Dulce de Leche Made in a Frying Pan

Dulce de leche is the Nutella of Latin America. I may sound like a broken record, but I don’t get tired of saying this. Dulce de leche is made from sweetened milk and becomes caramel. Just as here in Germany Nutella is spread on bread, you may just eat it by the spoonful or make a lot of baked goods with it, dulce de leche is used the same in Latin America. Yes, I do have fond memories of smearing dulce de leche onto bread. Jam could only be cut (and is called dulce de membrillo), so I spread dulce de leche on my bread and topped it off with some cheese. Yes, I know this sounds crezy, but I loved it. Yes, of course there is already a recipe on my blog for dulce de leche, check out how to make dulce de leche in this blog article. Essentially, we are going to boil sweetened condensed milk for long enough in unopened cans until they become caramel. This usually takes about 3 1/2 hours, so today I am going to introduce a quicker version, making it in a frying pan. This will take about 30-40 minutes. So if you are restrained timewise, this may be for you, but this dulce de leche is more liquid than the one from the can.

A few tips for a good result:

  • Be sure to use a deep and wide frying pan. The bigger the surface, the quicker the result.
  • Caramel tends to cook even after you took it off the stove, so stop a little earlier.
  • There still is a range in which it is usable. The thicker it gets, the darker the color, but don’t go any further than amber color as it will become bitter.
  • Keep in mind that dulce de leche from the frying pan is more liquid than from the can. Please find the recipe for dulce de leche from a can here

Credit: zimtkringel (in German)

Dulce de leche from the Frying Pan

Dulce de leche from a frying pan is made by cooking milk with sugar and baking soda for about 30-40min.


  • 300 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 litre of milk (I had full fat)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda or baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt



In this Instagram reel you can see how I make it. Measure the sugar and milk into a large frying pan. Bring to boil, then add baking soda/powder and salt (be careful, it is going to foam), reduce heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until it reaches caramel color. At the beginning you only need to stir occassionally, towards the end you have to be more careful and attentive to be sure it doesn't get too dark. It will thicken over time. Once it reaches amber color, you are done. Keep in sterilized glass and use within two weeks.

Three from many more options of what to do with dulce de leche:

Sponge roll with dulce de leche filling

Chocolate sandwich cookies with dulce de leche filling

Baumkuchen (German tree cake) with dulce de leche

Check out this blog post with 12 ideas for dulce de leche

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  • Reply
    Simone von zimtkringel
    Saturday August 12th, 2023 at 11:57 AM

    Hi Jenny, vielen Dank für deinen Besuch! Ich freu mich echt, dass dir das Dulce de leche-Rezept gefallen hat, schließlich bist du sowas wie eine Expertin! Ich gesteh nämlich, ich hab das tolle – oder wie eine liebe Freundin es nennt, das geile Zeug – erst im Erwachsenenalter kennen und lieben gelernt. Dabei kommt mir die Idee, ich müsste längst mal wieder eine Portion zubereiten.
    Liebe Grüße und schönes Wochenende

  • Reply
    Ivo Franulic
    Sunday April 21st, 2024 at 10:51 PM

    Hi Jenny: A brief message to let you know that the word “Dulce” is misspelled as “Dule” in your otherwise great website! You may want to correct it!

    • Reply
      Monday April 22nd, 2024 at 07:25 AM

      Hi Ivo, thank you for catching that, I corrected it. Happy baking, best, Jenny

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