Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche Cake is what’s for dessert today! And what’s for dinner? Also Dulce de Leche Cake!

No joke, I had a slice for lunch the other day! What can I say… It was worth it every second.

dulce de leche cake

I topped this Dulce de Leche Cake with my Dulce de Leche Donuts. And I also used the same donuts to top another recipe, coming soon! (Here it is! Dulce de Leche Cupcakes!!!)

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Do you love Dulce de Leche? It’s probably one of my favorite things in the whole world!

And I love any dulce de leche desserts, like this awesome Dulce de Leche Cake. I am so lucky my friend came over the day I photographed this cake, I sent him home with over 1/2 of this cake, otherwise I would have probably eaten the whole cake.

dulce de leche cake slice

So, let’s talk cake! And better, let’s talk Dulce de Leche Cake!

These are the basic steps for making the vanilla sponge, which is my new go-to vanilla cake. I also used it to make this Grape Cake.

The vanilla cake is so fluffy, soft, and wonderful!

steps on how to make moist vanilla cake
  1. Cream butter until fluffy (1 min.)
  2. Add sugar and cream for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add oil. Cream for 1 more minute. (You can also add the oil with the butter, and then add the sugar after)
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, waiting until one egg is incorporated before adding the next one.
  5. Now add vanilla extract.
  6. Add half of the milk.
  7. Then add half of the flour mixture (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sifted) then add the remaining of the milk, and finally the last of the flour.
  8. Pour batter onto cake pans (you can use 4 6″ round cake pans, or 2 8″ pans)

I like to make my cakes in 6″ cake pans, because it makes for a taller cake. But feel free to use the 8″ pans, and either just do one layer of filling (make it a THICK one), or slice the 8″ cakes lengthwise and end up with 4 cake layers, and therefore 3 layers of filling.

dulce de leche cake

About the dulce de leche, you can use either homemade or store-bought. To make it homemade, check out some tips below. I also include the instructions for the pressure cooker method down on the recipe.

How to make Dulce de Leche from a can of condensed milk

Simply start with a can of condensed milk. Now, there are a few options here.

  1. Making dulce de leche in the oven– Pour the inside of the condensed milk can in an oven-proof pan, and bake over a water bath for about 2-3 hours, stirring in between, covered with foil, at 350F.
  2. Making dulce de leche on the stove top– there are two ways to make dulce de leche on the stove top with a sealed can of condensed milk.
  • First is to use a pressure cooker, which is the fastest way. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker full of water, covering the can by at least 2 inches. Cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and let can and water both cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
  • If you just want to use a regular pot, make sure it’s a large pot of water, where the can will be submerged the whole time. Boil sealed can for about 2 1/2 hours. Let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.

Regardless of the method you choose to make your dulce de leche, make sure to always let it cool down before handling it. And leave it in the fridge for a few hours before piping so dulce de leche will be cold and have proper texture.

dulce de leche cake slice

Making the Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

Once the cakes are baked and cooled, and your dulce de leche ready to go, you can make the frosting.

cream cheese dulce de leche frosting
  1. Add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Cream at medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add dulce de leche. Cream for another minute or until incorporated.
  4. Now add the powdered sugar, and mix on low until incorporated.
  5. Once powdered sugar is incorporated, cream on medium-high for another minute. Add vanilla extract.

Troubleshooting the frosting:

If the frosting is too runny, feel free to add some more sifted powdered sugar. However, consider if the issue is because the butter and cream cheese are too soft, due to the temperature of your kitchen. If that’s the case, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes or so, remove and cream again.

If the frosting is too stiff, add some milk to it, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency.

Here are the steps to decorate this Dulce de Leche Cake:

frosting dulce de leche cake
  1. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of a cake layer.
  2. Pipe (or spoon) some dulce de leche in the middle of the cake (I used about 1/3 cup per layer on my 6″ layers)
  3. Use a spatula to smooth it out.
  4. Watch that beautiful frosting! So nice and thick!
  5. Start by frosting the entire cake with some of the Dulce de Leche cream cheese frosting.
  6. Use a bench scraper to smooth out the cake.

My favorite cake decorating tools are the bench scraper, and the offset spatula. Not to mention my rotating cake stand.

To decorate the top of this cake, besides using the Dulce de Leche Donuts, I also used a swirled frosting in a piping bag fitted with this tip: Ateco 829. And I am already linking it here because I ALWAYS get questions about this tip, cause it’s so pretty and it’s my go-to so I use it quite a bit!

Anyway, it’s very easy to make the swirled frosting.

dulce de leche swirled frosting
  1. Pipe a line of dulce de leche on a piece of plastic.
  2. Spread some of the Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese frosting on top of it.
  3. Roll the plastic wrap onto itself like a log.
  4. Place the log inside a piping bag fitted with the tip of choice. You already know what my choice is 😉

I also used this same technique for the swirl frosting on my Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.

dulce de leche cake sliced in half

And you don’t have to add the swirled frosting, but I think it’s a nice touch!

Plus, it means there’s even more dulce de leche being added to the cake!

Speaking of dulce de leche, here are some more dulce de leche recipes you might enjoy:

dulce de leche cake

I have lots of cake recipes on the blog: Layer Cakes, Bundt Cakes, Cheesecakes, Cupcakes, and even Vegan Cakes if that’s your thing (ps. you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them! They are approved by all!). And here are some of my favorite cake recipes that you may like:

dulce de leche cake slice

I hope you liked today’s recipe for this delicious Dulce de Leche Cake, I certainly loved making it! Have a beautiful day!

dulce de leche cake

Dulce de Leche Cake

Camila Hurst
This is a Dulce de Leche layer cake, with dulce de Leche cream cheese frosting, filled with dulce de leche, topped with donuts.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, brazilian
Servings 12 people


Vanilla Cake
  • cups  all-purpose flour  9 oz, 255 grams
  • teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  unsalted butter at room temperature 4 oz, 113 grams
  • 1 1/2  cups  granulated sugar  10.5 oz, 300 grams
  • tablespoons  vegetable oil  44 ml
  • large eggs
  • teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • cup  milk  236 ml
Dulce de Leche Filling
  • 2-14 oz cans of condensed milk to make dulce de leche some will also be used in the frosting
Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese softened (4 oz, 113 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened (6 oz, 170 grams)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 18 oz, 510 grams
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche 7.94 oz, 225 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Vanilla Cake
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease 4 6-inch round cake pans, or 2 8-inch round pans. Line with parchment paper. Or butter and flour the pans.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and oil together in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 1 minute.
  • Add sugar. Cream for another 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, waiting for one egg to be incorporated before adding the next one.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Pour half of the milk in. Mix until combined.
  • Add half of the flour mixture in the bowl. Stir until combined.
  • Add the rest of the milk in.
  • Finally, add the other half of the flour mixture.
  • Stir just until combined. You don’t want to over mix cake batter, because that might make your cake dry and tough, since the more you mix, the batter starts to develop gluten.
  • Divide cake batter between the two cake pans.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, rotating in between.
  • Cakes are ready when they are golden on the outside and cooked on the inside. Insert a toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean, that means the cake is baked. Or gently touch the top of the cake, if it springs right back, it means the cake is ready.
  • Remove from the oven. Let cakes cool down for 10 minutes, remove them from the pans. Let them cool down completely before frosting.
Dulce de leche filling
  • You can use pre-made dulce de leche, or make it at home. To make dulce de leche at home, you take many different approaches. Check the post above to read 3 different approaches on how to make dulce de leche from a can of condensed milk.
  • My favorite way to make dulce de leche starts with an unopened can of condensed milk. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it plus at least 2 inches.
  • Then, bring the water to a boil and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Let pressure release naturally and let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can. You can cook 2 cans at the same time.
  • When you open the can, it will be a thick darkened caramel inside.
  • Place contents in a container and put it in the fridge until cold and firm.
Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Cream at medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add dulce de leche. Cream for another 30 seconds, scrape the bowl to incorporate.
  • With the mixer off, add sifted powdered sugar.
  • Mix on low until combined.
  • Raise speed to medium-high and cream for another minute.
  • Add vanilla and mix.
  • If frosting seems too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar, or make sure your kitchen isn’t too hot, because it could just be that the butter and cream cheese are too soft. If that’s the case, pop the bowl of frosting in the fridge for 5 minutes, remove and whip again.
  • If the frosting seems too stiff, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
To assemble
  • Place one layer of cake on a cake plate.
  • Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake.
  • Spread about 1/3 cup of dulce de Leche in the middle of the cake (depends on what size cake you’ve baked. I like a very thick layer, and I used about 1/3 cup on my 6 inch cake)
  • Top with another cake.
  • Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake, fill it with dulce de leche. Keep doing this until you reach the last cake layer.
  • Frost with the Dulce de Leche cream cheese frosting.
  • I topped my cake with these Dulce de Leche donuts.
  • Cake will store nicely in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Keyword cake, dulce de leche

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  1. 5 stars
    A gorgeous cake! I love dulce de leche! I make it in my instant pot, but didn’t know you could put a sealed can in a pressure cooker. I usually pour it into a jar, then cover loosely with a lid. This is wonderful! I’d eat this cake for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, so would definitely need someone to give half (or more!) to!

  2. 5 stars
    This is LOVELY!! Not just to the eye but the taste is out of this world. Sugar rush!! Thank you for sharing your recipe..

  3. Hi Camila,
    I want to make this cake for my friends’ engagement party. Will the cake start to melt if kept outside the fridge? I was planning to leave it on a table along with other desserts.
    Should I make the cake a day and advance and leave in the fridge so it will hold up?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hello Amanda, so the cake won’t melt unless it’s really really hot outside like 90 degrees, however, the cream cheese frosting and the dulce de leche both require refrigeration for food safety purposes, so I wouldn’t leave them out past 2 hours. But up to 2 hours should be fine to stay out of the fridge!
      🙂 thank you! have a great day!

    2. Hi, I need to make a cake for 20 persons. can I double this recipe and always use 2 8inch cake pans or should I use more 8inch cake pans?

  4. Just like you’ve said, dulce de leche is one of my favorite things in the world that I really like to eat. I think I’ll try buying some so I can make a cake out of it. I’ve always thought that dulce de leche is wonderful to eat, and my friends like it as well, but since I really have a hard time making it, I thought that having a pre-made one to make it into a cake is something I can do to satisfy all of our cravings.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!! I made an Easter cake using this recipe and my family loved it. I will love to share a picture, I made it quite different, but same amazing flavor.

    1. You’ll probably have to bake the 8 inches a bit longer. Keep checking, and remove from the oven once a toothpick comes out clean

  6. 5 stars
    I made this cake yesterday. I used cake flour (first time trying to see how that works lol) and exchanged the cream cheese frosting with a dulce de leche whipped cream – but OMG this cake is soooo great. Thanks for such a great recipe – it’s truly delicious and I will make it many more times.

  7. Hi:) i was wondering if id be able to cover this in fondant (sub the cream cheese frosting with a cinnamon buttercream)? Would it hold up?

  8. This filling was absolutely delicious and a huge hit! Thank you for sharing! I have a little left over. How long can I store it in the refrigerator for? I was planning on using it for a cake for next weekend wasn’t sure if it would last that long.

    1. in the fridge for up to 10 days (some people keep it even longer like 15 days) and in the freezer for up to 2 months or so.
      Yay so happy you liked it!!!!

  9. Would I need to double or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans? That’s the only size I have. Also, do you have a recipe for dulce de leche buttercream you recommend?

    1. you can double it for 9 inch pans. and you can sub the cream cheese in this recipe for butter, same amount. You may need a bit less powdered sugar, so add it slowly, and continue to add more as needed.

  10. Hi Ms. Camila! I’m looking forward to make this in the weekend! But we don’t have the meat option in our instant pot like yours, will clicking the chicken option still be okay? Is it also safe to place two cans of condensed milk in the indtant pot? I’m really sorry but it’s my first time to use an instant pot, but I’m looking forward to make the cake this weekend and see how delicious and amazing it will be! Thank you Ms. Camila and have a merry christmas!

    1. hi! you should find the highest pressure option in the pressure cooker, for me it’s the meat, since I can’t control between low and high, but only choose from the options.
      And yes I believe it would be ok to put two cans in there, make sure to follow the safety measures such as: make sure the cans are completely submerged in water, don’t jostle or move the pan around while it has the cans in there, let the cans and the water cool down before removing them.
      And thank you!
      Have a merry christmas as well!!

  11. Hi!
    I want to make this into a 2-layer 1/4 sheet cake. Do you think a double batch would give me 2 layers?

  12. I don’t have cake tins of the same size. I could split it into different sizes and just monitor it more closely but I was wondering if it would be okay to do the layers in batches, so I could just use the same tin multiple times.

    1. It’s ok to do it in batches. It is not the best idea to let the batter sit for too long, but in this case you can try to make it work.

  13. Hi Camila,

    Did you use store bought dulce de leche for the pictures you took? I need to make sure the dulce de leche can keep its shape when refrigerated (for a wedding cake) and not get too runny. I’d prefer to use store bought just for convenience sake – is it more about refrigeration or did you make this batch yourself and cook it extra long to make it very thick?


  14. Hola Camila! Ésta torta se ve deliciosa!! I have made Dulce the Leche in the pressure cooker before, it’s super awesome that you put all the safety guidelines so people don’t get hurt, my dad taught me that if you want your Dulce de Leche a little bit more darker add like 10-20 more minutes in the pressure cooker

  15. Your recipe has a mistake in the grams measurements. 2 cups of flour isn’t 255g but 454g. I always bake in grams and I wish I had seen that error before getting the cakes in the oven :/

      1. You’re right! My husband explained my mistake to me. I almost never use cups and tablespoons because I don’t find them accurate, and indeed I should stick to that where I don’t get confused. Sorry!

  16. 5 stars
    This was surprisingly easy and was impeccable!! Definitely will make again. Even just the plain cake without the Dulce De Leche was delicious. The cake wasn’t dry but moist, perfect! The Dulce De Leche was super easy to make in the pressure Cooker!

  17. 5 stars
    This cake is one of THE BEST I have ever made! I made it for my mom’s birthday and everyone loved it. I cut back on the sugar in the cake by 1/2 cup and it balanced nicely with the icing. My dulce de leche “curdled” (but didnt taste burnt) so i whipped it with a little bit of cream and it was perfect. I will be making this recipe again! 10/10

  18. 5 stars
    One of the best cakes I’ve ever made! I had trouble with the filling being runny, but I missed the step to make a barrier with the icing before adding in all the filling. It didn’t look the best but there wasn’t a single piece left, which is success in my book! Muito obrigada Camila, sem dúvida farei de novo!😋

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