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resources for food photographers

How to make Dulce de Leche from Scratch

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  • Author: Rosana
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 1 can


Learn how to make Dulce de Leche from scratch with just one ingredient. You’re going to love this hispanic kitchen staple.


  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk, label removed


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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