Caramelized Milk (Cajeta or Dulce de Leche)

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 28 mins

In Mexico we call this "cajeta" and it comes in jars in the supermarket, in other Latin American countries it's called "dulce de leche" and it's great on pancakes or toast. Some Mexican dessert recipes call for it, so here is how it's made.


  1. Empty the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on medium power for two minutes and stir with a wire whisk.
  3. Microwave on medium power for another two minutes and stir.
  4. Return to the microwave for 16 to 24 minutes on medium-low power or until milk turns thick and caramel color, stirring every few minutes.
  5. Be careful, this will get very hot.
  6. Let cool and serve over pancakes, toast, etc.
Most Helpful

I have done this process similar to Michelle's, except that I didn't open the can and just simmered it completety covered for about 2 hours. This may or may not be safe, but I've done this many times with no problem. Then I just pour the carmelized milk (which really does taste like carmel!) into a bought graham cracker pie crust and top with whipped cream. Make for a nice, easy dessert.

Rhonda003 November 12, 2003

I have not tried to make this but I saw an episode on food tv today. Here's what the surreal gourmet suggests: Use a can opener to poke 2 small holes in the top of can. Fill a small pot with 4 inches of water. Place can in water, then add or remove water so that the top of the can sits 1/4-inch above the waterline. Bring water to a simmer and let simmer for 6 hours. Top off water occasionally so that it remains at the same basic level. Don't worry if a small amount of the can's contents bubble up and cloud the water during the simmering process. Let can cool, then open and skim off top 1/4-inch of condensed milk. What remains below should be a thick creamy, delicious caramel sauce. Serve with fresh fruit such as bananas, berries, star fruit, etc.

Michelle Kasper November 09, 2003

I'm sorry this did not work out for me. I got burnt crumbs of milk at the end:(

Charishma_Ramchandani November 08, 2003