Homemade Dulce de Leche: The Easiest Method Ever

Easy Homemade Dulce de Leche Recipe - Perfect Sweet Milk Treat

Dulce de leche is often mistaken for caramel, but it’s actually a unique confection all its own. While caramel relies on the browning of sugar, dulce de leche gets its rich flavor from the Maillard reaction of dairy. The result? A creamy, toffee-like sauce without a hint of bitterness.

Forget spending hours stirring milk and sugar on the stove. Our method lets you create this Latin American delicacy with minimal effort. Just simmer an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, and voilà! You’ll have a versatile sauce perfect for drizzling over desserts, mixing into ice cream, or eating straight from the can (we won’t judge).

Before we dive into the recipe, a word of caution: Always keep the can fully submerged during cooking. This prevents overheating and ensures your dulce de leche adventure stays sweet and safe. Place the can on its side to minimize water usage and keep it from rattling around in the pot.

Effortless Dulce de Leche


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, label removed


  1. Position the can on its side in a spacious pot. Cover with room-temperature water, ensuring at least 2 inches of water above the can. Remember: keeping the can submerged throughout cooking is crucial to prevent warping or splitting, which could lead to accidents.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 2 hours for a light, golden caramel, or up to 3 hours for a darker, more robust flavor. Check the water level every 30 minutes, topping up with boiling water as needed to keep the can submerged under 2 inches of water.
  3. Using tongs, carefully remove the can from the water and place it on a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Never attempt to open a hot can, as the pressurized contents could cause injury.
  4. Unopened cans of dulce de leche can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. To use, open the cooled can and scoop out the contents. For a softer consistency, reheat in a double boiler. Once opened, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Safety first! Ensure the can stays fully submerged under at least 2 inches of water throughout cooking. An exposed can may overheat, tear, or even explode. Always let the can cool to room temperature (about 4 hours) before opening to avoid any potential accidents with hot dulce de leche.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
286 Calories
8g Fat
48g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 286
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 48g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 253mg 19%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 331mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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