Go Back
+ servings
spoonful of dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche without Condensed Milk

How to make Dulce de Leche without condensed milk, with just 3 ingredients: milk, sugar, and baking soda. Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Latin
Keyword dulce de leche
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 50 kcal
Author camila


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 300 grams
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  1. Combine the milk and sugar in a large saucepan.
  2. Place it over medium heat and stir occasionally, until the sugar has melted.
  3. At this point, add the baking soda to the pan.
  4. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, or low heat.
  6. The simmer should be extremely gentle.
  7. Stir frequently, while the mixture cooks down, for 2 to 3 hours.
  8. Always keep an eye on the heat, if the mixture starts boiling, or if you don’t stir frequently, it will burn really fast and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  9. Once the mixture is very dark in color, thickened, and reduced, remove from the heat and pour it in a heat proof container. If you notice lumps in the sauce, strain it through a fine mesh strainer.
  10. Let it cool down all the way before enjoying.
  11. Store in the fridge, covered for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe Notes

Vanilla: Alton Brown’s original recipe calls for a vanilla bean pod and seeds added to the sauce in the beginning of the process. At the 1 hour mark, you’d remove the vanilla bean pod.

Stirring: it’s not an overstatement when I say to really keep an eye on the mixture and stir constantly, if you fail to do so, it will burn.

Thickness: As it cools down the sauce will get thicker, but won’t be as thick as the dulce de leche made from sweetened condensed milk.

Nutrition Facts
Dulce de Leche without Condensed Milk
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
Calories 50
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.