DIY: How to Make Homemade Dulce de Leche

by Shawnda on July 7, 2011

in Condiments,DIY,Dulce de Leche

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Making homemade dulce de leche (which I never seem to pronounce correctly) is super easy and so much more economical than buying it at the store. And you have a number of options when it comes to method. A quick Google search will yield recipes that can be baked, cooked over double-boiler, microwaved, and even starting from scratch with milk and sugar.

Me? I use the method that I think makes the darkest and very, very best dulce de leche. It’s also the method that just about every site in that Google search cautions against: the homemade bomb method.

Okay, so it’s not really a bomb. But it could be one. And if you’re smart about it, and maybe even a little lucky, it’s not dangerous at all. I’ve made countless cans of dulce de leche using the boil-the-can method.

No bombs. No e’splosions. JUST KNOW THAT IT COULD HAPPEN.

Just rich, caramely goodness with endless possibilites: Use it in ice cream. On ice cream. Drizzled over a whipped cream-topped mug of hot chocolate. Eat it straight off the spoon. Sandwich it between two vanilla wafers. Bake it in fancy homemade candy bar squares. Drizzle it over donuts! Use it to fill a cupcake. Use it in cupcake frosting. You get the idea :)

Now go make your own dulce de leche!

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Making your own homemade dulce de leche is as easy as (carefully) simmering a pot of water.


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, label removed


  1. Place a small washcloth or several folded paper towels in the bottom of a pot and set the cans on top.
  2. Pour water to reach ~2 inches over the can.
  3. Bring water to a simmer and cook covered for ~3 hours, checking every 30 minutes to make sure the water level doesn't evaporate below the lip of the can.
  4. Let cool, open the can, and use. Keep any leftovers refrigerated.


Yields: ~1 1/2 cups

Estimated time: 3 hours

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