Dulce de leche (also known as manjar, manjar blanco, and arequipe) is a thick caramel sauce made from milk and sugar. Dulce de leche is the key ingredient in many Latin desserts and pastries. It has a rich caramel flavor that pairs well with both fruit and chocolate, and it makes a wonderful filling for cakes. Enjoy this collection of desserts, or try dulce de leche in your own recipes. We promise you'll get hooked.
01 of 05
Homemade dulce de leche requires a little extra time and patience, but the results are superior to store-bought.
If you are worried about burning the dulce de leche or don't feel like having to stir it constantly, try a slightly slower but foolproof double boiler method. If you're short on time, try a short-cut method that involves boiling a closed can of condensed milk. You can even make dulce de leche in the microwave, which does require some stirring but does not require constant supervision.
You can also make chocolate dulce de leche, which tastes like caramel fudge.
02 of 05
Classic alfajores are made with by sandwiching two shortbread-like cookies with dulce de leche. Some people like to roll the edges in coconut or dust the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar. There are endless possibilities with alfajores; try some variations such as chocolate alfajores, lemon-lime alfajores, almond alfajores, anise alfajores with orange sugar syrup (alfajores de miel), praline alfajores, triple alfajores, or maple shortbread alfajores.
03 of 05
It's hard to improve on the classic tres leches cake, but these cuatro leches cupcakes pull it off with their sweet caramel dulce de leche centers. I like to ice them with the traditional meringue topping so that the dulce de leche center is a hidden surprise, but you can also ice them with more dulce de leche.
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05 of 05
Suspiro de limeña is a classic Peruvian recipe, quite unusual and delicious. The bottom layer is made of dulce de leche that has been enriched with egg yolks. The top is a sweet, stiff meringue made with port wine.