• How to make dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk) in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

Well this may be the quickest post I’ve ever written. I’m hip deep in assignments for the post-grad course I am doing at the mo and reports I need to write as part of my day job. (If you’re wondering what I do the 40 hours a week I’m not working on the blog, check out my updated About Me page!). But everybody needs to know how to make Dulce de Leche in your Instant Pot. Like Instant Pot cheesecakes, it is one of the justifications for buying another kitchen gadget ;)

How to make dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk) in the Instant Pot

It’s simple as opening a can of condensed milk (which is called sweetened condensed milk in the US), pouring it into a heat safe jar and pressure cooking for 45 minutes. Boom! Done! Years ago, I would do this by boiling unopened cans of condensed milk for hours on the stove and then later, I would do this in my slow cooker. Both methods do work – the vicious and sticky creamy sweet milk magically turns into a thick, fudge-like, spoonable dulce de leche.

The thing is, I emailed Carnation, the leading brand of condensed milk in the UK, to confirm whether that they no longer advise doing this after a Facebook follower of mine said she thought this was the case. And she was right – the risk is a can could explode when boiled and they can no longer advise people to do this at home. Thankfully, safety is built right into the design of the Instant Pot and caramelising your own condensed milk couldn’t be easier.

Making dulce de leche in the Instant Pot must be the easiest recipe you can make in it!Click To Tweet

The thing is, yes you can buy cans of already caramelised condensed milk but it always seems the case that I never remember to buy it when stocking up and well, if you have a gadget which can make it in a matter of minutes, it’s faster to plug the Instant Pot in than go to the shops for some! After a little experimenting, I have found that 45 minutes on Manual (High) yields a dulce de leche pretty much indistinguishable from store bought cans or from boiled cans. Just much safer! It comes out extremely thick and as you will see it looks a little grainy in the photos. The grains are actually air bubbles from the cooking process (you will hear it bubbling away as it cooks in the pot) and after beating the beejeezus out of it, you will have smooth, smooth, smooth dulce!

Once you have it, you need to use it up within 48 hours, storing it in the fridge until then. If you wanted to keep some in you cupboard, then you would need to used a sterilised jar sealing it well or follow canning procedures which are a popular way of preserving foods in America and not something I know much about I’m afraid (bare with me – I’ll do some research!).

And just a little FYI – don’t use the lids which come with the lovely Luminarc jars I have to cook the condensed milk with. They aren’t heat safe and will shrink to less than 2 inches across when pressure cooked! A little tin foil is the better option.

Now when it’s at room temperature, go grab a spoon and taste the caramel, fudgy goodness of homemade dulce de leche before you make your own Rolos (Valentine’s is coming!), bake it into a Choc Chip Caramel Loaf cake, fold in some apples and make a steamed pudding with it or just use it as a topping for ice cream. And psst, you’re going to need it for a new recipe, coming soon to Every Nook & Cranny ;)

5 from 2 votes
How to make dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk) in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

Thick and luscious caramelised condensed milk, made in a fraction of the time (and a lot safer) than boiling cans of it on the stove for hours! 

: 1271 kcal
  • 1 can condensed milk (397g approx)
  1. Simply scrape all the condensed milk into a heatproof glass jar (such as my Luminarc ones or a Kilner jar). Cover tightly with foil. 

  2. Place the trivet in the Inner Pot, then place the jar of condensed milk on top. Pour in cold water until it reaches 1 inch below the top of the jar. Put the lid on and select Manual, adjusting time to 45 minutes. Allow a NPR when finished cooking. 

  3. When pressure has released, very carefully remove the jar of dulce de leche - be careful as it will be boiling hot sugar! Do not be tempted to taste it or stick your finger in until it is cold! Beat well with a spoon to get rid of any air bubbles or graininess and leave to cool. 

Recipe Notes

This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days but if you want to store it longterm, then you would need to follow a "canning" method to prevent spoilage. 

You can cook up to 3 jars at a time but I do wonder how many home bakers would need this many at once, given the short fridge life! #nojudgement lol ;)

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Dulce de Leche
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1271 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 52%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 502mg 21%
Potassium 1469mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 215g 72%
Sugars 215g
Protein 31g 62%
Vitamin A 21.1%
Vitamin C 12.5%
Calcium 112.5%
Iron 4.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Dannii 02/02/2017 at 09:24 - Reply

    That looks epic. My husband would happily eat that out of a jar with a spoon haha.

    • Just Jo 02/02/2017 at 20:01 - Reply

      I must admit, it is very tempting to grab a spoonful every time I pass the jar lol ;)

  2. Thanh @ Eat, Little Bird 02/02/2017 at 09:58 - Reply

    Who knew you could make dulce de leche in the Instant Pot? Sounds much better than boiling the tins on the stove, for sure!

    • Just Jo 02/02/2017 at 20:01 - Reply

      Easy peasy, condensed milk squeezy lol!

  3. Sarah 02/02/2017 at 11:39 - Reply

    That easy? Mind blown! I’m going to have to try this ASAP! Thanks for sharing! {…and good luck with those papers!}

    • Just Jo 02/02/2017 at 20:02 - Reply

      Aw thanks Sarah – I am totally up the wall, can’t wait to get all the work in x

  4. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables 02/02/2017 at 12:13 - Reply

    I totally need to get on the Instant Pot trend! It seems like such an awesome appliance!

    • Just Jo 02/02/2017 at 20:02 - Reply

      Do join the party Liz! All the cool kids have got an Instant Pot hehehe ;)

  5. Platter Talk 02/02/2017 at 14:05 - Reply

    OK. I’ve got to get one of these instant pots. Way better then boiling a can for 2hrs.!

    • Just Jo 02/02/2017 at 20:03 - Reply

      Oh this is just one of many reasons why you should get a IP Dan! Such a brilliant piece of kit :D

  6. Beccy Julusburger 09/08/2017 at 08:55 - Reply

    Jo – quick question, well 2 actually…
    (1) do you have a link to the jars you use for this?
    (2) is it right that you don’t put a lid on the jar, just cover with foil, or do you do both?
    Ta muchly

  7. Aliza 08/09/2017 at 21:23 - Reply

    Are half pint Mason Jars okay to use? As for filling with water…does the water need to be above the condensed milk line on the jar? Hope that makes sense! :)

    • Just Jo 11/09/2017 at 20:43 - Reply

      Hi Aliza, sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Any jar that is ovenproof should be safe to use in the pressure cooker. The best bet is to consult the packaging or manufacturer’s website to see what they advise.
      You don’t need the water above the condensed milk – a half to two-thirds of the way up the jar should do the trick. I hope you enjoy your dulce de leche!

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