Dulce de leche is a sweet, creamy, milk caramel sauce that is perfect for drizzling over desserts, stirring into coffee or eating straight off the spoon!
All you need to make this sweet sauce is a crockpot, a mason jar, and a can of sweetened condensed milk. If you’re looking for more traditional caramel sauces, check out our Homemade Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce and Bourbon Caramel Sauce for more delicious ideas!
This rich, creamy sauce is the first step towards an absolutely fantastic ice cream recipe. So, get a jar in your slow cooker today and be ready to make the ice cream soon.
Slow cookers or crockpots are an appliance of which I have more than one. If you are an avid slow cooker user like I am, you might understand the need for more than one. So, let’s talk about my favorites:
First up is this 6-quart slow cooker that has a locking lid. These crockpots are fantastic for transporting foods. Mine has gone everywhere from church potlucks to barbecues, game nights to Thanksgiving dinner. However, fair warning, these slow cookers run crazy hot. Low is closer to a boil than a simmer, the warm setting actually simmers. So trust me when I say HIGH is high.
My everyday slow cooker is this 8-quart Crockpot. It’s my go-to appliance for cooking large roasts and big batches of chili. Fun fact: did you know that a full 4-quart cooker, actually cooks more slowly than a half-full 8-quart cooker?
For just cooking a few pounds of chicken to shred for enchiladas or other smaller recipes, this 3-quart version is perfect.
If you aren’t a fan of the idea of keeping more than one slow cooker in the house, these CrockPockets are a game-changer when it comes to preparing and holding multiple dishes at the same time. They slide into a standard 6-quart crockpot, dividing it into two sections that are perfect for serving different side dishes or keeping taco fillings warm for parties.
EASY CrockPot Dulce De Leche
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk *
- optional: 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Open the sweetened condensed milk and stir in the salt, if you want a salted caramel flavor. Pour the milk into a mason jar and top with a lid. Screw the band on the jar enough that it won't fall off, but not finger tight.
- Fill the crockpot with water to just below the band. Set the temperature to LOW and cover with lid.
- Let it cook for 6-8 hours, then check the color of the jar. (The lid on my crockpot is clear and I was able to watch it darken through the day.)
- After about 6 hours, the milk will have turned golden brown, thick and creamy. As you continue to cook it, the dulce de leche will darken and become thicker. I wanted mine to be pourable when warm, so 6-7 hours was perfect.
- Remove the jar from the crockpot and set aside to cool. Let it cool at least 1 hour before opening the jar. (I've heard that the hot dulce de leche will explode out at you if you open it too hot!) Let cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- The sauce will thicken when refrigerated and can easily be reheated in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Enjoy!
- Want to make this completely from scratch? Milk + sugar = sweetened condensed milk. Check out this recipe.