Have you ever wondered how to make dulce de leche at home? This is an incredibly easy, one ingredient dulce de leche recipe, and it makes for a great edible holiday gift!
Seriously, how gorgeous is that!?
One ingredient is all you need!
And yes, it takes a whopping six hours or so to turn it into "gold," but you'll only be involved for about five minutes. The rest of the time, it'll just do "its thing" on the stove.
This is the sort of thing I do when I'm making other things in the kitchen, or have things to do around the house.
What is Dulce de Leche?
- Homemade Dulce de Leche is made from sweetened condensed milk, which is cow's milk that has had the water removed and sugar added to it. It's a very thick, super sweet milk. When the sweetened condensed milk is cooked very slowly, it turns into dulce de leche, which literally means "milk candy." Yum!
- It's all about caramelizing, which is pretty much my favorite cooking technique. You can caramelize the natural sugars in most foods to bring out a deeper and more intense flavor.
It can be added to a plethora of baked goods or covered with chocolate. It can be drizzled over ice-cream, mixed into cookie dough, eaten with a spoon, and the list goes on.
Homemade Dulce de Leche
- Remove the label from a can of sweetened condensed milk, and puncture it twice with a bottle opener at the top.
- Place the can into a pot on top of a cloth.
- Next, fill the pot with water, to just about ½ inch from the top of the can.
- Simmer for about six hours, replenishing the water from time to time so it more or less stays at the same level.
That's pretty much it!
I hope now that you know easy it is to make this at home, you'll try it.
Maybe even give someone a pretty jar of it as an edible holiday gift.
I never met a person who didn't love it!
Recipes to Make With it
Enjoy every last spoonful of this "gold" deliciousness!
Ducle de Leche
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Remove the paper label and use a bottle opener to puncture the top of the can on two opposite sides. These holes are very important because they will keep the can from exploding during the cooking!
- Place a small cloth in the bottom of a sauce pot -- this will keep your can from making a racket! (Your pot should be about the height of the can, or higher.)
- Place the can directly on the cloth and then fill the pot with water to about ½-inch below the top rim of the can.
- Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn the flame to the lowest setting. The idea is to keep the water at a slight simmer. Let it simmer like this for 6 hours. Every 45 minutes or so, refill the water to ½-inch below the top rim of the can, as it will continue to evaporate. You will see a little bit of white milk ooze out of the top, and that's OK -- don't mess with it!
- Use a thick kitchen towel to remove the can from the water. Open the can with an opener, and pour the milk -- which will now be a rich caramel color -- into a small mixing bowl. Use a heat resistant, rubber spatula to get every bit out of the can (it will be firmer towards the bottom.) Use a metal whisk to blend until it's smooth. This should only take a few seconds.
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Can you store the unused amounts? Like just refrigerate and warm it up later? Thanks for sharing this!
Yes! It will keep for at least a few weeks in the fridge -- probably more! You can re-heat it in a pot on the stove or in the microwave (just for a few seconds). Enjoy! 🙂
Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought
Do you think this would work in a crock pot? If you poured boiling water in your crock pot and turned it on high? Also would this freeze?
Inquiring minds want to know... 🙂
Thanks for your sweet comments, Cathy! I don't have any crock pot experience with making dulce de leche, but I'd think it would work well. I've also never frozen it -- I think you could, though the texture might change slightly. I'd thaw it to room temp and then reheat it before using it. 🙂
Wow, never made one at home, but this looks so easy, although it takes around 6 hours to make, but the part of making is really a short task. 🙂 Loving how it can be stored for later as well!
Yes, hours, but easy hours. 😉 Enjoy!
Super interesting! I would have never thought to try this and it sounds so easy!
Even though there's not much to it, it's fun!
Mmmmm love Dulce de Leche! So easy to make, love that! I could put it on almost everything.
Me too! I even just eat is with a spoon. 😉
Oh yeah! Now I'll have a constant supply of dulce de leche on hand!
I didn't know it could be this easy.
You're my hero!
Yes - nothing like having it at the ready! 🙂 Thanks.
Who knew dulche de leche was so easy? Thanks for sharing this great recipe and the inspiration 🙂
Thank you for checking it out. 🙂
John / Kitchen Riffs
Don't you just love dulce de leche? SO good, and really easy to make. Just takes forever. 🙂 I haven't made this in years, and now of course I'm craving it. 😉
Yes, takes forever, but so worth it. Happy to have inspired the craving. 🙂
I have tried this several times and is amazing. My family loves it too.
Next time I'm going to do a few cans at once. I'm already sad the one I made most recently is gone.
I'd heard about making dulche de leche in a slow cooker before but thought there must be more to it than that! I didn't realise it was so easy!!! I've got to give this a try.
Yes, Emma, SO easy. Enjoy! 🙂
I haven't made this for a long time - thanks for reminding me how easy it is to do.
Thanks Lucy! Enjoy!
This is now going to be my newest baking staple. Thank you for the tutorial.
Yay! That's awesome Andrea! Thanks. 🙂
SO delicious! Need to make this at home ASAP!
Thanks! Watch out -- I ate my last batch with a spoon. 😉
David @ Spiced
This is an excellent kitchen hack, Valentina! I've heard about this method, but I've never tried it myself. In fact, I was just thinking the other day that I wanted some dulce de leche for a dessert...and then you posted this. Perfect timing, my friend! It's like you read my mind or something. 🙂
It's the perfect thing to have on the stove while you're cooking up some of your delicious recipes. 🙂
This would make a fabulous holiday gift - especially with a few of your recipes to go along with it!!!
Awww thanks Nancy! I might steel that idea. 😉
Wow, this is great. As soon as I get home and have 6 hours I will make this. Pinned !
Thanks! Perfect activity while unpacking form travels. 😉
What a fabulous holiday gift! (Although I'd have to keep some for me!)
Of course! (I always do.) 🙂
Wow, I've not seen a "church key" (bottle opener) like that for years. I've tried making Dulce De Leche, but with mixed results. I now know why. I didn't put a cup towel underneath and didn't cook it long enough. Our sweetened condensed milk comes in a 400ml can size which is larger than I remember Eagle Brand coming in, should I cook it longer? I do love simplicity.
Hi Ron. I'm happy to have impressed you with my old bottle opener. I do like old school things in my kitchen.
Yes, I think more time with the larger can. The important this is that the water level stays about about 1/2 inch below the rim of the can the whole time. The longer you leave it, the darker it becomes. Have fun! 🙂
Living here in the Southwest, so many people use this (or close to this) method for making their own, and it is sooooo much better! Amazingly, I have not tried it but you are convincing me that the time is now!
Even though it's essentially hours of keeping the water level up in a pot, I love it. When you finally open the can to see the caramel color and stir, it's as satisfying as opening the ice cream maker once it's done churning. Know what I mean? 🙂
I’ve been making Dulce de leche for many years since I was brought up with it. But as a Chilean we don’t make any incisions in the can. All covered in a big pot of of water we boiled it for 3 hours.topping it with water as needed. Just take the label and boil away.It works and nothing happens to the cans.
Hi Maria, Thanks so much for sharing this method. I'm going to try it your way next time.It would be great to cut the time by half. I'll post results here when I do. And thanks for stopping by.:-)
That's so great that you can make it by opening the can first! I've always made it by boiling the sealed tin. The risk is that it explodes if you allow the water to dry out completely, which obviously, I take precautions so that it doesn't happen, but your method is definitely safer. I'm telling you, you have to try Banoffee Pie with your finished tin! 🙂
It's on my list! can't wait to try it. YUM!
I’ve only made this from scratch! This is fabulous! There is a restaurant we go to in Dallas called Javier’s, and they serve cajeta crepes, and they’re to die for. I started going in 1978, and we still go when we’re in Dallas. In any case, that was my introduction to cajeta. Wait. Now that i say that, is it the same as dulce de leche?!!!
If only I were going to Dallas soon! The crepes sound delicious! I think cajeta is different . . . maybe with cinnamon and I think it's made with goat milk. Now I'm thinking dulce de leche crepes. If I can give up Nutella, that is. 😉 Thanks for visiting, Mimi. 🙂
I’ve grown up with Dulce de leche it’s a staple in my house from on toast to a cake filling.. I make it all the time and I’ve never puncture the can just take off label and fill with water to the top.. It has never exploded.
My grandmother used to make it this way and my sisters and I do it all the time.
Thank you, Maria. That's good to know. I've never tried it any other way, but I'll give it a go. Much appreciated and I wish you a very happy holiday season. 🙂 ~Valentina