I can’t really put into words how much I love dulce de leche, so I am going to let this recipe speak for me.
These Dulce de Leche Cupcakes are topped with a cinnamon and sugar mixture before being baked, which gives them this crackling sugary top underneath that frosting goodness.
That’s because cinnamon and dulce de leche go hand in hand together to form one of the best flavor combos in the world!
Have you ever tried making dulce de leche at home? Well, I will tell you, it’s so easy to make homemade dulce de leche, you will never want to stop! I am from Brazil and we REALLY like our dulce de leche down there, and when I go there I like to buy the artisan dulce de leches because nothing compares to them. But making dulce de leche at home from a can of condensed milk makes for a pretty good substitute.
Also, one of my FAVORITE dulce de leches in the whole entire world would be Havanna, an Argentinian dulce de leche, richer than Kim Kardashian. Seriously, you will not see me making a Kim Kardashian reference very often, because I know nothing about her besides the fact that she is very rich (and has a big booty 👀). Oh and she is married to Kanye West. Ok maybe I know 3 things about Kim Kardashian.
Anyway, to the point. Let’s make dulce de leche!
How to make Dulce de Leche at home
Simply start with a can of condensed milk. Now, there are some options here.
- 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.
- 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.
Down below on the recipe I will use the pressure cooker method to make dulce de leche!
So, after you make the batter of the vanilla cupcakes, sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the cupcakes before baking.
The cupcakes will come out like this with a crackling sugary top, cinnamony and delicious!
Once the cupcakes have cooled down, time to assemble!
Remove the center of each cupcake.
Set the cake you removed aside so you can use it later to top the cupcake.
Place the dulce de leche in a piping bag to make this easier and neater, but you can also use a spoon to place some dulce de leche in the center of each cupcake.
Now place the top back on the cupcakes.
Just take a look at that middle!
Here is how I made the Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting for the cupcakes.
- Add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Make sure they are at room temperature.
- Cream at medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy and incorporated.
- Add dulce de leche. Cream for another minute.
- Now add the sifted powdered sugar, and mix on low until completely incorporated.
- Once powdered sugar is mixed in, 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.
I made a swirl frosting with dulce de leche and the Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting.
How to make swirl frosting with Dulce de Leche
- Pipe a line of dulce de leche on a piece of plastic.
- Spread some of the Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese frosting on top of it.
- Roll the plastic wrap onto itself like a log.
- Place the log inside a piping bag fitted with the tip of choice.
My tip of choice today was the Ateco 829, which is one of my favorite tips ever, and I am linking it below, because I constantly get asked what tip this is! It’s such a phenomenal tip! This tip is huge, perfect to frost cupcakes, or pipe decorations on top of cakes!
And, as you know, I topped my Dulce de Leche cupcakes with these Dulce de Leche Donuts.
If you like these Dulce de Leche cupcakes, be sure to check my other dulce de leche recipes:
- Dulce de Leche Pecan Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Cake
- Dulce de Leche Bars
- Dulce de Leche filled Snickerdoodles
- Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Pie
- Alfajor Cupcakes
Here are some more cupcake recipes you may like:
- Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- Almond Cupcakes
- Flan Cupcakes
- Grape Cupcakes
- Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
- Lindt Truffle Cupcakes
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe as much as I have enjoyed writing it, and eating it!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and make sure to tag me if you make one of my recipes, and let me know if you have any questions, or comments! I am always open to talk, help, learn, and be a part of this amazing community of bakers! Thank you for reading and following along!
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 191 grams, 6.75 oz
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams, 7.1 oz
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened 113 grams, 4 oz
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk room temperature 118 ml
Cupcake Topping (pre-bake)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 grams, 1.76 oz
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
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
- 1/4 cup cream cheese softened (2 oz, 56.7 grams)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (3 oz, 85 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar 9 oz, 255 grams
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche 3.97 oz, 112.5 grams
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper or grease with butter and flour.
- Start by sifting the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter at medium speed, for about 1 minute.
- Add sugar and cream for another 2 minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined before adding the next egg.
- Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Now it’s time to slowly add the milk. Stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold until incorporated.
- Pour batter evenly onto cupcake tins.
- Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over each cupcake.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating in between to bake evenly.
- You may need a couple more minutes. Check if cupcakes are ready when you press it gently on top of the cupcakes and they spring back.
- Let cupcakes cool down before filling and 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.
- Use a spoon to remove the center of each cupcake.
- Place dulce de leche in a piping bag, pipe some dulce de leche in the center. Top with the cake you removed from the center.
To make the swirl frosting
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.
- Pipe, or spread with a spatula, one thin layer of dulce de leche over the piece of plastic wrap.
- Pipe, or spread with a spatula, some Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese frosting on top of the dulce de leche.
- Roll the mixture into a log.
- Place the log inside of a piping bag fitted with your favorite piping tip.
- Pipe frosting over cupcakes.
- I also used these Dulce de Leche Donuts to top these cupcakes.
- Cupcakes will store nicely for up to 5 days in the fridge.