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How to make slow cooker caramel and the art of turning your cans of sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche in the Crockpot.

You will love how easy it is to make caramel sauce with cans of condensed milk and what amazing desserts you can make with your dulce de leche.

slow cooker caramel recipe
Slow Cooker Caramel Recipe
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Condensed Milk Into Caramel

I don’t know how it passed me by in childhood, but it wasn’t until I met my hubby in my late teens that I learnt about condensed milk into caramel.

He was a chef and was telling me that these cans were like magic how they went from sweetened milk to thick creamy caramel spread from just boiling them.

I was in love, and it soon gave me plenty of recipe ideas of ways that I could use these magic caramel cans.

Fast forward to getting our first instant pot in 2016, and you guessed it, we made instant pot caramel.

It became our go to.

So, when one of our readers recently asked us to transform condensed milk to caramel using the Crockpot, we were ready for the challenge.

And now whether you call it slow cooker caramel, slow cooker dulce de leche, or crockpot dulce de leche, lets make this Mediterranean 1 ingredient dessert hack.

Are You New To The Slow Cooker?

simplify the slow cooker

This is perfect for you if you want to get more recipes for your slow cooker. Loaded with a lot of British classics and something for everyone.

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Can You Make Dulce De Leche In A Crockpot?

Yes, you can, but don’t expect it to happen at the same speed as instant pot caramel. You see the point of instant pot dulce de leche is that it can be done in JUST 40 minutes compared to 4 hours on the top of a stovetop in a pan of boiling water.

When you make Crockpot caramel it will have a similar cook time to the stovetop. But unlike on the stove, you can walk away and leave the caramel and not have to worry about it.

What Is Dulce De Leche In A Crockpot?

Dulce de leche in a crockpot, or slow cooker caramel is a Spanish dessert staple. Whilst in the UK we use a lot of biscoff in desserts, dulce de leche is the first choice in Spain.

It will often be found in desserts such as dulce de leche cheesecake and also in biscuits, cakes etc.

If you have not had it before, its like a thick caramel spread and tastes so good, that you just want to grab a spoon and eat it directly from the can once cool enough to touch.

You can turn it from sweetened condensed milk like magic, into dulce de leche using the Crockpot.

Will Condensed Milk Turn Into Caramel?

Yes, it will. The condensed milk into caramel trick has never failed on me before. Just make sure you use sweetened condensed caramel and there is no reason why it will go wrong.

You also boil the cans of condensed milk using the Crockpot and its so easy.

What Is The Trick To Making Caramel?

The trick to making caramel is to use cans of sweetened condensed milk. Its so much easier and then you don’t have to mix up any ingredients.

You simply use cans of condensed milk and then let it work its magic.

Or if you live in a hot country like Spain or Portugal, you can leave the cans out in the sun, and they will convert without boiling!

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1 Ingredient Crockpot Caramel

1 ingredient Crockpot Caramel

Milk – This caramel in a Crockpot is literally a 1 ingredient recipe. You just need as many or as few cans as you can fit into your slow cooker or that you want to cook. We used just two cans of sweetened condensed milk, but you could probably fit 5 in an average slow cooker.

Water – You also need enough warm water from the hot tap to cover your cans of condensed milk.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this dulce de leche crockpot recipe it has just been our Crockpot Slow Cooker. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of slow cooker recipes and also great for dessert.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our slow cooker recipes category as we have more than 100 tried and tested slow cooker recipes and have been using slow cookers for 18 years.

How To Make Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche?

slow cooker caramel step by step
  • Peel. Remove the paper packaging from around your cans of sweetened condensed milk.
  • Dump. Add to the slow cooker your cans of condensed milk upright, then cover with water from the hot tap until the cans are just submerged.
  • Cook. Slow cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours.
  • Remove. Then remove the cans from the slow cooker carefully without burning yourself and once cool enough to touch open the cans.
  • Serve. Then your Crock pot caramel is done and you can serve it however you want!

And I am sure you can see why caramel in slow cooker is a true favourite of mine.

Dulce De Leche Slow Cooker Mason Jar

You don’t have to, but you can transfer your dulce de leche into a mason jar. I do this because then I can keep it in the fridge without worrying that the kids will cut themselves on the side of the milk can.

Then its also easier to scoop some out and then use it in some desserts.

How Long Does Condensed Milk Caramel Last?

In the Milner kitchen, caramel sauce lasts about 10 minutes. Though if we did have willpower and there was not four people wanting to eat it straight away, it would last up to 4 days.

I recommend if using the slow cooker caramel for a dessert, that you make it the day before, fridge it overnight and then cook with it the next day.

Dulce De Leche Slow Cooker Recipe Ideas

So, you have just made crockpot caramel sauce and now you want a really good recipe to make with your new magic ingredient.

Well, I have a few delicious recipe ideas for you!

Let’s start with instant pot banoffee pie which is my all time favourite use of it. Then for other ideas why not try caramel chew chew ice cream, or an instant pot homemade rolo yoghurt.

Slow Cooker Caramel

Your crockpot dulce de leche recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Caramel

How to make slow cooker caramel and the art of turning your cans of sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche in the Crockpot.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 2 minutes
Servings: 4
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  • 800 g Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk

Kitchen Gadgets:


  • Peel the wrapping off your cans of condensed milk
    How To Make Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche?
  • Place the condensed milk into the Crockpot and cover with enough water from the hot tap to just cover the tops of them. Then slow cook for 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
    How To Make Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche?
  • Remove from the slow cooker, allow to cool, and then open your cans.
    How To Make Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche?
  • You now have dulce de leche. Tuck in or if you prefer transfer them to mason jars for storage.
    How To Make Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche?


Hot. The cans will be very hot when you remove them from the slow cooker. You might prefer to give them an ice bath before opening to speed up this process.
Thanks for reading our condensed caramel slow cooker recipe on Recipe This. We have many more slow cooker recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like more sweet tooth slow cooker recipes, do check out our slow cooker Peach Cobbler.


Calories: 642kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 742mg | Sugar: 109g | Vitamin A: 534IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 568mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have a problem I need help with regarding sweetened condensed milk. I am 73 and have used this for years. I have also stored it for short periods of time with no problems. I have made caramel. We grabbed a can of SCM out of the baking pantry. It had a good date on it, but when it was opened it was caramelized. I read many articles on that happening after opening and storing but nothing on it being like that at opening on a not so old can. After thinking, we thought that they might have turned this summer while our air conditioning was out. We were in an addition to the house, but the main house and kitchen particularily registered 80-85+ on the thermometer. This was for a few months due to problems. Could this have an effect on the can turning? And although it turned due to that problems, would it be safe to use. It is definitely caramelized and not quite up to the use by date. Thank you for any information you can give me on this. I rarely have cooking questions, but this is a first problem for me.

    1. Hi Linda,

      If the can has not pierced and is still in date then i do not see a problem. When we lived in Portugal the next door neighbours used to place a can outside in the summer months and use the heat to turn it into caramel, they never used a pressure cooker or slow cooker, so i would say it should be fine. Tip into a bowl first and give it a good whisk to make sure it is ok and double check that the can has not been compromised 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I used this recipe because i was too scared to use my electric pressure cooker. Many thanks and the caramel tasted amazing.