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Dulce de Leche

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My method of making dulce de leche is probably the most commonly used.  It is the cheater’s way of making it so go elsewhere if you want the stuff with real cream and vanilla bean seeds. This blog is for the non-food snobs. Me? I can be both but I prefer to cheat when it comes to dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche

1. Remove the label from a can of sweetened condensed milk. (This is the only ingredient, by the way.) I use Eagle brand and recommend you do not buy generic. Generic cans have a tendency to let water in and make the dulce de leche form sugar crystals, which ruins it.

2. Place it in the bottom of a pot on its side and cover with water at least an inch above the top of the can.

3. Put it on the stove, put the lid on, and turn the burner to high. You will let it boil on high for 2 hours. Alternately, you can simmer it on medium for four hours but it turns out exactly the same so I do it on high to save time.

4. Check the water level every half hour or so and add more water to keep it above the top of the can. DO NOT LET THE WATER LINE FALL BENEATH THE TOP OF THE CAN, OR THE CAN COULD EXPLODE, RESULTING IN SERIOUS INJURY.

5. Have I scared you into never trying my method yet?

6. Once it has boiled for two hours, turn off the heat and carefully remove the can with tongs.

7. Allow to cool completely, then open and use as you wish. Some just wait until the can is warm but not hot before opening, but I’m not so brave. The fear of the can exploding in my face keeps me from attempting anything of the sort. I usually let it sit overnight or just stash it in the cupboard if I won’t be using it for a while. It has a long shelf life, even after cooking. I’m not sure how long, because the longest it’s ever lasted on my cupboard shelf is one month. I’d say you’ve got until the expiration date on the can, but I’m not making any promises.

I opened this can today, one month after making it–still perfect!

When it’s done, you’ll have some lovely thick, caramelly stuff like this. Dip apples in it, heat it and swirl it over ice cream, or use it in PMS Pie or put it on top of some banana slices in a pie crust with whipped cream over that to make a Banoffee Pie. Heaven!

Veronica’s tip: I use a stock pot and cook several at once so I have them on hand. Also, I recently found prepared dulce de leche in a can at the grocery store on the Mexican food aisle so if preparing dulce de leche yourself doesn’t appeal to you, check to see if your grocer sells them. The kind I found looks like this (and it it tastes almost as good as homemade):


About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

17 responses »

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  6. Hi Veronica,
    I bought some sweetened condensed milk the other day, and I need to make some Dulce de Leche for a recipe I found. I knew I had seen you post the “How to method” on your blog a while back. So, here I am on you blog reading about how to do this. I have the cans sitting in front of me, and I am scared to death of boiling them! Then I go back, and look at your post, and think “Well she did it, then so can I”. I boil closed jars when I am canning, and I am not afraid at all. I don’t know what scares me about this, but as soon as I finish typing up my comment here, I will attempt this. I will do it exactly like you said……Wish me luck. I have never done this, and afraid of exploding cans! Lol o.k……here I go! Lol :) I will come back here, and let you know how it all worked out………


    • Cheryl, I totally understand your trepidation. I’ve done it many times and I’m still scared to death. The key is keeping water over the cans. They will only explode if the water line drops to below the cans so keep an eye on them. Good luck! Oh, and there is a way to make it in the microwave, although I don’t like the finished product quite as much as boiling them in the can. Check out this link–the microwave method is part of the recipe:'sShorbreadBars.html


  7. Well, nothing bad happened to me :) I am back, and unharmed! Lol, Now I have the cans cooling on a rack. They do appear to be bloated out a little, I hope this is normal? I have a towel over the cans just in case! I will not attempt to open one until tomorrow. I can’t wait to taste. I have never tasted this before. Thanks for you help :)


    • Good job, Cheryl! You are one brave chica! :) Yes, they will look bloated, that is why I do the same as you and wait until they are completely cool before opening. I hope you find that it was worth the fear. :)


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  13. they changed the cans now to “pull top” so i’m trying to make it in the oven, I called the Eagle Brand number and they gave me directions on how to make it with the new style can. I prefer the other cans though becaus it didn’t bother me at all to boil them :) Much easier than the oven method!


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