Dulce de Leche Recipe | Cook the Book

Robyn Lee

Dulce de Leche, that sweet caramely Spanish sauce may taste very friendly, but making it at home can be a bit of a nightmare. There are two basic methods for making dulce de leche at home. You can slowly (and I mean very slowly) simmer milk and sugar over low heat until it caramelizes and reduces to about a sixth of its original volume. This method is quite time consuming, but much preferred over the more popular method of boiling unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk for several hours.

I have had many delicious spoonfuls of dulce de leche made using the boiling-the-can method, but honestly, I would never try it at home after hearing that the cans might explode during the cooking process. The prospect of boiling hot metal and caramel spattering all over my kitchen is absolutely terrifying.

Thankfully, Stephanie O'Dea has come to the rescue again with her version of Crock-Pot dulce de leche from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. O'Dea eliminates the danger and the hours of watching the stove by employing the slow cooker. Using this method, the sweetened condensed milk is poured into an oven-safe container and placed in a water bath in the stoneware and left to cook and reduce for eight hours. No risk of explosion, just perfect dulce de leche ready to be spooned over ice cream or baked into a cake or crème caramel.

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Recipe Facts



Total: 0 mins
Serves: 2 to 8 servings

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  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • Oven safe ramekins
  • Water


  1. Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Find an oven-safe dish to insert into your stoneware. You can use individual ramekins or a casserole dish. Carefully pour water all around the dish, until the water reaches three-quarters of the way up the sides of the dish. Open the cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour into the inserted dish(es). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.