caramel sauce, dulce de leche, milk

Dulce De Leche (3 ingredient Caramel Sauce- no weird stuff!)

dulce de leche caramel sauce three ingredients

When faced with a surplus of milk from our milk cow, we started making all the fun things we could. Homemade Dulce De Leche makes a great gift, or hide it away for yourself! Enjoy it with ice cream, in coffee, with apples…you name it!

While I have never made this with storebought milk, or even whole milk, I am confident it would work. For us, dulce de leche uses up skimmed milk after we skim for making butter! Youre yield will be a little lower with skim vs whole but for those who have a milk cow and are always trying to make enough butter…you understand this struggle!

caramel sauce, dulce de leche, milk
Print Recipe
4.95 from 19 votes

Dulce De Leche

A 3 ingredient milk caramel sauce that requires inexpensive ingredients.
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 60kcal


  • 1 litres whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar preferably cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • fat pinch salt optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla optional


  • Pour the milk, sugar and baking soda into a 1.5 gallon/6 qt pot or bigger. This will bubble up some and its much nicer to have extra space.
  • Turn onto medium heat, whisk well to dissolve the sugar.
  • Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally.
  • Put a freezer safe plate with a few metal spoons in your freezer for testing thickness later.
  • When it starts to bubble (this takes 5-10 minutes for me), turn to medium- low
  • You can mostly leave it alone now when its settled into a gentle simmer.
  • As you'll see in the video, when the bubbles start to change, get smaller, and all over the surface, you're getting close.
  • When its looking real thick, take one of those spoons, take a dip out, and see how it cools down. When its room temp, is it as thick as you want it?
  • If on low heat, I've never burnt a batch of dulce de leche, you can get it pretty thick, or leave it thinner as a sauce. Keep in mind after it sits in the fridge it will get a bit thicker.
  • When its to your desired thickness, take it off the heat and add vanilla and salt if desired.
  • Pour into containers or jars and keep in the fridge. I've never had it go bad, it keeps forever and ever, amen! (Well, safely a few months…)



Calories: 60kcal

Need some more dessert and drink ideas?


  • Anajú

    I don’t know who lied to you, but this is an Argentinian recipe, not Mexican. I will fight with whom it may be necessary for the honor of my country ?.
    Pro tip: if you put a marble inside, the convection cell that heat creates makes the marble to move around and it mixes the dulce de leche for you. You just have to scoop it when you finish so it won’t be a choking hazard.

  • Stephanie Haas

    This is so good! I will be making this again and gifting small jars in some gift baskets I’m making for family. The gift baskets are going to be “ice cream sundae” theme baskets. They are going to be so fun to make, I need to get started organizing them soon.

  • Annette Heideman

    WOW! This is so good. I make it when the grandkids come over for a special treat and now it’s known as ‘Mimis sauce’

  • Erin

    Just know this is addictive and you won’t ever want to be without it in your fridge again. We love this syrup for use on pretty much everything. It’s a favorite on our best brownie recipe.

  • Alicia Stelling

    If you make this you had better hide it from the children!! I set mine on the table and went to do something and it was gone when I came back!!

  • debrajean34

    This is so good! With apples, in iced coffee, on cake, on ice cream, on a spoon… I’ve made it with up to a gallon of milk and it works great but it will take a long time to boil down with that quantity. One of my favourite ways to use up milk that isn’t cheese-making quality.

  • Nikki K

    We go through this a little faster than I’d like to admit. It’s great on ice cream, apples, pears, and even popcorn. Not *quite* a caramel flavor, but still delicious. Usually makes 1.5 quarts for me

  • Amoore

    Love this recipe! So easy to make. All the other recipes I found for Dulce De Leche wanted me to use condensed milk. I prefer to not use store bought canned milk. I was so happy to see this recipe.

  • Mandy

    This recipe is FANTASTIC!!! The only issue I have is that it takes about 1.5 hours to actually get that dark color. But it is worth the wait. My son begs for this. It’s our favorite on apples.

  • gloria

    5 stars
    great but I can’t seem to get it thick enough. Can I put it back on and cook a little longer or will it turn to sugar???? Love it

  • Amanda Fox

    5 stars
    Today I am grateful for this recipe. It is one I have made before and it is quickly turning into my favorite caramel sauce because it is not a stand over the stove and monitor the temperature kind of caramel. Once it comes to a boil and you turn it down you can walk away and just check on it here and there. In the recipe she even mentions that she has never burned this caramel sauce…….. Well, today I decided I would make a double batch of caramel sauce so the kids could have caramel and apples for a snack, and I would have extra to save in the fridge. I started it a little before 1:00 and was checking on it between working with the kids on school. At some point I forgot I was making caramel sauce and then a little before 4 I remembered and ran into the kitchen. This neglected sauce was a beautiful caramel color! I threw in a little salt and vanilla, poured it in a jar, then the kids grabbed the frozen spoons from the freezer and helped “clean” the pan. They claimed it was the best caramel sauce they have ever had. So if you are a scatter brained Mama like me, this is the caramel recipe for you!

  • Hannah

    5 stars
    Great googlie mooglies this stuff is goooooooood. Like: eat it all in one sitting with a spoon in the kitchen when you should be doing other things and get a tummy ache good.

    I made this for a Christmas party to dip pears and apples in. It did not last. (Maybe because I ate half of it with a spoon in the kitchen? Nah…couldn’t be that)

    10/10 would make again. And give away immediately. Because I will eat it all.

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