Dulce de Leche Crockpot Recipe

It's so easy to make Dulce de Leche caramel in the slow cooker! Toss in a few cans overnight and that's it!!

Depending on where you live (and if you don’t have a Mexican market nearby) Dulce de Leche can be pretty pricey.

Dulce de Leche from Condensed Milk

Dulce de Leche from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Some of the ingredients in those pricey little jars can be a little “iffy” too. Since it’s commonly made from sweetened condensed milk (admittedly not the healthiest thing, either) it’s pretty simple to make it at home.

There are various methods and I think I’ve tried them all over the years:

  • I’ve made it completely from scratch (use a double boiler and be prepared to stir and stir and stir) which is a pain in the you know what.
  • I’ve made it by simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk stove-top, which is NOT recommended.
  • I’ve made it in the crockpot with canning jars – you’ll want to leave a little headspace and very, very carefully tighten the rings only until you feel resistance. This is considered to be the safest way because as the heat the contents, the air can be forced out.
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

I usually just set cans of sweetened condensed milk (no need to remove the labels, they’ll just fall off) in the crockpot and let them caramelize away to caramelly goodness overnight, 10 hours on low. I’ve heard there is a possibility that the cans could explode, but never had a problem. So I’m taking a few chances, I know.

Individual Dulce de Leche Apple Crisp

Individual Dulce de Leche Apple Crisp

What you’re left with is a somewhat grody can (remove them carefully and set them to dry on something you don’t care about until cool) and the most caramelly goodness inside.

Buy your sweetened condensed milk during the holiday sales (when so many baking goods are at their lowest and coupons are available) and you’ll have bargain priced Dulce de Leche all year long.

Dulce de Leche from Condensed Milk - yes, the cans do NOT look attractive but wait till you see what's inside!

Dulce de Leche from Sweetened Condensed Milk – yes, the cans do NOT look attractive but wait till you see what’s inside!

Dulce de Leche

  • Servings: 1 can
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Place a can of sweetened condensed milk in the slow cooker. Add water to a level two inches above the cans. Add lid and cook for 10 hours on low.

May be stored at room temperature.

Alternate method:

Open a can of sweetened condensed milk, stir to distribute contents evenly. Put in canning jar, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace, clean off the lip, add the lid, then rings. Tighten only until resistance is felt. Place in crockpot. Add water to cover by two inches. Add lid and cook for 10 hours on low.

Must be stored in the refrigerator.

With either recipe, cool to room temperature before opening.

from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #38 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I’ll also be bring this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.


21 thoughts on “Dulce de Leche Crockpot Recipe

  1. AWESOME !!
    You mention that dulce de leche can be pricey, but here I have a problem finding kosher condensed milk, so I always(!) have to make my own.
    As for dulce the leche – I should try your version once ans see, as I always use the oven, and not the stove.

    • I think the key to whichever method you use, if it’s in the can, is to cover with at least two inches of water. That helps to stabilize the temperature.

      I feel for you because I’ve made my own condensed milk and what a pain that was!! Lots and lots of attention and stirring!

  2. I’ve always wanted to do this. Some recipes put the the can in the oven too I think??? A little scary, though. Yup, I’m chicken alright 😄 but I think I should just go ahead and try. What’s the worst that could happen, right?!

    • I’ve done it a few times with no problem but then I just figured what was the worst that could happen? Even if the can did have too much pressure it would have to go through the heavy crockpot lid. I don’t think those cans would propel out with too much force – but now that I’ve said that just watch, I’ll probably be cleaning dulce de leche off my kitchen ceiling, lol!!

  3. Yum!! It looks so good and so easy. I really do need to give this a try one of these days. You are smart to stock up on sweetened condensed milk during the holidays. I need to start doing that!

    • It’s kind of funny coz my folks have never shopped well – they were a little stunned when I came home with a dozen cans of condensed milk and about 8 pounds of butter, lol! And let’s not mention the tuna fish I bought during Lent!!

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