Instant Pot Dulce De Leche

You can make decadent and delicious Homemade Instant Pot Dulce de Leche in a little over an hour. Just set it and forget it and you will be rewarded with the best caramel sauce you have ever tasted! Use this dulce de leche for desserts, coffee drinks, cocktails, and more!

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a jar of instant pot salted caramel on a cooling rack

Once you make this Instant Pot Dulce de Leche, you are going to want it on hand at all times. It’s incredibly easy to make and delicious on ice cream, in coffee, and more! If you made a traditional dulce de leche on the stovetop it could take close to 2 hours with constant supervision! You can make the same thing in your pressure cooker in just over an hour.

I added salt to my dulce de leche to get a salted caramel effect. This is completely optional and either way you decide to make it, it will be delicious! This recipe is adapted from my friend’s recipe over at Sula and Spice!

Please make sure you unseal and open the can completely before cooking in a pressure cooker.

What is Dulce De Leche?

The Spanish translation of dulce de leche is “candy of milk” or “sweet of milk”. And, according to Wikipedia, “Dulce de leche, also known as caramelized milk or milk jam in English, is a confection from Latin America prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk over a period of several hours”.

Are Dulce de Leche and Caramel the same thing?

Technically, no. The main difference between the two is that dulce de leche is made from milk and sugar or condensed milk. Caramel is made from sugar and water and usually butter and/or heavy cream. However, Dulce de leche and caramel are very similar in color, texture, and taste and I use them interchangeably in this post.

salted dulce de leche dripping off a whisk into a jar

How to Make Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

  1. Remove the label from the can and then open the can (trust me, it’s easier to remove the label first). **DO NOT LEAVE THE LID ON!** It’s very dangerous to cook a sealed can in a pressure cooker.
  2. Cover the can with aluminum foil, securing it as tightly as possible.
  3. Place a trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and then place the foil-wrapped can on top.
  4. Carefully pour water into the Instant Pot along the side (don’t pour on top of the can). The water needs to be halfway up the side of the can.
  5. Lock the lid in place and close the steam valve. Pressure cook on HIGH for 40 minutes. Once the cycle is complete, quick-release the steam.
  6. Carefully remove the can from the pot. It will be very hot and this is where the canning jar lifter will come in handy if you have one. Place the can on a cooling rack, carefully remove the foil, and allow it to cool down for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir the contents of the can with a spoon. Use a hand towel to hold the hot can. The caramel will be lumpy at first, keep stirring. Add the vanilla extract and salt (if making salted) and continue to stir until you have a smooth consistency. Transfer to a sealable container like a glass jar.
steps for how to make instant pot caramel

Important Tips

  • DO NOT LEAVE THE LID ON THE CAN! It’s very dangerous to cook a sealed can in a pressure cooker.
  • You can cook more than one can at once! Up to three cans will fit in a 6 qt Instant Pot! The cooking time will remain the same.
  • You can enjoy the dulce de leche immediately or store it in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to use it. The caramel will last for up to two weeks sealed in the fridge. The caramel will not harden but it will thicken when cold. Set it on the counter to warm up or zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds in a microwave-safe container.
  • Always read the instruction manual that came with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and follow all safety guidelines.
a can of sweetened condensed milk that been transformed into dulce de leche in an Instant Pot

Tools Needed to Make Instant Pot Caramel

Of course, you will need an Instant Pot. If you don’t have one yet, you need to get one! They are a game-changer in the kitchen! I didn’t think I needed one (and I LOVE to cook) but once I had one in my kitchen, I can never go back to not having one. If you are still not sure, check out my list of Instant Pot Recipes to see what this gadget can do! And if you have a different brand of pressure cooker, that will work just as well.

This is the gadget you see in my photo, it’s a canning jar lifter and it’s a great tool to have, even if you don’t do any canning. This one is heavy duty and will help keep your hands from getting on anything hot that needs to be lifted out.

Your Instant Pot or pressure cooker may have come with a trivet. But if it didn’t, here is the one I use made by Instant Pot. It has handles for lifting (works great if you don’t have a can lifter), and doesn’t lift things off the bottom of the pot too much so you don’t have to fill the pot with too much water in this case.

More Homemade Sauce and Syrup Recipes You Might Like

salted caramel dripping off a whisk

Instant Pot Dulce De Leche

Make homemade Dulce de Leche in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker! This is the easiest caramel sauce you will ever make.
5 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 14 ounces
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker
  • trivet
  • canning jar lifter (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Ingredient to Make Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Remove the label from the can and then open the can (trust me, it's easier to remove the label first). DO NOT LEAVE THE LID ON THE CAN! It's very dangerous to cook a sealed can in a pressure cooker.
  • Cover the can with tin foil, securing it as tightly as possible.
  • Place a trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and then place the foil-wrapped can on top. You do not want the can directly on the metal bottom because it gets very hot.
  • Carefully pour water into the Instant Pot along the side (don't pour on top of the can). The water needs to be halfway up the side of the can.
  • Lock the lid in place and close the steam valve. Pressure cook on HIGH for 40 minutes. Once the cycle is complete, quick-release the steam.
  • Carefully remove the can from the pot. It will be very hot and this is where the canning jar lifter will come in handy if you have one. Place the can on a cooling rack, remove the foil, and allow it to cool down for 20 minutes.
  • Stir the contents of the can with a spoon. Use a hand towel to hold the hot can. The caramel will be lumpy at first, keep stirring. Add the vanilla extract and salt (if making the salted version) and continue to stir until you have a smooth consistency. Transfer to a sealable container like a glass jar.
  • You can enjoy the dulce de leche immediately or store it in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to use it. The caramel will last for up to two weeks sealed in the fridge. The caramel will not harden but it will thicken when cold. Set it on the counter to warm up or zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds in a microwave-safe container.

Video

Notes

  • DO NOT LEAVE THE LID ON THE CAN! It’s very dangerous to cook a sealed can in a pressure cooker
  • Always read the instruction manual that came with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and follow all safety guidelines.
  • You can cook more than one can at once! Up to three cans will fit in a 6 qt Instant Pot! The cooking time will remain the same.

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

instant pot dulce de leche

Did you Make this Caramel Sauce Recipe?

If you get a chance to make this Instant Pot Dulce de Leche, don’t forget to leave a comment and rating below. You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook and show me a photo of your homemade caramel sauce!

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Always read the instruction manual that came with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and follow all safety guidelines.


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