Homemade Dulce de Leche

This homemade dulce de leche couldn’t be any easier to make! You just empty two cans into a pie plate and bake in the oven. That’s it!

Okay… this dulce de leche isn’t healthy. In any shape or form. But you know what? Being as I can’t just drive on over to Wal-mart and pick up a can of dulce de leche, I have to make it myself. And so do the other folks living abroad. What’s ridiculous is that I didn’t know I could make my own until I had been here for a while and had already used my precious luggage allowance to transport dulce de leche.

There are already plenty recipes out there for dulce de leche but the question I had was if you could double the recipe without affecting the cook time.

All you do is pour a can of sweetened condensed milk into a pie pan, which has been placed in a pan of water, and then cook it in the oven for an hour and a half. But I didn’t want to mess around with just one can so I used two. Supposedly this would double the cooking time, but it didn’t. It was exactly the same! Double the amount of dulce de leche for the additional 30 seconds it takes to open and empty the can. If two cans are too much for you, you can freeze any leftovers.

This tastes exactly like the stuff from the store. And if you live abroad, and I don’t mean Central or South America, this is a lifesaver! Or more of a baked goods saver. Sorry it’s not healthified but nothing compares to real dulce de leche. You need sugar. Real sugar. And by the way, I have some healthified Thanksgiving recipes coming up that use a little dulce de leche in them.

There’s another method for homemade dulce de leche where you boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of boiling water for a few hours. I’ve done this before, but the can could explode, which I don’t exactly like, and it’s more high maintenance as you have to make sure the cans are covered by water at all times. So I highly recommend going with the oven version!

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Homemade Dulce de Leche
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups


  • 2 14-ounce (396 grams) cans of sweetened condensed milk1


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Get out a pie pan and a roasting pan, or some other kind of pan that will hold the pie pan. At first, I tried using a tin pie pan, but this didn't work so well as it was too light and thus floated in the roasting pan. Make sure the pie pan is heavy enough! I poured some water in the roasting pan and then placed the pie pan in there to see if worked.
  2. Pour the contents of the sweetened condensed milk cans into the pie pan and cover the pan tightly with foil. The last thing you want is water in your dulce de leche. Fill the roasting pan with enough water so that it goes halfway up the sides of the pan.
  3. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the a deep caramel color. Check to make sure that the water is still halfway up the side of the pie pan after the first 45 minutes.
  4. Take the pans out of the oven and uncover the pie pan. The dulce de leche will look a little strange and not smooth like above. Stir it until smooth. It'll thicken a bit while cooling. Cover and store in the fridge.
  5. This will keep good for a few weeks in the fridge.


  1. In some languages, condensed milk (or what translates as condensed milk) is what we call evaporated milk. Make sure you get *sweetened* condensed milk!

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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69 comments on “Homemade Dulce de Leche” — Add one!

1 comment is awaiting moderation!

    June 2, 2018 @ 5:45 am

    I can’t believe that I am 65 yrs. old and have never heard of dulce de leche!!! I have a can of sweetened condensed milk in my cabinet and even though it is 11pm, you can bet that I am going to make this right now and wait in front of the oven HA!

    • Erin replies to DEBRA WARNER
      June 2, 2018 @ 8:24 pm

      Haha. You’re welcome! I love your enthusiasm. :D I hope that you enjoyed it and that you still have some left over for today. ;)

    • Annanya replies to DEBRA WARNER
      May 18, 2020 @ 9:06 am

      I don’t have any aluminum foil.. is there anything i can replace it with?

      • Erin replies to Annanya
        May 26, 2020 @ 6:40 am

        I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! You’d have to use something else that’s oven-safe, like another pie pan.

  • Shawna
    September 27, 2016 @ 5:25 am

    I read that you had recipes using dulche de leche. Can you please list these? Or even better, provide some links? Any other ideas/ suggestions for using it? Thanks!
    Excited for the oven technique as I was never brave enough to boil a can, and do not have a slow cooker.

    • Erin replies to Shawna
      September 28, 2016 @ 10:03 am

      Hi there! I’m sorry for my slow reply. And I unfortunately only got around to posting one recipe, these dulce de leche apple streusel bars. But here are 17 recipe that uses dulce de leche! I hope that helps. :)

  • Amalia Chadwick says
    July 18, 2015 @ 3:13 am

    Im slow cooking my for 8 hours it works,

  • Rosie says
    April 1, 2015 @ 9:15 pm

    you can also make this by filling up a large pot full of water and letting the can, unopened, boil for 1.5-2 hours. You need to make sure its a big pot so that the water does not evaporate and the can blows up (happen to me once like 10 years ago)

    • Erin replies to Rosie
      April 2, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

      That’s how I used to do it until I read the stories about the cans exploding. It kind of scared me so I switched methods. ;)

  • Erin says
    June 25, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    Haha. I like what you said about children playing with it in the sandbox. :D I obviously need to try authentic dulce de leche so the next time I’m in the US, I’m ordering some! Thanks so much for the link. :)

  • Erin says
    November 5, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    Sorry for the slow reply, Tonette! That sounds amazing with the peanuts and covered in sugar. I just checked out some recipes for “yema balls” and they sounds so good. Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

  • cindy tidrick says
    October 31, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

    Little FYI, if you ever watch The Chew, they gave instructions for making more than one can at a time, stove top, without opening (boiling). I’m sure the instructions are on the web site thechew.com. This way, they can just be shelved, I believe.

    • Erin replies to cindy tidrick
      November 5, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

      Ooh, I didn’t realize it could be shelved that way! That’s how I used to make my dulce de leche but with all the people talking about exploding cans, I decided to try it this way. :) Thanks for the tip!

      • becky gifford replies to Erin
        June 25, 2014 @ 3:44 am

        In Arizona, when you leave the cans of condesed milk in the garage storage shelves in the summer, the heat out there makes the caramel in the can. It was an amazing mistake on my part. but oh, so tasty.

        • Erin replies to becky gifford
          June 25, 2014 @ 9:19 am

          Haha. I’m impressed that you were brave enough to eat that. I would have been going back and forth on, “Is it safe?!” It kind of sounds like the best surprise ever. :)

        • cookie replies to becky gifford
          October 27, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

          I too live in AZ and I put my sweet milk outside in the heat for 24 hrs and then have Dulce de Letche. I have 8 cans already to use and boy are they GOODDDDDDDDD

        • Erin replies to cookie
          October 27, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

          That’s a great idea! Making them in the sun sounds much easier than this method. If only it got hot enough to do that over here in Germany ;)

  • Erin says
    February 9, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    Oh gosh. That's horrible! I'm sorry. Do you cover it up tightly and it still leaks into the water and then into the oven? Darn. :( I hope it works on your next try! I've never had a problem with this method. Good luck. :)

  • Anonymous says
    January 18, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

    you can also cook it in your crock pot/slow cooker! I fill mine with water, put the can of sweetened condensed milk in and cook on low overnight. Turn it off in the morning and let it cool to room temp. Turns out lovely, lovely!!

    • Erin replies to Anonymous
      February 9, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

      Thanks for the tip! I've tried it that way too but I'm way too impatient. ;)

      • Sammi replies to Erin
        April 24, 2017 @ 7:32 pm

        Do you leave the cans unopened in The crock pot overnight? Or can you open them?

        • Erin replies to Sammi
          April 25, 2017 @ 1:29 pm

          Here’s a recipe on how to make it in a slow cooker. :)

  • Anonymous says
    November 30, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

    I have tried to make this twice and both times the colour is quite pale beige – not dark caramel brown. I used a Eagle Brand Sweet and Condensed Milk, a pyrex square dish and a water bath. I baked it for 1 hour and 30 minutes @ 425 degrees.

    My oven temperature is verified.

    Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

    • Erin replies to Anonymous
      November 30, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

      How strange. It's not fat free or something, is it? I've made this with different brands of sweetened condensed milk and never had a problem. To be honest, the only thing that could explain it is the oven temperature, but it's verified, so clearly that's not it. If it's still in the oven, I'd suggest just leaving it in there another 20-30 minutes and see if it turns the color you're after. I'm sorry that it's not working out! I checked out some other dulce de leche recipes using the same method and there's nothing wrong with the method or temperature. I hope it'll eventually turn the right color!

    • Anonymous replies to Anonymous
      November 30, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

      thanks for the info. I will try leaving it in the oven longer – what's another hour between friends. I will also check the ingredients, as I was looking at another site and some S&C; milk is coconut milk. But I have always trusted Eagle Brand; it has never failed me before – great product for fudge. And, I am definitely using S&C; milk not evaporated milk ….

      I want to use this to make millionaire shortbread … very tasty ;o)

      Again, appreciate the info.

    • Erin replies to Anonymous
      November 30, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

      Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk should be sweetened condensed milk, though. It's Eagle and not some strange mystery brand (I sometimes for example buy something with a Russian label on it). I really hope it works! I'm so sorry if it doesn't. I hope you'll get that millionaire shortbread that all this trouble. :)

    • Anonymous replies to Anonymous
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

      Tried this again on Friday night – left it in the oven just +2 hours — came out lovely … sweet, sticky, caramelly — you get the picture …. millionaire shortbread are a hit, but left them in the 'fridge a bit too long so hard to cut into nice squares, but very tasty!

    • Erin replies to Anonymous
      December 5, 2012 @ 7:32 am

      How strange! You'd think that sweetened condensed milk is sweetened condensed milk but I guess not. Perhaps the stuff over here is different (although I've followed this recipe using the Wal-mart brand stuff from the US). I'm happy it finally worked for you! And excellent that you got those millionaire bars. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  • angela @ anotherbiteplease says
    November 19, 2012 @ 3:59 am

    i love when I find out I can make something homemade…I have 2 cans to use up but then so trying this – love the jars in your pictures.

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles says
    November 17, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    I've wanted to try making dulce de leche like this but I don't use enough of it to warrant it. Let me rephrase that… I go at this stuff with a spoon because it just sits there calling to me so I don't want to even try making it. Haha. But one day I'm sure I will :)

    • Erin replies to Heidi @ Food Doodles
      November 20, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

      You could also freeze it in small portions. But the stuff is pure sugar so, you know, I'm sure you could find something better to make. :)

  • Baltic Maid says
    November 16, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    I love homemade dulce de leche!!! Soo good! Drool…

    • Erin replies to Baltic Maid
      November 20, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

      I love any kind! :) But yes, homemade is good!

  • Ashley - Baker by Nature says
    November 14, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    I've always wanted to make my own dulce de leche! Yours came out wonderfully!!!

  • Carla Walker says
    November 14, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    I had no idea that the can could explode doing it that way! Oh goodness! I am weary of trying that method now. I really want to try your method. I have actually never had dulce de leche (I know I know!) I really want to try the homemade way though over the storebought version. I think I will try your method first :)

    • Erin replies to Carla Walker
      November 15, 2012 @ 10:22 am

      I hope you do! It's really delicious but honestly, I don't think it's any better than the store bought stuff. But it is convenient to have this recipe when you can't find it or it's not available where you live. :)

  • Gwen Charles says
    November 14, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    I have made dulce de leche several times using Alton Brown's recipe. It uses milk, sugar and baking soda. Although it requires a long cooking time, you can choose the type of milk you want to use- using local organic whole milk and organic cane juice. Mexicans use goats milk for their version (Cajeta). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dulce-de-leche-recipe/index.html

    • Erin replies to Gwen Charles
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

      Thanks for the link! I've looked into making cajeta before but the long cooking time has held me back. I do like being able to control what kind of milk I use, though. Although I doubt there are many kinds of goat milk available where I live. I'll take a look at Alton Brown's recipe. Thanks again! :)

  • Sonia! The Healthy Foodie says
    November 14, 2012 @ 5:00 pm


    *runs out of here as fast as she can*

    *has that darn picture imprinted in her mind*

    *dreams of having just one tiny spoonful of that Dulce de Leche*

    *wonders if perhaps she wouldn't have a can of condensed milk hiding somewhere way in the back of her pantry, from her old baking days…*

    *curses Erin… just a little bit* ;)

    • Erin replies to Sonia! The Healthy Foodie
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

      Hahaha. Best comment ever. Thank you Sonia. I woke up from a nap (2 hours long :( ) and saw this comment and it helped wake me up. A little! Sorry to tempt you. On the brighter side, healthier stuff is coming!

  • lada says
    November 14, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    I LOVE condensed milk. Back home we have it in metal tube (like a tooth paste) so you eat little bit and then close it up and save the rest for later (hardly ever happen). Yours looks great, just to have a spoon (or 5 :-) ).

    • Erin replies to lada
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

      Thanks! And oh, that sounds nice. I've seen that in the ethnic section of grocery stores in the US. I wonder what the intended use is. And I think my version is terrible just to have a little bit. Just saying… it's not going to happen. ;)

  • Erin says
    November 14, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    I'm so glad you posted this! I was just looking through a couple of recipes the other day that called for dulce de leche and was wondering if there was a way to make it at home! :)

    • Erin replies to Erin
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

      Glad to have been of some use! I hope I see some dulce de leche involving recipes soon. :)

  • london bakes says
    November 14, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    I love dulce de leche but I always go for the lazy option and buy it – love the idea of making it myself!

    • Erin replies to london bakes
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

      It's not lazy! But I agree that it is nice to have created it yourself. Kinda fun!

  • butterbaking says
    November 14, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    You're killing me. I'm supposed to be on a diet. And that looks amzing. And I have 3 cans of condensed milk in the pantry. KILLING. ME.

    • Erin replies to butterbaking
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

      Haha. Sorry! And please, a diet? No way. I bet all you need to do is eat less baked goods and more vegetables. Am I right? :) But I think this probably goes for 95% of the world.

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says
    November 14, 2012 @ 4:48 am

    i keep seeing this recipe around – with the sweetened condensed milk – and i've never tried it!!! you've convinced me – trying it ASAP!

  • Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
    November 14, 2012 @ 2:07 am

    This looks super yummy, I would love to pour it over some vanilla ice cream!

  • Heather R says
    November 14, 2012 @ 2:00 am

    I'll be honest here, I've eaten Dulce de Leche from the store but had no idea what was in it, and how easy it is to make! I must try this soon.

    • Erin replies to Heather R
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

      Hey, there's nothing wrong with eating dulce de leche from the store. :) But I hope you do try it out!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says
    November 14, 2012 @ 1:11 am

    The boiling method scares the bejesus outta me, too, so I love this version. I loooove dulce de leche!

    • Erin replies to amy @ fearless homemaker
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

      Yeah, I think I'll pass on the scorching dulce de leche on my face. And the metal shards. I have enough problems already!

  • Flavia Andrews says
    November 13, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    Yum! I grew up eating homemade Dulce de Leche! My mom used to put the can in a double boiler… That's it! It was always good! When it gets very dark, we call it arequipe! I haven't have some in a while… Yours looks so indulgent! Thanks for sharing and reminding me of my childhood! Xo

    • Erin replies to Flavia Andrews
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

      Aww, I'm happy to have done that for you! And I didn't know about making it very dark. I'll have to check out what arequipe looks like to see just how dark it is. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • Bea
      replies to Flavia Andrews
      June 30, 2014 @ 2:16 am

      This is the same recipe I use. It is definitely better than the 4 hours of boiling. Bobby Flay had it on his show too. My friend had me making it in 1976. She was from Jamaica I was pregnant with my son and craved it like crazy. Cool to see everyone making there own. I don’t care for the store bought and I add one extra ingredient that just brightens it up like silk. Love your blog! I have been following you for awhile and every time I access with my mobile it asks me to sign up my email again. .lol..have a great week!

      • Erin replies to Bea
        July 1, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

        Wow, you’ve been making this for a long time! That’s awesome. :) What extra ingredient do you add? Do share! :D I’m about to write you an email concerning the mobile thing. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for your comment!

  • Becca says
    November 13, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    I knew it was possible to make homemade dulce de leche, but I've never heard of making it in the oven. This is interesting.

    • Erin replies to Becca
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

      And fun! It goes in as normal sweetened condensed milk and comes out all golden and creamy. Easiest recipe ever. :)

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says
    November 13, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

    This is amazing Erin! I have also heard that you get the same results by boiling the can but have never tried either version. Now I must!

    • Erin replies to Cassie | Bake Your Day
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

      But exploding cans are no fun! I hope you can try it out. :)

      And I mean the dulce de leche. Not exploding cans.

  • eatgood4life.blogspot.com says
    November 13, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    You are forgiven :-) Once in a while it is ok to indulge. There are way too many good sweet items out there to not be able to eat, so heck yeah!!

    • Erin replies to eatgood4life.blogspot.com
      November 14, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

      I'm happy I have you on board! A little of this goes a long way… but it's still just sugar. Oh well.


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