Nov 29, 2008

Make your own super easy (and kinda dangerous) caramel.

Who doesn't love caramel?
Caramel candy, caramel on ice cream, caramel icing, caramel in your coffee....
My favorite is fresh tart apples dipped in caramel.
The Man-of-My-Dreams could eat his weight in apples-n-caramel!

Making your own caramel sounds hard huh?
All that stirring...
Cooking in hopes you won't burn it...
Candy thermometers....
etc etc etc... Yuck!

Well, it doesn't have to be hard at all!

Look at this perfectly delicious caramel
(dulce de leche)
I didn't use a candy thermometer.
I didn't stir it.
I didn't burn it.
All I did was stick one can in a pot and let it boil.
And, I'm gonna tell you how.

Perfectly Easy Caramel
(dulce de leche)

You will need.

1-3 can's of Sweetened Condensed Milk. (I use Eagle Brand)
One DEEP pot. (I use a big, tall stock pot)


1.) Remove the paper labels from your cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk.

2.) Place your UNOPENED cans of sweetened condensed milk into the bottom of a large deep stock pot.

3.) Fill the stock pot with water your water level MUST be at least 4 inches above the top of your cans of sweetened condensed milk!!! stick a lid on your pot.

4.) Bring the stock pot to a boil. Let it boil for 3 and a half hours. (a nice consistent steady boil)
Check the water level of your pot numerous times... the water MUST remain at least 4 inches over the top of cans!!! Add more boiling water to the pot if needed.

5.) after 3 and a half hours, turn off the heat and let cool.

6.) once cooled, remove your cans of caramel, open, and enjoy!

***WARNING!!!*** during the boiling process is it extremely important that the water level in your stock pot stays well above the tops of your cans or they may explode and cause severe burns!!
If your water level is getting too low, just add more boiling water to the pot and replace the lid.

I have made this caramel many many times and never had a problem.
But I have heard horror stories about people who let the water boil out of the pot and the cans exploded. If you follow the simple rules you'll do fine and end up with some of the best caramel that you've ever had!

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  1. Wow! I have never heard of this way to make caramel. A few years ago I tried three times in as many weeks to make caramel and burnt it every time. I was getting so mad about it! I've never tried again, but now... THANK YOU!

  2. ohhhhhh we keep cans of this (already carmelized) in our storage! spoon it into a graham cracker pie crust and top slices with whipped cream. just make sure those slices are's almost impossibly rich!

  3. I tried to make caramel for a pecan tart a couple Christmases ago, and after I burnt it, our mother tried to convince me it tasted just fine. Too bad I didn't have this recipe then!

    - your spoiled rotten, "city girl", little sister

  4. I've been meaning to make this for a while now. I've come across at least a half dozen different methods by now, but I like yours the best. The other methods involve putting holes in the cans or microwaving the milk. Either way, you can't store it that way. Thanks!

  5. Looks just a little bit toooo yummy! I just noticed your statement which I love : Happiness is Homemade .... that is great!

  6. I love to make caramel this way. I've been doing it for years. It's so perfect for making caramel filled molded chocolates.

  7. you're right. caramel is dangerous. =) i also like to sweeten my coffee with caramel.

  8. My mom has made caramel this way for years for the purpose of making chocolate caramels a la what Chicken Momma said. I used it to make a homemade version of Girl Scout Samoa cookies and it was perfect. My husband and other roommate wouldn't believe me that this was possible and were convinced that I would make the cans explode. They were amazed at the results.

  9. I read in a previous comment that you can keep the carmel in storage. Is that correct? I can't wait to try this

  10. i remember doing that to make the filling for homemade chocolates. in order to keep the noise down i put a dish cloth at the bottom of the pot so the sound of the can bouncing in the boiling bubbles was minimized.

    too bad bran's diabetic now. thanks to this all i can say is thank goodness i have some werther's candies beside me.

  11. Yummy!!! I*m going to try this, it looks so yummy! Your blog is great!

  12. I, too, have made caramel this way for 20 years. Then, put three cans on to boil, walked away, forgot, heard explosions. Cleaned caramel off every surface in the kitchen, for hours and hours. Thank goodness no dogs were hurt. So now, I put the cans in my slow cooker (with foil on the bottom on the cans so they won't rust onto the crockery, and cook it on slow over night. Turn it off in the morning, and let the cans slowly cool over the course of the day. Then they are ready to store or use. Diane

  13. This is also risky. The can blew up in my facce. I Had 3rd degree burns on my face and hands. Please be very careful boiling an unopen can.

  14. Never open a hot can. Be sure it is completely cooled! Other than that I love making this.


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