Did you know you can make dulce de leche at home? All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk and some time, and you’ll be licking the spoon clean!

I wouldn’t even have to post this recipe, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Anyone else noticing the disappearance of the dulce de leche lately? Not one can to be found in all of Utah.

a photo of a white cup full of dulce de leche with a spoon being pulled out of the cup drizzling dulce de leche

And I should know, I’ve literally been driving to different cities to try to find that liquid gold and there is nothing! Where did it all go? Why are the shelves empty with a tag still posted? Is it coming back?

Will I ever get to make my Banana Dulce de Leche Pie, my dulce de leche molten lava cakes, chocolate cheesecake bars, or nutella dulce de leche stuffed chocolate chip cookies again?

This is a world-wide problem! We need answers!

And until those answers come, let us all learn how to make dulce de leche from home. Juuuuust in case.

a photo of a cup of dulce de leche taken from above the cup. the cup is sitting on a blue cloth napkin on top of a white plate.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Dulce de Leche?

Are you ready for this one? This might be the shortest list of ingredients on the entire blog…

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk

That’s it! Oh, and you’ll need water, but I’m not counting that as an ingredient.

a photo of a can of sweetened condensed milk

How to Make a Dulce de Leche Recipe at Home

There are two ways to make dulce de leche and both take about the same amount of time. It just depends on what works best with what you have going on in your day.

Stove Top Method

  1. Remove the paper from the can of sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Place in a saucepan filled with water.
  3. Bring water to boil over medium high heat.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 2 – 2.5 hours depending on how dark you want the dulce.
    • PRO TIP: Keep your eye on the water level. Some will evaporate while it cooks, so just add more as needed.
a photo of a pair of metal tongs removing a closed can out of a pot of water

Oven Method

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pie dish and cover the pie dish with foil.a photo if a container of sweetened condensed milk being poured into a glass pie plate
  3. Place the pie dish in a larger baking dish filled with 1″ of water.
  4. Bake for 2 hours, let cool completely, then whisk out any lumps.

a photo of a pie plate covered with foil sitting in a casserole dish half full of water

What is Dulce De Leche?

Dulce de leche is a confection originating in Latin America. It is similar in taste to caramel but is made differently.

What Does Dulce De Leche Taste Like?

Dulce de leche has a smooth, caramel flavor.

What is Dulce De Leche Used For?

Dulce de leche is most commonly used as a topping or filling for sweet foods, such as pies, churros, cakes, cookies and waffles.

a photo of a white cup full of dulce de leche sitting on top of a blue cloth napkin on top of a white plate

I got up the courage to ask the store manager at Smith’s what was up with the lack of dulce de leche. He did a little research and had no explanation. His guess was that it was impacted by COVID in some way. That blasted virus strikes again!

Have no fear though! You can still buy sweetened condensed milk which means you can make this dulce de leche recipe at home! Crisis averted!

Recipes that Use Dulce de Leche:

Dulce De Leche

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Servings: 1 can
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk


Stove Top Method

  • Peel the paper off of the can and place in a saucepan filled with enough water to cover the can by 1”. 
    1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Place over medium high heat until the water boils. Reduce to a simmer then just keep an occasional eye on the water as some will evaporate, adding more if needed.
  • Simmer for 2 hours for a light caramel color, but we prefer 2 1/2 to darken it (even up to 3 for an extra dark color. 

Oven Method

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pie dish and cover tightly with foil, pinching the sides shut. 
  • Place pie dish into a deep pan filled with water 1” deep. 
  • Bake for 2 hours, then cool completely and whisk to remove any clumps. 


Dulce De Leche can be stored in a jar with a lid, in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.


Serving: 1canCalories: 1271kcalCarbohydrates: 215gProtein: 31gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 503mgPotassium: 1469mgSugar: 215gVitamin A: 1057IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 1125mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 50+ Homemade Condiment Recipes, 500+ Best Dessert Recipes

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a photo of a white cup full of dulce de leche with a spoon being pulled out of the cup drizzling dulce de leche