Caramelized Milk (Cajeta or Dulce de Leche)

"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."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1 cup (aprox.)




  • Empty the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave on medium power for two minutes and stir with a wire whisk.
  • Microwave on medium power for another two minutes and stir.
  • 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.
  • Be careful, this will get very hot.
  • Let cool and serve over pancakes, toast, etc.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Rhonda003
    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.
  2. Michelle Kasper
    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.
  3. Charishma_Ramchandani
    I'm sorry this did not work out for me. I got burnt crumbs of milk at the end:(
  4. Jrsjfry
    There is a much simpler way to achieve the same result. Take the can of swetened condensed milk and put it in a pan of water over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. When you open the can...caramel sauce!!!
  5. snowboarder.10
    When I tried to make this it began well however the smell was awful and the texture strange. When I let it cool it hardened and tasted absolutly disgusting...and I know what actual dulce de ledche tastes like as I am Hispanic and I was extremly dissapointed. I recommend to all people hoping to make dulce de leche to take their time and prepare it the slow,correct way by boiling it.


I live in Mexico and I love to cook. I like to try out new recipes, and most of the time, improvise my own since a lot of ingredients are not available where I live or are very expensive. Even though I studied business management and worked for a Nissan dealership for 7 years, I am now a stay-at-home mother of a two year old girl. Right now I'm planning on going back to work and I also think that someday I would like to open a bakery shop.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes