Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe
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.
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!
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.
Start with a can of condensed milk. This is the only ingredient you will need!
Pour it into a shallow baking dish. A glass pie pan is perfect for this!
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.
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!
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!
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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Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe
- 14 ounces (396.89 ml) sweetened condensed milk, (1 can)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the sweetened condensed milk in a pie plate or similar baking dish, and cover it tightly with foil.
- 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.
- Bake in the oven for about 2 hours (checking every so often to refill with water if needed), or until the desired color and thickness* are achieved.
- Whisk the dulce de leche to smooth out any lumps.
I’m looking forward to making this on my upcoming
Skillet Apple Pie.
I’ve heard of doing this with a can of sweetened condensed milk, but not in the oven! That sounds alot easier than boiling in a pot of water anywhere from 2-3 or even 5 hrs! I’d much rather bake it for 2hrs. I’ve never baked with a water bath either, but sure that won’t be a problem for me. Very much looking forward to this, and am so happy I found your page, AND your easier method!
I look forward to making this for a dinner party to put over ice cream. Is it ok to make a day before and refrigerate and heat up the next day in microwave? Thank you!!!
Absolutely! I’d recommend microwaving it in quick bursts, stirring frequently, until it’s warmed through. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
Have made this on the stovetop by cooking in the.
an by piercing the can lid to eliminate pressure and cooking in a boiling water bath. A small rack, dish cloth, or a couple canning jar rings to kee the can out of contact with the pan bottom will give more even cooking.
Hi I want to make chocolate carmel candy… do you think this would work? Carmel can be so hard on your teeth and this looks gooey but I’ve never had it before.
This is more of a sauce. If you want caramel candy, I’d use the salted caramel sauce recipe and just cook it to the lower end of the soft ball stage. Approx. 235 degrees F. Good luck!
That’s not how to pronounce dulce de leche, but the recipe is fantastic!
I made this today and it turned out great. I have a cake in the oven that’s waiting to have this deliciousness added to it. Thanks for the recipe and tips!
My pleasure! So happy you enjoyed!
Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!
So easy and turned out beautiful.
I used it for macaron filling and it was outstanding.
I found your instructions clear and very easy to follow.
I’m so happy to hear that! It’s my pleasure!
I’ll admit the first try I messed up by not covering it with foil. Epic fail! Too brnt and then I tried to whisk it in opes it would cure it and nope, just a mess. Tried the next day ( covered with foil this time) and I am so thrilled with the results! I made the most delicious Alfajors with my Dolce de leche. Everyone loved it. I dod choose to keep the heat at 400, I also have a thermometer in the oven for baking because often times home ovens just don’t keep accurate temp, I highly recommend investing in one, they’re cheap enough.
Recommending this Dolce De Leche 100%.