New Baker Hacks: Do-It-Yourself Dulce de Leche!


Look—I know what you’re thinking. It’s 2016. Why the hell would you want to make your own dulce de leche when you could just go to pretty much any grocery store and pick up a can right next to the condensed and evaporated milks? I’m going to tell you why. Don’t worry, I came prepared with a number of significant and convincing answers. 

  1. You will save approximately one dollar. For dulce de leche addicts this is like a fortune.
  2. You can avoid unnecessary ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
  3. You can cook it as short or long as you’d like, thereby having some control over the color and flavor.
  4. You may not what dulce de leche right now, but what about 2-3 hours from now? Are you going to want to go to the store 3 hours from now? I doubt it.
  5. You will get to feel like a magician.

Number four reminds me of my favorite Mitch Hedberg quote.

“I like baked potatoes. I don’t have a microwave oven, and it takes forever to bake a potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I’ll just throw one in there, even if I don’t want one, because by the time it’s done, who knows?”

Anyway, now that I’ve convinced you, why not give it a try right now? All you have to do is remove the wrapper off of a can of condensed milk, throw it in a pot, add enough water to completely cover it, then boil it on top of your stove for approximately 2-3 hours. The one caveat is that you’ll have to check on it frequently to add more water if it gets too low. Obviously, the longer you cook it the darker and more caramelized your final product will be. I like it darker, but I’m also impatient, so…you know. 

dulche de leche jar

Alternatively, you can do it in a slow cooker! This takes much longer but requires less babysitting. It’s basically the same idea though: unwrap the can, put it in your slow cooker, cover it with water, then heat it on LOW for approximately 10 hours. Just imagine it. You wake up, throw the can in the slow cooker, then by the time your post-dinner dessert rolls around you have perfect dulce de leche to drizzle on your ice cream. *-*

Homemade Dulce de Leche
Yields 1
DIY caramel made from condensed milk
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr
  1. 1 can of condensed milk
  2. water
  1. Remove the wrapper from the can of condensed milk.
  2. Add it to a pot of water, making sure the can is completely submerged.
  3. Boil gently for 2-3 hours, making sure to top off the water if it gets too low.
  4. Let the can cool completely before opening.


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