Technique: Dulce de Leche

May 26, 2009
Dulce de Leche

Not too many moons ago I tweeted about my curiosity about dulce de leche (
doolsay deh lay-chay) to which people oohed, aahed and gushed about how delicious a treat it is and their favorite way of using it. I wondered how something as simple as condensed milk could be transformed to such a tasty caramel sauce, with just a little heat and a lot of time. I had read about it being super easy to make; simply plonk the can of condensed milk in a vessel of simmering water or microwave it (in a non-metallic bowl, of course) for 10-15 minutes, and there you have it. When I did make it, I was stunned by the results. From being just condensed milk, it had metamorphosed into a thick, creamy and rich dessert in its own right. I remember the first time I had it – I ate it by the spoonful straight from the jar and before I knew it, I was more than halfway through the jar, maybe with a little fed to my clothes. Sure, it can be used in cakes, as a topping for muffins and ice creams, spread over bread and cookies or swirled into brownies but on its own Dulce de Leche is pretty darn addictive.
Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche is a rich, milk-based caramel sauce. Now, Dulce de Leche is available packaged in bottles, but nothing compares to the richness and density of homemade Dulce de Leche.
Last night I made Dulce de Leche again, but this time around instead of opening the can up and letting it simmer in a water bath I immersed the entire can in water for 3 hours. I did risk an explosion (caused by the pressure built up in the can) but I found this to be a lot better because this way curiosity couldn’t get the better of me since there was nothing to check! Plus, when the can is completely immersed, you can get rid of the rattling sound the can would make when half immersed in water. Of course, I tired this method just this one time (I promise!). I recommend that you always pierce 2 or 3 holes at the top of the can or keep the can partially open while it simmers in a water bath. If you still want to give the first method a shot then make sure not to open the can immediately, else you just might have some hot Dulce de Leche in your face.
Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche

1 can of condensed milk (mine weighed 400g or a little under 1 pound)
  1. Either pierce two holes at the top of the can or with a can opener, open the can half way. No need to pull the lid back.
  2. Place the can in a deep sauce pan and fill the pan with water just until 3/4th of the can is immersed and simmer over low heat, 3-4 hours (I say 3-4 hours because that depends on how thick you want the dulce de leche to be – here I have simmered the can in water for 3 hours, but if you’d like it thicker, by all means continue simmering).
  3. Keep an eye on the the water level, making sure to refill the water and maintain the level. After the 3-4 hours, turn off the heat and let the can cool.
  4. Remove the lid and serve or use as desired.
Variation: Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg or half a vanilla bean to the dulce de leche to heighten the flavour! Oh and even a sprinkle of sea salt.

If you’ve got gallons of milk at hand then you might want to try this method of reducing the milk. And if you’re in a hurry, you can try the microwave method (aka cookingforengineers method!).Some Recipes that use Dulce De Leche as an ingredient or topping:Dulce De Leche Cake with Vanilla Bean
Cinnamon Sugar Churros
Crispy Apple Crumble
Paratha, Puff Pastry, Palmiers
Chocolate Brownies


  • Reply arjwiz May 27, 2009 at 1:57 AM

    This is just so tasty I like to have mine plain – right off the spoon!

  • Reply Sarah May 27, 2009 at 2:49 AM

    My boyfriend’s grandmother grew up in Argentina and always relates how her family used to make Dulce de Leche every week by boiling the can unopened and covered in water. Apparently it never exploded for them but I have to admit I am still a little frightened of the idea. Thanks for posting a recipe with the can open – I think I’ll finally get around to making it with this safer method. Thanks!

  • Reply Carolyn May 27, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    wow! i always disregarded recipes with dulce de leche because it sounded complex to make… now i know how simple it is!

  • Reply Memória May 27, 2009 at 3:37 AM

    The correct pronunciation of “dulce de leche” is [dool-seh DEH leh-cheh], not [duh]. In Spanish, there are only pure vowels, unlike in English. That means the “e” ALWAYS has an “eh” sound (sounds like short “ay” sound, but not as twangy or diphthong-like).

    I plan to try this out very soon. Thanks!

  • Reply Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 6:23 AM

    You’ve got the basis for a great british dessert right there, namely banofi pie.

  • Reply Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 6:39 AM

    Nestle Company already sells this one so you don’t have to worry about any kind of explosion.

  • Reply oneofagrind May 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    OHH I saw this on cafe johnsonia and I actually dreamed about making it! I was a skeptic with the closed can thing but this is a gr8 idea. Thanks.

  • Reply Shaheen May 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Sarah: Now that I know your boyfriend’s grandmother made it without opening the can I feel tempted to stick to this method. Hehe

    Carolyn: Super simple – give it a go!

    Memoria: Perfect, thanks! Made the correction. :)

    Anon 1: Banofee pie!! I’ve had that on my mind now. I must give it a go sometime soon.

    Anon2: We don’t get ready made Dulce de Leche here in Bombay, but I’m quite happy making my own!

  • Reply Parita May 27, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Looks soo delicious..m yet to make my own..will try soon :)

  • Reply arjwiz May 27, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Anon 2, you might as well buy readymade cakes and meals, then, wouldn’t you? I hear there are bakeries and restaurants that sell food.

  • Reply Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    can it be made with condensed lowfat milk?

  • Reply Shaheen May 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Arjwiz: Look at you, being so protective. :D

    Anon 3: I haven’t tried it with low fat condensed milk, but long as the condensed milk has sugar, I don’t see why it can’t be made use of.

  • Reply aquadaze May 27, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Totally agree with you…this is absolutely, sinfully delicious. I have made this just 4 times, always immersing it fully in water, without piercing any holes…the tin hasn’t exploded, touchwood!

  • Reply Aparna May 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    I have read about this method. You used Milkmaid?

  • Reply Deeba PAB May 27, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    I’ve always dreamt of making my own…but it’s the 3 hours on the simmer that keeps me away. Maybe one day…you are tempting me a LOT!

  • Reply Ivete May 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    Yum! When I was a kid we lived in Argentina and we could get multiple different brands of dulce de leche at the grocery store . . . we all ate it with a spoon straight out of the can! What I can get here in NYC, even in the Latin stores, doesn’t even compare! Maybe I should try to make my own and see if it’s better . . . thanks for the idea!

  • Reply Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    microwave?! can?!
    OH SHI-

  • Reply pigpigscorner May 27, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    OH MY!!! I can’t stop starring at that first pic. I really have to make some of this soon! You must be wondering when it’s going to explode in that 3 hrs..

  • Reply Shaheen May 27, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    Aparna: I used Amul, but milkmaid should work perfectly as well.

    Deeba: Try it! :D

    Ivete: I’d travel to Argentina just to taste authentic Dulce de leche.

    Anon 4: yes, microwave!

    pigpigscorner: i forgot that it was simmering away! my mom had to keep reminding me to refill the pan with water. I was too busy tweeting away. LOL

  • Reply Yasmeen May 28, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    Sinfully delicious,had no idea its soo easy to make,gonna for next time I buy the condensed milk:)

  • Reply bright and shiny May 28, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    were from puerto rico but we have colombian friends that stayed with us for a while and made it with the can submerged in water and that’s how we’ve always made it and the can has never blown up. weve been doing it for several years now.
    It will blow up if you put it in the microwave without puncturing though.

  • Reply Kitchen Flavours May 28, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Oh wow temting and luscious…..

  • Reply neu shen May 28, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    we always plonked it into a preassure cooker pot
    it went well with ice cream or as filling for cake good to know that you can now just use the microwave for it

  • Reply Anonymous May 28, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    My grandmom did this with a pressure cooker every time. She would use this as a filling for empanadas.

  • Reply msmeanie May 28, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    That looks so good and easy! I will definitely have to try that. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply Anonymous May 28, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    Microwave a metal can?! The lightshow should be sweet indeed… ;)

  • Reply Shaheen May 28, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    bright and shiny: Good to know it works out okay when submerged in water, but metal in microwave? I think not. :)

    neu shen: the pressure cooker method sounds effective, and I’m guessing it’d take lesser time as well.

    Anon 5: emapanada fillingggg!! ohh my now you’ve got me dreaming.

    Anon 6: You bet, the fireworks would be quite a show. For the record, I DO NOT recommend microwaving the can. :) remove it in a glass bowl instead.

  • Reply Katie May 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    YUM! That looks delicious – I could just eat it from the can, but I’ve always been too scared to try this, for risk of an explosion (or me eating the entire can I guess!) :P

  • Reply Shaheen May 29, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    Katie: Heheh, I have tucked my can to the back of the fridge only because I’m scared I won’t stop eating!

  • Reply Jacque May 29, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    My mom made it using the boiling-whole-can method for years before I ever heard about the dangers.

    I tried it one time with the holes poked in the top of the can. It wasn’t quite as good because it wasn’t completely dulce-de-leched at the end. The milk closer to the top was still much like sweetened condensed milk, while the milk at the bottom was very thick.

    I wonder how many cases of exploding cans there have actually been.

    Anyway, great post, your dulce de leche looks wonderful :)

  • Reply CookiePie May 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM

    Ooooooh yum — I LOVE dulce de leche!!! In Argentina they call it “milk jam” :)

  • Reply April May 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    I love making delce de leche! I use this same method. I make 3 cans at a time, and put it into a graham cracker crust, and have a pie out of it! yum!

  • Reply Cakelaw May 29, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Dulce de leche is delicious. I have weirdly enough never made it using condensed milk (’cause I have always been scared of the can exploding), but have made it from scratch using milk – which takes forever!

  • Reply Rosa's Yummy Yums May 29, 2009 at 10:56 PM

    I love dulche de leche! This is the best and easiest way of making it!



  • Reply Anonymous May 31, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    My mother had a can explode once, when the water evaporated. I quit making it this way and bought the jar from a Latin american store

  • Reply strix May 31, 2009 at 6:47 AM

    I make it without opening the can. Just make sure the can is always submerged.

  • Reply My Taste Heaven May 31, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    oh, thank you for the post! I did not know that this is such a simple way to prepare it.

  • Reply Betty May 31, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    I have done this for years, before and after they invented those rip-tab cans. Never even considered poking a hole in the can, and never had an explosion or other similar mishap. The can can lie on its side for that matter.

    This is better than any other use of condensed milk, and requires no fancy uses. Just eat it.

  • Reply Anonymous New York June 1, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    Looks soooo good!

  • Reply Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 8:27 AM

    this is something my family has done for as long as i can remember..I’m 33…so quite some time. my mom always told me as long as the can was completely covered with water it wouldn’t explode. just keep an eye on it. about an hour does the trick. personally after i make it, it goes straight to the fridge unopened over night.

  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    I always boil the whole sealed can for 3 hours. Defo makes the best caramel for banoffee pie.

  • Reply Shaheen June 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    Betty: You bet. I don't have to think of what to pair it with; simply lick it off the spoon.

    Cakelaw: I really want to make it from scratch someday. I can imagine how satisfying that would be!

    Thanks all for your dulce de leche stories. I am convinced that I can continue to use this method without being too without being too worried :))

  • Reply Anonymous June 7, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    This is the basis of O'Charley's caramel pie. O'Charley's is a restaurant in the south. They make the caramel by boiling cans of cendensed milk for 3 hours. Then they pour it into a graham cracker crust, top it with Cool Whip and either drizzle chocolate sauce over it or shred a chuck of dark chocolate candy bar over it. Mmmm.

  • Reply Shaheen June 7, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    That's it! I have got to try a pie with dulce de leche!

  • Reply Anonymous June 8, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    When I was little we would do it when we were camping. We would just put the can in the fire – in the ashes and leave it there for a while. It's the greatest treat.

  • Reply Anonymous June 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    I've always done it in a crock pot

  • Reply Shaheen June 8, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    OMG the can in fire sounds dangerous!

  • Reply CarolAnn June 22, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    In Texas we use this to make millionaires candy.


    1 can condensed milk
    1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 bar paraffin wax
    Chopped pecans

    On first day boil milk (keep covered with water) for 3 hours. After 3 hours remove can, let cool. Refrigerate overnight.

    Second Day: Open both ends of can and push out. Break off pieces of caramelized milk and roll in chopped pecans. In double boiler melt chocolate chips and wax. Dip balls in chocolate mixture. Set on wax paper to cool.

  • Reply Shaheen June 23, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    CarolAnn, thank you so much for sharing your candy recipe here :)

  • Reply kavimona June 29, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    hey shaheen, this is kavita from aamchi mumbai …. i showed my son ur website with the dulce de leche recipe and he insisted he wanted to try it right away … luckily, we had a can of milkmaid at home … we were too impatient to wait until it stewed for 3 hours …. so we nuked it … i set the micro for 15 mins (in a glass bowl, ofcourse)…. and kept an eye on it just in case it looked ready in 10 …. but by 9 mins,…. i thought if i didnt rescue it, it would've charred beyond redemption …. altho' the caramelized remains were yummy enough for us to eat blazing hot… i was disappointed it didnt turn out creamy and gooey like ur pic … does the texture differ in a micro ? …… maybe i'll just try the next time for 5 mins ….. wot do u say ?

  • Reply The Purple Foodie June 30, 2009 at 1:46 AM

    Hey Kavita,

    Ack! It sucks that it didn't work for you. :(

    I haven't tried the microwave method (I'm kinda old fashioned when it comes to using the microwave for cooking). I have seen that quite a few people have tried the method successfully. Looks like your microwave heats considerably! I suggest the next time you keep checking for colour and consistency after the first 5-6 minutes, keeping in mind the step by step images shown on cooking for engineers. Once you’ve whisked it all together, you should get the smooth texture as well.

    Another option that takes about 30-40 minutes is putting the can of milkmaid in a pressure cooker. Just make sure there is enough water and that you open it well after it has cooled. A few of my blogger friends have tried this method with excellent results.

    All the best for your second attempt! :)

  • Reply The Purple Foodie June 30, 2009 at 1:53 AM

    Oh, and if you're fond of cooking/baking, investing in an instant read thermometer will be totally worth it. You can check for the temperatures mentioned on the same cooking for engineers site link I've mentioned in the post.

  • Reply Anonymous July 2, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Hello all. i used to make tonnes of this stuff for banoffee pie in my restaraunt. Just a tip fo everyone – if youve made some and you want to make some more i suggest getting a really big pan and filling it with tins. As many as you want so you have loads ready as it keeps- unopened forever as it is completely sealed, literally years probably. then there will allways be some to hand. Happyy cooking

  • Reply Shaheen July 3, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    Anon: your idea WINS hands down for this. Love it! I'm going to do this in the future *happy dance*

  • Reply crazyvero5 July 7, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    I'm from Venezuela and my favorite way to eat dulce de leche is in Obleas.

    Obleas are a dessert made by putting dulce de leche between to big communion wafers (before they are consecrated of course). The nuns in my school would make the wafers and make Obleas to sell at school festivals. They are absolutely delicious when they are fresh and warm and the wafers are crunchy. You can buy them ready made or buy kits in Hispanic stores to make them at home, but nothing beats the fresh thing.

  • Reply SpanishExpert July 16, 2009 at 3:45 AM

    I have these Dulce de Leche candies with tequila flavor that are oh so deliciosos. Muchas gracias por la receta!

  • Reply Anonymous July 16, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    this is eagle brand, that's all. you can buy it off the shelf. all that fat is only just a bit better than my german grandmothers fall-back dessert, lard spread on bread covered with suger.

  • Reply ~RED~ July 21, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    Thank you so much for the post, i have a cookie brittle recipe i am going to somehow incorperate this into, perhaps drizzle it over the top along with melted chocolate!

  • Reply Anonymous July 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    You can buy it already made in the pudding isle at Walmart. The price is good and so is the Dulce de Leche

  • Reply Anonymous July 28, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    The only trick to the immersion-without-opening technique is making absolute sure the water level stays higher than the can – ni other words keep checking it to make sure it stays totally immersed.

  • Reply Anonymous September 10, 2009 at 3:50 AM


  • Reply Psyche1226 September 10, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    I cannot understand why this alarming superstition about exploding cans persists. Just think about it for a second. Things that explode do so because there is AIR trapped inside that expands when heated. This is the principle upon which popcorn kernels explode into fluff. By definition, there is no air inside a can of condensed milk; it has been vaccuumed out! This is the whole idea of canning…if there was any air in there the milk would have gone bad many moons ago!

    The only scenario I can imagine in which the can would explode would be in the case of a can whose integrity was damaged in some way…perhaps a bad enough dent. The funny thing is that I've been on LOTS of forums, and while everyone repeats this urban legend, none have ever testified that it has actually happened to them. I myself have prepared dulce de leche this way twice, and it worked beautifully.

    • Reply patience February 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      I know this is two years late replying, but I think the problem and danger was/is burn injuries when the hot can was opened too soon and the contents exploded out into hands and faces.
      I have a great recipe for the caramel which is so simple.
      1 tip the can into a microwave jug preferably corningware or glass as the caramel can melt ordinary microwave bowls.
      Microwave on high for 3 minutes(check after 2 as it can burn)
      2. Stir in a tablespoon of butter and stir until smooth
      3 Crush a packet of gingernut biscuits/cookies (about 250gms/8ozs of the really hard ones) eg Arnotts
      4. Add crushed crumbs and a half cup of sultanas to the caramel and stir through.
      5 Allow mixture to cool covered in fridge until it hardens enough to
      be able to roll small walnut size balls (Keep hands wet to stop sticking) Roll the balls in dessicated coconut and store inthe fridge.
      They are really good as a sweet treat after dinner(or breakfast or for breakfast….) and are so quick to make. They keep for weeks, and months probably if you don’t eat them for breakfast. I also froze a batch and they came out perfectly.

      • Reply patience February 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        oops I left out an ingredient in the Gingernut Bites
        but it probably wouldn’t matter much. In case there is not enough sugar in the caramel and the biscuits/cookies :-) you should add 3 tablespoons of Golden Syrup / treacle in UK/ and I think Corn Syrup in US, to the can of condensed milk and microwave together. If you can’t get the Golden Syrup(sugar can syrup) it won’t make a difference to the outcome but maybe a slight taste variation
        ALso inthe recipe post above I meant to tip the contents of the condensed milk can into the microwave jug not the can itself which would be a disaster!
        Can a post be edited???

        • Reply hazel May 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

          hi i just want to ask, is dulce de leche still edible if we leave the cooked condensed milk can unopened for like a week or more?

          • The Purple Foodie May 23, 2011 at 2:11 PM

            I think it should be okay because:
            a. It’s still air tight in the tin
            b. The high sugar itself acts as a preservative

  • Reply Anonymous September 11, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Too many comments to read them all. I didn't know that you could put metal(eg can) in the microwave. Doesn't it cause arcing (nasty electrical sparks?) Also, if the can is heated slowly I don't think there should be too much of a problem. I ran over a full can with the car(accidently) and it didn't break! Please advise if microwave ovens have changed.

  • Reply The Purple Foodie September 13, 2009 at 9:41 PM

    crazyvero5 – I have to look up Obleas. thanks for introducing me to it. :)

    spanish expert: now you're just naughty to have tequila flavour candies, aren't you?

    RED: Sounds like an awesome idea!

    psyche1226: You've got me thinking. Will read more into it.

    Anon: You CANNOT put the metal can in the microwave. You will indeed end up with a lot of fireworks. You need to transfer it to a glass bowl if you want to use the microwave method.

  • Reply Garden Tool User September 17, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    Wow, that looks absolutely delicious! Great post, you did such a nice job presenting the pictures too…I am definitely going to have to try that recipe this weekend! Thanks :)

  • Reply Anushruti September 19, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    Have you tried using the pressure cooker?

  • Reply Anushruti September 19, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Your dulce de leche looks so delicious Shaheen!

  • Reply The Purple Foodie September 19, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    Anushruti: Thanks! no, I haven't tried the pressure cooker method. But I can imagine it being done so much faster than any other methods. Microwaving comes first, but I'm not an advocate of it so I won't push that method to you.

  • Reply sheila September 20, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    My mother used to do this to condensed milk in the can when I was little (50 yrs ago). I never remembered a can even bulging, let alone exploding. That stuff was really sweet though. I need to try this and see if my daughter likes it. Thanks for the post. I never would have remembered it otherwise.

  • Reply Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    Can one place the can in water in a crockpot/slowcooker?


  • Reply The Purple Foodie October 15, 2009 at 12:46 AM

    Sheila: thanks for letting me know! I hope your daughter likes it!

    Anon: Yes, you can place it fully immersed in water in a crockpot. I haven't tried it, but maybe you can google it to see what measures someone has taken when using a slow cooker?

  • Reply Jamie October 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Wow! I really never knew that this was so simple to make! I assume that you use sweetened condensed milk? And yum with sea salt must taste like crème au beurre salé!

  • Reply The Cooking Ninja October 15, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    My ex-Chilean boss made this once in the office. :) He was craving for it that he went out and bought a can and did it in the office. ;)

  • Reply The Purple Foodie October 15, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    Jamie: Yes, you need to use sweetened condensed milk. Otherwise it just won't caralemise.

    The Cooking Ninja: now that's a funny story!

  • Reply Nachiketa November 18, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    Made Banoffee Pie for a friend's birthday using Dulce de Leche.

    Posted the recipe here

    The Variable – Nachiketa

  • Reply Kitchen Butterfly November 22, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    Oh I tried to make Dulche de Leche….simmered for 2 hours and left overnight. The next day, I opened a can of pure liquid…browned milk! And in a flash of inspiration, trasnformed that to Caramel curd :-)

  • Reply Yen Learns to Cook! December 15, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Very cool! I was always curious about the whole dulche de leche process… will definitey have to try soon :)

  • Reply Anonymous January 20, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    It is reallyy adictive!! If you want some recipes with dulce de leche you can visit this site
    This factory is in Spain and their brand is very good

  • Reply megan February 26, 2010 at 6:03 AM

    we are virginians hanging out it buenos aires for 1 year. we took our 4 kids on a year of adventures in south america…it has been such a great experience for the whole family…lots of togetherness.
    back on topic, i have tasted and fallen in love with dulce de leche! thanks for the recipe so i can recreate it once we are back in the states.
    if you ever want a "bucket" of the stuff from here, let me know and i will ship you some!
    love you BLOG…thanks so very much for your hard work.

  • Reply Lee March 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    How do I add vanilla beans into the dulce if the can isn't opened beforehand? Do I whisk it in after it caramelizes… and get lots of goopy mess?

  • Reply The Purple Foodie March 8, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    I stirred it into the dulce de leche after it was ready. I think what might be more helpful is putting the DDL back into the water bath so that the vanilla flavour can infuse into the dluce de leche beautifully.

  • Reply annecourager March 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Yes! This is SO addictive and luscious. I am one who makes it in a pressure cooker – 8-10 cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk at a time, for 30 minutes. Keeps indefinitely and it is fabulous.

  • Reply Maitreyi April 17, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    i love Dulce de Leche !! it tastes heavenly in Banoffee/Banoffi pie. Do try it. Banofee pie is a very easy dessert made from bananas, cream and dulce de the recipe from of the net. You ll love it Shaheen!!

  • Reply MG April 23, 2010 at 5:15 AM

    When I don't have the time and need my dulce de leche fix, I buy it at already made. They have the brands from Argentina.

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  • Reply cooksome June 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Is this made with regular condensed milk, or sweetened condensed milk

  • Reply The Purple Foodie June 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    cooksome: you need to use sweetened consensed milk. else, it won’t caramelise and give you the darker colour.

  • Reply Dulce de Leche cake with Vanilla Bean Food Blog - Food Photos and Easy Recipes July 3, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    […] something similar just for the lovely crumb. When I saw the recipe, I instantly knew I’d use Dulce de Leche instead of condensed milk. And then later it struck me that steeping the vanilla in milk would add […]

  • Reply From Parathas to Puff Pastry and Palmiers July 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    […] felt so proud of myself. I MADE SOME AWESOME PUFF PASTRY -wohooo! I filled my Vols au Vent with Dulce de Leche and my oh my, was that the best decision I made. Butter rich puff pastry + milky caramel goodness = […]

  • Reply Ahana July 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    ohhh i so love Dulce de Leche(tho i din knw it was called ,what it is i so often make this and use it for my banoffee pie and loads of other puddings and pie fillings!! looks absolutly yummylicious!!

  • Reply Shopping for Baking and Cooking Ingredients, Imported Foods, and Bakeware Equipment in Bombay July 27, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    […] de Leche: Why not just make some Dulce de Leche […]

  • Reply Carine September 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    I’m addicted to Dulce De Leche (and so as chocolates…haha). And I made it too! It tastes….oh….sweet HOLY MAMA! I ‘ve posted about it on my site too.

  • Reply Traci September 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    I make mine in the crock pot. Use ‘low’ setting for 8-10 hours. Perfect. 8 hours results in a paler color and 10 hours is dark and very thick.

  • Reply The Fluffiest Cinnamon Sugar Rolls October 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    […] need to use pearl sugar – you could make a caramel glaze or perhaps coat it with some Dulce de Leche. Like this post? Subscribe or Share […]

  • Reply aiko November 13, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    You know by doing this you are melting the chemical plastic lining (BPA) into your dulce de leche.

  • Reply Angela December 23, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    I grew up in Greece, and chocolate is big for breakfast. One of the treats that brings be back to childhood, is condensed milk and cocoa powder (unsweetened) you add some milk in a cup, stir in cocoa powder (making sure you smoosh up the cocoa very well) until a nice dark chocolate color…OH MY!!!!!!!!

  • Reply chris January 5, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    I used to put the can right in the oven on 300* for 30 minutes. (unopened, no kidding) Now it can be bought pre-cooked by Goya foods.

  • Reply Nancy January 7, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Yes the can can explode. My Irish mother did it over 50 years ago when she let the can boil dry I’ll never forget the cursing.It was my Swedish father’s favorite not hers, and she made him clean the sticky gooey stuff off the ceiling and walls of the kitchen. It wasn’t called dulce de leche in that part of western New York in the 1950″s

  • Reply How to make Homemade Snicker Barss From Scratch February 26, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    […] sugar 3 tbsp water 150g / 5 oz. roasted salted cashews (or peanuts, if you like) 1 – 1½ cups dulce de leche (making your own is SO easy) Topping 7oz. / 200g dark chocolate 2 oz/ 60g butter Equipment: 8 inch […]

  • Reply Pudding Pie Lane February 27, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    WHAT?!?! Only 15 minutes to turn condensed milk into toffee?! I did a blog post on banoffee pie and I boiled the tin for 3 hours! Ooops…

    That’s probably why your dulce de leche looks so much better than mine ;)

    • Reply The Purple Foodie February 28, 2011 at 7:15 AM

      Oh no, I let it simmer as well. The microwave method, although popular, didn’t work for me.

  • Reply Jessica C March 23, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    I make this all the time. I use the Crockpot method. It takes 9 hours on low but afterward it is so yummy. Just put it in a pie crust and cover it in home made whip cream and you got your self a yummy dessert that people will keep asking for.

  • Reply My Pantry Basics March 25, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    […] baking that much more fun. If everyone were baking the fleur de sel cookie or making their own dulce de leche, then I’m not sure if I’d be as thrilled about […]

  • Reply Bhavna April 14, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    You know what – your picture is what got me to this entry – coz the other day I opened a can of expired condensed milk for a recipe and it looked just like this – its a pity I dint know then that it would still be edible as I hadn’t heard of this before..but now I know!! Thanks for this :)

  • Reply Chelsea May 3, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Yum!!! I love dulce de leche and had forgotten how easy it was to make. I’m making some as we speak to put on sliced bananas for a sweet (sort of) healthy treat. Thanks!

  • Reply Lota May 3, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    We usually don’t punch holes in it before cooking – friends’ father once did and it exploded, they had to decorate the whole kitchen again. Here they sell them in 200 g cans, so we tend to get 2. We put them on their sides in the pot and keep the waterlevel over the cans. After 3 hours it’s lovely caramel.

    If put between waffel sheets (4-6 layers) then the fun really starts. After letting it sit for few hours and cutting into pieces.

  • Reply In Search Of The Perfect Dulce De Leche (or, Zen and the Art of Sous Vide Milk Carmelization) « GASTRONOMER.ORG May 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    […] you can find a step-by-step guide for making dulce de leche the old fashioned way here, here or here. Or, you can just read below for a synopsis of what all these articles say: An aluminum can of […]

  • Reply Enrique June 5, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    I just want to mention that if you leave condensed milk cans in a warm place (attic, near a water heater, etc.) for a long time (months) You will also get a “dulce de leche” but with a different (aged)? flavour. It is hard to describe, but i learned about it as i moved from one house to another and some cans were mixed up and ended in a box with books in my attic.
    Texture was more “solid” but spreadable, color was lighter, but it had a lot more taste than my “regular” pressure cooker kind.

  • Reply JC June 20, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    How funny. I remember making this once as a kid living in Thailand after hearing my mom telling me about how she and her cousins would make it when they were kids living in Bombay. I had no idea what Dulce de Leche was back then, but I had forgotten all about it. Now I’m in the US, hear about dulce de leche often, love it, but it wasn’t until I came across this post that I remembered making it as a kid! Thanks for bringing me back full circle. I find it especially ironic since you’re also from Bombay (I can’t call it anything else either) like my mom. The comment above me has me wondering though. With the insanely hot weather we get in California, I wonder if I can place a can out in a sunny spot in the back yard all summer long and open it in the fall to find a perfectly aged can of dulce de leche. It’s much too hot right now to have anything simmer on the stove for 4 hours, but as soon as the weather cools down a little (in November!) I’ll make enough to last me through the next year!

  • Reply Perfect Pound Cake with Dulche de Leche | Sweet Punch Baking « Sin-A-Mon July 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    […] again heck it was. Sinful to the core and I made it even more sinful with topping it with homemade Dulche de Leche. One is allowed to forget about calories once in a while isn’t it. *goes off to survive on […]

  • Reply Dylan July 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Looking at the pics, i got an UNCONTROLLABLE CRAVING that just EXPLODED MY HEAD!!! luv ur blog..

  • Reply SupMM July 16, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    This is something my mom used to make for me when I was a kid. Still does whenever I go home. Its called ‘ghono doodh’ in Bengali which means thick milk. I just love to have it plain.

    Btw I use the microwaving method to make banoffee pie. Super yum it is

  • Reply White Girl August 17, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    I got an idea from Food Network for a cake, and was looking for a recipe, which is how I found your site! I also make the Dulce De Leche at home from condensed milk. I use the fully immersed method and haven’t had a problem. I use a huge pot, several cans of condensed milk (this time I did 10 at once) and just make sure that they are completely covered with water for the entire three hours. It helps to put a lid on the pot to prevent a lot of water to escape as steam. I love that I can boil a bunch at a time, pull them out of the water, and store them in the cupboard for when I need them. Since I don’t open the cans at all (not even a little puncture) they will stay preserved until I open them. Anyway, thought I’d share my experience with you since it sounded like you didn’t want to do the fully immersed method again. Happy baking!

  • Reply Marina R. August 31, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Guess what? I am from Russia, and this thing is very popular in our country as well. Nobody knows the phrase “dulce de leche”, we just call it “boiled condensed milk” (“varenaya sgushchenka”). When I was growing up, it was not sold ready-made in stores, so we made it ourselves, and we always used the full immersion method: boil for 3 or 4 hours in very large quantities of water, without any puncturing or opening the can. The can will explode only if there is very little water left in the pot. That never happened in our household or to anyone I personally know. Now in Russia it is widely available in stores, ready-made, so people hardly ever make it themselves any more. It is a popular ingredient in cakes and ice-cream, a spread for breads, and a topping for bliny (Russian pancakes). Anyway, I love your blog! Great pictures! Good luck!

  • Reply matt September 16, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    I used the alton brown method. Grass fed local whole milk, cup of saw cane sugar , teaspoon of baking soda and a vanilla bean. I might go sprinkle some sea salt on it now actually.
    Takes about 2-3 hours on the stovetop.

    fricken amazing.

  • Reply Florencia September 16, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Hi everybody ! i´m from ARGENTINA, here is where de Dulce De Leche was created ! and you can buy it is the supermarket and everywhere! a lot of recepies used Dulce de Leche…! everibody has in the refrigerator an pot of ddl, is used like Butter for toast bread… mmmmmm…. and the BEST EVER is “LA SERENISIMA ESTILO COLINIAL” REALLY ADDICTIVE! jaja and the other delicious is “LA PATAIA” from Uruguay.

  • Reply Davita November 4, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    im thinking of making this for gifts for my family, and i have a question for you. do you get a full can of dulce de leche or does it reduce? and by how much? i am very excited to try this!

    • Reply Florencia November 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      Hi Davita ! Yes, you get a can of Dulce de Leche, anyway, I advise you to try one and then do the rest to gift! (sorry for my english….) :P Saludos !

  • Reply Trudy Haines November 18, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    Could this be done in a slow cooker or does it have to be done by boiling in water on a stove?


  • Reply Pepe Corvina December 9, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Hi there!
    What you get after boiling condensed milk is more likely the Uruguayan dulce de leche, rather than the Argentinean, which is vanilla aromatized. When I lived in Canada I tried to include the vanilla at the end, but doesn´t work.
    Anyway, awsome coincidence the usage of dulce de leche in Russia with the pancakes (we use crepes instead). Cheers from the End of the World.

  • Reply Suchi December 10, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    The best Dulce de Leche. Thanks a lot. Impressed my family by using them on bread pudding. Just spread it on the bread with the usual nuts and raisins and it tastes so divine. Thank you so much. Loved the recipes on your site. Got a few list lined up for trial. Lets see how it turns out.
    Keep up the great work.
    Warm Regards

  • Reply Carol December 13, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Do I need to use sweetened condenced milk, or reg. condenced milk? Thanks

    • Reply Pepe Corvina December 20, 2011 at 2:18 AM

      Sweetened condensed milk works best! Enjoy

  • Reply NIKITA March 7, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    IS not from argentina SORRY its from europe they send it to southamerica to Chile and argentina Europeans were before than southamerican was discovered by the Spanish

    • Reply Yan April 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      lol a argentinean slave invented this.

  • Reply Ashton March 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I tried preparing this, however the contents turned dark brown and tasted bitter, just like how sugar tastes when it is heated on a pan. where did I go wrong?

  • Reply Sunbula April 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Since most indian house-holds have a pressure cooker, I find it much easier to make use of it for my dulce de leche. As it can be made well in advance, I choose to make 2-3 at a time. Remove the plastic lid of the condensed tin can and place them in the pressure cooker. Pour water halfway up so that the cans are mostly covered in water. Clamp on the lid and weight. Keep on a high flame till the first whistle and then lower the heat. After 35 minutes, yummy, gooey Dulche de leche!!

  • Reply Simran Namrata Khiantani May 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    We grew up (in Mumbai) with visitors from Argentina bringing us jumbo sized cans of dulce de leche. It was in our pantry, just as honey is in almost everyone’s home! And so it went atop everything- every dessert ever. Crepes on Sunday morning was our favorite. Lately I roll a crepe with dulce de leche filling, sprinkle sugar on top and caramalized it with a blow torch, serve with sliced bananas. Simple heaven.

  • Reply Esmeralda Worman May 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    I am 66 and when I was a child in South Africa my mother used boil a can of condensed milk. I have never known the name of it but I always and still do love it.

  • Reply sunil shanmugaum May 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Cooking the sweetened condensed milk without opening it for 3- 4 hours will give you the best result.It will taste bitter if you do not use a under liner for the tins as the heat from the gas will be more at the middle.Just let the water simmer,the more you cook it ,the darker the dulce de leche gets.3 hrs min,4hrs max.

  • Reply Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche (aka Milk Caramel) | Flavorista August 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

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  • Reply Perfect Pound Cake with Dulche de Leche |reposted from Sin-a-Mon Tales | Entrepreneur. Designer. Me. August 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    […] ((the original resource: […]

  • Reply Adrianne October 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Tried for first time today. Yummers!!!!! I put one can of sweetened condensed milk in my crock pot, filled crock pot with hot water until can was covered. Cooked on high for 4 hours. Let cool for 2-3 hours. Turned out perfect. :-)

  • Reply Rashi November 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I know how hard I am trying to control myself to go and dip a finger in the jar of dulce de leche I just made. So easy and so delicious! Need to cook up some cake to go along with it now :) . Thanks for sharing your recipe and experience.

  • Reply Soumitra Velkar April 1, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I made this last weekend and it turned out perfect. (I submerged a sealed can under water and boiled it for 3 hours) I read somewhere that using a pressure cooker reduces the time to around 30-40 minutes.. Any idea whether one uses a sealed can in the pressure cooker and submerges the whole thing in water?

  • Reply Have you met Syrup the Seductress! | Cakesmiths Create March 10, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    […] what? There is nothing like a homemade leche. If you are looking for a recipe, you might want to check this recipe […]

  • Reply Have you met Syrup the Seductress! / Cakesmiths Blog August 12, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    […] what? There is nothing like a homemade leche. If you are looking for a recipe, you might want to check this recipe […]

  • Reply Nathalie September 13, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Hi! I love this!!! Thanks for posting:) I have read from the comment here that you can make a bunch of dulce de leche in tins and store them in your cabinets without opening. May I ask how long is the shelf life of this dulce de leche after opening? And do I need to keep it on fridge after opening? Your reply will be very much appreciated. thanks!:)

    • Reply Shaheen December 27, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      2-3 weeks, I’d say refrigerated.

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