Instant Pot Easy Dulce de Leche

One of the most common questions new Instant Pot owners ask is “What should I make first?” I think the best recipe to start out with is Instant Pot Dulce de Leche because…

  1. It’s really easy. You can’t get any easier than this recipe. I mean seriously, it cooks right in the can.
  2. It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. Actually, it only has 2… sweetened condensed milk and water.
  3. It’s great recipe to practice using the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot. You don’t need any other equipment.
  4. If you follow the directions, it’s impossible to mess up.
  5. You’ll never get a burn message.
  6. It teaches you the basics of setting Time, Pressure Level, and Natural Pressure Release, as well Quick Release.

So, what’s Dulce de Leche? Let’s start with what it’s not….it is not Caramel.

Caramel is made from melting and cooking down sugar (sometimes with a bit of water). Depending how long you cook the sugar for, you can take caramel to different stages of doneness. But one of the hard parts about making caramel is that you have to constantly stir the sugar and monitor the heat, so it doesn’t burn or cook too quickly. Dulce de Leche is made from cooking a milk and sugar mixture (in this case it’s sweetened condensed milk) until the sugars begin to brown. It’s a very different flavor profile and it’s so much easier because you let the heat do all the work. No stirring. Not adjusting the heat.

And when you use the electric pressure cooker, it is literally set it and forget it.

Dulce de Leche is Spanish for milk candy. Stored in the fridge, it will get thicker, but it still remains creamy enough to dip or spread and there is no ends to what you make with it. It’s great as filling, a spread, a dip, or added to frostings or cheesecakes. Really, any recipe that uses caramel, you can substitute with Dulce de Leche. I promise it will make it 10 times better.

Instant Pot Easy Dulce de Leche 

Recipe by Lana Horruitiner Perez  

  • 14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 9 – 10 cups Water


Trivet that comes with the Instant Pot

Remove the lid and the label from the can of Sweetened Condensed Milk. Cover and wrap tightly with foil. 

Add the trivet to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner and place the can on top of the trivet. Slowly add water until it comes up to the middle of the can. This should take about 9 – 10 cups of water for a 6 QT Instant Pot.

Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and make sure the knob is set tot he “SEALED” position.

Pressure cook on High for 38 mins and when done, allow to Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 25 mins. Release any extra pressure and then open and remove the can.

Allow to cool for 30 mins then while just a little warm, empty the Dulce de Leche into a bowl and stir vigorously until smooth. If you want it smoother, you can use an immersion blender, but it isn’t necessary.

Store covered in the fridge or enjoy right away.

Buen Provecho!

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