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The 5 Best Substitutes For Dulce De Leche

Do you love the sweet and creamy flavor of dulce de leche?

If so, then you know how hard it can be to find a good substitute for this delicious dessert topping.

Dulce de leche is made from milk and sugar that has been cooked until it turns into a thick caramel-like sauce.

It’s often used as an ice cream topping or in other desserts like flan.

But what if you don’t have any dulce de leche on hand?

Or what if you want to try something different?

Fortunately, there are several substitutes that can provide similar results without all the work involved in making traditional dulce de leche.

Here are five of the best substitutes for dulce de leche.

What is Dulce De Leche?

Dulce de leche is a popular Latin American confection that combines milk and sugar to create an incredibly creamy, sweet treat.

It’s the perfect topping for ice cream or cake and can also be used as a filling in pastries.

The name of this delightful dessert literally translates to “sweet milk”, which perfectly describes its ingredients and flavor.

The traditional way of preparing dulce de leche is by slowly simmering milk, sugar, and baking soda until it thickens into a sticky caramel-like consistency.

This process usually takes several hours but yields results worth waiting for – a smooth texture with hints of vanilla and nuttiness from the baking soda.

Dulce de leche has become increasingly popular over the last decade due to its versatility in recipes ranging from cakes to cookies to candies.

Its sweet yet subtle flavor pairs well with many other flavors such as chocolate or coconut, making it ideal for desserts like tres leches cake or flan.

It can also be enjoyed on its own as an indulgent snack!

The 5 Best Substitutes For Dulce De Leche

Dulce de leche is a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it can be hard to find in some stores.

Luckily, there are several substitutes that can be used instead.

Here we look at five of the best alternatives:

1 – Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Homemade sweetened condensed milk is a great substitute for dulce de leche, as it has a similar sweetness and creamy texture.

  1. To make this swap, combine 1 cup of heavy cream and ¾ cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  3. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool before using as desired.

This homemade version can be used in all sorts of recipes, such as ice cream, pies, tarts, cakes, cookies, and more!

It’s also great for making caramel sauces or drizzling over desserts like flan or churros.

For an even richer flavor profile, try adding some vanilla extract or other spices to your homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe – you won’t regret it!

2 – Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce is a great alternative to dulce de leche.

It has a similar flavor profile, but with a slightly different texture.

Caramel sauce can be made from scratch or purchased in stores.

  1. To make your own caramel sauce, you’ll need butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
  2. Simply melt the butter in a pot over medium heat before adding the brown sugar and stirring until it’s dissolved.
  3. Then add the cream and stir until everything is combined before bringing it to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes before turning off the heat and adding vanilla extract.
  5. Let cool before using as desired!

This caramel sauce is perfect for drizzling over ice cream sundaes or other desserts like cheesecake or apple pie.

You can also use it as an ingredient in homemade candies like turtles or caramels!

3 – Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown sugar syrup is a great alternative to dulce de leche.

It’s made by combining equal parts of brown sugar and water in a saucepan, then bringing the mixture to a boil until it thickens.

The result is an incredibly flavorful syrup that has notes of molasses and caramel.

It can be used as a topping for ice cream or pancakes, stirred into coffee or tea, drizzled over oatmeal or yogurt, and much more!

For baking recipes that call for dulce de leche, you can easily substitute brown sugar syrup instead.

Just remember to reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe since the syrup will add moisture.

You can also use brown sugar syrup as a glaze on roasted meats like pork tenderloin or chicken thighs – just brush it on at the end of cooking for an extra layer of sweetness!

4 – Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener made from the sap of maple trees.

It has a distinct flavor that comes with notes of caramel, toffee, and butterscotch.

When replacing dulce de leche in recipes, it’s important to remember that maple syrup is thinner and less sweet than its counterpart.

To make up for this difference, you can add a bit more maple syrup or mix in some brown sugar to achieve the desired sweetness level.

This swap works great for baking applications such as cakes and cookies, where you can also add nuts or chocolate chips for an extra layer of flavor.

You can also use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles, combined with butter and cinnamon for an irresistible breakfast treat!

5 – Coconut Caramel Sauce

Coconut caramel sauce is a delicious alternative to dulce de leche.

It’s made from coconut milk, sugar, and butter that are simmered together until thick and creamy.

The result is a rich, sweet sauce with notes of coconut flavor.

This versatile topping can be used in many of the same ways as dulce de leche – drizzled over ice cream, swirled into brownies or cakes, or spooned onto pancakes and waffles.

You can also use it to make an indulgent dip for fresh fruit or pretzels.

Coconut caramel sauce is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

  1. Simply combine equal parts light brown sugar and unsalted butter in a medium-sized pot over low heat; stir until melted before adding one cup of canned full-fat coconut milk and two tablespoons of honey (or agave syrup).
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened and reduced by half its original volume.
  3. Allow the sauce to cool before transferring it to a jar or airtight container for storage.


In conclusion, dulce de leche is a delicious, creamy, and sweet dessert topping that is popular in many Latin cultures.

However, if you don’t have any on hand, there are several other ingredients that can be used as a good substitute.

The best substitutes for dulce de leche are homemade sweetened condensed milk, caramel sauce, brown sugar syrup, maple syrup, and coconut caramel sauce. Each of these ingredients has its own unique flavor and texture, so you can experiment with different combinations to find the perfect flavor for your dish.

Using a combination of these ingredients is a great way to add sweetness and flavor to your desserts, and will ensure that your desserts are never lacking in flavor.

Dulce De Leche

The 5 Best Substitutes For Dulce De Leche

If you don't have dulce de leche on hand or you're looking for a healthier alternative, then this article is for you! I'm sharing my top 5 substitutes for dulce de leche that you can use in any recipe. I'll discuss each one in detail, including the flavor profile, texture, and any other notes you should know when making the switch. Whether you're baking a cake or making ice cream, these substitutes will help you achieve the same delicious results without the guilt.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 352 kcal


  • Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Caramel Sauce


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.