DIY Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche
What if I told you that there is a no-mess and hassle-free way to make dulce de leche? What if I told you that you could make dulce de leche while you wear a fancy dress, or while you sleep? Its true! I have been making dulce de leche while I’m snug as a bug in my bed. How you ask? In my slow cooker!
Break out your slow cooker and make your own Latin caramel at home! It’s incredibly easy to do and makes a fantastic homemade gift. Add a tag and some ribbon or twine, and your homemade gift is complete. Sweet!
Literally translated, dulce de leche means “candy of milk.” This creamy, sweet spread, comprised of milk and sugar that’s been slowly cooked until the sugars caramelize, is smooth and silky, with a look and feel akin to caramel, but with a flavor that’s more complex, and a sweetness that’s far less overwhelming.
Because the slow and low cooking method coaxes the flavors from the milk and sugar, it’s an ideal project for your trusty slow cooker. Yes, you can purchase cans of pre-made dulce de leche at the grocery store, but it’s is so simple to make yourself, and makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, teachers or anyone else who would appreciate a little something sweet this holiday season.
To make this delicious Mexican caramel in your slow cooker all you need is one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. This method requires no stirring and is virtually mess-free. Start by gathering six, four-ounce glass preserving jars with lids and bands, and two 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk.
Put your freshly made dulce de leche to use in any of these recipes:
- Dulce de Leche and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Shortbread Cookies)
- Apple Pecan Skillet Cake with Dulce de Leche Glaze
- Strawberry-Filled Crepes Drizzled with Boozy Dulce de Leche
- Rustic Tartlets Filled with Dulce de Leche, Strawberries, and Mango
Get the step-by-step tutorial for DIY Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche over at Betty Crocker.
Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche
- 6 four-ounce glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- Start by washing your preserving jars, screw bands and lids with hot soapy water; rinse well with warm water.
- Open the cans and pour the sweetened condensed milk into the jars. The two cans should fill six small jars.
- Place the lids on the jars and screw on the ring tops tightly. Place the jars in the slow cooker and fill with hot water so one-inch of water covers the tops of the jars. Cook on low for 10 hours.
- After 10 hours, remove the jars with tongs. Be careful—it’ll be hot!
- Place the jars on a dish towel until they cool down to room temperature. Gently remove the ring, and wipe off any water or rust that may have accumulated.
- Store your cooked and cooled dulce de leche in the fridge for up to four weeks. To reheat, place jar in a saucepan filled with water half-way up the jar and bring to simmer.
Recipe: Yvette / Photos: Yvette + Jeanine / Wardrobe Stylist: Fashion Forward / Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist: Samantha Koch Beauty
14 Comments on “DIY Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche”
Do you have to store the jars in the refrigerator or can they be stored in your pantry which is cool, dark and dry?
Great idea! Love this! I have a few questions and hope you can help me, Would the jars be sealed to be able to keep them on the shelf for a couple of weeks? I would like to make those in the Instant Pot and maybe cook them for 40 minutes in pressure cook. Should I cover the jars with water like you did in the crock pot? Thank you so much!
Oh I love this!
Your post is 5 years old so I’m doubtful you’ll even see this comment but I’ll ask anyway! In this recipe you’re using 120ml jars and the cooking time is 10 hours. Do you think that I’ll have to increase the cooking time if I use 160ml jars (and decrease it for 80ml jars)?
I’m really impressed by your method! I have an Instant Pot and I’m planning on producing several dozens of jars and sell them in a fundraising event for a physical rehabilitation center 🙂
This took a while to find – I was looking for “cajetas” which I take is not mexican but originates from South America (???) but both basically a great caramel variant!
A question however, what was used prior to the availability of condensed milk? I like to stick to “traditional” ingredients and methods as much as practical for any cultural foods.
Dulce de Leche is a milk preserve and a Latin America and Central America treasure! Its basically made with a good quality milk cooked with sugar and reduced until its a caramel brown color. Using condensed milk and slow-cooker method is a shortcut. Otherwise you will need to be stirring a pot for about 2 hours.
Cajeta is made using goats milk. Hope that makes sense 😉
This sounds amazing and I love that you can make it in a slow cooker!
Wow, this is amazing upon amazing! I can’t wait to try it!!
Yvette – what a brilliant idea! This has to be one of the easiest recipes I’ve made and I loved that there was nothing to clean afterward. The dulce de leche delicious on toast.
Making these today! Can’t wait to taste it! Giving them away as gifts to friends & family.
I’m going to make this today and bring along with me for x-mas gatherings! Looks yummy!
This looks amazing! My girlfriend, who is from Argentina, got me hooked on Dulce de Leche. I would love to try the homemade version 🙂
I already started on this easy method of making dulce de leche. These are going to be in my gift baskets, Its so good, I especially like it with apple slices, ummm.
What a great way to make homemade gifts! I’ve only seen this idea when you put the whole jar of sweetened condensed milk in the crock pot but your method of pouring it into the individual jars makes it mess-free when it is done. Love it!