Made by slowly heating sweetened milk, this Latin American caramel is rich, creamy & super versatile.
To make it at home, all you need is a tin of condensed milk & a little time
. Dulce de leche has loads of uses in baking. Drizzle it over ice cream, use it in tarts or even eat it on its’ own!

This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost you. For more information, click here.

dulce de leche

Method #1 – On The Stove

One way to make Dulce De Leche is to gently simmer an unopened tin of condensed milk in water for several hours. Although an easy way of making the caramel, it does comes with some risks.

Notes

The tin of condensed milk should be fully submerged in water at all times during the cooking process. If the water level gets too low, the condensed milk can get too hot, causing the tin to explode.
If the water level gets below the top of the tin, top it back up with boiling water.

The tin of cooked dulce de leche should be left to cool completely before being opened. Open it too soon & the hot caramel could will burst out of the tin.
The best way to avoid this is to allow the tin to cool to room temperature then leave it in the fridge to set overnight.

Make sure to check that the tin of condensed milk is undamaged before cooking.
A tin with a solid lid (as appose to a tab lid) should be used for this method.
Make sure to completely remove the label & any glue from the tin. Left on & it will make a mess of your pan.

dulce de leche stove method

Method

Remove the label from the tin of condensed milk then lay it on its’ side in a large saucepan.
Fill the saucepan up with water, making sure that the tin is completely submerged (the water level should be several inches above the top of the tin).

Bring the water to a boil over a high heat then immediately reduce to a low heat so that the water is at a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer for 2-4 hours.
If you prefer a lighter, runnier caramel, simmer for 2.5-3 hours. If you prefer a dark, thicker caramel, simmer for 3.5-4.
*It is important that the tin stays fully submerged in water at all times. If the water level gets too low at any point, top the saucepan up with boiling water.

Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat & leave the tin to cool to room temperature in the water.
When cool, take the tin out of the water & place it in the fridge, to set overnight.

The next day, open the tin & use the dulce de leche as required.

Left in an unopened tin & kept in the fridge, the dulce de leche will last for up to two weeks.
Once opened, it should be used within 2-3 days.

dulce de leche

Method #2 – In The Oven

Another, less risker way to make dulce de leche is to cook the condensed milk in a water bath, in the oven. The caramel will take roughly the same amount of time to cook in the oven as on the stove whilst allowing you to keep an eye on the colour, as it cooks.

Notes

Make sure to stir the condensed milk every 30 – 45 minutes to prevent it from scorching.

The water level in the roasting tin should be at the same level as the condensed milk. If it gets too low, top the roasting tin up with boiling water.

For this method, you will need a dish/tin that will fit inside a roasting tin, leaving enough room to add in water, creating a water bath.

If the dulce de leche is lumpy after whisking, give it a blitz in a jug blender or food processor.

Method

Preheat an oven to 170°c.

Open the tin of condensed milk & pour it into a pyyrex dish/baking tin.
Place the dish of condensed milk into a roasting tin then fill the tin up with boiling water – the water level in the roasting tin should be at the same level as the condensed milk in the pyrex dish.

Cover the tin with foil & bake in the preheated oven for 2-4 hours or until the condensed milk is the desired colour & consistency . Make sure to give the condensed milk a good stir every 30-45 minutes & top the water up if necessary.
*If you want the dulce de leche to be thich & a dark golden brown, cook it for 3-4 hours. If you want it to be light & runny, cook it for 2-3 hours. I like mine to be fairly dark, so I’ll cook it for roughly 3.5 hours.

Once cooked, remove the dish of dulce de leche from the water bath & give it a good whisk to get rid of any lumps. Leave to cool then refrigerate until needed.

The dulce de leche is best eaten 2-3 days after being made. Keep refrigerated.

Dulce De Leche Ice Cream.

Cooking Dulce De Leche In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook dulce de leche in an Aga, follow the “In The Oven” method. To do this, place the water bath on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven & cook as stated in the recipe.

Equipment Used

Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

More Recipes

How To Make Dulce De Leche

Made by slowly heating sweetened milk, this Latin American caramel is rich, creamy & super versatile. To make it at home, all you need is a tin of condensed milk & a little time…
Dulce de leche has loads of uses in baking. Drizzle it over ice cream, use it in tarts or even eat it on its’ own!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: South American
Yield: 300 g
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Roasting Tin
  • Small Ovenproof Dish

Materials

  • 397 g Condensed Milk 1 Tin

Instructions

  • Method #1 – On The Stove.
    Remove the label from the tin of condensed milk then lay it on its’ side in a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan up with water, making sure that the tin is completely submerged (the water level should be several inches above the top of the tin).
  • Bring the water to a boil over a high heat then immediately reduce to a low heat so that the water is at a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer for 2-4 hours. If you prefer a lighter, runnier caramel, simmer for 2.5-3 hours. If you prefer a dark, thicker caramel, simmer for 3.5-4.
    It is important that the tin stays fully submerged in water at all times. If the water level gets too low at any point, top the saucepan up with boiling water.
  • Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat & leave the tin to cool to room temperature in the water.When cool, take the tin out of the water & place it in the fridge, to set overnight.
    The next day, open the tin & use the dulce de leche as required.
  • Method #2 – In The Oven.
    Preheat an oven to 170°c.
    Open the tin of condensed milk & pour it into a pyyrex dish/baking tin. Place the dish of condensed milk into a roasting tin then fill the tin up with boiling water – the water level in the roasting tin should be at the same level as the condensed milk in the pyrex dish.
  • Cover the tin with foil & bake in the preheated oven for 2-4 hours or until the condensed milk is the desired colour & consistency . Make sure to give the condensed milk a good stir every 30-45 minutes & top the water up if necessary.
    If you want the dulce de leche to be thick & a dark golden brown, cook it for 3-4 hours. If you want it to be light & runny, cook it for 2-3 hours. I like mine to be fairly dark, so I’ll cook it for roughly 3.5 hours.
  • Once cooked, remove the dish of dulce de leche from the water bath & give it a good whisk to get rid of any lumps.
    Leave to cool then refrigerate until needed.

Notes

Cooking In An Aga (Method #2)
Cook on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven.
The dulce de leche is best eaten 2-3 days after being made. Keep refrigerated.

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