Homemade Dulce De Leche

Mar 12, 2024
dulce de leche in a tin with a wooden knife resting on the top


Dulce De Leche has many translations; milk caramel, candy made from milk, caramel sauce.

But I don't care what the translation means because let's face it...who wants to call it 'milk caramel' when you can say Dulce De Leche!

It might sound fancy but it's incredibly easy to make your own homemade dulce de leche using just a can of condensed milk.

When I was a kid, if a tin of condensed milk was opened I used to sneak the lid and try to lick it clean without being noticed.

Of course if Mum had seen me I would have gotten the lecture about slicing my tongue open and the inevitable trip to the hospital to sew it up. 😏

Luckily that never happened and I still take my chances to this day...and I'm happy to report I haven't lost my tongue yet!! 🤣

Anyway...as I was saying, all you need is a tin of condensed milk and with a little time you can create magic.

It never gets old when after boiling a tin of condensed milk for what seems like forever, you peel back the lid and voila! Dulce De Leche. 

Unfortunately the lid is usually clean after this process but not to worry...the magical transformation is enough to compensate.

You can use it to fill donuts, tarts, to sandwich between cookies or even add some to the top like I've done with my Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookies.

I have listed two methods of making your own dulce de leche below and if you own a slow cooker, I highly recommend that this is the method you choose. 

The stove top method will require you to continually monitor the level of liquid to ensure the tin/s stay submerged, whereas the slow cooker method is more my style...just set and forget while you sleep overnight. 


Homemade Dulce De Leche 


Slow Cooker Method

Time: 8 hours

Ingredients: Tinned condensed milk. You can use any brand, I have never been able to taste the difference between a generic or brand name tin.


  • Slow cooker
  • Tea towel
  • Tongs


  1. Remove the labels on the tins of condensed milk.
  2. Spray the inside of the slow cooker pot lightly with oil. (This will prevent any glue residue from the tin leaving a film after the process is finished). 
  3. Place a damp tea towel on the base of the pot and arrange the tins on top leaving 5cm of space between each can and the side wall of the pot. 
  4. Fill the pot with hot tap water to the brim making sure the tins are submerged by at least 5cm of water. You can add as many tins as you like as long as they have space around them.
  5. Place the lid on and turn the slow cooker onto low for 8 hours for a light caramel, or 10 hours for a darker caramel that will hold it's shape better when used as a filling for tarts or sandwiched between cookies. 


Stove top method

Time: 4 hours


  • 1 large saucepan
  • Timer


  • You can boil 2 - 3 tins at a time. Add an extra hour for every extra tin in the pot.


  1. Remove the label from the tin/s and spray the inside of the saucepan with spray oil. This will help to prevent the glue from the tin leaving a residue in your pot. 
  2. Place the tin/s into the saucepan keeping them spaced apart and fill with water until it covers the top of the tin/s with at least 5cm water. 
  3. Bring to a boil then turn down to a rolling simmer. 
  4. Set a timer for 4 hours.
  5. Every half an hour, refill the pot with hot water to keep the top of the tin/s covered. (This step is important to prevent the tin from exploding).
  6. After 4 hours turn the heat off and leave the tin/s in the pot for 30 minutes. (Don't boil for over the stated time or the mixture will become grainy).
  7. Remove the tin/s with tongs and allow to cool on a cooling rack until cool. (Don't open before it's cooled down as it can spurt out and cause burns). 

It's now ready to use. 


  • Dulce de leche can be stored at room temperature for one to three months unopened in its tin.
  • Once opened, transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
  • Dulce de leche can be frozen in a sealed container and will keep for several months as long as it is sealed correctly.


I hope you enjoy this recipe, and as always, if you have any questions at all just let me know at [email protected]

Happy Baking!


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