If you have never tasted dulce de leche, you are in for a real treat. Dulce de leche is Spanish and means “Sweet of Milk”. Dulce de leche is smooth luscious caramel made from sweetened condensed milk. It is heavenly as a dip for apple wedges, over ice cream and as the toffee layer in a Banoffee Pie.

There are many different ways of making it, but almost all of them take a very long time. You can boil the milk in a pot while continuously stirring, which I have no patience for to be honest. You can also boil the unopened cans submerged in water for 3+ hours. This method caries with it the risk of the pot boiling dry and that leading to an exploding can of hot caramel. In the pressure cooker however, there is no risk of the pot boiling dry and you can reduce the time to just 25 minutes of boiling!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker or just don’t like boiling unopened cans, I also have a method for how to do it in the oven.

Most cans these days have a paper label around them. It is important that you remove this to avoid having it dissolve into the water. Sometimes a little paper and glue remains on the can despite your efforts to remove it and that can leave a ring of sticky residue on the inside of your pot. I have found that it rubs off easily with a bit of cooking oil on a cloth. Letting the oil soak into the residue for 5 minutes, makes it even easier to remove.

You can pressure cook multiple cans at once, if you wish, as long as you make sure they fit in a single layer on your trivet. Whether you cook one or multiple cans at the same time, the timing stays the same. I lay my cans on their sides as they need to be covered completely by water rising an inch above them.

It is best to make the dulce de leche at least a day before you need it. When pressure cooking is done you need to let the can(s) cool down to room temperature before opening. Some people are nervous about pull top cans, but they are all I’ve ever used and I’ve had no issues whatsoever.

As you can see on the picture my can got a bit of rust on the outside after cooking. I always store my dulce de leche in a container with a tight fitting lid, so the rust doesn’t worry me at all. In any case you should always transfer food from opened cans to other containers for storage.

Dulce de leche keeps for at least 2 weeks in the fridge and in the freezer for at least 3 months. Some people store boiled unopened cans in their pantry, but I don’t know for how long that is safe.


  • Unopened can(s) of sweetened condensed milk (397 g each)
  • water


Remove the paper label from the can.

Place the trivet in the inner pot of your pressure cooker. Lay the can on its side on the trivet and cover with enough water to come up an inch above the can.

Lock the lid in place and set the vent to ‘sealing’. Cook on manual high pressure for 25 minutes. When the cooking time ends do a natural pressure release and carefully remove the can to a cooling rack.

Let the can cool completely to room temperature before opening it.


Dulce de leche keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge in a covered container and for 3 months in the freezer.