Food, Recipes, Spreads/Dips/Sauces

DIY Dulce de Leche

Last year I posted about receiving 2 jars of delicious Dulce de Leche (or in Portuguese Doce de Leite) from my cousin who had just returned from South America. Unsurprisingly the jars were finished a little too quickly. After some internet research I discovered you can buy the real deal from Mi Casa Fine Foods, or at a store called La Torre, 9 Nelson St Fairfield. But I really wanted to try and make my own. Not only is it cheaper, I can make it on demand whenever I wanted!

I have heard horror stories of tins of sweetened condensed milk exploding after being submerged in boiling water for too long and wanted to find an easier (and safer) method. I learnt from a friend that cooking the sweetened condensed milk in the oven not only is less stressful, but results in a richer and more caramelised final product. Sold.

DIY Dulce de Leche

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Author: Swah


  • 1 400 g can sweetened condensed milk
  • Sea salt optional


  • Preheat oven to 220°C.
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk into an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over sea salt if needed. Tightly cover the dish with foil.
  • Place covered dish in a roasting pan and fill with water until it comes 3/4 of the way up the oven-proof dish, to create a water bath.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 30 mins, checking every 30 mins to top up the water bath if need be (I had to top the water up once).
  • Once the mixture is nicely browned and caramelised, remove from the oven and let it cool down.
  • Once cool, whisk the dulce de leche until smooth.
  • Store in an airtight, clean container (I used a mason jar).

Here is a quick visual step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into an oven-proof dish.

Step 2. Tightly cover the dish with foil and fill the roasting pan 3/4 full with water to make a water bath.

Step 3. After cooking down the condensed milk for 1 hour and 30 mins, the mixture should be golden and caramelised.

Super easy, right? Now you can the recipes for 2 awesome homemade spreads! (the gluten and dairy-free Nutella recipe is here).

Need some ideas on what to make with this homemade dulce de leche? How about caramel-filled Bunny Biscuits? Or Sesame Seed Biscuits with Dulce de Leche, Banoffee Pie with Salted Pretzel Crust or Ginger Biscuits with Salted Caramel Buttercream?


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  • Reply milkteaxx April 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

    yum! i just made a big jar of salted caramel so i better polish that off quickly so i can make this!

    • Reply Swah April 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      What a good excuse to quickly finish off some salted caramel! Yum!

  • Reply Alana April 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Dude I am so glad to know I’m not the only person with exploding-can paranoia. Knowing you can DIY your own DDL (haha, DIYDDL lololol internet acronyms) is both a blessing and a curse, right? Saving that cash money but the ease and accessibility of making such deliciousness is terrifying. With great power comes great r̶e̶s̶p̶o̶n̶s̶i̶b̶i̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ restraint.

    • Reply Swah April 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for coining the awesome acronym DIYDDL, I am sure it will catch on! I am not really known for my restraint, might have to save this recipe for special occasions ;)

  • Reply Tina @ bitemeshowme April 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    still laughing at alana’s comment above haha. LOVE THIS! i need to tryyyyyyyy.. i have a ridiculous amount of condensed milk at home (we are massive viet coffee drinkers at home, and condensed milk and milo drinkers too). sounds too good for it incase the can explodes on me! weeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • Reply Swah April 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I LOVE viet coffee but I honestly can’t be trusted with sweetened condensed milk sitting around the house. I would be slurping on it *all* the time!

  • Reply Melanie April 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

    looks great. so going to have to make this!

    how long will it last for? (if it lasts?)

    • Reply Swah April 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Hey Melanie, it can last up to a month in an airtight container in the fridge, but I am sure it won’t last nearly that long ;)

  • Reply Elly April 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for this recipe!

    I brought a few jars of Dulce de Leche home with me from a trip to Argentina, and finished it way too quickly (I am a sucker for dulce de leche on toast). Can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply Swah April 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Dulce de Leche on toast sounds amazing! What a decadent breakfast. Now you can make it *all* the time, dangerous!

  • Reply Bob May 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Hnnghhh. This stuff is sooo good

    • Reply Swah May 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

      It’s dangerously addictive!!

  • Reply Laís October 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Doce de leite é muito bom !

    Here in brazil the home made candys are amaizing , I can teach if you want to !

    we eat a lot of rice and beens for lunch and dinner, so when my mother or I go cook the beens once a week because this way we have beens already cooked for the week . and is when we made “doce de leite”.

    We put the black beens on the “pressure cooker” with water to cook and we put one condensed milk to cook with the beens , take 30 min – 40 min !×439.jpg

    • Reply Swah October 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Oh that sounds absolutely delicious and such a clever idea!! I really need to visit Brazil :)

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  • Reply Carolena March 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Hi! I just made this – thanks for the instructions! It was sooooo good, we ate it all before it even cooled. Now I’ll have to work out a way to incorporate it into some of my recipes. I’m @fitfastfoods on IG, so I’ll search for you there as well😊😎
    Can’t believe how easy it was to make salted caramel equivalent. I’ve got lots of vegan friends so if you know a way to do this without cow’s milk, please let us know! Is there a sweetened condensed soy milk?

    • Reply Swah March 22, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Hi Carolena, I’ve seen sweetened condensed soy milk in Coles before, what a great idea – I’d love to make a vegan version!

  • Reply Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Dulce de Leche - Love Swah May 10, 2016 at 8:01 am

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