 at 7:55 am

      Hi Barbara,
      thank you for your kind words. Yes, you can readily do this in the pressure cooker.
      In a stovetop cooker lie the cans on their sides and cover well with water then bring to full pressure and cook for 15 minutes.
      In an Electric pressure cooker it will take a little longer – 20 mins or so. The longer you do it the darker the caramel too.
      The important thing is to do it safely. When the time is up allow the cooker to reduce pressure naturally, gently removing from the heat. Then allow it to stay in the pot until the water is cold, overnight is good. The reason for this is that the can becomes pressurized too, and you must not attempt to open it when it is hot.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Kat Diane on July 12, 2019 at 12:11 am

    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.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

      Hi Kat! Thanks for reaching out. The sugar should be completely dissolved before you bring the heat down and get the mixture to simmer. Which means that the liquid should have small gentle bubbles and not just steam.

      I do hope you got to watch the video. That will give you the key visuals to watch out for when making your condensed milk. Happy cooking! Gemma ????

  4. Lisette on June 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    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 a Rock. I managed to save it by adding fresh milk and the hard caramel to a food processor and then sieving it out. Family liked it a lot and it was pretty delicious. However I don’t want to do that again. Who would, right? Plus it won’t last for more than the expiration date of the milk. Anyway, My question is do I have to just suck it up and use good old white sugar or did I cook it to long and too high and it’s doesnt matter that I use my biodynamic sugar?
    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 20, 2019 at 1:48 am

      Hi Lisette,
      this alternative sugar should caramelize nicely for you. It has the same source, cane, as many regular granulated sugars, the only difference being the way it is processed, and the adding back of molasses, it is a good product.
      I have no idea what happened here, it should have worked as any sugar would, it is high in sucrose, and will convert to an invert sugar when heated, which allows it to thicken the milk as it heads towards a caramel. The color of this sugar is already golden though, so this may be a little confusing.
      I am not sure what I should suggest here, I hate to put you through that again. Just remember this was a common way to preserve milk back in the time when milk, like most produce, was seasonal. When canned correctly it would last for a whole winter. When you remember this it becomes a bit easier to trust this process.
      Not sure that this will help you, but I hope it does,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. ʚĩɞ Chai Ma ʚĩɞ on May 31, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I tried making Dulce de Leche with the milk and sugar method , I kept stirring it to caramelize and after I took it off the heat to cool down it wasn’t smooth it was very thick and it turned out to be all one lump did i do something wrong ? and can i fix it somehow ?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 3, 2019 at 3:21 am

      Hi there,
      It sounds like you took it a bit too far. I think you can return it to the pot, and gently, with some more milk, dissolve th4 caramel again. Once it has dissolved, take it off the heat. That will do it, you can add milk gradually until it is just right.
      Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on June 3, 2019 at 3:21 am

      Hi there,
      It sounds like you took it a bit too far. I think you can return it to the pot, and gently, with some more milk, dissolve the caramel again. Once it has dissolved, take it off the heat. That will do it, you can add milk gradually until it is just right.
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Jack on April 29, 2019 at 3:36 am

    I made this the first two times and it turned out perfectly- the milk method
    I tried making it again this weekend and it turned out grainy and lumpy in not sure why I don’t think I did anything differently maybe had the heat a little bit higher than the time before? Would that make it grainy and limpy like that?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 30, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Yes it sounds like it got a little over heated. Low and slow with this guys. It’s not a process that can be sped up by turning up the heat.

      You got this!

  7. Binaifer on March 20, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Made the dulce the leche for Banoffee which I will assemble tomorrow. It is a lovely brown color and a beautiful consistency. The only concern is the amount of fuel consumed to keep it on the stove for 2.5 hours !????
    But a great result and I hope it keeps it’s consistency in the fridge overnight!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 21, 2019 at 6:03 am


      I hear you! it is a lot. Thats why I do 3-4 cans at a time so I have more for the future.


  8. Minal on March 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Gemma, i just made the dulce de leche and it turned out to be really grainy and pale 🙁 What could have caused this?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 18, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Hi there, it sounds like the sugar was not fully dissolved or caramelized. I suggest cooking it longer over low heat.

  9. Arnavaz on February 22, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Greetings of the day Gemma!

    If I am using a condensed milk can… do I need to pierce holes in the lid… before placing in the pan for 2.5 hrs.

    Pls advise

    • Gemma Stafford on February 22, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      Yes, i would suggest it!

  10. Suzanne Schneider on February 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Greetings Gemma????
    I used Golden Sugar in the first recipe method and loved it! While I don’t have a sweet tooth, honestly I could eat that stuff with a spoon! By accident I discovered Dulce de Leche Condensed Milk in the grocery story during Christmas grocery shopping!! Oh. My. Gosh. It’s evil! I prefer making it from scratch.

    Thanks so much!
    Suzanne Schneider
    Kelowna, BC, Canada

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      YAY, I am delighted to hear that, and I agree, it is dangerous ;D

  11. Nurma on February 18, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Hi gemma i want to ask. How if i cook sweetened condensed milk on pot until they browned? Not using your method no 1 or no 2, can I get same dulche de leche result?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 18, 2019 at 2:37 am

      Nurma, yes you can! This is almost there, it is on the point of caramelizing, return to the pot and continue to cook it out on a gently heat, watch it, it will be quick, you can stir it, and even add a touch of butter, but you have to stand over it.
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Ayu on January 31, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Hi gemma, I’m from Indonesia. I tried to make it using the condensed milk can. It did turn out beatifully brown, however the taste is still the same, the usual condensed milk, where I hope there will be a taste of caramel in it. Does yours taste the same?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Hi there, im sorry to hear that, no mine tastes like rich caramel. Perhaps you did not cook it long enough?

  13. Deljahsd on December 28, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Hi, Can the dulce be made from your condensed milk recipe instead of the can? And if so, are there any adjustments I should make to achieve the same deep rich color and flavor? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Yes, you can great idea, and no adjustments here. Enjoy!

  14. Alberto Bartoli on December 23, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Your recipe wiht milk, sugar and vanilla is missing a key ingredient. About a teaspoon or so of Baking Soda. Without it dulce de leche will not darken. That’s the way it is make in Argentina where dulce de leche is the most popular sweet.
    It will also help to use raw milk, fresh.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Ah thank you for the tip, ill have to try that!

    • Cortnie Parson on June 21, 2019 at 4:11 am

      Thanks for the tip!

  15. Crystal_taylor on December 19, 2018 at 12:43 am

    hi there Emma,
    i have always wanted to make my own caramel, so i tried your recipe and it didn’t really thicken up it turned quiet grainy and clumpy, i’m not want happen, did i burn the caramel

    • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2018 at 4:29 am

      Hi Crystal,
      This is a question of process, the dissolving of the sugars before you raise the temperature to make a caramel, of any type. You will have learned something by doing it. Do take a look at this tutorial too ( it will help to get the idea clear for you, then you can forge ahead. You may be able to rescue the current batch by simmering it further at a low temperature, keep an eye on it, it may dissolve the sugar crystals for you.
      I hope this is of help, when you get this right one time, you will never get it wrong again,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. kh on December 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I kept cooking, waiting for the milk/sugar to turn a beautiful caramel color like in your video. Mine remained a pale brown and ended up the consistency of clay (delicious clay!) I’m guessing that I overcooked it. But why didn’t it turn brown? If I can’t go by the color how do I know when it’s cooked enough? Is there a temperature that indicates when it’s done? I live at a high altitude (7,000 ft) and I wonder if that is part of the problem.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 2:40 am

      Hi there,
      Wow! that is high altitude and it will have an affect on your baking, but you probably know that. for the benefit of other Bold Bakers.
      Adjustment for 7000+ feet:
      Reduce baking powder: for each teaspoon, decrease 1/4 teaspoon.
      Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 1 to 3 tablespoons.
      Increase liquid: for each cup, add 3 to 4 tablespoons.
      Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
      The rules for candy making are different, and you would need to use your thermometer. Dulce De Leche finishes at about 220C at sea level, but it is different at altitude. For every 500ft you adjust the temperature down by 1 degree or so. I think you should google this and read a few descriptions of the candy making process at high altitude. There are some good academic discussions on this, worth getting to grips with.
      Alternatively use the can method, it may take a little longer for you, 3 hours plus, or 8 hours in a slow cooker, but it may be a fail safe method,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Alberto Bartoli on December 24, 2018 at 3:57 am

      Your recipe wiht milk, sugar and vanilla is missing a key ingredient. About a teaspoon or so of Baking Soda. Without it dulce de leche will not darken. That’s the way it is make in Argentina where dulce de leche is the most popular sweet.
      It will also help to use raw milk, fresh.
      One more thing, it should reach a temperature of 106 Celcius (about 224 F). At this point, it is done.

  17. Georgeta on December 2, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Hi Gemma

    In my country I can find only condensed milk no sweetened condensed milk how can I sweet dulce de leche ?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 2, 2018 at 5:40 am

      Hi Georgeta,
      There are two type of evaporated milk, one is condensed and that is ALWAYS sweetened, it will not condense without the sugar. This one is the one you make caramel with.
      Evaporated milk has a reduced water content, but no sugar. It will be slightly thicker than regular milk, but not condensed as such.
      Evaporated milk can be condensed, adding the sugar, and simmering for about 30 mins, and on from that to make a Dulce De Leche.
      So, check the can in your store, it may not say ‘sweetened’ but the ingredients should indicate the sugar content.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Susan Bethune on November 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Hi Gemma, I was going to try using condenced milk (method 2) in your directions it doesn’t say anything about piercing the can but later on it says not to put water over the can so water doesn’t get in the holes we pierced in the can, I’m confused. Can you please help me out? I wanted to make this for something this weekend. Thankyou, love all your recipies!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 17, 2018 at 4:17 am

      Hi Susan,
      sorry to confuse. Some people pierce the can, but I never do, and have never had a problem. I tend to do a few cans at a time, lay then on their sides and they will not rattle around in the pan. If you pierce the can then lay bottom down on a tea cloth in the pan, this will keep the can steady.
      The longer you simmer the can the darker will be the caramel too. you can experiment a bit.
      I hope you like this really useful thing, a great thing for the store cupboard!
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Sarah on November 15, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I made this using method 1, but i forgot to skim the foam off the top… ended up having all these little lumpy bits. Is that due not skimming, or could it be because i used skim milk (2%)?


    • Gemma Stafford on November 15, 2018 at 1:27 am

      Hi Sarah,
      Yes! in a word. However it should not affect the overall result. Dulce De Leche is a caramel, made with milk, the type of milk is irrelevant, though the little bit of fat in full fat milk gives a richer result.
      I hope this helps. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved before you start the simmer, that will help,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Josie on November 9, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I love watching your videos and have always wanted to try out your recipes. I attempted the Dulce de Leche using whole dairy milk and organic coconut sugar. The sugar dissolved but the milk seems to have curdled. I tossed the batch as I thought I may have used bad milk. I bought a new carton of milk and tried it again. The same thing happened producing a thick layer of what looked like curdled milk. I’m wondering if it is the coconut sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 5:41 am

      Hi Josie,
      That is bizarre! I think what happened is that the sugar was not fully dissolved, and the mix split, that is how it would appear if this happened.
      The sugar should be fully dissolved, so that there are no crystals at all remaining in the mix. Then bring to simmer and wait! not too hot either, just a gently simmer to evaporate some of the water content. Think about it like it is a caramel with water, that is the idea, it should not be too tricky.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Irene on October 27, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Can I use brown sugar instead of white sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 28, 2018 at 6:19 am

      Hi Irene,
      Yes, but a very dark brown sugar will have a really strong flavor of molasses. You may like to choose a light organic one. coconut sugar would be good for this too.
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Marie on October 3, 2018 at 1:58 am

    Hi gemma
    I am watching my calorie count
    Can you use fat free condensed milk?
    And can it be used for caramel popcorn?
    I am dying for some caramel popcorn and i dont want the fat that comes with it

    • Gemma Stafford on October 3, 2018 at 3:43 am

      Hi Marie,
      you probably saw this recipe (
      There is a little butter in this, you could perhaps adjust that for your taste.
      dulce De Leche is a different type of caramel, it is a soft one which will not harden and that is what you need for caramel corn.
      Dulce De Leche is necessarily high in sugar, it has to be as it will not caramelize without it. (
      I am not sure how to advise here, butter is probably lower in calories than sugar!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Paul on October 6, 2018 at 10:01 pm

        A pound of sugar has 1,775 calories, a pound of butter has 3,258 calories.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 8, 2018 at 5:39 am

          Hi Paul,
          I am sorry, I have lost the thread of this comment. Can you refresh my memory?
          Gemma 🙂

  23. Usha Shah on September 27, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Dear Gemma,

    I would like a recipe for eggless sponge cake.

    Many thanks
    Usha Shah

    • Gemma Stafford on September 28, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Usha,

      Have you seen my chart? This is will help you to leave out eggs in your baking.


  24. K on August 27, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I made it but ended up over cooking it so now it’s a bit like taffy candy in consistency. I have no idea how to use it this way. Is there a way to fix it as in cooking it with more milk or something?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 29, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      Hi, it sounds like makes it got cooked a little too much and became like a candy. Maybe cook it a little less next time.


  25. Michelle on August 26, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Hello Gemma thank you! You were absolutely right I raised the temperature a bit and began to see the change. It did thicken up and darkened in color nicely, but when I let it cool down and took a spoonful out to check the consistensy there were many lumps in my dulce de leche. It tastes wonderful, but I expected a creamy smooth finish. I must have done something else wrong. Any other tips or ideas please? I love all your video recipes by the way. It really helps make it so much easier for homemade cooks like myself follow step by step process of making something delicous with just a few ingredients from home.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2018 at 4:29 am

      Hi Michelle,
      If you add back a little 1/2 and 1/2 creamer to this, when it is still hot, and stir it through, it should resolve this for you.
      This really says that it is a little over, but you have learned a lot! Next time it will be perfection!
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Michelle on August 24, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I’ve been simmering my milk and sugar uncovered for 2 hrs already I don’t know what i’m doing wrong. It just won’t thicken or get caramelized. Please help! Any tips are very much appreciated thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      I think this is to do with the temperature. Raise the temp a touch, get the milk barely shimmering, the water content will evaporate, and this is what you want. The finished milk shout be about 40 -50% of the original volume. Carry on, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Jen on August 15, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Sometime ago I had tried to make the Dulce de Leche using canned condensed milk using the oven method which was ok. Then I saw your boiling method and wanted to try again. I followed your directions and did 1 can. The next day when cooled I opened the can to find this beautiful velvety Dulce de Leche! The first taste was delightful! And addictive! I kept going back to the fridge for a bite and before I knew it, all gone. With this new found excitement I proceeded to do four more cans using your method—for gifts. After cooling at room temperature they were labeled and put in the pantry about 5 months ago. I decided to open a can to put on ice cream. To my horror there
    were sugar crystals through out. Taste and color beautiful but those crystals were awful. So glad I had not given any as gifts. Is there a fix, please? Thank you for all your recipes and lovely videos!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 15, 2018 at 3:04 am

      Hi Jen,
      I have no idea why that happened! It should store well for months, and the only thing I can think is that there may have been a tiny air hole in the can, I cannot see how it would happen in a sealed can, I am truly mystified!
      I am disappointed for you Jen, truly,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Eldy on July 13, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Hi Gemma. Love love love your recipes. In my country we make the can “dulce leche” in the pressure cooker. We put the can in and water half way up and cook until full pressure then bring heat down to medium and cook 20 minutes. We let it sit unopened in the closed pot for about 30 min more and it’s perfect.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 14, 2018 at 3:44 am

      Hi there Eldy,
      Thank you so much for great advice, I am really happy to have your input.
      I am going to try this too!
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Khuraim on June 11, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Hi Gemma.
    As soon as I took my dulce de Leche off the heat it began to harden. Can you tell me why and how to fix it?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Hi there,
      I think you took it too far! This will happen as it turns from liquid to hard caramel. I ma not sure how you will rescue this one, though it should dissolve in a little hot water, it may change it too much to use as you wish. Oh dear! I think you will need to try this!
      Gemma 🙂

  30. Gail on April 19, 2018 at 4:26 am

    My mother use to boil the unopened can of condensed milk and I have done it countless times, I have found a easy “no watch” method by pouring the condensed milk into clean 1/2 pint glass jelly jars fill about half full. put the cover on tightly and place in a crock pot, fill the crock pot with warm water (Just a little above the fill line on your jars) I set mine upright. cover and cook on high for about 4 hours. I only fill my jars about 3/4 full and get two jars per can of condensed milk. So easy and I don’t have to watch it on the stove.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Hi Gail,
      Great idea, thank you for this. Other Bold Bakers are always looking for ways to do this safely.
      Thank you for your input,
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Cherry Reyes on February 12, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Gemma, I made these today using the 2nd method. I loved it! I was full of anticipation as I took the can opener and I was nervous to see how dark the condensed milk got. It turned into a lovely golden brown! Yay!

    While boiling the can I also sterilized a bottle to transfer the dulce de leche in. My questions are :

    1. Would it be ok to just do the dulce de leche cans and not open them after being cooled? I would like to make more than one can at a time to save on gas and effort and keep them for future use.

    2. Does the unopened can need to be refrigirated? Or can I just keep it in a cool, warm place? How long will it keep in the can?

    3. Once I open the can, is refrigiration needed? How long will it keep opened/refrigirated/ at room temp?

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    BTW, I am making your red-velvet pancakes and pairing it with this for Valentine’s day tomorrow for my mom. 😉

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Kevin, and Waffles. (He should meet the dog in the youtube channel Cooking with Dog!)



    • Gemma Stafford on February 13, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Hi Cherry,
      well done you!
      Now that you have done this one time you can simmer a bit longer too, for a darker result, it is practice and experience.
      Do simmer more than one can at a time. Remove the label, and lay the cans on their sides, this prevents them rattling in the pot (which is annoying).
      When they are done mark the can, with a marker or simple label, so that you do not get it confused with anything else.
      Then you can either refrigerate or keep in your larder. This is a really useful ingredient to have on hand. Lemon curd, I am fond of saying, is the other one, but it will not keep as long!
      Wishing you and you mom a really happy Valentines day, she will be happy!
      Gemma 😉

      • Cherry Reyes on February 13, 2018 at 10:39 am

        Thank you. I hope to learn how to make lemon curd next time. BTW… I have not heard of any other fruit being turned into a curd though. I wonder if other fruits like other berries or citrus can be made into curd. 🙂

        Enjoy your Valentine’s day!

        • Gemma Stafford on February 15, 2018 at 5:35 am

          Hi Cherry,
          Yes! You can make curd from lots of fruits, citrus works best. Orange/lime/raspberry/rhubarb all come to mind.
          Do google specific recipes for the fruit you might like to use, an acid fruit works best, but you can combine fruits too!
          Gemma 🙂

  32. Danyah AL-Tamimi on February 9, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Tryed it 8 months ago and I used a small can ( 90 gm ) of condensed milk and it took me about 2¼ hours to turn into a medium dark brown color
    Drizzle it on top of a date cake ( which I’ll post a photo of it now ) ..
    It Was YUM????????

    Thanks Jemma ❤

    • Gemma Stafford on February 10, 2018 at 6:09 am

      Great, and the lovely thing is that you can have this ready ahead of time. My Mum always get a couple of cans ready, and a jar of lemon curd, when she has guests to stay, easy to pull a dessert together!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Eimerene Santos on February 12, 2018 at 5:43 am

        Hi Ms. Gemma,

        Can I use this as filling on my chocolate cakes? Still newbie in baking.

        • Gemma Stafford on February 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm

          Yes you sure can. That would be a lovely addition.


      • Moosamaqbool on March 2, 2018 at 7:36 am

        It get very sticky and the taste is like milk and colour is goldish white ……

        Can u tell me what is my mistake 1 make with 2cups milk
        Half cup and 1/4s half suger

        • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 8:14 am

          Hi there,
          you need to take it further, keep on simmering, you are nearly there. It takes a little courage!
          Gemma 😉

  33. Rose on January 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    hi gemma, what is the difference of this recipe than those of recipes call for butter and heavy cream? i would like to make your caramel recipe coz its so easy 😀 but wondering if there’s a huge difference on taste.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      So Rose Dulce de leche is cooked milk to make a caramel. The cream and butter caramel is just a different caramel but still is lovely.

      Personally I prefer butter and cream. Here’s my salted caramel sauce


      • Rose on January 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

        Thanks Gemma! Ill try your salted caramel sauce. my milk + sugar did not colour as dark as yours 🙁 and it did harden after cooling it down. It turned hard caramel candy.. I’ll try to see how can I use it..

        • Gemma Stafford on January 21, 2018 at 6:09 pm

          Heat it up again to soften it before using it. 🙂

  34. anna on January 15, 2018 at 9:46 am

    hi i would like to know if i can you soy milk or other non dairy milk to make dulce de leche . thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Anna,

      Yes you can. Also if you just wait I’m about to release a vegan caramel sauce recipe if that’s what you are looking for. It’s really good.


  35. Ditzygypsy on January 12, 2018 at 5:50 am

    Hi! These are such great recipes and such excellent learning videos. And I just love Gemma. I could watch her all day. I was wondering if anyone knows about the the holes in the can mentioned in the condensed milk method of the Dulce de Leche recipe? The written recipe says not to let the water go over the top of the can because it might leak into the holes that you poked into the can. But I don’t see anywhere that tells me how many holes to poke into the can or if I should be poking holes into the can. And there’s no hole poking in the video either? To poke or not to poke, lol? I don’t want my can blowing up because I didn’t poke holes into it, so any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 12, 2018 at 6:16 am

      Hi there,
      I never poke holes in the can really! I usually pop them into the water on their sides, which prevent them dancing around the pot, bring to the boil and simmer for up to three hours, make sure the water level does not drop too much below the level of the can.
      I make a few at a time too, take off the label, and mark the cans with a label/pen to tell me what it is. The longer you boil the cans the darker the caramel!
      Try it, it is a good thing to have in the fridge and will last for ages,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ray on October 17, 2018 at 9:31 pm

        Thanks for this but it has triggered another question I have. If it’s ok to submerge cans and boil in water without ventilation, would it be ok to do in a slow cooker? If so, how long and what setting would you recommend?

      • Ray Taylor on October 17, 2018 at 9:47 pm

        Your reply to ditzygypsy, was both surprising and thought provoking. If it is possible to submerge the can and boil underwater, would it be possible to use a slow cooker for the whole process? If so, what setting and how long would you recommend?

        • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 6:47 am

          Hi Ray,
          Yes, to both! Lie the cans on their sides to stop them rocking in the pan. simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or even three hours, when the caramel will deepen in color. A good idea to run a test with this!
          In a slow cooker I would start on high for about 30 mins, then reduce to low for about 8 hours.
          Lots of the Bold Bakers have told me that this works for them. Do try it, and fill us in on your results,
          Gemma 🙂

  36. Kelly on January 9, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Hi there. I was wondering if you had tried almond milk or coconut milk full fat from a can? Also, have you tried or do you think liquid stevia would work in this? Thank you!!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 9, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Hi Kelly,
      No, I did not try this, but it is perfectly possible. It has a different name, which I cannot think of right now, but it is ‘a thing’ Dulce De Leche from coconut milk, and I bet it is delicio
      The problem is that stevia will not caramelize, and so it will not thicken the milk to condense it. Dulce De Leche is a milk caramel really, it needs a sugar.
      Stevia/xylitol/splenda will not caramelize. Maple syrup/honey/agave will, these however are high in fructose, so it is a dilemma, I am sorry.
      Gemma 🙂

  37. Nushrat Chaudhury on December 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Hi Gemma
    How are you?I’m not sure whether you received my other comment.I just want to ask you that I have made dulce de leche for banoffe pie and it got harden as I was mixing the vanilla essence.So what should I do to bring it to a consistency that I can use for banoffee pie

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Hi there,
      I think I got this on email today Nushrat.
      I am not too sure what happened here, but I would get it back on the heat, a low heat and dissolve the sugars again, this should sort it out for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Nushrat on December 23, 2017 at 6:29 am

        Thank you for your reply and I have received your email too.I was able to fix it

        • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2017 at 9:27 am

          Great! I’d appreciate it if you left a review when you make it. You can just comment and give it a star rating. 5 stars are appreciated! 🙂

          • Nushrat on December 24, 2017 at 7:08 am

            Hi Gemma,
            I really love all your recipes and I find them quite easy to make,though i had some issues making dulcce de leche but I still loved it.Hope to see more amazing recipes soon and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and new year.So MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

            • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm

              Well thank you for that lovely message. I really appreciate it.

              Happy Christmas and New year to you also,

  38. majel dayte on December 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    hi Gemma…
    is it ok to put some vanilla extract or some peanut to the finished.product of ddl b4 transfer to sealed jar?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 15, 2017 at 4:17 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, but it depends on the peanuts! I would slightly roast them, to preserve them, before adding. I am not sure why you would do this though!
      Gemma 🙂

  39. Ornela on November 22, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I used a large can of condensed milk(1000 ml) and let it for 3 hours but it didn’t get as dark as yours and it seems to me that it doesn’t change the taste too had a taste similar to condensed milk.. what can I do ?
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Ornela,

      That is a very big can. I’m surprised it didn’t change color after all that time.

      The only thing I can suggest is cooking it now in a pot over low heat and stir as it caramelizes. It could take 20/30 minutes.


  40. Marj on November 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Hi gemma! I just want to ask, is it safe to boil the can directly? Will chemicals not leak or something? Thanks!!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 16, 2017 at 3:38 am

      Hi there Marj,
      Yes, it is safe. Most foods are packed in steel cans. If they were not safe they would not be allowed to use them. Pots are also made from steel. Do not worry about this. I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

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