Learn how to make your own Dulce de Leche with just one simple ingredient. This recipe is easy, delicious, and can be used so many different ways!
What is Dulce de Leche?
Have you ever made your own dulce de leche? I used to think that something so delicious had to be difficult to make at home. It wasn’t until I learned that you can make your own with just one ingredient (yes, just ONE) that I realized it’s actually incredibly easy!
Dulce de leche is kind of similar to caramel, but it’s made by caramelizing milk and sugar. It’s much thicker than regular caramel and is incredibly delicious too!
So today I’m showing you step-by-step how to make your own plus several different ways you can use it!
Dulce de Leche Ingredients
To make your own dulce de leche you only need one ingredient – sweetened condensed milk. I used Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk here, but I’ve also used the store brands and they work just as well so stick with whatever is easier for you.
Note that sweetened condensed milk is not the same thing as evaporated milk. It’s ultra thick, creamy, and is very sweet, whereas evaporated milk is much runnier and isn’t sweetened.
How To Make Dulce de Leche
There are a few different ways that you can make dulce de leche, like in a pressure cooker, but this is the way that I prefer to make it.
Before getting started, set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. The water will be used for a water bath, which I’ll show you and explain later. You will also want to preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
You’ll pour one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a small baking dish. I used an 8-inch square glass dish, but a 9-inch pie plate or something similar will work too. Just make sure that it will fit in a larger roasting pan for your water bath.
Then, cover the baking dish with some foil and place it in a large roasting pan. Next, fill the roasting pan with the hot water that you set on the stove to boil earlier until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Once you’ve added the hot water, carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven and let the sweetened condensed milk bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. I suggest checking it at the 90-minute mark and seeing how it looks. The mixture should be thick and amber in color if it’s not quite there yet just let it bake for another 15 minutes.
Make sure to check the water level in the pan too and add more if needed about halfway through the baking time.
Once you remove the roasting pan from the oven, carefully remove the smaller baking dish and remove the foil on top. Then, whisk the dulce de leche for a couple of minutes until it’s nice and smooth.
Once you’ve whisked it, place the baking dish on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Once cooled you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Different Ways To Use Dulce de Leche
Here a few of my favorite ways to use this sauce!
- On top of a cheesecake or mini cheesecakes
- As a filling for vanilla cupcakes or chocolate cupcakes
- On top of ice cream
- Warmed up and drizzled on top of homemade funnel cakes
How long does homemade dulce de leche last?
Leftover dulce de leche can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Can I use fat-free sweetened condensed milk?
No, you must use regular sweetened condensed milk. Any brand will work!
- Before getting started, make sure to set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath.
- Check the water level in the roasting pan about halfway through the baking time and add more hot water to the pan if needed.
- When it’s finished, the sweetened condensed milk should be thickened and amber in color. If it’s not quite there at 1 hour and 30 minutes, let it bake for an additional 15 minutes then check it again.
- Once you remove it from the oven, make sure to whisk it until it’s smooth then let it cool completely.
More Sauces & Syrups to Try!
- Homemade Blueberry Sauce
- Strawberry Sauce
- Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- Microwave Lemon Curd
- Homemade Magic Shell
Dulce de Leche Recipe
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Add the sweetened condensed milk to an 8-inch square baking dish (or 9-inch pie plate) and spread around into one even layer. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place it in a large roasting pan.
- Fill the roasting pan with the hot water you set on the stove to boil earlier until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake at 425°F (218°C) for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and it turns an amber color. Make sure to check the roasting pan about halfway through the baking time and add more hot water if needed.
- Remove from the oven and carefully remove the baking dish from the roasting pan. Place on a wire rack and carefully remove the foil from the dish. Whisk the dulce de leche until smooth, then allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, transfer the dulce de leche to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.