My recent adventures with dulce de leche have convinced me this is what everyone is getting for Christmas!

I’ve seen people raving about the flavors before, but I never understood till kitchen curiosity made me stick a couple of unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk, submerged under water, in my pressure cooker for 2 hours.

The resulting concoction is pure bliss. Thick sweet caramel full of fruity tropical flavors (pineapple, I swear!). It’s a rounder more complex flavor than your standard caramel. The longer you cook the sweetened condensed milk the darker the dulce de leche will be. I took a can to three hours in the pressure cooker and now have a sample that is full of coffee-like bittersweet roasted sweet flavors.

The sandwiched Alfajores a la Adam cookies at Matt Bites inspired me to spread my dulce de leche on chocolate shortbread, which I then topped with a sprinkle of chunky crunchy hawaiian salt.

What else can you do with this sweet stuff? I’ve been using my dulce de leche in place of sugar in several dessert recipes:

Admittedly, lingering on a mouth loved spoon is my most frequent dulce de leche use so far.

More Dulce de Leche Ideas


posted November 10th, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Dulce de leche is the best! I love it. Dulce de leche ice cream is very good too…

yes- we’re just working our way through a pint of the cinnamon dulce de leche that Häagen-Dazs puts out. Dangerously good.


- linda
posted November 10th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Why oh why did you remind me of your DDL shortbread…oh yeah DDL is the code at the house for “do you have a jar of sweet crack?”!! I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you they will be made tomorrow!

- Tartelette
posted November 11th, 2007 at 8:06 am

Last year at Christmas, I made molded dark Chocolates which I filled with the dolce de leche… So good, so addictive.

- Linda
posted November 11th, 2007 at 8:21 am

I’m going to try this for sure…The salt just tops the whole thing off. I never thought about doing it in a pressure cooker.

- Laura
posted November 12th, 2007 at 7:20 am

Try mashing a banana and mixing some dulce de leche into it. Doesn’t look too good, but your kids won’t have anything else for dessert…

I think this could pass as a pudding variant really well.


- Celia Ammann
posted November 15th, 2007 at 11:29 am

I can see this becoming a new addiction. You could put this stuff on anything and it would rock. With fruit, that’s an excellent idea.

- Sherry
posted November 15th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

All very delicious sounding ideas! I love dulce de leche flavoring.

- Hillary
posted November 21st, 2007 at 8:21 am

This is one of those posts that makes me happy and that I also kind of wish I’d never found. I love dulce de leche, but the last thing I need is even MORE ways to eat it. Yum. I really like the cranberry dulce de leche frosted cupcakes on epicurious. And dulce de leche ice cream is surprisingly easy to make (and so delicious).

- Hanne
posted November 21st, 2007 at 11:10 pm

hi! the dulce de leche sounds great!

i have a bit of concern though: i’ve been wanting to try making the stuff but my boyfriend (he went to cooking school) says that they’ve been taught not to even let their cans get wet, let alone get boiled as this may result in lead poisoning. something about tin cans.

sorry it sounds scary but i’m really quite worried about whether this is true or not. is there any way we know for sure? thanks much!

Sorry Den, I this sounds like an urban legend.

Food cans used in preservation are coated tin and steel- no lead. The only possibly way to get lead poisoning from a food can is if it was soldered with lead- a practice that is not in existence in most countries.

Heating cans of condensed milk will not give you lead poisoning.

Thanks for bringing this up so we can look into the facts.


- den
posted July 2nd, 2008 at 3:35 pm

ddl soundslike it has chocolate in it

- brianna
posted April 6th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

One great way of using the Dulce de Leche is making Banoffee Pie. So good! If you make your own pie crust with some ground ginger and layer that with sliced bananas, the toffe, and then homemade whip cream you will literally feel like you’re in Heaven!

- Katrina
posted April 26th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Sounds really good, but how safe is it to cook that way?

My gut reaction would be that water inside the can would turn to steam and expand, possibly making the can explode.

Is the condensed milk just so low in water content that this isn’t an issue? How did the cans look when you were done, normal, or bulged out to some degree?

Theoretically the cans could explode (as theoretically you could get hit by a car), but they generally don’t. I’ve never had a can explode. Also note- my procedure using a pressure cooker, which is another layer of insulation. There are many other places on the internet where this is argued and discussed.


- The Dude
posted June 9th, 2009 at 9:20 am

Two hours? Low pressure?

More input, please! Sounds perfect. We love it…and can get the goat milk stuff which is excellent.

- Carolyn
posted June 25th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

The first time I had dulce de leche was an accident. I found a can of condensed milk that was hiding in back corner of my pantry. The can was old but undamaged and not bulging so I opened it so I could examine the contents. The contents looked pretty strange, all brown and quite thick, not at all like the normal appearance of condense milk. But being adventurous and not at all cautious, I tasted it. Yum, natural dulce de leche. I don’t recommend following my example- use the pressure cooker, slow-cooker or sauce-pan methods or any of those that are deemed as safer (the “safe” methods all remove the contents from the can before some kind of heat processing), but do try it. You will think your taste buds have gone to heaven.

- Mary
posted July 24th, 2011 at 12:51 am

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