Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche ~ finally, the definitive homemade dulce de leche recipe that’s quick, easy, safe, and utterly fabulous ~ who knew?

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche pinterest image

luxe dulce de leche made in your Instant Pot!

This incredibly lush homemade dulce de leche is just a couple of quick steps away, so grab a can of sweetened condensed milk and plug in your Instant Pot. It’s by far the best method for making homemade dulce de leche that I’ve found, and with the Instant Pot it’s not only the speed of cooking that makes it so special, but the ease of it all.

what is dulce de leche and what can I do with it?

Dulce de leche is a Latin American treat that’s a lot like caramel, except that caramel is made with sugar and water, and dulce de leche is made with sugar and milk.. It loosely translates to milk jam or milk candy, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate.   To make it you slowly heat sweetened milk until it thickens and the sugars basically caramelize. The resulting spread can be slathered on ice cream, toast, biscuits, croissants, cornbread, you name it. And you can bake with it, too. In our house we usually just go at it with a spoon, but if we can keep it around long enough, this instant pot recipe is going to come in handy when I’m craving a batch of my HOT DULCE DE LECHE.  And when the weather warms up, think about some NO CHURN DULCE DE LECHE ICE CREAM!

pouring Instant Pot Dulce de Leche into a jar

how does it work?

The Instant Pot pressure cooker uses high pressure to speed up the Maillard Reaction (a fancy culinary term for the caramelizing of the milk) to transform sweet milk into a thick rich caramel in a fraction of the time of ordinary diy methods. This same browning transformation is responsible for some of the most tempting flavors on earth, from grilled meats to roasted coffee. Dulce de leche is right up there with them, and once you take a taste, it’s really hard to stop.

Homemade Instant Pot dulce de leche in a jar

step by step process

The process is dead simple ~

  1. Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass canning jar. I used a Weck jar, but any will do.
  2. Top it with foil or screw on the lid, then place it in your Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  3. Add water to the pot up to an inch from the top of the jar.
  4. Cook on high for 45 minutes, let cool, and voilà, you’ve got thick creamy caramel.
two versions of homemade dulce de leche, on tea spoons

Why bother making homemade dulce de leche when you can just open a can? 

Well, you can do that, if you can find it in your supermarket, but my super scientific taste test revealed that this homemade Instant Pot dulce de leche is far superior.

Instant Pot dulce de leche on a spoon

other methods for making dulce de leche

You can also make dulce de leche on the stove top, (but the cans can explode.) You can make it in a slow cooker, (but it takes a looooooong time.) you can do it in a double boiler, (I hope your stirring arm’s in shape.) And finally you can do it in the oven, (my second choice if you don’t have an Instant Pot.)

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3.5 from 67 votes

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche ~ finally, the definitive homemade dulce de leche recipe that's quick, easy, safe, and utterly fabulous ~ who knew?
Course Dessert
Cuisine Latin American
Yield 1 cup
Calories 80kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk you can do up to 3 cans in one batch if you like

Instructions

  • Scrape out all the condensed milk into a pint sized mason jar, or similar canning jar.
  • Cover the jar tightly with foil or screw on the cap.
  • Place the rack at the bottom of your Instant Pot and then place the jar on the rack. Fill the Instant pot with water, up to 1 inch from the top of the jar. Close and lock the Instant Pot lid, and set the pressure release valve to sealed.
  • Press ‘Pressure Cook’ and set the timer to 45 minutes.
  • When the machine beeps, press cancel and unplug. Let the pressure release naturally, and then open the lid and carefully remove the hot jar.
  • Let the jar cool down, it will be VERY hot. Do not be tempted to taste the dulce de leche until it has cooled.
  • When cool enough to handle, stir vigorously to remove the lumps and smooth out the caramel. I like to give it a whirl in my small food processor to make it extra silky.
  • Store your dulce de leche in the refrigerator for up to a month. Good luck getting it to last that long 😉
  • Reheat chilled dulce de leche gently in the microwave.

Cook’s notes

Safety Note: This recipe is formulated for the Instant Pot. Please don’t try this with stove top pressure cookers as I haven’t tested it on other models. 
When using an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, always read and follow all the instructions provided with your machine, especially the safety instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 92mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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18 Comments

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  • Reply
    Beth
    November 27, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I have those exact Weck jars! do you use the lids and clasps for this recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 27, 2018 at 8:21 am

      I fill the jars after I make the dulce de leche, Beth, but I do use them to secure the lids.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    March 4, 2018 at 6:11 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for a great line up of recipes to try! Time to get that Instant Pot fired up. Happy Sunday Sue.

  • Reply
    Marcela
    March 3, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Hi I have read your post on dulce de leche on instant pot. For years I have made it and you don’t need to scrap condensed Milk into a jar. You just put one or two cans (labels removed) into the instant pot and 45 or 50 minutes later you have it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 3, 2018 at 8:09 am

      I guess I just feel better with it cooking in the glass jar, Marcela, but it’s good to know you can skip that step if you want to!

  • Reply
    Paula | Vintage Kitchen
    February 27, 2018 at 3:33 am

    Wow, this might be the best idea ever Sue! I would never put a closed jar in an instant pot, so this discovery is worth millions. I am from Argentina where dulce de leche is as common as peanut butter there. A million brands. Still, I love homemade everything and this method blew my mind. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 27, 2018 at 7:31 am

      I’m like a kid with a new toy with this machine, it opens up so many possibilities for fun in the kitchen. I thought the IP dulce de leche had a better (fresher, more natural) flavor than the canned, for sure. Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Ana S. Troccoli
    February 26, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I read your whole recipe expecting a very short cooking time on the IPot… but for 45 minutes its not worth it for me to spend money buying one… I’ve been boiling the cans of Sweetened condensed milk for ages and it’s given me perfect results all the time!

  • Reply
    Laura
    February 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    5 stars
    I love dulce de leche, this looks heavenly!

  • Reply
    Tricia
    February 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    5 stars
    Wow – I love that you did a side-by-side comparison and taste test. This looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing all these great recipes – I must give them a try!

  • Reply
    Tracey Mardon
    February 25, 2018 at 9:06 am

    We loved the Beef Bourginon! Looking forward to your yogurt! Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

      It’s so funny, I’m trying to space out my IP recipes for the sake of the ‘non-believers’, but I have so many I want to share asap 🙂

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    February 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Pinned! Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks for all of the IP recipes you’ve been posting.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 25, 2018 at 9:32 am

      I’m so glad you’re excited like I am Lea Ann ~ right this minute I’ve got a foccacia bread proofing in the ‘pot’!

  • Reply
    Angie
    February 25, 2018 at 7:07 am

    5 stars
    That’s exactly how I made dulce de leche with my pressure cooker! Easy peasy!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 25, 2018 at 7:15 am

      dangerously easy 🙂

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