Easy Dulce de Leche

For a very long time, I’ve wanted to make dulce de leche using sweetened condensed milk. If you’ve never had this amazing treat, think of a super-soft caramel-like substance that comes straight from the kitchens in heaven. Dulce de leche (say it out loud: dul-say de lay-chay) is an amazing confection found in South American cuisine, and in the United States, in treats like cheesecake and ice cream.

The “real” way of making this confection involves heating milk and sugar and slowly cooking it over the course of several hours. But if you don’t have, say, four to five hours to stand by the stove and stir your milk and sugar, you can go the easy route, as I did here. And yes, that’s a pig timer on my counter in the photo to the left. I bet he’d like this treat.

What You’ll Need

  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Large soup or stock pot
  • Enough water to cover the can by at least 2 inches

What You’ll Do

Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk.

Place the can on its side in the bottom of a large soup or stock pot and fill with lukewarm water.

Bring water to a boil, then turn down the heat and continue to simmer for 2-3 hours. VERY IMPORTANT: check your water level every 30 minutes and make sure it’s at least 2 inches above the can. If not, add boiling water to the pot and continue cooking. I simmered my dulce de leche for about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the pot from the heat, and carefully remove the can from the water. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. BEWARE: do not try to open the can while it’s hot. The dulce de leche could explode out of the can, causing goodness knows what kind of injuries. Nobody wants to have to go to the emergency department because they couldn’t wait until their dulce de leche cooled completely, right?

Once the can is cool, pop it open and pour your dulce de leche into a container to store it in the fridge for about 1 month.