Make our homemade dulce de leche recipe, then check out our dulce de leche cheesecake, alfajores and more easy dulce de leche recipes.

What is dulce de leche?

Popular throughout Latin America, dulce de leche is essentially a caramelised milk that is similar in flavour to caramel, but less sweet and with a more intense dairy flavour. Serve it drizzled over banana pancakes, swirled through brownies, or spooned over vanilla ice cream with a sprinkle of sea salt for easy wow-factor.

How to make the perfect dulce de leche: cook's tips

  • An alternative, less labour-intensive method is to place an unopened 397g can of condensed milk in a pan of simmering water and cook for 2-3 hours, depending on how caramelised you like it, topping up with water to ensure it's always fully submerged. Leave to cool fully in the water before opening to reveal a deep, glossy caramel within. Whisk until smooth then store in a sterilised jar.
  • To sterilise your jars, wash them thoroughly in warm, soapy water. Rinse well and dry in the oven at 150C for 15 mins.

How to store dulce de leche: Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. Freeze for up to free months in an airtight freezer-safe container.

How to serve dulce de leche: Gently warm portions of dulce de leche in a pan over a low heat or microwave to achieve a drizzling consistency. Use to top your favourite desserts, from New York cheesecake to chocolate fondants, or simply drizzle over ice cream.

Dulce de leche recipe


  • 200g soft light muscovado sugar
  • 1 litre whole milk, at room temperature


  • STEP 1

    Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Sprinkle over the sugar and swirl the pan to encourage it to melt evenly. Avoid stirring – you may need to gently poke it with a wooden spoon if it clumps in spots. Cook until fully melted and a dark golden colour.

  • STEP 2

    Pour over the milk. The sugar will seize and turn crunchy at this point, but as the milk warms up the sugar will dissolve fully. Once dissolved, turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for 2 hrs 30 mins-3 hrs, stirring every 10-15 mins with a wooden spoon, or ideally a heatproof rubber spatula, to prevent the mixture from turning lumpy or burning on the base of the pan. If small lumps start to appear, blend the mix with a stick blender until smooth.

  • STEP 3

    When the mixture starts to turn a darker caramel colour and thicken, reduce the heat to low and stir constantly, taking care it doesn’t burn onto the base of the pan. The dulce de leche is ready when it is a thick, glossy consistency, holds it shape when drizzled and is a deep golden colour. Carefully spoon into a sterilised jar.

Discover more dulce de leche recipes.

Dulce De Leche Banana Bread Recipe


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