Learn how to make Dulce de Leche from scratch with just one ingredient. You’re going to love this hispanic kitchen staple.
What is Dulce de Leche?
Dulce de Leche is a popular confection from Latin America made from milk and sugar, or sweetened condensed milk. It’s similar to caramel and used in many hispanic desserts, especially ones from Argentina. It has a sweet golden-brown color with deeply decadent flavor.
What’s the difference between Dulce de Leche and Caramel?
The main difference between dulce de leche and caramel is that dulce de leche is made by heating up milk and sugar, or sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk contains higher sugar levels than regular cows milk, and when it’s heated the sugar browns, creating the golden amber color. due to the browning of the lactose in the milk. This is known as the Maillard reaction.
Caramel is made by cooking down sugar and adding a bit of water. As the sugar melts, the caramel gets toastier and the color begins to darken to an amber tone. This process is called caramelization.
What’s the difference between Dulce de Leche and Cajeta?
The main difference between dulce de Leche and Cajeta is that Cajeta is made from goats milk, not cows milk.
Tips to make Dulce de Leche from scratch
Making Dulce de Leche from scratch can be dangerous so please read through this post and recipe before you attempt to make it.
- Be patient, this process takes time, and rushing it can lead to the can exploding on your face and/or kitchen.
- Remove the label from the can.
- You can make a couple of cans at a time, as long as the water is at least 2 inches above the cans.
- The water needs to be at least 2 inches above the can at all times. Don’t walk away while the can is cooking. Check the water level every 30 minutes, and refill with boiling water (not cold water) as needed.
- Once the water begins to boil, grab tons and turn the can onto its side, to avoid the can from bouncing around the pot.
- For light caramel color, cook for 2 hours.
- For a darker caramel color, cook for up to 3 hours. I cooked mine for 2.5 hours and the color was perfect!
- After the 2.5 hours have passed, remove the can using tongs, and allow to cool for 2 hours.
- Do not try to open the can while hot or warm, it needs to be cool to the touch. Otherwise, it will explode.
- Once cooled, open the can and scoop out the Dulce. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
looking for dulce de leche recipes? check these out!
I’m so happy you’re making one of my recipes, and would love to see how it turns out! Share it on Instagram using #yogaofcooking so I can see it, it always makes my day!Print
- 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk, label removed
- Place the whole, unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the can by at least 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil, over high heat. As soon as the water begins to bubble, wrap a pair of tongs and turn the can onto its side. This will prevent the can from bouncing around the pot.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Do not walk away! Set a timer to check the water level every 30 minutes. Add boiling water (not cold water) as needed to ensure it’s at least 2 inches above the can. If not, the can will explode (this is dangerous and messy).
- Using tongs, remove the can from the pot and allow to cool to room temperature. It needs to be cool to the touch, otherwise it’ll explode. This takes at least an hour, but I waited about 2 to be safe. Do not open the can while hot.
- Once cooled, open the can and transfer the dulce de Leche to an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks. Unopened cans keep well at room temperature for up to 3 months.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 2.5 hours
- Category: dessert
- Cuisine: hispanic
Keywords: dulce de Leche from scratch, hispanic staples