Dulce de Leche

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Homemade dulce de leche is so easy to make. You only need one ingredient to create a delicious confection for your pies, cookies and cakes.

overhead of dulce de leche in glass jar with blue and white napkin

What is dulce de leche? It’s typically considered a classic sweet topping or filling from Latin America.

It translates in Spanish to “candy (made) of milk.” And, it really does live up to its name!

It pairs so perfectly with almost any dessert as a topping or even a filling.

It’s sometimes made with milk and sugar. Let me teach you how to make dulce de leche from condensed milk!

It’s so easy and saves you a trip to the grocery store.

Why this recipe works

  • This recipe uses a water bath to evenly distribute heat through the sweetened condensed milk.
  • You only need one ingredient for this recipe, which makes it incredibly simple.

This perfect, golden confection is perfect for all your pies, cookies, cakes. It works well with ice cream and coffee, too!

dulce de leche spread on white plate with spoon

What you need

This super easy dulce de leche recipe only requires one ingredient. Let’s discuss the key ingredient:


The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!

  • Sweetened condensed milk: This ingredient will be slow-cooked to create a caramel-like confection.


This is a list of tools I used to make the recipe.

  • Pie dish: A 9-inch deep-dish pie pan works best for slow cooking the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Roasting pan: You’ll place water in the roasting pan to create a water bath.

How to make dulce de leche

1. Slow cook the condensed milk

You’ll slow cook the sweetened condensed milk in a water bath in your oven.

sweetened condensed milk poured into white pie plate, foil being put over the pie plate, foil covered pie plate in roasting pan with water being poured in
  1. Start by moving your oven rack to the center. Preheat oven to 425oF.
  2. Then, pour the milk into the pie pan. Cover tightly with foil.
  3. Place pie pan in roasting pan. Create a water bath by adding enough hot water to reach halfway up the pie pan.
  4. Then, bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Continue to monitor water level. Add additional water if necessary.
  6. Finally, bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until milk is thick and brown.

2. Let cool

Remove it from the oven and follow steps to properly cool.

dulce de leche in white pie plate
  1. Remove the pie pan from the water bath.
  2. Then, whisk the cooked mixture vigorously to work out any clumps.
  3. Finally, allow it to cool completely, uncovered at room temperature.

Jen’s Best tips

  • It becomes thick as it cools or is refrigerated. To make it thinner, you may need to warm it slightly.
  • To ensure best results, use enough water to create a proper water bath.
a spoon drizzling dulce de leche into a glass jar

Storing & Freezing

To store: Store it in an airtight jar or container in the fridge. Store this way for no more than 2 weeks.

To Freeze: Transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze for no more than 2 months. To use, thaw overnight in the fridge.

Ways to use dulce de leche

This is the perfect topping or filling for the following recipes:

Dulce de Leche

4.67 from 3 votes
dulce de leche spread on white plate with spoon
You only need 1 ingredient to make this perfectly thick and creamy dulce de leche. By slow cooking sweetened condensed milk, you end up with a gorgeous confection that is caramel-like in color and flavor. It's perfect for pies, cookies, cakes, and ice cream or coffee!
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving Size 10


  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk


  • Position the oven rack to the center and heat to 425°F.
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and cover tightly with foil.
  • Set the pie pan in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the pie pan. This creates a water bath
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Check water level and add additional, if necessary, then continue to bake 45 minutes more, or until milk is thick and brown.
  • Remove pie plate from water bath and whisk the cooked mixture vigorously to work out any clumps.
  • Allow the dulce de leche to cool completely, uncovered.


  • As the dulce de leche cools it will become quite thick, like peanut butter. If you are using it straight from the refrigerator, you may wish to warm it slightly so it’s not as thick.
Make ahead tip
  1. Keep the dulce de leche in an airtight jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Or transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Makes about 1 ¼ cups.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 147mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Camila Nuñez says:

    In Chile we normally just remove the wrapping from the can and boil it in a pot for 2 hours, once it begins to boil. Let cool and use.