Make instant pot dulce de leche (caramel) straight in the can! All you need is sweetened condensed milk to cook to a silky smooth caramel for indulging in desserts later! No jars, whisks, or can openers required! You’ll have dulce de leche in a fraction of time and it’s much cheaper to make your own than buying a can from the Mexican aisle!
We use dulce de leche in many of our desserts which why it’s a staple caramel condiment. Try out super-moist Cherry Chocolate Cake with Dulce De Leche or out Walnut filled Cookies with dulce de leche!
Dulce De Leche
To make it short, Dulce De Leche is caramelized Sweetened Condensed milk. This 2-ingredient silky smooth indulgent Caramel is a staple condiment in many cultures including my Ukrainian heritage! Meaning if you walk into a Russian or Ukrainian wedding you are likely to try a dessert with this caramel! We use this in lots of dessert recipes so yea, it’s pretty essential!
So why the instant pot?
The cooking will take a fraction of the time than a slow cooker or stovetop method! This machine works wonders for recipes like these! Use this as a sweetener, dip, drizzle, topping or frosting! This stuff is very versatile it’s done all in the convenience of the packaged can it comes in. So, no mason jars or even the hassle of opening or pouring the condensed milk! It stays sealed and keeps for a long time just like the store-bought Dulce De Leche cans that you’d buy at grocery stores, only much cheaper!
Here’s to make my stovetop Dulce De Leche.
How to make Dulce De Leche in the instant pot:
Instant Pot Dulce De Leche
- Instant Pot
Dulce De Leche:
- 4 cans Condensed Milk (14 oz) each
- 8 cups water
How to make Dulce De Leche in the Instant Pot:
- Remove the paper labels from each can. Place cans into the bowl of the instant pot. Cover with water.
- Select the Pressure Cook button and set to cook over high for 1 hour. Depressurize for 15 minutes then remove and cool completely.
- Servings- Each 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk serves about 10 servings.
- For Deep Caramel Color: pressure cook High for 1 hour and 5 minutes.
- For Light Caramel Color: pressure cook High for 30-45 minutes.
- Do not open Hot Cans as the caramel can burst out.
- The deeper the color the thicker the caramel.
- To drizzle thick caramel: simply beat the caramel with a hand mixer until a drizzle consistency. It turns runnier from beating. This works for thicker caramel too. Or just Microwave.
Nutrition per serving
What is Dulce De Leche?
Dulce de leche is a sweetened condensed milk caramel that’s popular in many cultures like, Mexico, South America, Asian, Russian and Ukrainian cultures. The caramelization happens from cooking the condensed milk to the desired color of your caramel. The longer the cooking the deeper the color.
How to Use Dulce De Leche?
- Eat- from the can.
- Sweetener- for drinks like tea or coffee.
- Frostings- for cakes.
- Spreads- for breakfast pancakes, crepes, toast, pastries, or waffles (the colored crispy waffles from European stores.)
- Dessert Toppings- for ice cream or tarts.
Why use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?
Making Dulce De Leche in the instant pot is easier and much faster than any method! It’s all about the speed! A pressure cooker tenderizes meat or cooks food in a fraction of the time since the air is sealed in. I also like the convenience of not using the stove and just placing the cans into a small electric unit.
Stovetop- 2 hours.
Slowcooker- 8-12 hours.
Instant Pot- 30 minutes-1 hour.
What’s the difference between evaporated milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk?
The difference between the two kinds of canned milk products is the sugar content. Condensed milk has higher sugar content and once evaporated it results in gooey and thicker milk. Whereas evaporated milk is unsweetened and much runnier but still creamy. Read more on condensed milk vs evaporated milk here.
Which brand of Sweetened Condensed Milk?
Any 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk can be used. Eagle brand is the most commonly known brand major grocery stores carry or look for a Generic brand which most grocery stores offer. Condensed milk is commonly found in the baking or Mexican aisles of most grocery stores.
The rule of thumb to consider when making homemade dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk is the longer you cook the deeper the caramel color. No Baking soda required for a deep caramel color just more cooking time!
Instant Pot Lighter Caramel: Pressure cook High for 30-45 minutes.
Instant Pot Deeper Caramel: Pressure Cook High for 50 minutes-1 hour+
Can Method or Jar Method?
I’m all for easy recipes so if you want me to go through the hassle of removing the condensed milk and pouring it into mason jars there better a good reason to. The reasoning behind the mason jars is mostly for safety issues which I had no problems with all the years of making homemade caramel from Sweetened condensed milk.
I never saw metal residue in my caramel or felt the need to open and add baking soda to my condensed milk. It caramelizes easily on its own right in its original can. So why would I open and pour it out into another jar to make a bigger mess and use utensils? No, thank you. I’ll stick with my old-age method that has worked for decades with a just water bath.
What is the Stainless Steel Method?
Get ready for washing some pots with the stainless steel method.
Can I make it with Baking Soda?
I think baking soda is completely unnecessary! It is said to give a deeper caramel color which I can achieve with just cooking the sweetened condensed milk longer.
Tips for Dulce De Leche:
- Always try to cover the cans with water for even cooking.
- To get a light caramel color pressure cook high for 30-45 minutes.
- For a deeper dark brown caramel color pressure cook high for 50 minutes-1 hour.
- Drizzle consistency- beat with an electric hand mixer until runnier.