You will be surprised at how easy it is, to make this condensed milk caramel sauce. Once you make this you will never go back to store bought again. This one ingredient caramel in a can (also know as Dulce de Leche) is so thick, creamy and decadent.
About This Easy Caramel Sauce
- It’s the easiest and best tasting caramel sauce ever.
- It’s budget friendly.
- This caramel in a can, can be stored unopened almost indefinitely.
- Can be used to make cakes, candy, cookies, fudge, puddings and sauces.
In this recipe a can of sweetened condensed milk is used to create a very thick and delicious sauce. Well to tell you the truth it’s really more of a thick caramel paste than a sauce (as you can see in the image above).
It is so thick that it won’t even dribble of the spoon. Use it like this for filling cakes, cookies and chocolates.
Mix it into cheesecakes, brownies, puddings, fudge and other sweet treats. Use it as a pastry or pie filling or a as a frosting topping.
Thin it down ever so slightly and use it dribble down the top of a cake. Or thin it down even more for the best ever tasting caramel sauce.
Save yourself some money
I don’t know about where you are but, here the price of one can of caramel sauce is $5. However, I can make 3 cans for $4.80, using a non branded sweetened condensed milk.
This stuff lasts almost indefinitely unopened – right up to the expiry date on the bottom of the condensed milk can itself.
Because of the long shelf life, you can make more than one can at a time. Depending on the size of the slow cooker, you could make 3-4 cans in one go.
To make this budget friendly, use a cheaper brand of condensed milk, no one but you is going to know the difference.
Condensed Milk Caramel Sauce (Dulce De Leche) – FAQ
What is Dulce de Leche made of?
Traditional Dulce de Leche sauce is made with milk, sugar, and baking soda. It is simmered and stirred over low heat for many hours until it thickens and turns a golden-brown colour.
Is caramel sauce the same as Dulce de Leche?
Caramel sauce and Dulce de Leche are made differently. Caramel sauce is made with sugar and water and Dulce de Leche is made with milk and sugar. Both have a sweet caramel taste.
How long does Dulce de Leche keep?
When made and you intend to store it in an unopened can, use the expiry date on the condensed milk can.
When it has been opened it’s best stored in the fridge, use within a week or sooner if it has been thinned down with milk.
Where can I find Dulce de Leche in the grocery store?
I can find Dulce de Leche in the cake decorating section of the grocery store.
Can you boil condensed milk in a ring pull can?
Yes, it can be boiled. However, I’ve never done it myself, I have always used my slow cooker.
Is it safe to make Dulce de Leche in can?
Yes, it is safe but, don’t be complacent about. There are several methods of making caramel in a can, each of these methods will have their own safety precautions.
Some methods are quicker than others and require a lot of attention, other methods require longer cooking with little attention needed.
Methods for making condensed milk caramel sauce in a can
How to make caramel from condensed milk on the stove.
This method requires full attention. An unopened condensed milk can is placed into a deep saucepan and completely covered under water. The water is then brought to a rapid boil and left to boil for an hour or more. It needs to be watched; the water level needs to be topped up several times during cooking. Learn more about making condensed milk caramel sauce on the stove.
Condensed milk caramel microwave method.
This method requires your full attention. The condensed milk is poured into a microwave safe container, then cooked in the microwave in bursts with stirring in between. The draw back with this is that if you are not careful, it can boil over making a stick mess of your microwave. Learn more about making caramel in the microwave.
Condensed milk caramel oven method.
This method requires some attention. Sweetened condensed milk is poured into an oven proof dish, then covered with foil. The dish then sits in baking tray filled with hot water. Then baked for about one to one and half hours. The water level needs to be checked and topped up if necessary. Learn more about making condensed milk caramel sauce in the oven.
Condensed milk caramel slow cooker method – my preferred method.
This method requires the least attention: The cans are submerged under water and left to cook on LOW for eight hours. Just check it every now and again, the water level should not have altered but, if it has top it up if necessary.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Caramel Slow Cooker Method
- You can use ring pull cans in the slow cooker.
- Place the unopened cans on their sides in the slow cooker.
- Fill the slow cooker with hot tap water. Covering the cans so that the water level at least 5 cm (2 inches) above the cans.
- Place the lid on and cook on LOW for eight hours.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the cans from the hot water.
- Allow to cool completely before opening.
Condensed Milk Caramel Sauce – Hints and Tips
How to fix lumpy condensed milk caramel sauce
If the sauce looks lumpy or has air pockets in it, remove it from the can, warm it in the microwave, and mix until smooth. If you find it too thick to mix, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
How to thin down to make a pouring sauce
For either of the methods below, warm the caramel sauce in the microwave first and use a whisk to mix everything together.
To make a thick sauce for dipping. Take some of the thick sauce and mix in small quantities of condensed milk, until you get a consistency you like.
To make a pouring sauce for drizzling over ice cream. Take some of the thick sauce and mix in small quantities of milk until you get the desired consistency.
Tip: Don’t thin down the entire can, because you are adding liquid to the sauce, you are also increasing the volume of sauce.
Also, if you have added just a little too much liquid, you can add some of the reserved sauce to thicken it.
More Delicious Easy Sweet Recipes To Try
DIY Gift Idea
This is an incredibly easy idea for a gift!
Make it as a Christmas gift for co-workers, neighbours, teachers and friends. Or, just simply to say thanks. This would be an easy DIY wedding favours idea too!
This is a really thick sauce that needs a spoon. If you would like a sauce that is a little more fluid which will make filling jars easier. Experiment with the cooking times before making a big batch for gifts. The longer you cook it the thicker it will be.
Experiment with one can first, cook it for the full eight hours. If it’s too thick, try cooking another can for a shorter length of time. Keep repeating until you get the consistency you like.
You may find that the sauce is at the correct constancy after six or seven hours of cooking.
Remember to always allow the can to cool completely before opening. This is because, the can is under pressure and if opened hot you can seriously hurt yourself.
To make this into a gift!
You will need some jars with lids and homemade or purchased labels. To pretty them up use decorative twine, ribbon or fabric.
The caramel sauce can be made months in advance and stored unopened in the pantry. The shelf life of the caramel sauce will be the expiry date that’s stamped on the can.
When ready and close to the time you want to gift. Open the cans and divide the sauce between the jars you have. Wipe away any spills, seal, decorate and label.
A nice size for a gift would be to fill 200 ml jars with the sauce – which is half a 400 ml can of caramel sauce. But you can make them any size you want.
Slow Cooker Condensed Milk Caramel Sauce – Printable Recipe
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Slow Cooker Condensed Milk Caramel Sauce
- Slow cooker
- Large jug
- 1 or more cans of sweetened condensed milk
- Into the slow cooker, lay an unopened can of condensed milk on its side. Note: The labels can be left on the cans or it can be removed before placing into the slow cooker.Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you can make 3-4 cans at the same time.
- Fill the slow cooker with enough hot tap water, so that the cans are covered with at least 5 cm (2 inches) of water.Note: For safety reasons do make sure that the cans are completely submerged in water.
- Put the lid on your slow cooker, turn it on to LOW setting and allow it to cook for 8 hours.Note: During the cooking time check the water level. The water level should not drop. If it has dropped, top up with boiling water from the kettle.
- After the time is up, use tongs to carefully remove the hot cans and place onto a folded tea towel.
- Allow the cans to completely cool before opening.Note: DO NOT OPEN the cans just after removing from the slow cooker. The caramel is extremely hot and under pressure inside the tin and can cause severe burns if you are not careful. So, have patience and allow it to cool completely before opening.