Mouthwatering Desserts to Make with a Can of Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche, how we love thee! A sweet milk cooked down to the consistency of caramel sauce, this versatile ingredient lends incredible flavor and gooeyness to desserts from ice cream to cakes to pies. It's also delicious on its own, eaten off a spoon or as a one-ingredient dessert, as I learned devouring a frozen rectangle of dulce de leche at Carao at One & Only Mandarina resort in Mexico. Read on for our favorite ways to use dulce de leche, which is easy to make or to buy in the baking aisle of your supermarket.

01 of 21

Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche Cake
Andy Lyons

This gorgeous cake has two secrets: It's made with a boxed cake mix (surprise!) and has a velvety layer of dulce de leche cream inside! Spread a thick layer of dulce de leche cream between your white cake layers, then frost with whipped cream frosting and you'll have a showstopping dessert fit for any celebration.

02 of 21

Dulce de Leche Sundae Cups

Dulce de Leche Sundae Cups
Courtney Driver

Crispy tortillas dusted with cinnamon sugar form a perfect bowl and a homemade touch for store-bought dulce de leche ice cream. Of course, these sundaes would not be complete without a warm drizzle of dulce de leche on top.

Buy It: Dulce de Leche Caramel Ice Cream ($5, Target)

03 of 21

Frozen S'mores Cake

Frozen S'mores Cake
Andy Lyons

You might not think dulce de leche when you think of s'mores. But in this recipe, a quart of dulce de leche ice cream elevates the classic marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker combination in one beautiful frozen dessert. You'll also add coffee ice cream, giving this cake even more flavor dimension.

04 of 21

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Fast or Slow Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Marty Baldwin

You won't even need your oven for this dulce de leche cheesecake recipe, which can be made in either your slow cooker or pressure cooker. A crust made from vanilla wafers adds a delectable crunch to this creamy cheesecake.

Buy It: Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart Pressure Cooker ($130, Bed Bath & Beyond)

05 of 21

Dulce de Leche Fluff Brownies

Dulce de Leche Fluff Brownies
Blaine Moats

Everyone loves chocolate brownies. How can you make this classic dessert even better, you ask? Swirl together marshmallow creme and dulce de leche on top, of course. If you like a little crunch with your brownies, add a handful of toasted pecans before serving.

06 of 21

Skillet Dulce de Leche Peach Pie

Skillet Dulce de Leche Peach Pie
Andy Lyons

Step away from the pie plate. All you need is a cast-iron skillet to make this luscious peach pie, the idyllic summer dessert when peaches are in season. Start by grilling peach slices, then spoon dulce de leche over the top to make a juicy, gooey filling.

Buy It: Pit Boss Cast Iron Skillet ($19, Target)

07 of 21

Cajeta Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa

Cajeta Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa
Blaine Moats

While this recipe calls for cajeta, a slightly sweeter milk made with goat's milk instead of cow's milk, you can easily swap in dulce de leche. Instead of cheese, these dessert-worthy quesadillas are stuffed with cajeta and banana slices and topped with a fresh pineapple and blackberry salsa (plus another drizzle of cajeta, obviously).

08 of 21

Toasted Quinoa Caramel Pudding

Toasted Quinoa Caramel Pudding
Andy Lyons

Quinoa in pudding? You might have to taste it to believe it. The toasted quinoa gives texture and a hint of nuttiness to smooth dulce de leche pudding, made with almost a full cup of dulce de leche. It's sweet, cinnamony, and creamy—the ultimate finish to a spicy meal.

09 of 21

Stuffed Churro Puffs

Stuffed Churro Puffs
Jason Donnelly

Make classic cream puffs even tastier by stuffing them with dulce de leche and topping with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. You can be noshing on this impressive dessert, made with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry, in about an hour's time.

10 of 21

Pineapple-Banana Crepas de Cajeta

Pineapple-Banana Crepas de Cajeta
Kritsada Panichgul

Take crepes from breakfast to dessert by stuffing them with bananas and pineapple that have been caramelized in butter in this dulce de leche recipe. To make them even more indulgent, serve each crepe with a hearty drizzle of dulce de leche and rum sauce.

11 of 21

Caramel Meringue Pie

Caramel Meringue Pie with slice missing marble counter
Blaine Moats

Light, airy meringue pairs perfectly with creamy caramel from dulce de leche and rich vanilla bean flavor in this easy pie. Start with your favorite pastry shell, then cook the filling before baking. Plan ahead as this pie has to chill at least 3 to 6 hours before serving.

12 of 21

Dulce de Leche Pretzel Bites

pretzel bites with dulce de leche glaze
Karla Conrad

We made creamy, sticky dulce de leche into a bite-size party snack. When you spread dulce de leche between chocolate-covered pretzels, then dip them into vanilla candy coating, the result is a sweet and delicious no-mess treat that will have guests making return trips to the dessert table.

13 of 21

Chocolate Icebox Cookies with Dulce de Leche

Chocolate Icebox Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Blaine Moats

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper in these chocolate cookies brings out the rich cocoa flavor and adds a hint of heat. Turn them into cookie sandwiches by spooning a thick dulce de leche in between. Bet you can't stop at just one!

14 of 21

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie with Hazelnut Crust

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie with Hazelnut Crust
Jason Donnelly

One bite of this dressed-up pumpkin pie and you'll never be satisfied with plain pie again. A layer of cream cheese combined with dulce de leche makes a luscious filling and turns each slice of this pumpkin pie recipe into a gorgeous layered masterpiece.

15 of 21

Hazelnut-Pear Torte with Dulce de Leche Filling

Hazelnut-Pear Torte with Dulce de Leche Frosting
Kritsada Panichgul

Instead of using flour for the layers of this cake, we replaced most of it with ground hazelnuts to give this dessert its signature flavor. Combining cream cheese with dulce de leche creates a lick-the-bowl-worthy filling that will have your guests asking for more.

16 of 21

Dulce de Leche Alfajores

Dulce de Leche Alfajores
Blaine Moats

Alfajores are soft, crumbly South American cookies that are usually held together with dulce de leche. For this recipe, we also added a melted chocolate filling to these caramel-flavored cookie sandwiches to satisfy your sweet tooth (and help them stay together even better).

Buy It: KitchenAid Stand Mixer ($450, Macy's)

17 of 21

Gingerbread Roulade with Dulce de Leche Cream Filling

Gingerbread Roulade with Dulce de Leche Cream Filling
Jason Donnelly

You can save this spiced gingerbread cake roll for the holidays, but we won't blame you if you want to whip one up any time of year. Swirls of crème fraîche and dulce de leche make the spiral slices of this dessert look as stunning as they are delicious.

18 of 21

Dulce de Leche Snappers

Dulce de Leche Snappers
Andy Lyons

Skip the store-bought turtles and whip up a batch of these dulce de leche cookies the next time you're craving the flavor of pecans and caramel. Adding a sprinkle of sea salt to the top truly takes these to the next level.

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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Torte

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Torte

This chilly dessert will satisfy any cookie cravings, thanks to a crunchy shortbread cookie crust. And the recipe couldn't get any easier. Simply crush up store-bought shortbread cookies with a little melted butter, freeze, and top with softened dulce de leche ice cream and chopped nuts.

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Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding with Glazed Pears

Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding with Glazed Pears
Scott Little

Rich, indulgent bread pudding becomes even more mouthwatering when you pour dulce de leche over ciabatta bread cubes. Serve with pears cooked in butter, brown sugar, and dulce de leche for a restaurant-quality dessert.

21 of 21

Peach-Caramel Blondie Bars

Peach Caramel Blondie Bars
Andy Lyons

Blondie bars make every party better, but you can take your fiesta up a notch when you serve blondies topped with dulce de leche and fresh, juicy peaches. It's ideal to make these in summer when peaches are at their prime, juicy and sweet.

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