Home » Recipes » Homemade Dulce De Leche – 2 Ways

Homemade Dulce De Leche – 2 Ways

Homemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.comWe made it to Friday, yay! It has been a busy week for me, back to the regular work schedule. I had about a month of downtime, but I’m glad to be working again. If you don’t know me yet (but you will), I guess I should tell you… I work as a process engineer for a small consulting firm in the oil and gas industry (woah, that was a mouthful). Yeah, it has absolutely nothing to do with bread and pastries. I do a lot of calculations and play with programs instead of measuring flour and creaming butter. So this is fun for me, making things, edible things, taking pictures of them and then eating lots and lots, is fun! It’s kind of like a hobby gone wild. Plus, this is how I make friends. I lure them in with sweet treats, and my house is made out of cookies and candies…

Despite the calculations and programs, I really really like my job, a lot! I get to work from home. No commuting in the infamous L.A. traffic, no need to comb my hair or put on a suit… I used to commute (before this job) and about 2 hours of my day would be spent on the road. There wouldn’t be any time left in the day to make this Dulce de leche.

Homemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.comSo I think there are just about two ways you can make Dulce de leche, one with condensed milk and one with regular milk and sugar. Although, there are many different ways you can cook the condensed milk into Dulce de leche, I only used the oven method here. Cooking condensed milk in the oven was very easy going, you just have to check on it once during cooking to stir it up, then pop it back into the oven until it is done. Meanwhile, cooking milk and sugar on the stove top takes a lot of patience, a lot of stirring, and a lot more time. It took me about 4 hours with the stove on low heat. I think it would cook faster on a higher heat setting, but you would have to watch it constantly to avoid over boiling and burning your milk mixture.

Homemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.comHomemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.comHomemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.comI wanted to make this both from condensed milk and milk + sugar to see which one yields the best tasting Dulce de leche. And I have to give it to the milk + sugar method, hands down. Right off the stove, it yields a smoother texture, it is less sweet, even less salty (but this might be my fault for sprinkling too much salt on the condensed milk, adjust as you please), and the flavor is more complex with the addition of vanilla bean. So if you have 4 hours to spare this weekend, make some Dulce de leche! Lick the spoon for me please, it is oh soooo good!

Homemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.com

Homemade dulce de leche on wildwildwhisk.com

Dulce de leche - 2 ways

Method 1 makes 1.5 cups
Method 2 makes 1 cup
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 to 1.5 cup
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Trang


Method 1: with milk and sugar

  • 1 quart of whole milk (4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean (split with the seeds scraped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of table salt

Method 2: with condensed milk

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For Method 1:

  • Put milk, sugar and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean pod and seeds) in a large sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally.
  • When sugar completely dissolves, add baking soda and salt. Reduce to low heat and cook for 3 ½ to 4 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally. If using vanilla bean pod and seeds, you’ll need to remove the pod after cooking for an hour.
  • Skim off foam as necessary (if there is too much).
  • In the last hour of cooking, stir the mixture frequently and reduce heat to the lowest setting if necessary, the mixture will bubble more rapidly.
  • Reduce the mixture to about 1 ½ cups. When it thickens and the color is caramel brown, it is ready.
  • Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature.

For Method 2:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Pour condensed milk into a pie dish, sprinkle salt over the top. Cover with foil.
  • Place covered pie dish into a roasting pan. Fill the pan with hot water half way up the side of the pie dish. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove roasting pan from the oven, and remove pie dish from the water bath. Uncover the dish carefully and whisk the mixture until smooth, 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Cover the dish and return to the water bath. Add more water if necessary. Place the roasting pan back into the oven and bake for 1 ½ hour more.
  • Remove from the oven, and remove pie dish from the water bath. Uncover and whisk the dulce de leche until smooth, 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature.


  • Cooking time estimate is for Method 1. Method 2 will take about 2 hours 45 minutes.
  • I found that the Dulce de leche made from condensed milk was a tad too salty, adjust salt to your taste.
  • Calories are estimated based on 1 tablespoon serving.


Serving: 25g | Calories: 80kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

Method 1 is based on Alton Brown’s Dulce de leche. Method 2 is based on CHOW. I use vanilla bean paste for most recipes that call for whole vanilla bean, it comes in a jar, and it is a lot cheaper than whole bean. This is the brand of vanilla bean paste I usually use: Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Paste (<- Amazon affiliate link, thank you for supporting my blog). You can pick it up at your local Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table too, if you’re like me and can’t wait for the shipping. (although I have been using Amazon’s prime, and it is pretty awesome!)


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  1. Pat Merick
    July 9, 2020 /

    5 stars
    It seems to me that the stove top method would be very easy to burn. I wonder if I could adapt the oven method to the stove top ingredients. you mentioned the saltiness of the condensed milk method. Why add the salt? I don’t see it as necessary to the evaporation process. Love the idea of making these types of things at home. I am hooked on making my own vanilla and even found a recipe for vanilla paste that I have made now. i enjoy the creative process of cooking and enjoy knowing exactly what I am eating. Thank you for your website. you have awesome information I have not seen anywhere else.

    • Trang
      July 10, 2020 /

      Hi Pat, when you’re cooking on the stove top, you definitely need to pay attention to whatever it is that you’re cooking or you’ll burn it. So stirring and checking in on it every once in a while is necessary, especially when you get down to the caramelization part. The salt is not needed for evaporation, more for flavor, sugar needs salt to balance out, but I may have over did the salt since there is already a little bit of salt present in the condensed milk (check the nutrition label in the back). I have never done the milk+sugar in the oven, I would imagine it should work since you’re applying heat to it either way, but I think you still need to check on it and stir it every so often to make sure the mixture is not being cooked too quickly at the bottom or side of whatever pot you’re using and to make sure the sugar is being distributed evenly.

  2. Sharon
    June 6, 2019 /

    This on looks fantastic. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. May 20, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I adore dulce de leche. I’ve made the condensed milk method. Can’t wait to try the milk + sugar method.

  4. June 23, 2018 /

    5 stars
    Love it! I made dulce de leche by baking it yesterday and it was pretty great!! I used to always just boil the can. Thanks for the inspiration!! I love dulce de leche!! If you ever get a chance, try Brazilian or Argentinean dulce de leche! They make the best dulce de leche ever!!

    • Trang
      June 23, 2018 /

      Thanks Cam! I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t realize there are so many different versions of Dulce de Leche. Will be sure to check them out next time. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  5. Vanessa @ Vanessa Baked
    September 9, 2014 /

    Oh man, this looks so spoon worthy! I like the two different ways of making this dulce de leche. Great pictures, too!

    • Trang
      September 9, 2014 /

      Thank you so much Vanessa!

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