Home > Recipes > Make Ahead Easy Homemade Dulce de Leche
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian

Make Ahead Easy Homemade Dulce de Leche

Whether you’re a spontaneous baker or a once-in-a-while cookie/cake enthusiast, having dulce de leche at home can save you a lot of time! Learn how to make it with me!

12 1331x2000

There’s something about this sweet and easy recipe.

I’m someone who thinks dulce de leche makes everything taste better. It’s something that I enjoy licking right off the spoon. I’d freeze it into popsicles and devour them if I had my way. I digress.

When I’m baking, I sometimes get the brilliant idea of adding dulce de leche to a recipe to see how it would taste. There are also lots of recipes that do actually call for dulce de leche, like these delicious walnut-shaped cookies. Having a few cans at home can be really helpful.

Today, I’m going to share with you how you can make dulce de leche at home to save you time next time you’re baking.

It all starts with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Or four. Or ten. However much you want to keep in stock.

If it’s your first time making it, you’ll want some things to remember:

First, you’ll need to remove that paper label: you won’t want it coming off in the middle of the cooking process! It’s easiest to remove before you begin.

You’ll want to boil water in a pot – enough so your can/cans are completely submerged throughout the entire process. 

Don’t get too impatient with the boiling process. It takes time for the condensed milk to cook in the hot water and become dulce de leche. Two hours of boiling to be exact. No more, no less. Two hours is the sweet spot, and will get you best results. Then, you can remove the milk cans with a pair of tongs.

Let those cans rest. You need to give the hot dulce de leche time to cool down after they’ve been boiling for two hours. You can speed up the process by putting them in the refrigerator but I like to just let them come up to room temperature on the counter. 

So, that’s it! You’ve got your own little stock of dulce de leche that you can conveniently use whenever needed!

I like to make a few cans at a time, that way I could have some on hand if I would need when baking. After boiling you could leave in your pantry or in fridge (wherever you got some room), try to use during first three months after cooking, depending on the brand, after three months it could become sugary; which isn’t very good.

This process is commonly used in Latin America, hence the name “dulce de leche”, sweet milk. You can find sweetened condensed milk in the Latin aisle of the grocery store, or beside the dry milk. There’s several different brands of condensed milk but any kind will work.

This recipe is worth it, no matter which way you make it.

There are several different ways of making it, including in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, or even instant pot dulce de leche. But I’ve been taught by my mother one of the traditional methods in making it, to just boil with the stovetop method and I think this is the best way and possibly easiest way to make it. This recipe wouldn’t be a dulce de leche recipe if it didn’t involve any DIY! 

Some might say that this slow process is not worth the end result. When you get a can of sweetened condensed milk from the grocery store, why would you want to change it up? This thick topping opens up the possibilities in topping for french toast, drizzling over whipped cream, maybe as a fruit dip with apple slices and other fresh fruit, as a topping for banoffee pie, or with a Nilla wafers dessert.

07 1471x2000

There’s a huge difference between a dessert that has this delicious dulce de leche and one that could use some.

Real dulce de leche takes recipes to the next level. It’s not your basic caramel topping. Oh, no. It’s sweet, thick, and has a creamier taste. That time spent slow cooking pays up when you enjoy classic recipes with a touch of this sweet treat. It’s your own homemade caramel – but better. So, so much better. The time spent making it may seem like a long time, but it’s worth it when you enjoy your favorite dessert recipes with this milk-jam caramel sauce. Fresh milk and heavy cream have so many possibilities, who knew that you can find easy ways to change it up and make your life better?

The following recipes are great to enjoy with this Dulce De Leche!

Simple Walnut Cookies with Dulce de Leche (Oreshki)

Russian Layered Honey Cake (Medovik)

Easy Sweet and Moist Honey Pecan Cake Recipe

Simple Honey Cake with Cream and Dulce de Leche

sweet dulce de leche in a glass jar with the lid open and a spoon of the leche on the table.

Make Ahead Easy Homemade Dulce de Leche

This recipe is a great one to stock up on and just have ready for any dessert!
No ratings yet
Rate Print Save Pin
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Allergy: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Total Time: 5 hours
Calories: 1271kcal
Author: Marina Rizhkov



  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • water


  • Place a can of sweetened condensed milk into a large pot and fill with water so the can is completely covered.
    1 can sweetened condensed milk, water
    water being poured over a can inside a large pot.
  • Boil on medium heat for exactly 2 hours. Add more boiled water through out the process if it's not covering the can.
    a can of condensed milk cooking in a large pot filled with water.
  • After 2 hours, take the can out and allow it to cool for a few hours on the countertop or in the fridge.
    can opened with cooked dulce de leche in it with a can opener on the side.


I usually cook 4-5 cans at a time, so you have dulce de leche on hand. 


Calories: 1271kcal | Carbohydrates: 215g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 1469mg | Sugar: 215g | Vitamin A: 1057IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 1125mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @allweeat_com or tag #allweeat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating