David Lebovitz' Dulce de Leche

September 14, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This is the only path to homemade dulce de leche that lets you easily get in to taste and peek and tweak, without also requiring regular or constant stirring—the best of all worlds, the happiest medium for control freaks and tinkerers who nonetheless don't want to be tied for hours to a pot. Adapted slightly from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press, 2007).Genius Recipes

Makes: about 1 cup (250ml)


  • One 14-ounce (400 gram) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Pinch of sea salt
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
  2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
  3. Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
  4. Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary). Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using. Variations: Consider adding a vanilla bean at the beginning, or a tablespoon of sherry at the end.

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Fresh T. September 6, 2018
This is actually a recipe from Flo Braker, whom David knew and learnt from.
sarahpgilbert September 18, 2016
What's the cookie in the picture? Looks delicious. <br />
Kristen M. September 18, 2016
Confession: I bought the cookies at a coffee shop across the street from our office—they're lavender shortbread. But Merrill has an excellent herby shortbread that could be adapted as you like: https://food52.com/recipes/4170-sweet-and-salty-herbed-shortbread
Alexandra M. July 26, 2017
looks like a variant of alfajor. You could use any shortbread recipe, but a very good cookie recipe is one that uses 50% cornstarch and 50% flour amounts
Kate V. September 15, 2016
This was a hit- served with icecream and bananas. Had some spare melted chocolate laying about from another project, so I rolled balls of leftover caramel in that- quick freeze to set and stored in the fridge. Thanks for the inspiration!