How To Make Dulce de Leche

When was the last time you needed ONE ingredient to make a recipe? Well here it is. This recipe for Dulce-de-Leche in cooker (DDL) needs only one ingredient – CONDENSED MILK.

Before diving into the recipe, let’s first understand a few things about DDL.

What is Dulce De Leche

DDL is a deep toffee flavored confection that is also called “Mexican caramel.” It has its roots in South/Latin America where it’s used abundantly in a variety of desserts and baked goods. The first time I tried DDL right out of a jar, I think I heard angels singing from the heavens. It was the best thing I’d ever eaten! 


Difference between DDL and Caramel

DDL looks very similar to caramel sauce, however the main difference between the two is that while caramel is made by the process of heating sugar, DDL is made by reducing milk and sugar by cooking it for a long time. Fortunately we live in the times of readily available condensed milk, which is what this recipe uses to cut down on the cooking time for DDL drastically. There are two ways to make DDL using condensed milk – in a pressure cooker and in a pot. The former is quicker although you just need to exercise some caution to avoid any kitchen accidents. That said, making DDL is quite easy and the only thing you need to worry about is how crazily addictive it is.

What Condensed milk to use

You can use literally any brand of condensed milk to make this. I’ve made it with Nestle and Amul that are easily available on Indian retail shelves. However, if the tin has any kind of plastic top, please remove that before cooking. Also wash your tin before submerging it in the water.  

Pressure Cooker Method

This is my preferred method to make DDL because it is the quickest. However since we’re working with a closed can inside a pressure cooker, you just need to make sure you understand the steps well. Additionally, remember these tips:

  • Use a cooker with a tight lid.
  • Make sure there is enough water to submerge the can completely. The water level should not go below the can.
  • Do not move the cooker during the cooking process.
  • Do not try and release pressure or open the cooker on your own. Wait for at least 2 hours till the cooker is completely cool and all the pressure has been released on it’s own.
How to make Dulce de leche in cooker

Take a pressure cooker large enough to hold your condensed milk can sideways. Do not try and leave your can standing with too much space on the sides. I know people who cook 2 or 3 cans at a time although I do not recommend doing that. Fill enough water to submerge the can plus at least an inch more above the can. I use filtered water just in case there is any chance of the tiniest drop going into the can. You want to ensure that the water level doesn’t go below the top of the can during the cooking. 

Close the lid, don’t put the whistle on, and start the flame on medium. In about 5-8 minutes, you’ll see the steam starting to escape from the vent. In a smaller cooker, this may happen faster. 

As soon as you see the wisps of steam, reduce the flame to the lowest, and place the whistle on the cooker. Now this is when your caramel will begin to thicken. You need to decide how thick or thin you want to confection to be and accordingly adjust for cooking time. I like a slightly thicker base to use in desserts. Thus I cook for exactly 25 minutes. If you prefer it runnier, switch off the flame between 18-22 minutes. 

It’s VERY IMPORTANT to let the cooker cool completely. Do not try and release the pressure on your own. I usually wait for 2-3 hours before opening the cooker and leave the kitchen fan on. Here’s another thing I do. If I know I need DDL on a particular day, I will make it the night before, switch off the flame, and leave the cooker on the gas overnight so it cools slowly and by morning I have it ready.  

Pot/ Pan Method

This is almost the same process as the Dulce de leche in cooker method, however it takes much longer – between 2-3 hours. If you want to try this method, use a pot with a tight lid, submerge the tin completely, and cook the DDL for 2 hours on a low flame. If you want a thicker DDL, cook for 2.5-3 hours.

How to use and store DDL? 

DDL can be used in a variety of desserts as a topping or a filling. You can sandwich it between the layers of a cake or cookies, or use it to make the best ever DDL Brownies or make banoffee pie with it – my personal favorite.

If not using immediately, store it by transferring the contents to a glass or any other airtight container. The DDL will store well up to 4 weeks inside a refrigerator. 

Lots of people on my Instagram have been making this. Have you tried it yet?  

Dulce de Leche

A rich toffee like confection that you will not be able to stop eating!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 1 can Condensed Milk



  • Take a pressure cooker large enough to hold your condensed milk can sideways and fill enough water to submerge the can plus atleast an inch more above the can.
  • Close the lid, and put the cooker on a medium-high flame. Don’t put the whistle yet. As soon as you see the steam start to escape from the vent, put on the whistle.
  • After ONE whistle, reduce the flame to the lowest level, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • If you want your DDL thicker you need to cook longer – between 25-30 minutes and if you want it a little thinner, then you need to cook it for a shorter time 20-25 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame, and let the pressure drop on it’s own. Do not touch the cooker or move it during this period. I usually wait for about 2-3 hours before opening the cooker. Once cool, remove the lid, take out the can and let the can cool again for 30-60 minutes.
  •  Open the can and enjoy your DDL. Transfer to an airtight container and store for upto 2 weeks. 

Join the Conversation

  1. Pooja jain says:

    Thank u maam to share this wonderful recipe n waiting for more such recipe which will help me to do many good recipe for my kids

  2. Hi mam it looks delicious.. As i hve no idea in baking but want to learn baking can u suggest me in which recipe vll DDL b used n how.. TIA..

    1. Hi Ramya, there are two recipes on the blog you could use the DDL is – DDL brownies and the Banoffee Pie cups. I hope you try them!

  3. Paruldokania says:

    Hi pooja is der any thing else instead of whipped cream to be used on top ,as my daughter has allergy to cream so..
    Pl reply thanks

    1. Hi Parul, In which recipe are you looking to replace whipped cream?

  4. Hello Pooja. I have an open can of condensed milk with half of it left. Any tips on how to make dulce de leche from that as cant put the lid back on and it’s been transferred to another jar. Thanks????

    1. Hi Hina, I haven’t tried making DDL with an opened can of condensed milk. Although I have seen a recipe for it which mentioned simmering the condensed milk with sugar for several hours on a slow flame. Maybe you could look up something?

  5. Nisha Prajapati says:

    Hello! Ma’am I have tried your technique and recipe and it came out perfect ❤️.
    Also I have tried 2 cans at a time nd both are equally perfect .
    Thanks a lot ????

    1. Great to hear that Nisha. ????

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