Dulce de leche — literally sweet milk or candy milk — is a sweet milky caramel, which, when made with this recipe, will typically have the consistency of peanut butter.
If you haven’t tried this popular flavor of Mexico and Latin America before, it’s really simple to make. In fact, it’s a one-ingredient recipe: you need only sweetened condensed milk. (Just make sure you’re not using evaporated milk.)
Dulce de leche recipes: stovetop, oven & microwave
While there are recipes out there that use slow cookers or pressure cookers to make caramel sauce from canned sweetened condensed milk, Carnation specifically states at the top of their recipe, “We do not recommend heating milk in the can.” (Apparently there’s this issue with cans of hot sugary milk bursting.) Betty Crocker has a workaround: their Slow-Cooker Dulce de Leche recipe has you use glass preserving jars instead.
But if you’re ready to give it a go right now, here’s a simple how-to on making your own dulce de leche, courtesy of Carnation.
Dulce de leche recipe for the stove
Pour 1 can (14 oz) Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove from heat. Beat until smooth.
Dulce de leche recipe for the oven
Preheat oven to 425 F. Pour 1 can (14 oz.) Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in shallow pan (pan should be larger than pie plate). Fill pan with hot water. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Pour milk into small mixer bowl; beat until smooth.
Pour 1 can (14 oz.) Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk into large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on MEDIUM (50%) power for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through heating time. Reduce power to MEDIUM-LOW (30%) power; cook for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring with wire whisk every few minutes, until thick and light caramel-colored.
Note: Microwave ovens may vary; adjust timing accordingly.