Dulce de leche. A tutorial.

Some call it dulce de leche.  Some say cajeta.  Some refer to it as leche quemada.  I call it one of the easiest recipes I  will ever share with you.  While it is undoubtedly time consuming, it couldn’t be simpler to make.  And homemade dulce de leche (and I don’t mean from a can of sweetened, condensed milk) is unparalleled in deliciousness.  I mean it.  Val is currently experimenting with making it in a slow-cooker to minimize the attention that needs to be paid to the dulce de leche in progress, but for now, invest the time.  It’s worth it.


Yes.  That is a quart of Dulce de Leche.  It’s one of three quarts I made a couple days ago.  I made, what else, a double batch.  If I’m spending 5 hours watching a pot, I’m going to get a good return on my time.

Homemade Honest-to-goodness Dulce de Leche


Make some now and you can keep it in the fridge for a couple months in a tightly lidded container.  A spoonful of this is good for what ails you. 



3 quarts milk (use goat milk for the most authentic flavor)

3 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda


In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot, whisk together 1 cup of the milk with the sugar and the baking soda until smooth.  Add the remaining milk and turn heat or flame up to medium high.  Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by just under half and a gorgeous caramel brown.  This will take anywhere from an hour to five hours depending on your milk and weather conditions.  I am not joking.  Humidity plays a huge part in how fast your dulce de leche caramelizes and the water in it evaporates.  Remember that the caramel will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry about it being looser than you think it ought to be.  You can always return it to the pan after cooling and caramelize it further but you can’t take back over-cooked!


Pour hot caramel into clean jars, top with clean two-piece lids and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.  Eat this.  Often.


  1. says

    I love, love, love the goat’s milk version of this but have never made my own. Of course I probably shouldn’t since I’m the only one who can/will eat it in our house. It looks awesome!

  2. martina says

    Have you heard of anyone making this w/ splenda? My father loved this growing up, but can’t have sugar now.. Thank you for this….

  3. Rebecca says

    Bellini- This does take a while, but it’s so, so worth it.

    Janel- It is too yummy. Would you like some of mine so that I don’t eat all 3 quarts solo?

    maggie- I used goat’s milk in this. I say make a wee bit for yourself and sock it away in the back of the fridge. Mommy’s little helper, right?

    Martina- I have not personally made it with Splenda, but I searched the Splenda site and found this recipe: http://splenda.allrecipes.com/Recipe/Recipe.aspx?nprid=152983 It looks like it might be a close approximation. If you try it, please let me know!

    Ashley- Not weird at all. In fact, it sounds like we could be very good friends if you serve dulce de leche in coffee at your house. I frequently stir it into my almond toffee dinner tea. Mmmmm.

  4. says

    Bstar- I know it’s good for at least a month (and I’ve had it go 2 months safely in the fridge in a mason jar before finishing it!) How far beyond that it could go I can’t say for a certainty. It’s incredibly high in sugar and contains bicarbonate of soda, both preservatives, so it stands a good chance of going on longer than that. I’ve never had it last longer than 2 months, even making a gallon at a time!

  5. camila says

    awsome recipe. dulce de leche is so so so so delicious, i love it. i’m from argentina, so i can buy it almost anywhere, but once i tried to make my own and failed horribly. i’m gonna try this again tomorrow, sounds like goat milk is a good idea.

  6. Peg says

    Hi Rebecca, any thoughts on using a more natural sugar such as maple or honey? Also when I am making foods that need to reduce and I feel like I do not have a ton of time to spend in front of the stove, I place it in a low oven and stir every once in a while. For me, it seems as though it scorches less. Any thoughts on this idea???? Also, you said Val was experimenting with a crock pot version, how did it turn out? Thanks a bunch for th e good ideas.


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