Indulge in Heaven: Decadent Dulce De Leche Recipe

Welcome, my fellow foodies! Today’s recipe is a classic and indulgent treat that everyone loves – Dulce De Leche. This sauce made from one ingredient, sweetened condensed milk, has an irresistible taste of rich caramel that compliments almost anything. Whether you want to enjoy it straight out of the jar, drizzled over ice cream or desserts or even use it as a frosting for your cake. You’ll find yourself licking the spoon for more. Luckily, making homemade dulce de leche is not only easy but quite economical too. Yes, you’ve heard that right! Why spend a fortune on store-bought dulce de leche when you can make this deliciousness from scratch for way less and better yet, with no additives or preservatives? Trust me once you’ve tried the homemade version, there’s no going back. Plus, all of your family and friends will admire your culinary skills when you tell them you made your own Dulce De Leche! So, let’s dive into the recipe and get started on this truly magical kitchen adventure!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dulce De Leche (From Scratch!)
Dulce De Leche (From Scratch!)

Are you craving for something sweet and decadent, but tired of your usual dessert options? Then look no further than our homemade Dulce De Leche recipe! This classic Latin American treat is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, with a luscious texture that is perfect for drizzling over ice cream, fruits, or even spooning straight from the jar.

But what sets our recipe apart? For starters, it’s made completely from scratch using just one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. No need to worry about artificial additives or preservatives – this recipe is simple and wholesome.

In addition to being easy to make, this Dulce De Leche dish is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Want to try something new? Use it as a glaze for grilled meats, such as chicken or pork, or layer it into cakes and pastries for an added layer of flavor.

But perhaps the best part about this recipe is how customizable it is. From adding in vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract for a deeper flavor to experimenting with different milk types or sugar substitutes for dietary restrictions, you can truly make it your own.

So what are you waiting for? Give our homemade Dulce De Leche recipe a try and elevate your desserts to the next level!

Ingredient List

 A spoonful of sweetness: homemade dulce de leche straight from the stove
A spoonful of sweetness: homemade dulce de leche straight from the stove

Let’s take a look at the ingredients that will help us achieve a thick, rich caramel sauce made from one ingredient! Are you ready to indulge in some delectable homemade dulce de leche? Here’s what you need:

  • One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Four cups whole milk
  • One and a quarter cups of granulated sugar
  • A vanilla bean or one teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Quarter teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt

These ingredients are enough to make two cups of Dulce de Leche. You’ll also need a three-to-four quart heavy saucepan and some patience as we slowly reduce and cook our mixture to perfection. With just a few simple ingredients, we can create an outstanding dessert that will have everyone talking about it for weeks!

The Recipe How-To

 Caramel daydreams coming to life in my kitchen
Caramel daydreams coming to life in my kitchen

Now it’s time to make the star of this recipe article: homemade Dulce De Leche. You will need a bit of patience, but trust me when I say that it is worth it.


  1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together 4 cups of whole milk and 1¼ cups of granulated sugar.
  2. Split one vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pot. Add the pod.
  3. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for around 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. After around 3 hours or when the mixture has thickened into a rich caramel sauce, remove the pot from heat and discard the vanilla pod. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and stir well.
  6. Let it cool before using or transferring it to an airtight container and storing in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Crockpot Method

If you don’t want to deal with boiling your Dulce De Leche on your stovetop for hours, you can try making it in your slow cooker instead!

  1. Remove the label from two cans of sweetened condensed milk and place them in a large crockpot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the cans entirely.
  3. Cook on low heat for around 6-8 hours.
  4. Once finished cooking, let them cool down before opening them up.

With either method, you should have made some delicious homemade Dulce De Leche!


You can consider adding other ingredients like pure vanilla extract, or even using evaporated milk instead of whole milk for a Tres Leche sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making Dulce De Leche using goat milk.

Just remember that different ingredients may have different boiling times and results, so be prepared to adjust cooking times as needed.

Substitutions and Variations

 From milk to magic: watch as dulce de leche transforms before your eyes
From milk to magic: watch as dulce de leche transforms before your eyes

Whether you’re making this recipe for the first time or simply looking to switch things up, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to create unique and delicious flavors. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Swap out milk sugar: While granulated sugar works perfectly fine for this recipe, some chefs prefer using raw cane sugar or coconut sugar for a different flavor profile.

2. Experiment with vanilla: Instead of pure vanilla extract or vanilla beans, try using different types of vanilla, such as Mexican or Tahitian, to add subtle changes to the overall flavor.

3. Consider reducing cooking time: Depending on your desired consistency, consider reducing the cooking time slightly to create a thinner sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over desserts.

4. Play around with toppings: Try adding a sprinkle of sea salt, a dash of cinnamon, or crushed nuts like pecans or walnuts at the end for an extra layer of texture and flavor.

5. Try making it in a slow cooker: Another way to experiment with this recipe is by making it in a slow cooker. Simply add all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours.

With these variations in mind, you can customize your homemade Dulce De Leche according to your preferences and create something completely unique and delicious!

Serving and Pairing

 The sticky, gooey goodness you didn't know you were missing
The sticky, gooey goodness you didn’t know you were missing

Dulce de Leche is a versatile and luscious dessert sauce that can be served in many ways. One classic way to enjoy it is as a topping on ice cream or cheesecake. The sweet, rich caramel notes of the Dulce de Leche sauce complement the creaminess of these desserts perfectly.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try using Dulce de Leche as a filling for cakes, cupcakes or doughnuts. It also makes a great spread for toast, bagels or croissants, adding a touch of decadence to your breakfast.

For an indulgent snack, dip sliced fruit such as apples or strawberries into warm Dulce de Leche sauce. The combination of fresh fruit and rich caramel is simply irresistible.

When pairing with drinks, Dulce de Leche goes well with coffee-based drinks, like cappuccinos and lattes. You can also add a drizzle of Dulce de Leche to hot chocolate for an extra special treat.

In summary, there are endless possibilities when it comes to serving and pairing Dulce de Leche. Whether you use it as a topping or filling, or enjoy it as a dip with fresh fruit, this homemade caramel sauce is sure to elevate any dessert to the next level.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The ultimate topping for ice cream, brownies and everything in between
The ultimate topping for ice cream, brownies and everything in between

Dulce de Leche is a recipe that can be made well ahead of time, ensuring that you have a sweet and luscious caramel sauce ready whenever you need it. It is also an ideal make-ahead dessert topping – making any dessert instantly more indulgent and delicious. You can store homemade Dulce De Leche in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

If you wish to soften it up, reheat the Dulce De Leche in a microwave or in a small saucepan on low heat, be sure to frequently check and stir until it becomes smooth again. This reheat technique will make Dulce De Leche more pourable, creamy and spreadable.

Contrarily, If you are looking for Dulce De Leche to have a thicker texture or if it feels too sweet, then storing it uncovered in the refrigerator for several hours will thicken the sauce considerably to your taste.

In terms of storage options, for convenience purposes, you may divide your large batch of Dulce de Leche into smaller jars, plastic containers, or resealable bags that way you can quickly grab an amount that suits your needs everytime.

Overall, this recipe’s versatility and ability to pre-make and store Dulce De Leche makes it an incredibly useful asset for anyone looking to elevate their desserts game.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Slow and steady wins the taste bud race with this homemade dulce de leche
Slow and steady wins the taste bud race with this homemade dulce de leche

Want to ensure that your homemade dulce de leche turns out perfectly every time? Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you get the best results:

1. Use a heavy saucepan: It is important to use a sturdy, heavy bottomed saucepan to prevent the dulce de leche from burning or scorching. A 3-4 quart heavy saucepan works best.

2. Reduce heat after boiling: Once you have brought the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer gently. This will help the dulce de leche cook evenly without burning.

3. Stir occasionally: Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally while it’s simmering. Stirring helps distribute heat evenly and prevents any lumps from forming.

4. Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla beans: You can use either pure vanilla extract or vanilla beans to add flavor to your dulce de leche. The choice is yours, but using vanilla beans will give your dulce de leche an even more complex flavor.

5. Add baking soda: Adding a small amount of baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon for every 4 cups of milk) can help speed up the caramelization process and give your dulce de leche a richer color.

6. Make it in a crockpot: If you’re short on time or don’t want to keep an eye on your dulce de leche while it cooks, consider making it in a crockpot. Simply add all of the ingredients and cook on low heat for 8 hours.

7. Experiment with substitutions: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe. Substitute different types of milk (such as evaporated milk or half-and-half) for some or all of the whole milk, or add additional flavors like cinnamon or espresso powder.

By following these tips and experimenting with different variations, you’ll be well on your way to making the perfect homemade dulce de leche every time.


As a chef who has made Dulce De Leche plenty of times, I have found myself answering a lot of questions about this recipe. In this section, I will be answering some frequently asked questions about Dulce De Leche to help you have a smooth experience while preparing this delicious treat. Don’t be worried if this is your first time making it, I’ve got you covered!

What two basic ingredients does dulce de leche contain?

Creating dulce de leche requires combining milk and sugar with the option of adding vanilla extract and salt according to taste.

How to make a small batch of dulce de leche?

Let’s begin this recipe by combining 4 cups of milk with 1¼ cups of sugar and adding in ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in a sturdy 3 to 4-quart saucepan. It’s time to bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer that’s uncovered. This process will take around 1½ to 1¾ hours, while stirring occasionally. Remember to stir more frequently after the first hour, as milk caramelizes quickly and can easily burn. Once thickened and caramelized, we’ll move onto the next step.

Is dulce de leche just sweetened condensed milk?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make a thick, creamy and delicious caramel sauce, dulce de leche is the perfect choice. Made from only one ingredient — sweetened condensed milk, this sauce is perfect for adding a touch of sweetness to your desserts, pancakes or even as a topping for ice cream.

How long does it take for condensed milk to turn into dulce de leche?

If you’re aiming for a rich and luxurious dulce de leche, start by heating a can of condensed milk on low flame. Let it cook for around 2 to 3 hours, depending on how intense you desire the caramel to be. If you’re looking for a lighter caramel, stop at 2 hours, but if a deeper hue and thicker texture is what you’re after, then allow it to cook for 3 hours. As you cook, remember to keep an eye on the water level and add more water as required. The condensed milk can must always be submerged in the water while cooking.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, homemade dulce de leche truly is a game-changer in any dessert repertoire. The effort of making it from scratch is completely worth it. With just one ingredient and some basic kitchen tools, you can make a rich, thick and creamy caramel sauce that will elevate any dessert to the next level.

Whether you use it as a topping for ice cream, drizzled over pancakes, or incorporated into cakes and pies, homemade dulce de leche is sure to become your go-to sauce. Plus, you have the flexibility to adjust the level of sweetness and thickness according to your taste preferences.

So don’t hesitate to give this recipe a try. Trust me, the rewards are worth the effort! Whether you want to impress your family and friends at a dinner party or simply indulge in a delicious treat on your own, homemade dulce de leche will not disappoint. So grab some milk and sugar, and get ready to make magic happen in your kitchen!

Dulce De Leche (From Scratch!)

Dulce De Leche (From Scratch!) Recipe

This is soooo good! I got this recipe from an Ice Cream Recipe Exchange site. Find the original at I initially made it for Dulce de leche Ice Cream, but I cooked the left over part into candy. I didn't have any whole milk, so I subbed 2% and half and half and I used 1 tsp pure vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean. My husband loved the texture and taste! Haven't made the ice cream yet, but this is the best Dulce de leche I've ever had! Cook time varies depending on desired consistency.
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Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 349.7 kcal


  • 1 quart milk, preferably whole, organic and as fresh as possible
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla beans or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • In a large, heavy pan with tall sides (I'd recommend a stock pot), combine the milk and sugar.
  • Split the vanilla bean along its length and scrape the seeds into the pot, then throw in the pod. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  • When it has reached a simmer, remove from the heat and add the baking soda and water, stirring vigorously.
  • When the mixture settles down, return the pan to the heat and bring to a brisk simmer.
  • Simmer for about one hour, or until it turns golden brown. You don't have to stir constantly. I worked around the kitchen and stirred it every once in a while.
  • After the milk mixture has changed to a deep golden brown check it more frequently. This is where you can decide just how dense and thick you want it to be.
  • If you want it pourable, like caramel sauce, wait just until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup - about 20 minutes after the color change - and take it off the heat.
  • Strain through a mesh strainer into a glass jar or container and let cool. To make the ice cream, I removed the amount the recipe called for at this stage.
  • If you prefer a jam-like consistency to spread on toast, crackers, and anything else you can think of, let it cook longer.
  • To make the candy, keep simmering and stir the mixture constantly.
  • Once it's the consistency you want, remove from heat.
  • Let it cool a bit and then mold it into whatever shapes you'd like.
  • Cool candy on wax paper.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 198gCalories: 349.7kcalCarbohydrates: 61.3gProtein: 8gFat: 8.9gSaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 34.2mgSodium: 276.9mgSugar: 50g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Candy, Dessert, Easy, South American, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.