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Instant Pot Dulce de Leche is the EASIEST homemade dessert you’ll ever make! This recipe takes just about 30 minutes from start to finish and calls for just one inexpensive ingredient. Yes, you read that right! The end result is sweet, creamy, and perfectly caramelized. Grab a spoon and dig in!

a spoon is drizzling dulce de leche into a jar.
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Yes, the most incredible dulce de leche can be made in your pressure cooker! I’m so happy that we live in the era of kitchen gadgets like the Instant Pot, Crockpot, and air fryer. They make life so much easier! When you make pressure cooked dulce de leche, you essentially just submerge a can of sweetened condensed milk in water and let the machine do all the work for you. It doesn’t get much easier than this!

I know what you may be thinking. Dulce de leche made from a can cooked in a pressure cooker’s gotta not be great, right? So wrong. I was also both amazed and baffled at how tasty this stuff was when I tasted my first spoonful! It’s so wonderfully silky smooth, sweet, and deliciously caramelized. That signature brown caramel color is gorgeous! No one you serve this to would ever believe what a cinch to whip up it really was.

Why You’ll Love This

  • So. Freaking. Easy. Plug in the Instant Pot, grab a can of sweetened condensed milk, and wait patiently with a spoon for the magic to happen. Well, you also have to add water. This is the definition of a quick, easy, and totally hassle-free recipe!
  • The most delicious results. If you love dulce de leche, you’re going to obsess over this cooking hack! The end result is always smooth and sweet dulce de leche that’s guaranteed to satisfy your cravings.
  • Perfect for gift giving. This is a great budget-friendly DIY gift! Give little jars of homemade dulce de leche to friends, teachers, neighbors, or anyone else who deserves a little sweet treat.
a glass jar of dulce de leche is placed on a round white plate.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You only need ONE ingredient to make make dulce de leche in the Instant Pot. Who doesn’t love that?!

  • Sweetened condensed milk

How To Make Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

Here is a general overview of the steps involved to make pressure cooker dulce de leche. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

Remove the label. This is important to not forget! Remove the label from your can of condensed milk.

Pressure cook it. Place the metal trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place the can of condensed milk on top of it. Fill the insert with water until the entire can is submerged. Close the lid and cook on high for 35 minutes.

Release the steam. Release the steam and open your pot. Remove the can with tongs because it will be HOT! Be extremely careful.

a glass jar of dulce de leche is placed on a white surface.

Substitutions and Variations

With just one ingredient in this recipe, there’s not much to vary from. However, there are a couple ways you can make this dulce de leche perfect for your palate!

  • Add vanilla. Mixing in a teaspoon of pure vanilla bean paste to your final product is a great way to add a touch of vanilla flavor! Just be careful not to add too much, or you’ll end up making the already sweet treat WAY too sweet. Using vanilla bean paste is preferred over vanilla extract because the alcohol in the extract can make this a little bitter.
  • Add a sprinkle of salt. This is a little unconventional, but if you’re a salted caramel fan, you may like a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top of your dulce de leche!

What’s the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk?

Both condensed milk and evaporated milk are shelf-stable milk products where they’ve been heated so that 60% of their water content has evaporated. The main difference between the two is that condensed milk is sweetened and evaporated is not. Additionally, condensed milk is thick and like syrup and evaporated milk can be poured easily like a liquid.

Tips for Success

Check out these little tips and tricks to make sure you get the best dulce de leche every time!

  • USE TONGS! The can of condensed milk is going to be HOT. The water will be HOT. Are you catching my drift here? If you try to grab the can with your hands, there’s a big chance you’ll end up with pretty bad burns. Avoid that pain by using tongs!
  • Don’t try to rush the process. I know that 35 minutes may seem like a long time to wait when you’re craving the silky sweet deliciousness of dulce de leche. However, it’s very important to not try to shorten that time or open the Instant Pot while it’s cooking.
  • Make sure the can is fully submerged. It can be on its side or standing up, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that every single part of the can is completely submerged in water or it won’t cook correctly.
  • Do not swap for evaporated milk. You definitely need condensed milk for this recipe!
a spoon is placed next to a full jar of dulce de leche on a white plate.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Once your dulce de leche has completely cooled, you can transfer it to an airtight container (like a mason jar) and keep it stored in fridge for up to 1 month.

What to Serve with Dulce de Leche

There are so many ways to enjoy this sweet treat!

Dip. Serve it as a dip with sliced apples or as part of a big dessert board with various dippers.

Topping. It’s also a great topping for pancakes, French toast, and waffles! I recently decided to really indulge myself with a drizzle of dulce de leche over some espresso chocolate chip ice cream and I think the combination is stellar!

Bake with it! There are so many lovely desserts that use caramel and what better way to use this dulce de leche than in a dessert? Carmelitas, Caramel Apple Dump Cake, Caramel Filled Brownies, and Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes for Two all use this silky caramel sauce.

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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche is the EASIEST homemade dessert you'll ever make! This recipe takes just about 30 minutes from start to finish and calls for just one inexpensive ingredient.
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 can

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Sea salt, optional

Instructions 

  • Remove the label from your condensed milk can.
  • Place the metal trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot insert. Place your can of condensed milk on top of your trivet, either laying down or standing up.
  • Fill the insert until the water covers the whole can. Close the lid and heat on high for 35 minutes.
  • When it is done cooking, release the steam and open your pot. Remove your can with tongs because it will be very, very hot. Allow the can to cool. Once cooled, open your can and pour into an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • If you want to, you can sprinkle a little sea salt on top and mix it in for a salted caramel flavor. This is completely optional!

Notes

You can place the can on the side or standing, just as long as you cover the top with water. It has to be completely submerged in water. Very important to do this.
Allow the can to cool down completely before opening so it remains silky and darkens a bit more. Opening prior to it cooling down may cause lumps.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 36mg, Potassium: 105mg, Sugar: 15g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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4 Comments

  1. I dont have an insta pot can i use any pot and for how long must i let it cook in an ordinary pot. Thanks

    1. hi, i haven’t done it that way before. i’ve only done it in the slow cooker or the instant pot. however, i googled “dulce de leche on the stovetop” and it showed up with various options so hopefully one of those will help you out!

  2. I love Dulce de Leche! I do not have a metal trivet for my insta pot. Can I make it without the trivet or do I need to see about buying one? Thank you for a great recipe!