Forget the store-bought canned stuff, making REAL homemade dulce de leche from scratch is super easy – All you need is just 2 basic ingredients and one pot! Did I mention it tastes absolutely incredible?

Homemade dulce de leche (which literally means milk jam) is one of the most popular desserts in Latin America, and for all the good reasons!

**This post is sponsored by a2 Milk. All opinions are my own**

Made with really simple inexpensive ingredients, this luscious sauce has a nutty brown colour and deep caramelised toffee flavour that will totally win you over.

homemade dulce de leche in a small glass jar with teaspoon insideJust as caramel sauce, homemade dulce de leche can be drizzled over pretty much anything you like.

Brownies, ice cream, cookies, muffins, cheesecakes, cakes, pie (hello banoffee pie!), and almost any other dessert you can think of.

Other mouth-watering ways to totally rock your homemade dulce de leche include stirring it into a luxurious Italian hot chocolate, or using it as a dip for apple slices, for a health-ish treat.

But you know, the best way to eat it is with a spoon directly from the jar *careful when trying this at home, it’s totally addictive*!

Differences between Dulce de Leche and Caramel Sauce

You may think caramel sauce and dulce the leche are the same things but in fact, they’re not.

Although they share a similar process of caramelisation, they have different ingredients and timings.

homemade dulce de leche in small glass jar with hand holding a teaspoon dripping some dulce de leche
Dulce the leche is mainly made with cows’ milk (or goats’ milk for a Mexican version) and sugar.

The two ingredients are sloooowly cooked until the mixture turns first into condensed milk, then into a thick nutty-coloured spreadable mixture.

Caramel sauce, on the other hand, calls mainly for three ingredients: sugar, water and cream (but there’s also Chef Ramsay’s version made with butter in place of water).

With caramel sauce, the caramelisation process is quicker and the risk of burning is higher, so it needs a tiny bit more of attention.

For me, it’s dulce de leche all the way, even if it takes a little more time. The fresh milk and the slow process give it such a deep luxurious flavour and a gooey, totally drool-worthy texture.

Homemade Dulce De Leche Ingredients

Making homemade dulce de leche requires only one pot and super basic ingredients – milk and sugar (and optional baking soda), so make sure to choose them wisely.

homemade dulce de leche in small glass jar with teaspon inside, jar of dulce de leche and carton of a2 Milk in the background

The choice of milk for this recipe is absolutely critical. You will need fresh whole cows’ milk. To make my homemade dulce de leche, I opt for the award-winning brand a2 Milk™.

If you have not tried it yet, this one-of-kind milk is made from cows that naturally produce milk with only A2 protein and no A1 protein.

I’ve been a massive fan of this milk for as long as I can remember, and totally recommend it. 

I like to use organic turbinado sugar (or muscovado sugar) when making homemade dulce de leche, which adds a deeper colour and a richer aroma.

You can of course substitute with white sugar, but your dulce de leche will be lighter both in colour and flavour.

Once the milk is heated and the sugar dissolved, even though is not necessary, you can add a pinch of baking soda.

The baking soda helps to prevent lumps and encourages the Maillard reaction.

Be careful when adding the baking soda, as the mixture will briefly bubble quite violently.

How To Make Homemade Dulce De Leche – Video Tutorial

Once you’ve got your ingredients covered, making homemade dulce de leche couldn’t be easier.

Milk, sugar and optional baking soda are slowly simmered until most of the water evaporates and, with the help of Maillard reaction, the sauce reaches a gooey texture and a rich golden-brown colour.

Take a look at my step-by-step video tutorial below to make dulce de leche at home.


homemade dulce de leche in a small glass jar with teaspoon inside
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Dulce De Leche

Forget the store-bought canned stuff, making REAL homemade dulce de leche from scratch is super easy – All you need is just 2 basic ingredients and one pot! Did I mention it tastes absolutely incredible?
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: South American
Keyword: dessert, dulce de leche
Servings: 300 g
Author: Andrea


  • 1 lt fresh whole a2 Milk™
  • 200 g muscovado or turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • Place the milk and sugar into a large saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat just below a simmer.
  • Stir the ingredients until the sugar is fully dissolved, then add the baking soda and stir (it will bubble briefly then it will stabilize).
  • Keep the mixture just below a simmer over low heat, stirring every 10 minutes for about 2 hours.
  • Once the mixture begins to turn brown, start stirring it continuously and lower the heat to a minimum.
  • The homemade dulce de leche is done when it reaches a deep caramel colour and a thick but gooey texture. 
  • If not perfectly smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer or give it a quick mix with an immersion blender.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one month.


Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!


Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

Tasty Newsletter

Get the latest delicious recipes and news straight into your inbox: