Dulce de Leche Candy

Dulce de leche candy recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 1 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 1 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
143 Calories
4g Fat
24g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 143
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 57mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 127mg 10%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 165mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Central and South American favorite, dulce de leche candy is a rich and creamy caramelized milk candy that has only one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. In this recipe, an entire can of sweetened condensed milk, including the actual sealed can, is left for hours to boil in a pot of water. Although easy to make, dulce de leche does have a long cooking time, so make sure you plan ahead.

This rich candy is good enough to eat on its own, especially when rolled in nuts, toffee, or coconut, but you can also use it in other candy recipes like ​dulce de leche truffles or​ ​dulce de leche fudge.


Click Play to See This Dulce de Leche Candy Come Together

"Great deep caramel flavor with coffee notes. The candy was sliceable but very sticky, so I rolled a few of the pieces in chopped nuts and those were far easier and more enjoyable to eat. If I had cooked it longer, it might have gotten firmer, but also darker and more burnt-sugar tasting." —Danielle Centoni

Dulce de Leche Candy Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

  • Toffee, crushed, optional

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dulce de leche
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Remove the paper label and any glue or adhesive that remains on the can.

    Remove paper label from can
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  3. Without opening, place the entire can of condensed milk in a large saucepan that is at least several inches taller than the can itself. (If need be, turn the can on its side.)

    Put can in pot
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  4. Fill the saucepan with water, being sure to cover the top of the metal can completely.

    Can in pot
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  5. Place the saucepan over medium heat, cover with a lid, and allow the water to boil for 8 hours.

    Place cover over saucepan
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  6. As the dulce de leche cooks, check it every 30 minutes to make sure the water is simmering. Add additional water when necessary to ensure that the can is always fully covered.

    Add water to pot
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  7. After 8 hours of continuous boiling, carefully remove the can from the heat using tongs (preferably canning tongs as they have a better grip). Allow it to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

    Take out can
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  8. Once the can is completely cool, open both ends of the can and gently push out the solidified caramel.

    Remove can
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  9. Using a hot, sharp knife, slice the caramel cylinder into rounds, and cut each round into 6 wedges.

    Slice it
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  10. If you want to add a little crunch, roll pieces in your choice of chopped nuts, crushed toffee, or shredded coconut. If serving as is, this candy is best placed in individual candy papers since it is sticky and a bit soft.

    Dulce de leche candy
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

The Can Must Remain Covered in Water

It is very important that the can remain immersed in water. Otherwise, it could rupture and cause damage or injury.

Recipe Variations

  • Crockpot Method: You can make this simple dulce de leche in a crockpot; with this method, you don't have to worry about the water evaporating as it cooks. Place the can of sweetened condensed milk in a slow cooker and cover with water so that the can is submerged. Put on the lid and cook on low for 16 hours. (You can do this overnight.)
  • Dulce de Leche Sauce: For a caramel-like sauce instead of a firm candy, boil the can for only 4 hours instead of 8.