Crockpot Dulce de Leche

0 Posted by - July 2, 2012 - Food & Drink

Far be it from me to back away from a pin that has a “may explode” warning attached to it, but when I found this crockpot version of dulce de leche made from a can of sweetened condensed milk, I felt a little better about it than the “boil on the stove, may explode” version. So I decided to give it a go.

I guess you’re supposed to have some idea of what you’re going to use your dulce de leche for once you’ve made it. Planning fail. But it was too late, and I had already forged ahead.

I followed the directions and took the label off the can and got a saucer to set the can on so that my crockpot wouldn’t get a rusty ring in the bottom. I threw it all in and fired it up.

And then the power went out for about 2 seconds, and I did not think to check the crockpot to see if it actually turned back on along with the power… It didn’t. So two hours later, I restarted the whole thing.

And then the damn power went out again. This is America. The power is not supposed to go out while I am attempting to make my own dulce de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk in my fancy crockpot while watching The Bachelorette and singing My Country Tis of Thee. But go out it did, so I reset it again, and I honestly have no idea how many hours it ended up being in there for.

On top of that, the eight hours was up at like 3 a.m., so it sat on “warm” for another 4 hours until I could drag my ass out of bed to get it out of there. So I probably overcooked it. Ok, definitely overcooked it.

Good thing I put a saucer in the bottom.

What I don’t know is if the rust is going to come off of my saucer. I neglected to think about that when I followed the directions. Now the question is: would I have rather had a rust ring in my crockpot or on my saucer? I guess it’s probably a toss-up.

It was time for the moment of truth, and I must admit to a little fluttery excitement as I opened the can. I mean, there could be anything in there: dulce de leche (the most boring option), sweetened condensed milk (a slightly less boring option, and funnier), a weird combination of the two (now we’re getting somewhere), or a strange chemical substance the likes of which I had not even begun to contemplate (which, honestly, I was hoping for).

I got a brownish substance with oily shit on the top that (sort of) resembled dulce de leche.

It was underwhelming.

After I stirred it with a knife, it looked pretty similar to the one in the demo blog, although maybe a bit thicker and darker. (Heh.)

And it tasted like… well, sort of still like sweetened condensed milk, which isn’t a bad thing.

Now I just have to decide what I’m going to do with it…

To be continued. DUN DUN DUN.


  • AmberHarris July 2, 2012 - 5:16 am Reply

    Sooooo, inquiring minds want to know – what’s dulce de leche?

    • JeanneMarkowski July 2, 2012 - 8:59 am Reply

       @AmberHarris Translate to “Sweet of Milk”; it’s a caramelized milk from Latin America. 
      I think you can use it as a frosting on cake or topping for other desserts. Also could be eaten with a spoon if you’re like me. 

  • jko July 2, 2012 - 6:21 am Reply

    OMG!  IT’S ORANGE!  I’ve done this a few times, but with the boil method and it’s been wonderful.  I just can’t get over the color of yours.  I’m crying, I’m laughing so hard!

    • Patsy June 23, 2019 - 6:30 pm Reply

      Thanks, but how longe do you cook ot for?

  • Beth M July 2, 2012 - 6:45 am Reply

    Just buy a bottle of CLR (green bottle in the cleaning aisle), and the rust will come right off.  I once made three cans of dulce de leche in my slow cooker (for my blog) and didn’t end up using even half a can 😛  It makes a great dip for apples, topping for ice cream, or drizzle over any dessert.  …although yours doesn’t look like it’d drizzle, ha!  Warm it up and I’m sure it will thin out.

  • KarenB July 2, 2012 - 7:59 am Reply

    Mix in some chopped walnuts and grated coconut and you have the frosting for a German chocolate cake. Or really excellent brownies.

  • Beth Caudill July 2, 2012 - 8:12 am Reply

    Thanks for trying this.  Hehe.   Note to self: know what to use a boatload of carmel on before you make it.   🙂
    I’m almost disappointed it didn’t explode.  Almost. I wouldn’t want you to ruin your kitchen or anything for us.

  • qandlequeen July 2, 2012 - 8:24 am Reply

    I’m pretty sure rubbing baking soda on the ring will take the rust away.

  • coachksr July 2, 2012 - 8:46 am Reply

    Hysterical!  For myself, I’m glad that there are Pinterest bombs, otherwise, we’d miss out on your humor.
    Keep writing…

  • Stacie M July 2, 2012 - 9:26 am Reply

    That one didn’t work for me either. After several hours in the crock pot I opened it up to find…..condensed milk. Argh!

    • Pintester July 2, 2012 - 10:51 am Reply

      Argh, I am jealous! 😉

      • AmberHarris July 4, 2012 - 3:01 am Reply

         @Pintester What do the pts mean?  Next to Pintester it says 17 pts.  I’ve seen a few pts (I’m assuming it means points? But what are they for how do you get them etc…) next to comments I’ve made too… I’m a newbie that knows nadda!

        • Pintester July 4, 2012 - 10:41 am Reply

           @AmberHarris I’m using a comments system called LiveFyre that awards points for likes and comments. They’re kind of arbitrary. 😉

        • AmberHarris July 4, 2012 - 3:03 pm Reply

          @Pintester @AmberHarris Whew…. I thought maybe it was some kind of warning system. I was a smartass in another post so thought maybe I was getting flagged. Lol.

        • AmberHarris July 5, 2012 - 2:50 pm Reply

           @Pintester Whew…. I thought maybe it was some kind of warning system. I was a smartass in another post so thought maybe I was getting flagged. Lol.

  • Renee Anne July 2, 2012 - 10:04 am Reply

    So, it wasn’t a total fail but it definitely wasn’t a total win either.

  • PaulaPickle July 2, 2012 - 10:17 am Reply

    Next time just cook it in a pan on the stove.  It works really well on the stove.

    • Ana H July 2, 2012 - 12:11 pm Reply

       @PaulaPickle Agreed.  Just put it in a big pot of water, bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about 3 hours.  When it’s done I just turn it off and let it cool overnight.  Much quicker and it doesn’t over cook.

  • Catalina July 2, 2012 - 11:20 am Reply

    spread them between some tiny shortbread biscuits, and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on them to make alfajores… a traditional latin american pastry. delish.

  • Alexia July 2, 2012 - 12:01 pm Reply

    Barkeepers Friend will get the ring off of your saucer! I use it all the time for rust rings, coffee stains etc. on dishes and pans!

  • 2mara July 2, 2012 - 12:11 pm Reply

    magic eraser will that that rust ring off for ya.

  • 2mara July 2, 2012 - 12:12 pm Reply

    magic eraser will take care of that rust ring for you.

  • Ally July 2, 2012 - 12:46 pm Reply

    Ack! I’m so glad you tried this. I’ve seen it around and been intrigued but never gutsy enough to give it a go. Nicely done.

  • debbi3272 July 2, 2012 - 12:51 pm Reply

    So I tried this but my instructions did not include the warning of explosion (or the plate). I covered the can with water and put it in the crockpot on high for 8 hours. I was so excited to see if it worked that I opened the can right away and spewed boiling hot sugar all over myself and the kitchen. After I treated my burns and berated myself for not remembering about the amount of pressure a boiled-sealed container has, I then had to scrape rock solid flecks of this stuff off my cabinets and counter tops. After all that, it didn’t taste much different than eating straight sweetened condensed milk from a can so I’m thinking your overcooked version might be better than mine. I didn’t really plan on making anything with it so I ended up eating most of it with a spoon and maybe a little ice cream. If I try it again I think I’ll let it cook over night so it can cook longer and I can sleep through the temptation.

  • sam July 2, 2012 - 1:29 pm Reply

    you can buy a new saucer, with a cup, at – your pattern is Mikasa Fruit Panorama, or you can get some Pfaltzgraff ceramic cleaner which should take the stain off for you.

  • LitDiva July 2, 2012 - 2:10 pm Reply

    bar keeper’s friend cleanser will get the rust ring off your saucer. 

    • rfoust July 3, 2012 - 12:42 am Reply

       @LitDiva Interesting.. I’ll have to try that, we have some barkeepers friend. I’m curious to see what it does with rust. 🙂

  • camwee July 2, 2012 - 3:36 pm Reply
    skip the first 3 a store bought crust. It

  • RebeccaAmos July 2, 2012 - 5:28 pm Reply

    I did it on the stove (thankfully mine didn’t explode) but they didn’t ever tell you that you need to keep adding water as the water boils out. After about an hour and a half I added more water, then more again an hour later…it boiled for a total of 3 1/2 hours. It looked like caramel when I opened it and it tasted like…burnt sweetened condensed milk. Ick!

  • canoncowgirl July 2, 2012 - 7:50 pm Reply

    I’m a little disappointed there was a no explosion. That sounds like an episode of mythbusters to me “How to get a can of sweetened condensed milk to explode” and then in the end they blow it up with dynamite. Anywho, I hear that this stuff is good on apples. Kinda carmel-y? 

  • Truffles8761 July 2, 2012 - 9:54 pm Reply

    I’m glad you did this.  I’ve done the stovetop method (which turned out really well) but was getting lazy and wanted to try the crockpot method.  Now that I know it sucks, I don’t have to.  Thanks again!

  • hi July 2, 2012 - 11:04 pm Reply

    use some ‘the works’ on the saucer. will take the rust right off.

  • brittaniexrenae July 3, 2012 - 12:34 am Reply

    Thank you for testing all of this shit so I don’t have to.

  • SephiaMorales July 3, 2012 - 2:23 am Reply

    This is easy and a no fail project.Use the dip for apples or fruit. It’s REALLY good with fruit! 

  • Sarah July 3, 2012 - 2:53 am Reply

    Buy pie rust, add sliced bananas top with caramel you made and whipped cream. Or just get a spoon. I do minto stove top for about 2 hours making sure it is always Covered with water

  • ThePintester July 3, 2012 - 8:50 am Reply

    @foodandthefab Thanks for the mention!

  • TamiSibley July 3, 2012 - 10:49 am Reply

    I do the 3 and a half hour boil method frequently and it comes out wonderful each time. Just remember to put a lid on your pot and check the water level often (once per hour is usually sufficient) and u won’t have any exploding can problems. If you want to eat it right away, run your can under cold water for a few minutes and let it sit in the cold water and enjoy!

  • Taira July 3, 2012 - 1:48 pm Reply

    I did the stove method twice and it turned out marvelously.  I’ve used it for the banoffe pie on Pinterest, for the green grapes dipped in caramel and nuts on Pinterest and as the best apple dip ever!!!  It’s so yummy (although yours definitely looks overcooked)!

  • RossanaGiselleObando July 3, 2012 - 9:25 pm Reply

    what to make with it?? Oh my.. that’s how we make “manjar” in South America. You can make sandwich shortbread cookies.. put it on crepes, pancakes or use it as cake frosting (my favorite cake as a child and still is), have it with apples, bread.. I’m manjar crazy!!

  • Sarah July 3, 2012 - 10:03 pm Reply

    There is a similar method (featured in a badass ice cream recipe) that I’ve used without fail:

  • Sinful Banana Pie | Pintester July 4, 2012 - 5:01 am Reply

    […] Pintester on July 4, 2012 in Food & Drink So, you guys already know that I made a big can of dulce de leche, and then I opened that can of dulce de leche, and it looked, you know, sort of decent, considering […]

  • GermanitaCamposLagos July 4, 2012 - 11:25 am Reply

    This DOES work, i’m from Chile and here we have Dulce de Leche or “Manjar” as we call it here, and my mom always makes it out of condemsed milk cause its better than the one they sell in the supermarket…but we did not prepared it in a crock pot, but just in a normal pot, covered with water and with the lid on, for like an hour or two….

  • mariana July 4, 2012 - 5:36 pm Reply

    hi, new to your blog….laughing really hard.
    i am from south america, and this is the quickest way to make dulce de leche. the real quick. otherwise, you have to stand by the stove stirring and stirring sugar eggs and milk for hours.
    i made it as a child in the pinterest way (lol) and it comes out perfect. yours took way too much time, between the power loss and the long hours. we used to do it for 3 hour, always checking on the water level.boiling.
    persevere, and you will get there. though ir¡t is easier to look for arequipe at the stor, now that is is sold commercially.
    uses for this??? top ice cream, meringues, bananas, crepes… the possibilities are endless if you have a sweet tooth.
    good luck…..if you try again.
    thanks for being the pintester!!  😉

  • NerdyBaker July 6, 2012 - 12:26 am Reply

    Glad you got that one to work! I couldn’t. You are my new favorite blog. Hilarious!

  • Amber D July 6, 2012 - 2:22 am Reply

    I’ve made this & had it one between 8-10 hrs & it turned out great. The only issue was the rust in the bottom of my crockpot.

  • Jodie July 6, 2012 - 3:46 pm Reply

    In Panama we eat it with saltine crackers!

  • Itried July 7, 2012 - 4:48 pm Reply

    I have done this with an old crockpot so I didn’t care about the rust stains.  I poured the dolce de leche in a store-bought graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream (or cool whip).  Viola! Caramel pie.  Everyone loved it.

  • PinInterested July 12, 2012 - 8:44 am Reply

    That’s the true color of Dulce de Leche. The one they posted for you to create looks closer to peanut butter. You seem to have done a good job none-the-less. As for ideas…you can…
    -put it on toast
    -use it as crepe filling
    -eat it out of the can
    -add it to ice cream
    -use it on top of flan (traditional Spanish dessert dish)
    …and basically anything. It’s like a sweet touch of caramel to any dish you like. =]

  • ckinkade July 14, 2012 - 5:27 am Reply

    I’m just wondering if you could maybe use a piece of tinfoil to keep the rust ring from forming?  Wouldn’t that be easier than trying to find something to clean it off the saucer or the crockpot?  I can’t figure out how to log in or anything, so I guess I will try to check back.  I love reading your blog and your pintests.  My projects come out about the same way.

  • ckinkade July 14, 2012 - 5:28 am Reply

    Wow.  Will you look at that!  I guess I might be smarter than I thought!  I replied with my name and everything.  I guess my epic fails will have to wait until my next pintest….which I will go look for now….

  • youarehere July 15, 2012 - 12:08 am Reply

    I love that you’re a worse cook than I am. How is that possible? You’re still not as lazy, though. Nyeh nyeh.

  • ReneeRiderWelch July 17, 2012 - 12:06 pm Reply

    you can make caramel pie with it.. pour into graham cracker shell and top with whipped cream chill and tada pie!

  • DenaPorter July 17, 2012 - 12:57 pm Reply

    Banoffee Pie is easy to make with it, just use a graham cracker crust filled with sliced bananas, put your caramel on top then frost it with whipped cream.  I often make these and I boil my condenses milk and I haven’t had one explode yet (crosses fingers)

  • LaineyGaga July 17, 2012 - 2:36 pm Reply

    I tried this too. I was hoping for a caramel flavor but, alas, it still tasted exactly like sweetened condensed milk. I was disappointed. If you want dulce de leche, get the real shit. >.<

  • reveusette July 18, 2012 - 9:41 pm Reply

    My introduction to condensed milk caramel was as icing on an angel food cake.  It is the best angel food cake I have ever had in my life.  I HIGHLY recommend it next time!

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  • Alysha July 26, 2012 - 1:47 pm Reply

    I tried this myself months ago (and I only just found your blog today).  I also had the same rust ring problem, only  mine was directly on the bottom of my crock pot.  I was really pleased with how it turned out, but my husband was a genius as said to add a little salt.  It was salted caramel!  It was incredible with apple slices!

  • kswift03 July 29, 2012 - 1:02 am Reply

    Bleach and baking soda will get the rust out! Mix to a paste and leave on there. Wipe away a little later. Sometimes you have to repeat. That mix also works for mold/scum on caulking. Another solution is cream of tartar and water. It didn’t work as well. Don’t add the cream of tartar to the bleach and baking soda mix because it fizzes, sizzles, evaporates, and, quite honestly, freaks you out. 🙂

    • AmandaPhillips September 11, 2012 - 3:58 am Reply

      Oh god. Now I have to try a mixture of bleach, baking soda, and cream of tartar. The “evaporates” part has me insanely curious.

  • FaithGaubault August 2, 2012 - 7:57 am Reply

    I have made this several times…..not in the can though.  I just pour it directly into the crock.  You have to stir it frequently so it doesn’t stick to the sides, and it will no matter what. But it comes out it much better and it’s easier for me.  I pour it into a pre made graham cracker crust and let it chill. Caramel pie, found on pinterest of course. 🙂

  • anitahenson August 4, 2012 - 2:53 pm Reply

    I found your blog by complete accident and am loving it.  This recipe is listed as the caramel pie at O’Charlies,  I have made this several times.  Cook the milk as you have and put it in a graham cracker crust and top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings.  Makes an easy dessert.

  • matiasezetraian August 9, 2012 - 3:17 am Reply
  • DorothyJackson August 10, 2012 - 12:45 am Reply

    I have tried the stove top method several times and mine turned out great. In order to avoid the possiblity of it exploding I punched two holes in the top of the can. I had to refill the pan several time, don’t cover the top of the can, and it took about 3-4 hours. I used it as a dip for apples.

  • Marianne1018 August 16, 2012 - 10:00 am Reply

    I was going to leave this exact same comment (almost). My Dad’s family is from South America, My Mom’s family is from Cuba. Boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk is the way to make dulce de leche. In fact, I laugh a little when I see dulce de leche for sale in finished form. I’ve never known a Spanish speaking person that would buy that – if you’re craving it, you buy a can of sweetened milk and boil it. 
    My favorite way to eat it is between and on top of a 2-layer yellow cake. Try it again, but just boil it in a large stock pot that will hold enough water to boil for a couple hours without uncovering the can.
    Buen provecho!

  • tamrynann August 23, 2012 - 10:06 am Reply

    lol in South Africa we just call it caramel . . . and ANNNNYWAY, my mom makes it all the time on the stove in a pot and theres never been an explosion but she checked on it which probably makes the difference.

    • Jilian September 11, 2012 - 3:18 pm Reply

      I am South African as well and before it was easily  available in most stores in the USA we used to make it by boiling it for 3 hours in a pot of water. A great cure for a touch of homesickness!

  • Wtf August 26, 2012 - 9:11 pm Reply

    You know, you wouldn’t have a whole blog of Pinterest fails if you actually followed the directions. You are not going to get good carmel or whatever if you leave it in there for 4 extra hours. Also, on your post about the banana ice cream, that would have turned out good if you used a food processor or blender instead of being lazy. 

    • Truffles8761 August 26, 2012 - 9:51 pm Reply

      Oh come on Wtf, did you not read any of the disclaimers on the site?  It’s comedy.

    • JamieRL September 9, 2012 - 11:06 am Reply

      Then the blog wouldn’t exist so you wouldn’t have somewhere to spend your time commenting about how disappointing someone else is instead of disappointing yourself.

  • Jilian September 11, 2012 - 3:18 pm Reply

    Just put an old rag/dish cloth under the can when you cook it. It will either prevent the rust ring or if using a non-stick pot to boil, it will prevent damage to the pot. I have also used a steamer basket because it helps get hot water all around the can and keeps the can off direct heat on the bottom of the pot.

  • delfirucci September 12, 2012 - 10:53 pm Reply

    Hi! I’m from Argentina and we “invented” the dulce de leche. We eat it with everything! with cookies, ice cream, BANANAs, flan, chocolate… for example you could try: vanilla ice cream, chopped oreos and dulce de leche. yummy! 

  • pintester girls at work September 21, 2012 - 7:57 pm Reply

    you dip vanilla wafers in it… my mom used to make the on teh stove version and she always bought vanilla wafers and wed have it as a snack…

  • jessalou513 November 1, 2012 - 4:32 pm Reply

    so for some reason I feel the need to guide you on your crock pot caramel venture. Because it is just so good. I’ve made it twice and both times to die for… literally… So Take your crock line it with foil (so you don’t have to use a saucer), remove label from can of sweetened condensed milk and put it on its SIDE, cover with water add lid. Set for 7 hrs on low. I tend to do mine at night and let it sit on keep warm until the next morning. So when I get up I remove the can from the crock and let it sit on the counter until I get home that evening. Remove lid and scoop in fancy dish, or just dig in with a spoon. THAT good. Pretzels and apple slices are the best carriers for this stuff.

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  • Bethanyy27 January 4, 2013 - 12:08 am Reply

    My family makes this and we put it on toast. We call it brown stuff (my little cousin made this up since there is no label they have no idea its condensed milk) and we make it on the stove and it turns out great.

  • Stephanie Cirillo January 10, 2013 - 10:20 pm Reply

    I used the boiling method. I took the label off, put the can on its side and covered it with water. Brought it to a boil then turned it on low and simmered it for 4 hours. It said to keep it completely submersed. I was afraid if i added cool water, it would explode the can. So i turned on my tea pot and had hot/almost boiling water ready to add. When the 4 hours was up, i took it out of the water, wrapped it in a dish towel. I figured if it were to explode now, the towel would contain most of it. I let it sit on the stove for an hour then put it in the refrigerator for a few hours till i thought it was cool. I was skeptical when i opened it. But tried it with a spoon. HEAVEN. I love caramel and this was good. After eating about 1/4 of the can, i stored it in the fridge. I poured it over apple slices. Vanilla ice cream. Yellow cake. I even dipped graham crackers in it. I dont know why i was so afraid to make it in the croc. But it came out soooo good.

  • Jamie Ferguson February 17, 2013 - 4:00 pm Reply

    My mom is from Colombia and we made this growing up- she would just leave it on the stove all night and go to bed, which looking back probably wasn’t the safest thing to do. I would just eat the dulce de leche with a spoon, but you can also put it between two obleas, which are thin wafers (you can probaby find them at a Mexican store)…so good!!

  • Mandy Foley Richards January 21, 2015 - 8:03 am Reply

    A magic eraser will take the rust right off that saucer 🙂

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