Hot Dulce de Leche

Hot Dulce de Leche ~ a decadently creamy and delicious hot caramel milk that gives cocoa a run for its money ~ once you try it there’s no turning back!

Hot dulce de leche in a pan

This toasty caramel milk will warm you to your core ~ but I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how easy it is to make this luscious hot dulce de leche. Hold on to your hats, there are only 2 ingredients, and one of them is in a can.

Pouring hot dulce de leche into a cup

Put on your coziest flannel pj pants, grab a fluffy throw, turn on the TV (I suggest Poldark) and pour yourself a cup. This is going to be good.

Girl drinking mug of Hot Dulce de Leche

In keeping with the decadent theme I suggest a dollop of MASON JAR WHIPPED CREAM to go on top.

Making mason jar whipped cream

What is dulce de leche?

Dulce de leche is a Latin American treat that’s a lot like caramel. It loosely translates to milk jam or milk candy, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate.   Dulce de leche is created when sweetened milk is slowly heated and the sugars basically caramelize. The resulting thick spread can be slathered on toast, biscuits, croissants, cornbread, you name it. And you can bake with it, too. Aaaaaaaand you can just go at it with a spoon, I don’t judge.

Where can I find dulce de leche? ~

You can buy dulce de leche in large supermarkets in most parts of the country, look for it with the other canned milk products.

If you can’t find it locally,  you can purchase it online, here. Be sure to buy extra so you’ll have it around, it keeps for a long time.

Making Hot Dulce de Leche

How to make homemade dulce de leche ~

You can actually make it yourself! The easiest and best method is to do it in your Instant Pot, I’ve got all the details in this post: Instant Pot Dulce de Leche.

You can turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche using a number of other methods. The Nestlé® company has directions here. I’ve tried all the methods and I prefer the Instant Pot method.

Girl holding a mug of Hot Dulce de Leche

Can you make dulce de leche from scratch, without the can?

Yes! Food 52 has instructions, here.

pecan praline cookies

Serve this hot dulce de leche with a plate of PECAN PRALINE COOKIES for the ultimate caramel experience!

Pssst! I’m going to be posting a recipe for homemade dulce de leche liquor later this month, just a heads up. You can get the gist by checking out my HOMEMADE NUTELLA LIQUEUR if you can’t wait…

4 from 4 votes

Hot Dulce de Leche

Hot Dulce de Leche ~ a decadently creamy and delicious hot caramel milk that gives cocoa a run for its money ~ once you try it there's no turning back!
Course beverage, Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 minutes
Yield 2 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups milk any type
  • 1 13-ounce can dulce de leche, about a cup


  • whipped cream
  • cinnamon


  • Heat the milk in a small sauce pan (you can also do this in the microwave) until it comes to a simmer.
  • Stir or whisk the dulce de leche into the milk until it is silky smooth. Reheat until piping hot, and it's ready to drink.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • Use any type of milk you like, whole, non-fat, or low fat all work fine. You can also use nut milks, or coconut milk.
  • To make a thicker caramel topping for desserts, just add enough milk to the dulce de leche to make a sauce consistency. Pour over ice cream, brownies, etc., or use it as a decadent dip for fruit or cookies. It’s an indulgent way to end a meal.


Don’t forget to pin this Hot Dulce de Leche

Hot Dulce de Leche pin.



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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    So I just pour the whole can of dulce de leche into it? It seems like a lot to me, but I’ve never tried it before, so I just want to make sure I’m doing it right.

    • Reply
      June 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      Yes, that’s right, it’s about a cup of dulce de leche. But, as always, feel free to adjust if you’d like it to be a little less decadent 😉

  • Reply
    Stine Mari
    November 29, 2017 at 2:02 am

    I have never thought of using dulce de leche as a comforting cozy drink, but it really sounds amazing. However, I couldn’t find your homemade version? It just says ‘(see above)’ and I can’t see it above, anyhow, great idea, and will definitely give it a try!

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Hi Stine ~ the link is in the text, the homemade recipe is from food 52, here Enjoy!.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Sounds delicious, I’m going to add this to our hot chocolate bar at our Friendmas party & I think I’ll put a bottle of Baileys salted caramel & Kahlua out to make them a little more interesting !

    • Reply
      November 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Can I come???

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    November 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Be still my heart – this sounds incredible, Sue!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    November 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Love, love jammie worthy snacks. Tis the season for warming treats like this! Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    November 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

    This looks wonderful Sue. Oddly today our temps are at 60 when the other day they were in the 30s. It’s been quite the yo-yo here in the Midwest but I expect it to be cold again in a day or so. This beverage will be ideal for the cooler weather and Thanksgiving weekend to curl up by the fire and watch old movies! Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Reply
      November 15, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Make this when the temps dip again Vicki, you won’t be disappointed, it’s become a huge hit here! In Los Angeles, 60 degrees is a cold snap!!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2017 at 10:09 am

    It has never occurred to me to make a drink made of dulce de leche, so comforting and tasteful ! Thank you for this lovely idea !

    • Reply
      November 15, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Hope you give it a try, I’m kind of a hot chocolate girl myself, but when I took my first sip of this I was hooked.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    November 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

    What a lovely thought! So glad you came up with this because it sounds magnificent. Yes on the whipped cream for me please – can’t wait for the first snow to make this!

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    November 15, 2017 at 9:09 am

    How much is in ‘a can’ of dulce de leche? I’m going to make my own so need a quantity.

    • Reply
      November 15, 2017 at 11:55 am

      I just noted that, Linda, it’s a 13 ounce can, and that is about a cup.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    November 15, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Yes please! I love the idea of warm dulce de leche. Will be trying this over the cold days ahead 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    November 15, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Wish I were holding that cup! Rich and totally irresistible!

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