Learn how to make your own Dulce de Leche with one simple ingredient and a few super simple steps. You will be using this thick and luscious caramel sauce on everything! Keep reading for some easy and delicious ideas for your caramel.

a plate of dulce de leche

Dulce de leche directly translates as ‘caramel sauce’, which felt like the perfect name for this 1 ingredient caramel.

With origins in Argentina, dulce de leche is a thick caramel originally made with reduced sugar and milk.

If you consider yourself a dessert person, you’ve probably tried dulce de leche in some form before.

Made with caramelized sweetened condensed milk, it’s used as a sweetener in coffee drinks (like this cold brew), an ingredient in desserts (like this flan), and more.

Today we’re making it from scratch, using sweetened condensed milk, a super popular ingredient to use in Puerto Rican recipes.

Ingredients

Here’s all you’ll need to make this caramel sauce:

How to Make Dulce de Leche

a can of sweetened condensed milk

Prep the can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the label and clean any residue off the can before submerging on it’s side in a pot filled with boiling water, making sure it’s covered completely with a several extra inches of water. The can must be covered with water at all times or it can explode.

IMPORTANT: make sure to keep your can of sweetened condensed milk covered with a few inches of water at all times as it can explode if the water level drops below the can.

a can in a pot of water

After 1 minute, turn the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Set the timer for 4 hours, making sure to check the pot regularly to make sure the can is fully submerged with water, adding more if needed.

a jar of dulce de leche

Let the can cool before opening. Use a pair of tongs to carefully move the can from the hot water to a heat resistant surface to cool. This will take several hours (at least two), so be patient. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, open the can and enjoy the dulce de leche anywhere you enjoy using caramel! Store in your fridge in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks

Variations

Here are some ways to spice up your

  • Salted caramel – add a sprinkle of flaky salt to your caramel after cooling to make a salted caramel
  • Vegan – reduce a can of sweetened condensed coconut milk to make a vegan caramel sauce (check out a full recipe)
  • Non-perishable – cook the dulce de coco, let it cool to room temperature and don’t open it. This allow you to store it at room temperature and have on hand for up to 3 months.

Alternatives to Sweetened Condensed Milk

If you’re not able to find canned sweetened condensed coconut at a grocery store near you, you can find it online or make it yourself with this recipe.

dulce de leche in a can

Equipment

The only special equipment you’ll need for this recipe is a pair of heat resistant tongs to transfer the caramel from the pot to a drying rack.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To keep the caramel shelf stable for longer, do not open the can until ready to use. It will store at room temperature for up to three months.

a plate of dulce de leche

Where to use Caramel Sauce

Here are some of my favorites ways to use dulce de leche:

  • make tres leches cake
  • use as a filling in cookies and pastries
  • as a sauce/sweetener in coffee drinks
  • spooned over ice cream
  • as a cheesecake topping
  • to make caramels
  • use it to make candied candy
  • as a substitute in all of your favorite recipes that use caramel

Buen provecho,

Salima written in cursive
Print
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a jar of dulce de leche

Dulce de Leche (1 Ingredient Caramel Sauce)

  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Latin
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Learn how to make your own Dulce de Leche with one simple ingredient and a few super simple steps. You will be using this thick and luscious caramel sauce on everything!


Ingredients

Scale


Instructions

  1. Prep the can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the label and clean any residue off the can before submerging on it’s side in a pot filled with boiling water, making sure it’s covered completely with a several extra inches of water. The can must be covered with water at all times or it can explode.
  2. After a minute, turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Set the timer for 4 hours, making sure to check the pot regularly to make sure the can is fully submerged with water, adding more if needed.
  3. Let the can cool before opening. Use a pair of tongs to carefully move the can from the hot water to a heat resistant surface to cool. This will take several hours (at least two), so be patient. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, open the can and enjoy the dulce de leche anywhere you enjoy using caramel! Store in your fridge in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.

Keywords: Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce