Desserts, Gluten Free, greatest hits, Paleo, recipes, Vegan
comments 35

Coconut Milk Dulce De Leche

The saga continues. I previously posted about my experiments in making a vegan dulce de leche. I made a version using dates and cashew milk. It was good, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. I vowed to continue my experiments, for better or for worse.


I tried my date dulce de leche recipe again, cooking it for a longer time. It didn’t improve. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but it just doesn’t have that caramelized goodness of a proper dulce de leche.

While I was attempting date dulce 2.0, I also fired up a pot of coconut milk and coconut sugar. Now, this was something special. It took HOURS to make, 4 hours to be exact. Luckily, it was primarily passive time. I’d check on the mixture every 20 minutes or so and give it a stir. At the end of the 4 hours, I was left with the gooey, sticky, sweet, delicious liquid you see in the photo above. It’s much darker than most dulce de leche, that is because of the coconut sugar.

It does take a long time to make, but it will keep in the fridge for a month. Good luck keeping it around that long. It makes a great dip for fruit or cookies or spread on toast, or licked off a spoon…or licked off your fingers. Speaking of fingers, I need to wear gloves and a muzzle while cooking candied and caramelized things. I can never resist a taste. I have the burned tongue and fingers to show for it. Bad girl!

Coconut Milk Dulce De Leche
Serves: 1 cup
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups coconut palm sugar
  1. Heat up the coconut milk on medium-high heat until it starts to simmer.
  2. Stir in coconut palm sugar until it dissolves
  3. Bring the mixture to a low boil
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
  5. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the pan when you are stirring it.
  6. When it reaches a thick, caramel consistency take it off the heat to cool.
  7. Pour it in to a heat safe container with an airtight lid and store in the fridge.
It will firm up in the fridge, you can heat it up a portion before serving or let it sit for awhile at room temperature.


  1. I’m definitely trying this the next time I have a leisurely day at home. The thought of making dulce de leche by boiling a can of condensed milk freaks me out (I imagine all sorts to bodily harm from an exploding can). Pouring everything in a pot and letting it do it’s thang is something I can handle!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Ha, ya…the boiling cans freak me out! I would be one of those unlucky folks who ends up with a kitchen explosion!

  2. Erika says

    Thanks for the recipe! I was wondering if this recipe can be doubled? If so, are there any changes to the instructions? Thanks!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Erika, I’ve never doubled it but I don’t see why not. I would try it without any changes other than a bigger pot!

      • Erika says

        Thanks! That’s what I figured, but wanted to double-check and make sure the cooking time stayed the same, too. 🙂

  3. luciana says

    Hi! Can i use regular white sugar instead? Or mascabo sugar? I dont think i can get coconut sugar in my country! Thanks!

  4. Neviana Dimitrova says

    Hello.Great great recipe girl!!! I will try it soon.Just wanna know how much dulche de leche did you get? 🙂 thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      It cooks down to about 1 cup worth, maybe a little bit more.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I don’t see why not, it would be an inexpensive experiment!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I’ve never tried it with stevia. I think you could try it, but I don’t know if it will caramelize properly.

      Sorry I don’t have a better answer!

      • Rebecca says

        Thank you so much for replying. If I decide to try it with stevia, I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

  5. Aaron says

    Hey, I found this was even easier by placing the mixture in a Pyrex container, placing the Pyrax container in a pan of water in an oven at just above 212 F (~100 C). There seemed to be less burning and I only had to check/stir it once an hour or so. Awesome recipe! Thanks!!

  6. hugable says

    hey! thanks for the recipe! can you tell us how much sugar it is in grams? thanks!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi there, I believe there are 200 grams in 1 cup of coconut sugar…so this recipe would use 400 grams.

  7. Lisa McCurdy says

    What are you thoughts of doing this in the slow cooker? Perhaps 8 hrs on low will do the trick?

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I think it’s worth a try but I don’t know if I would leave it unattended. 🙂

  8. Miss K says

    Awesome! Thank for posting! Is it covered as it simmers for 4hrs?

  9. Thanks for the recipe! To reduce preparation time for hours, you could replace the coconut palm sugar with the already liquid palm sugar syrup. In Indonesian/Asian foodstores it’s called Goela Djawa. I don’t know how the measurements of the syrup compare to the granulated palm sugar yet, but it’s worth a try when the the preparation time can be reduced from hours to minutes! 🙂

  10. Michael Hall says

    Oh, I wouldn’t start expecting hours to turn to minutes, regardless of the preparation method. I typically make Dulce de Leche from sweetened, condensed cows milk, the type that is in abundance during this time of the year in the US. My approach is to pressure cook the cans for 45 minutes@15psi (high pressure), then allow them to cool naturally on the stove or otherwise. The pressure cooker vessel will afford protection from any exploding cans, though that could only happen during cooling and has not presented me with any problems.

    Anyone asking about preparing your recipe of coconut milk and sugar in a slow cooker should be warned that some cookers are temperature regulated and won’t be able to caramelize the sugars. I tend to agree that it’s worth a go. Also bear in mind that you will want to keep the mixture uncovered, since reducing the liquid is a large part of this process.

    My sister gave me a couple of cans of sweetened, condensed coconut milk from Whole Foods. I tried my usual method with the pressure cooker. The resulting product was fairly light in color, inconsistent, and a bit runny. Flavors were good, though it required some amount of stirring after opening the can. Good thing that I could walk to Whole Foods during lunch today. I’m going to try giving a can a good shake, right before dropping it into the pressure cooker, then cooking that thing for an hour instead of 45 minutes. Based on the label, the can I have is only 11g of sugar per two-tablespoon serving, versus 22g from the condensed cow milk. My hopes are still high, but carry a realistic skepticism.

    Good luck with your adventures in caramelized sugar milks. The date sounds good. I may just resort to your preparation method for coconut. Have you done anything with almond?

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Michael,

      I haven’t tried with almond, but I would consider trying cashew milk because the fat content is high. I had some good success with canned sweetened, condensed coconut milk in the slow cooker…but I haven’t had a chance to post about it yet. I will share my methodology in an upcoming post.

  11. Jennifer Madsen says

    I feel like I didn’t get the right consistency, would it work to have let it cool and then put it back on the heat to try to get it thicker?? Thanks in advance!

  12. They make sweetened condensed coconut milk. It is really thick. This should breakdown into dulce de leche over heat. I’ve used it for other dishes.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I actually have a recipe pending that uses sweetened coconut condensed milk. It wasn’t on the market when I first created this recipe, but I’ve had really good results with it. It isn’t as sticky in the end, but the flavor is really good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *