Learn how to make Dulce de Leche! The name of this treat is Spanish and means “sweet made of milk” or “milk sweet”. It’s a rich, amber-colored caramel spread that tastes delicious on its own, with ice cream or as a cupcake filling and also makes a great hostess gift or party favor. You can download the recipe and free printable labels at the end of this post.
How to make Dulce de Leche
Dulce de Leche is incredibly easy to prepare, and you only need one ingredient, sweetened condensed milk. It’s created by cooking sweetened condensed milk for several hours.
While cooking the sugar caramelizes and the milk starts to thicken. By adjusting the cooking time, you can create various consistencies. We discuss the different consistencies and give a few serving tips. Once you’ve opened the first tin of home cooked Dulce de Leche, you’ll come up with plenty of ideas how to use it.
Adjust the cooking time to create different consistencies of Dulce de Leche
Dulce de Leche can be cooked anywhere from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. By adjusting the cooking time you can create various consistencies. The longer you cook the milk, the more it will caramelize.
Pourable: For a runny consistency, cook the milk no longer than 1.5 hours. The caramel is light and still pourable, making it the perfect accompaniment to ice cream or coffee.
Spreadable: Simmering the tins (cans) for 2 hours will result in a spreadable Dulce de Leche. It’s a little darker and you can use on toast or sandwich it between cookies.
Cuttable: Cooking Dulce de Leche for 3 hours will make it dark and firm, almost cuttable, and can be used as a filling for cakes and pies. This version has a strong caramel flavor.
I prepared a little chart that shows how the color, flavor and consistency changes the longer you cook it.
Storage and shelf life of homemade Dulce de Leche
Dulce de Leche can be stored at room temperature and has the same shelf life as the uncooked condensed milk.
Tip: You can make a note of the best-before date on the printable labels.
Click on the button to download the free printable recipe and labels.