Dulce de Leche – Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sous Vide Dulce de Leche

You can make plain Dulce de Leche by heating the milk in the unopened can but you cannot add flavorings.  Believe me, the added flavorings make a big difference.

We made ours with several different flavorings and asked some friends over to taste test and vote on their favorites.  The process, comments and the results are below:

NOTES and warnings:

  • This stuff is going to expand and break the glass jar if you over-tighten the lids. Turn down the lid until snug then back it off a half a turn and turn it with the tip of two fingers until it stops turning freely.  This should make the lid tight enough to hold out the water but loose enough to let air pressure escape.
  • If you put cold glass jars into 185 degree water, they may (probably will) break from the temperature shock. Put the jars in the sous vide and cover them with hot tap water before starting the sous vide heater.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk comes in 14 oz (by weight) cans. These cans actually hold 10oz (by volume).  You need to measure 5oz by volume of Sweetened Condensed Milk into each ½ pint (8oz canning jar).


Sous Vide for 12 – 18 hours at 185 degrees.

Test recipes:

#1 – 5oz of Sweetened Condensed Milk with no additives (just like simmering in the can).
Average Score Fixed at 5/10 (baseline).  It is actually very good.
#2 – 1/8 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract added
Average Score: 7/10
Comments:  “Richer than plain.”   “Richer deep flavor.”  “Not overpowering.  Cannot really taste the vanilla.”
#3 – 4 drops LorAnnOils Butterscotch Flavor added
Average Score:  9/10
Comments:  “Yum!!!”  “Buttery Flavor.”  “Very Different Flavor”  “Holy ****”
#4 – 4 drops LorAnnOils Apple Flavor added
Average Score:  8/10
Comments:  “Tastes like a caramel apple”
#5 – 8 drops LorAnnOils Coffee Flavor added
Average Score:  5/10
Comments:  “Barely taste the coffee”  “Tastes like coffee candy”
#6 – 9 drops LorAnnOils Cinnamon Roll Flavor added
 Average Score:  4/10
Comments:  “Not my favorite”
#7 – 8 drops LorAnnOils Chocolate Flavor added
 Average Score:  5/10
Comments:  “Bitter after-taste”  “Slightly bitter”
#8 – 1/16 tsp. Peppermint Magic Line Professional Strength Emulsion added
Average Score:  5/10
Comments:  “Not really good by itself”  “Might be good on ice cream”
#9 – 1 tsp. Hershey’s Cocoa added
Average Score:  8/10
Comments:  “Tastes like a Slo Poke”  “Tastes like a Milk Dud”
#10 – 4 drops McCormick Pure Almond Extract added
Average Score:  5/10
Comments:  “Cannot taste the almond”  “Same as unflavored”
#11 – ½ oz (1 square) Ghirardelli  Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate.

Shaved Chocolate and microwaved in 5oz Sweetened Condensed Milk for 30 seconds before stirring in.

Average Score:  7/10
Comments:  “Very rich”  “Not a dark chocolate fan”  “Not overpoweringly sweet”  “Was not smooth.  Thick and chunky”
#12 – 4 drops LorAnnOils Butter Rum Flavor added
Average Score:  10/10
Comments:  “Yes!”  “More of a rum taste”  “Buttery”  “Like a Butter Rum Lifesaver”  “Very good”


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