A super simple method for making Dulce De Leche in the Instant Pot, this one-ingredient dulce de leche is perfect for using in a variety of dessert recipes or as a dip or ice cream topping!
Instant Pot Dulce de Leche Recipe
Dulce de leche is often translated to “candy of milk” and this buttery caramel sauce truly is that.
A sweet, luscious caramel sauce that adds amazing flavor to just about anything it’s added to, dulce de leche is an essential ingredient in any home baker’s kitchen, but it sometimes be tricky to find a great dulce de leche that doesn’t have a crazy price tag.
Making dulce de leche on the stovetop takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours, and you have to watch and stir it often to prevent it from scorching.
No, thank you.
This Instant Pot dulce de leche on the other hand – there’s no clean up. There’s no babysitting the stove. And there’s no awful risk of burning the caramel and having that horrible smell clinging to your kitchen. Literally two minutes of prep time and you have an amazing dulce de leche that you can use is so many different ways!
Is it safe to heat an aluminum can in the Instant Pot? OK, so there’s an official answer and the “cook answer.” Mexican and Brazilian bakers have for years boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk or placed them in stove top pressure cookers as a cheap and easy alternative to traditional dulce de leche. This method is so common that many sweetened condensed milk brands have put warnings on their labels encouraging home cooks not to do it.
But… we do it anyways. I personally feel okay using this method by ensuring that my can has no imperfections, that it is completely submerged in water, and allowing it to cool down completely before attempting to open it. However, I’m not going to say that it is completely safe and that the warnings against doing it have no merit, so use your own judgment and comfort level. Officially, I will recommend using one of the below alternative methods – but I will be honest that I just cooked the sealed can.
Alternative ways that you can cook the sweetened condensed milk in your Instant Pot include:
- by opening the can of sweetened condensed milk and covering the top tightly with foil
- in a glass mason jar with a sealed lid
- in a glass mason jar with foil tightly covering the top
Is dulce de leche the same as sweetened condensed milk? No, dulce de leche has a caramel flavor and thicker texture than sweetened condensed milk. However, dulce de leche can be made from cooking sweetened condensed milk (or milk and sugar)
Is dulce de leche the same as caramel? There are a few differences, starting with how they are made. Dulce de leche is always made from milk – whether sweetened condensed milk or regular milk and sugar. Caramel is made with water and sugar, often butter or milk as well. The taste is distinctly different, too, with a more milk-based flavor and the texture is generally thicker.
Can this dulce de leche recipe be made in the crockpot? Yes, you will need to cook on low for 8-10 hours using the same method.
How long can I keep this instant pot dulce de leche? This recipe can be stored in the fridge for two to three weeks.
Recipes Using Dulce de Leche
- Milk Bar-inspired Dulce de Leche Coconut Cake
- Make homemade iced coffee with a spoonful of dulce de leche
- Dulce de Leche Brownies (recipe coming soon)
- Dulce de Leche Gooey Bars from Crazy for Crust
- Use as a fruit dip
- Ice cream topping
- Dulce de Leche Churro Donuts from Oh Sweet Basil
- As a dipping sauce for homemade churros
- Dulce de Leche Swirl Pound Cake from Sugar Hero
- Strawberry Dulce de Leche Cake from Life, Love and Sugar
Also, my friend Corinne just put out an Instant Pot ecookbook for just $4.99! I have tried a few of the recipes myself and they are delicious and family friendly. I highly recommend it for a reliable collection of Instant Pot recipes to help you fall in love with your IP (if you haven’t already).
Instant Pot Dulce de Leche Ingredients
- Sweetened condensed milk
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you may want to add some sea salt or vanilla extract to your cooked dulce de leche for a more complex flavor profile.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Instant Pot <– I’m so excited to upgrade to this one with air fryer capacities soon! (You can also just buy the lid which adds the air fryer capacity to your standard IP.)
- Colander or steaming basket
How to Make Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot
Remove the label from your sweetened condensed milk can and check it all over to ensure there are no imperfections.
Place a colander, trivet or steamer basket in your Instant Pot and place the can overtop.
Fill the Instant Pot with water until the can is completely submerged.
Secure the lid and select the manual setting and set to 40 minutes.
Natural release and turn off the Instant Pot. Allow it to sit until the water has completely cooled – preferably overnight.
Remove the can and only when you are sure that it is cooled down completely, you can open it.
Enjoy your easy and delicious homemade dulce de leche!
Grab your free printable for our easy Instant Pot dulce de leche recipe:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Remove the label from your sweetened condensed milk can and check it all over to ensure there are no imperfections.
- Place a colander, trivet or steamer basket in your Instant Pot and place the can overtop.
- Fill the Instant Pot with water until the can is completely submerged.
- Secure the lid and select the manual setting and set to 40 minutes.
- Natural release and turn off the Instant Pot. Allow it to sit until the water has completely cooled - preferably overnight.
- Remove the can and only when you are sure that it is cooled down completely, you can open it.
- Enjoy your easy and delicious homemade dulce de leche!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
What will you be using your homemade dulce de leche for?