Dulce de Leche made in a crock pot is the easiest way to make caramel sauce ever. Only one ingredient needed – sweetened condensed milk. All it takes is 8 to 10 hours in the crock pot and you have dulce de leche that’s milky and smooth, much better than store bought.
Making homemade caramel sauce is also much cheaper than store bought. I used 2 (14-ounce) cans of sweetened condensed milk and filled 3 mason jars with it. Note: some people make dulce de leche by putting the unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk in the crockpot, but it is much safer to transfer the sweetened condensed milk to mason jars.
Screw the lids on tightly and place them in your crock pot. Cover with 1 inch of hot tap water, place the lid on, and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. How easy is that?
My jars were a little on the tall side and I could only get the water up to the top of the lid. I ended up cooking two of the jars upright and 1 on its side to compare and they both came out perfectly. It is best to use mason jars that are short and wide like these Jarden Home Brands 1/2Pt wide Mouth Jar Canning Jars.
Cook them for 8 hours for a lighter, more pourable sauce and closer to 10 hours for a darker, thicker dulce de leche. I did mine for about 8 1/2 , but you can get the sauce much darker and almost custard-like if you cook it longer.
The jars should be cooled on the counter to room temperature and then stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for at least a few weeks. It probably won’t be long before it’s all gone though because Crock Pot Dulce de Leche tastes good on so many things. Use it on ice cream, cheesecake, or as a dipping sauce for fruit. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an apple fritter recipe that it tastes wonderful with.
Crock Pot Dulce de Leche
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3 (8-ounce) Mason jars
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the Mason jars, filling to the top. Tightly screw lids on.
- Place upright in a large crock pot. Pour hot tap water into the crock pot to cover the jars. There should be about 1 inch of water above the lid of the jars.
- Place lid on crock pot and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, depending on how dark and thick you want it.
- Carefully remove jars from crock pot using tongs. Place on counter and let cool to room temperature. A little rust may form on the lids. If so, wipe it off with a paper towel.
- Store in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least 2 weeks. Reheat in the microwave to make it pourable.
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47 thoughts on “Crock Pot Dulce de Leche”
Looks so good and going to try it. Like to know how the heck you pronounce it! LOL
hahaha….. like this:
dull-say leh lay-chay
Can I then put in jars and can in wb for 15 minutes? To make shelf ready?
or, you can just put a can or two in your cupboard in florida in an unairconditioned house and leave them there for a year or so.. turns into dulce de leche all by itself!
I want to double-check “just to be safe”:
When you talk about putting the “lid on the mason jar” I’m assuming you mean a regular mason jar “canning lid”. That is, a two-part “ring and rubber-edged lid”.
Is this right? Or did you mean something else?
Yes, that is correct.
I make mine on the stove, only takes 2 hrs or so:
Dulce De Leche
2 can sweetened condensed milk
Dulce De Leche
1. Place the unopened cans into a pot large enough to hold them.
2. Cover the cans with water and over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer.
3. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 2 hours. Keep an extra pot of boiling water on the side to replenish evaporated water from the pot. The cans of condensed milk should always be covered by simmering water.
4. When cooked, let the cans cool in the water bath. When cooled, remove the cans.
5. Open the cans, scoop out the Dulce de Leche and serve.
If you are cooking this in un-opened cans, why wouldn’t it be shelf stable for ages if you did not open the can? And why is it that the cans don’t explode?
I made it in the cans years ago and it said it would be fine unopened for 1 year (it was gone long before that though lol). I’m not sure why they don’t explode as long as they are covered in water. It said to make sure they had plenty of water or they WOULD explode.
However, there is concern about unwanted chemicals leaching into your caramel using your method Dianne, including BPA from the cans. It is far safer to transfer into canning jars and use that method rather than to cook it in the cans. To each his own, but for my family (and myself) I will always err on the side of caution and for me that means no boiling this in its own can.
Here is a link to an article that you might find helpful and educational on this subject…
My dad used to prepare it that way—we would eat it by the spoonful. Thanks for sharing!
You can also make carmel pie! Just cook the sweeten condensed milk to make the carmel and let it cool enough to handle. Carefully open the jars and pour into a graham cracker crust. Let it cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with whip topping and enjoy! ?
That sounds wonderful Diana!
I advise not putting the actual cans of condensed milk in the crockpot. I think they get too hot and damage the crock.
I did this with mine and eventually one day, several years later, the entire bottom of my crockpot blew off while I was cooking a chicken in it. Coincidentally right where the cans had left marks on the base.
I think I overcooked mine! It was probably more on the 10 hour side, so it is thick and custardy. I made it to drizzle over the pecan pie cheesecake recipe, so I need to get it to the pouring consistency. Is there any way I can get it back? I was thinking maybe warming it in a pan with some heavy cream, but I don’t want to ruin it more!
My jars are to tall. So I’m rolling with them on their sides in the crock pot. Crossing my fingers! I made a cheesecake that it is waiting for! Thanks for such a wonderful easy tip. Crock pot over night with the timer. Way better then standing at the stove for two hours!
Hope it turned out well Katie!
Followed directions exactly and after 8 1/2 hours it was just a lumpy pudding like consistency?? It also didn’t taste very much like caramel sauce, still really tasted just like sweetened condensed milk. Don’t know what happened?
If it was lumpy, I’m guessing the heat was too high and the milk curdled. Do you find your crock pot runs hot? I’ve heard a few people say they had a few lumps and they easily whisked them out. It should taste like Dulce de Leche which has a similar taste to caramel but is not the same thing.