1 Ingredient Crockpot Caramel Sauce | Dulce de Leche

November 16, 2015

This homemade caramel sauce, or “Dulce de Leche”, only requires one ingredient & a crockpot! Use this simple recipe to make your own caramel sauce with sweetened condensed milk!

I once made an upside down peach cake with a caramel glaze. It was AMAZING, and I lost the recipe. I spent hours searching for that recipe, but the internet is a vast place, and I never did find it. I will forever be trying to recreate that cake, but one thing I do remember about it, is that making caramel sauce is a lot easier than one would expect. I didn’t have to use a candy thermometer, and I didn’t burn myself – two things I was sure would happen when making caramel. 

I have seen this sweetened condensed milk recipe on Pinterest multiple times, but I have always been weary of it. Primarily because of the heat & tin can situation. I’ve read how toxic the lining of cans can be, one would think that adding heat is a recipe for disaster. When I discovered you could make this caramel sauce in glass jars, I was sold on giving it a try. 

I was pretty skeptical, but to my surprise – it turned out! After simmering in the crockpot for 8 hours, I had 3 jars of perfectly colored caramel. No burning, no temperature taking; just waiting! 

As I’ve done further research, you can absolutely spice and flavor the milk prior to adding it to the jars. Try adding some vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, or pumpkin spices – they will all be delicious! And, if you’re wondering if this is shelf stable, it is not. Please make sure to refrigerate this caramel sauce.

This is the world’s easiest caramel sauce, and probably the most inexpensive. I’ve included a free printable that is compatible with these stickers so that you can give this caramel sauce as a gift!

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Crockpot Caramel Sauce “Dulce de Leche”

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1 Ingredient Caramel Sauce
Make this easy caramel sauce recipe using sweetened condensed milk and your crockpot!
  • Cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
• Fill sanitized jelly jars with sweetened condensed milk, leaving 1/4″ head space. If you drizzle any on the rim, just use a damp paper towel to wipe it off.• Seal each jar with a lid (finger tight), and place into a crockpot or large dutch oven.• Fill the crockpot/dutch oven with water, so that the water covers the jelly jars by at least 1″.• If using a crockpot, cook on low for 5-8 hours. If using a dutch oven, simmer very low for 5-8 hours. The longer you process, the richer the “caramel” flavor will become.Note: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk will make about 1 jar of caramel. Use as many cans of sweetened condensed milk as you’d like to make jars of caramel.

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Using glass jars, whether Weck or not, eliminates the worry of BPA toxins leaking into the caramel sauce, plus it’s prettier. 

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  1. love this idea!! I’ve made it in the cans before but never thought about the aluminum! Wondering if you have any thoughts on if you could put the sealed jars in a pressure canner to cook and seal. Might make the shelf life longer?? Just wondering…..

    • That’s a great question – I have never used a pressure canner so I can’t speak to it; however, I can’t think of a reason as to why these wouldn’t be shelf stable if sterilized properly ahead of time!

  2. I love this idea! We are going to try it! While I love Weck jars, it is hard to find the sizes I need without buying them online. This should work with canning jars, right? You just have the metal lid with the sealer instead of glass. Thanks!

  3. I can’t believe how easy this recipe sounds! No way would I have thought that sweetened condensed milk could turn into caramel. Brilliant!

  4. I adore this! I can remember as a child my mother making caramel by boiling the can. This sounds so much better.

    • This is similar, but using a glass jar means you don’t have to worry about any of the icky questionable chemicals in the can!

    • Hmm, that’s a good question! I know that this isn’t ‘preserved’ in the sense that it can last a year. However, it’s full of sugar, so it’s unlikely to go bad quickly. I would give it a month!

    • Definitely! Just stir the extra ingredients in the mason jar with the sweetened milk before you put it in the slow cooker! I think some fresh sea salt or rum would be amazing!