Dulce de leche

Dulce de leche

1 h
Dulce de leche is a delicious and creamy confection, which is super easy to make yourself. You need only water and a can of sweetened condensed milk – it does not get easier than that! With a smooth texture and caramel-like flavour, it is the most delightful way to touch up your sweet treats, be it ice cream, milkshakes, or cakes, or even filled chocolates. Of course, no one will judge you if you simply take a spoon and dig in; it is that delicious!


  • Open the can of condensed milk and pour it into a glass jar with a lid. Put rubber bands on and fasten the lid so the glass is airtight or tighten the lid, depending on what kind of glass jar you use.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a pot and boil the jar with condensed milk in water for 4 hours.
  • Allow the jar to cool before opening.
  • Beat the caramel with a hand mixer to a soft consistency.

Using a glass jar makes it easier to check the condensed milk and see whether it has reached the right consistency and colour – some like it darker than others, and maybe you want a thicker consistency, so you want to keep and eye on that and keep boiling it until it reaches the right consistency.


If it gets lumpy, it is a sign that it may be overcooked, but there is an easy way to fix it. To get a smooth texture, pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and pulse until it has the desired consistency. The caramel-like treat should be smooth and spreadable, but if it seems too thick while it is still warm, you can add a tiny bit of warm milk or cream and beat it with a mixer. You can also just boil the container, that holds the condensed milk. Only boil It for 3,5 hours then.

Questions about dulce de leche

Read more about the delicious and versatile dulce de leche with condensed milk. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked question to prepare you for making your new favourite dessert companion in no time.

What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche, meaning ‘sweet [made] of milk,’ is a caramelised dessert treat originating from Latin America. The ‘milk’ in this recipe is sweetened condensed milk boiled in a glass jar until it is thick and has a golden-brown caramel colour. It has a rich nutty toffee-like flavour and can be enjoyed on its own, although it is a popular topping and ingredient in other sweet treats like cakes, ice creams and cookies.
How to make dulce de leche with condensed milk?
Making this sweet confection from scratch with milk and sugar can be time-consuming. Luckily, it can be made with condensed milk by pouring it into an airtight glass jar. Boil water and place the jar in the water for 4 hours. Let the jar cool before opening it and beat the caramel with a hand mixer until you get a soft and smooth consistency.
Is dulce de leche caramel?
Though caramel and dulce de leche seem very similar, especially in colour, they are actually different in taste and texture. While caramel is made from sugar and water, giving it a sticky texture, dulce de leche from condensed milk is thicker and heavier and has a sweet, nutty mellow flavour similar to butterscotch or toffee.
How long does homemade dulce de leche last?
You will want to enjoy your homemade dulce de leche for as long as possible, and if your store it in an airtight glass or container, it can last in the fridge for about 2 weeks or up to 3 months at room temperature if left unopened. In the freezer, it will last for up to 6 months.
What to make with dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche makes everything better, and there are so many ways to enjoy it. Spread a layer of it onto brownies or cookies, add a dollop to your milkshake or ice cream, use it as a topping for pancakes or simply sweeten your milk or coffee with it. It is just too good to resist, and it will spice up any dessert or snack. You can even dip apple slices or other fruits in it, creating a both fresh and light snack with a lot of sweetness.
How to store dulce de leche?
You can either store it in the fridge, at room temperature, or in the freezer; however, only store it at room temperature if it is unopened. Keep it in the airtight container or divide it into smaller containers. Optionally, press cling film tightly to the top of the dulce de leche before closing with the lid, storing it for up to 6 months. Defrost it in the refrigerator over night and keep stored in the fridge between uses for up to 2 weeks once opened.


Condensed milk (approx. 400 g)
1 can
¾ litre

Simple dulce de leche for a sweet tooth

This Latin American treat is irresistible for everyone with a sweet tooth. One taste of it, and you will want to add it to any sweet dessert or treat in the future. It will be your new preferred dessert companion with a nice thick but spreadable texture and a sweet, lightly nutty flavour.

Want to try out this delightful dulce de leche recipe with other treats? Check out our recipes for tender, soft and chewy peanut butter cookies, classic thin pancakes, or a delicious dark chocolate brownie – add a dollop of dulce de leche on top of the brownies, spread thinly on pancakes or dip a peanut butter cookie in it. No matter how you go about it, it is perfect both on its own and with other sweets.

Use it for delicious desserts

The creamy confection is very versatile and makes for an excellent topping for several treats, but you can also use it as an ingredient in various recipes to make luscious and creamy desserts. For example, use it as a filling in cakes, layer cakes and homemade ice cream, as an accompaniment to fruit or as a spread on bread as an alternative to Nutella.

Below, you can read more about some of the desserts we love making with dulce de leche – and there will be something for everyone to enjoy. So, get your ingredients ready and start mixing!

Dulce de leche cake

Give your cake a rich and irresistible consistency with dulce de leche. Use our pound cake recipe for a decadent, moist cake that perfectly balances the sweetness of the caramel-like confection. Simply swirl the dulce de leche into the batter once poured into a loaf or Bundt pan. Once the cake has baked and cooled, heat some more of the sweet caramel-flavoured sauce and drizzle it on the cake. A delicious cake that demands seconds!

Dulce de leche ice cream

Combine two delicious and creamy treats with a smooth, sweet vanilla-caramel-flavoured ice cream. You can use our recipe for vanilla ice cream made with egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream and vanilla and simply add your homemade dulce de leche to it. Pour the ice cream into a mould and place it in the freezer. Remember to stir the ice cream 4-5 times during freezing to get a smooth texture. For a well-rounded flavour, serve the ice cream with a spoonful of the sweet confection on top.

Dulce de leche mousse

Impress your friends and family with a simple three-ingredient dulce de leche mousse with loads of flavour. For a rich, creamy texture, you need whipped cream, cream cheese and dulce de leche for a kick of sweetness. Whip the cream until you get a creamy and smooth texture that pairs well with the other ingredients. Mix the cream cheese with the caramel-like confection until fluffy and light and add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the mix. Finally, fold in the rest of the whipped cream and divide the mousse into small serving bowls. Let the mousse chill and firm up in the fridge before you serve it. Garnish the mousse with grated dark chocolate to balance the sweetness.

Make it sweet or salty

Want something salty with your sweet? Sprinkle a few flecks of sea salt into the dulce de leche, adding a slightly crisp texture to the smooth confection and a nice balance to the caramel flavour. It is a tasty match made in heaven!

A traditional dulce de leche is typically made with vanilla extract, making the Latin American treat even sweeter, which is great for anyone with a sweet craving. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix thoroughly, making one of the most popular flavour combinations in the world of desserts: vanilla and caramel. You can also add some chocolate chips and mix it when its done, this gives a Wonderfull bitter chocolate taste.