Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Easy Dulce de Leche Recipe

By cooking sweetened condensed milk in the can, you can achieve perfect dulce de leche in just 2 hours.

February 9th, 2019

Photography by Leandre Vivier

Dulce de leche is a truly magical substance. It marries the thick and rich indulgences of sweet dairy with caramelization from the Maillard reaction. The result is a light golden brown and butterscotch-like syrup that you can drizzle on pastries, use in cakes, or spoon over ice cream. Traditional recipes call for cooking for many hours in a pressure cooker, but this recipe needs only two hours. By cooking condensed milk in the can submerged in water, the proper temperature and pressure can be sustained over 2-3 hours for the perfect dulce de leche.

Finish with a touch of vanilla to round out the flavor.


Makes 14 ounces dulce de leche

Dulce de Leche
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, label removed for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
Dulce de Leche

When adding vanilla, I recommend using vanilla paste with vanilla specks.



  1. Set the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot filled with water. Make sure the can is fully submerged.
  2. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and lower the temperature to sustain the simmer for the duration of cooking.
  3. Place a lid on the pot and leave to simmer for at least 2 hours and at most 4 hours. The longer the simmer, the darker your dulce de leche will be. I recommend starting with 2 hours for your first batch and explore with longer times for future batches.
  4. Transfer the dulce de leche to a container and whisk in the vanilla.

Dulce de leche can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or more. Seal with a vacuum sealer and freeze for very long-term storage.

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