Make this easy dulce de leche recipe with just one simple ingredient! It’s so sticky sweet and delicious, and can be used in so many different ways.

Spooning homemade dulce de leche from a blue patterned bowl.

Hello! Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Ours was good- we made lots of progress on our patio. I’m working on sprucing it up for the season with new furniture and lots of potted plants. It’s getting a total refresh, and I can’t wait for the weather to really warm up so we can entertain out there!

With cinco de Mayo coming in just a few days, I’m hoping it all comes together soon!

I love cinco de Mayo! Any excuse to get out in the sunshine, drink margaritas, and eat fabulous Mexican dishes like guacamole and churros is ok with me!

And one of the most iconic Mexican sweets would have to be dulce de leche. I’m so happy to be bringing you this easy recipe today! It is so simple to make and it tastes amazing!

Spooning dulce de leche from a bowl, with a text overlay reading "Dulce de Leche."

WHAT IS DULCE DE LECHE?

Say it with me: dool-say dee lay-chay.

It’s a Spanish phrase and it basically means sweet milk or candy of milk. And that is pretty much what it is: a jam made from sweetened condensed milk. It’s very similar to caramel sauce but definitely way easier to make.

You can find dulce de leche all over the world, but especially in Latin America. I think of it as a Mexican dessert, but it can actually be found in lots of different countries, including Argentina, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru. Even France has its own version, known as “confiture de lait.”

It’s a thick and gooey confection, with a warm, nutty brown color and a taste that’s not quite like anything else. It’s sweet, creamy, and caramelized, and can range in consistency from a sauce to a soft, chewy candy.

HOW TO MAKE DULCE DE LECHE

This may be the easiest recipe on this site. It only has one ingredient! Doesn’t get much simpler than that, right??

I’ve seen dulce de leche made in all sorts of different ways, from stove top to microwave to slow cooker. But I really think this is the best method because it’s safe, almost entirely hands-off, and relatively quick.

Can of sweetened condensed milk on a dark gray background.

Start with a can of condensed milk. This is the only ingredient you will need!

Pouring sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie dish.

Pour it into a shallow baking dish. A glass pie pan is perfect for this!

Covering sweetened condensed milk with aluminum foil.

Cover the pie dish tightly with aluminum foil. This will help your dulce de leche to caramelize more evenly.

Then put the covered dish of condensed milk into a larger baking dish. A roasting pan would be a good choice here.

Pouring hot water into a larger pan to make a water bath.

Pour hot water into the larger pan, all around the pie dish. You are making what’s known as a “bain marie” or “water bath.” It provides gentle, even cooking.

Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake it for at least an hour. The longer you bake it, the darker and thicker the dulce de leche will be.

I like mine to be like a thick sauce, so the dulce de leche you see pictured here was in the oven for about 2 hours.

Keep in mind that it will become quite a bit thicker as it cools!

Once you’ve got the color and consistency you like, remove the dulce de leche from the oven, take off the foil, and whisk it well to smooth out any lumps.

And that’s all there is to it!

A spoonful of dulce de leche in a small white dish, with a larger bowl of dulce de leche in the background.

WHAT TO DO WITH DULCE DE LECHE

Dulce de leche can be used in so many different ways. Here are just a few ideas:

HOW TO STORE DULCE DE LECHE

Most of the recipes you see will instruct you to keep dulce de leche refrigerated. If you have any doubt whatsoever, you should definitely do that.

I tend to be more relaxed about these kinds of things, and I know that with the sugar content being as high as it is, it’s very unlikely that any kind of microbes would be able to grow. It’s truly a candy, similar to soft caramel, which usually does not require refrigeration.

So use your best judgement!

Honestly I doubt you’ll have leftovers hanging around for very long anyway!

Gold spoonful of dulce de leche caramel on a white dish with a blue patterned bowl in the background.

I hope you enjoy this easy dulce de leche recipe! If you make it, let me know what you end up doing with it in the comment section below!


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Spooning homemade dulce de leche from a blue patterned bowl.
Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins
 

Make this easy dulce de leche recipe with just one simple ingredient! It's so sticky sweet and delicious, and can be used in so many different ways. 

Course: Dessert, Topping
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: dulce de leche recipe, dulce de leche recipes, easy dulce de leche, how to make dulce de leche
Servings: 6
Calories: 212 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Place the sweetened condensed milk in a pie plate or similar baking dish, and cover it tightly with foil. 

  3. Place the covered dish in a larger pan, and pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes about 1 inch up the sides.  

  4. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the desired color and thickness* are achieved.

  5. Whisk the dulce de leche to smooth out any lumps. 

Recipe Notes

*Dulce de Leche will become even thicker as it cools.

A few more delicious dessert toppings:

Nutrition Facts
Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 84mg4%
Potassium 245mg7%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 175IU4%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 188mg19%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.