11 Best Dulce de Leche Desserts

Dessert Recipes with Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche (also known as manjar, manjar blanco, and arequipe) is a thick caramel sauce made from milk and sugar. Dulce de leche is the key ingredient in many Latin desserts and pastries. It has a rich caramel flavor that pairs well with both fruit and chocolate, and it makes a wonderful filling for cakes. Enjoy this collection of desserts, or try dulce de leche in your own recipes. I promise you'll get hooked.

  • 01 of 12
    Dulce de leche
    Bochalla/Flickr

    Homemade dulce de leche requires a little extra time and patience, but the results are superior to store-bought. This step by step guide will show you exactly how to make it the old-fashioned way.

    If you are worried about burning the dulce de leche or don't feel like having to stir it constantly, use the slightly slower but foolproof double boiler method. If you're short on time, try this short-cut method that involves boiling a closed can of condensed milk. You can even make dulce de...MORE leche in the microwave, which does require some stirring but does not require constant supervision. 

    You can also make chocolate dulce de leche, which tastes like caramel fudge.

  • 02 of 12
    Alfajores
    Rebecca T. Caro/Flickr/Attribution Generic 2.0

    Classic alfajores are made with by sandwiching two shortbread-like cookies with dulce de leche. Some people like to roll the edges in coconut or dust the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar. There are endless possibilities with alfajores - try some variations such as chocolate alfajores, lemon-lime alfajores, almond alfajores, anise alfajores with orange sugar syrup (alfajores de miel), praline alfajores, triple alfajores, or maple shortbread alfajores.

  • 03 of 12
    Choco cake
    Mascotas y varios/Moment/Getty Images

    This moist chocolate sheet cake becomes irresistible when topped with rich dulce de leche pecan frosting. A touch of nutella in the frosting compliments both the chocolate in the cake and the caramel flavor of the dulce de leche. This frosting is also great on cupcakes.

  • 04 of 12
    Leche cupcake
    jamieanne/Flickr/Attribution No-Derivs 2.0

    It's hard to improve on the classic tres leches cake, but these cuatro leches cupcakes pull it off with their sweet caramel dulce de leche centers. I like to ice them with the traditional meringue topping so that the dulce de leche center is a hidden surprise, but you can also ice them with more dulce de leche.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    Mil Hojas de Manjar
    Steven Depolo/Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic

    Mil hojas means a thousand 'sheets' or 'leaves' (in this case, layers of pastry), and there are almost a thousand South American interpretations of this classic French dessert, the napolean. This dulce de leche variation is quick and easy, looks beautiful, and is simply delicious.

  • 06 of 12
    Pionono Cake
    Pixabay/Public Domain

    A pionono is a sponge cake that has been rolled up around a filling. Piononos can have sweet or savory fillings. This pionono is filled with dulce de leche that has been lightened with whipped cream, and the whole cake is glazed with caramel icing.

  • 07 of 12
    Dulce de leche ice cream
    T.Tseng/Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic

    You can make this wonderful dulce de leche ice cream with or without an ice cream maker - it's so easy. The only extra step is to roast the pecans, but the flavor of the buttery salted pecans with the caramel dulce de leche is worth the effort. Use purchased dulce de leche, or make your own.

  • 08 of 12
    Dulce de leche pie
    Max Pixel/Public Domain

    This easy ice cream pie has layers of ice cream on a cinnamon graham cookie crust, swirled with fudge and more dulce de leche. You can use any flavor of ice cream in this pie -  dulce de leche and coffee ice cream work well.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    suspiro de limena
    astuviaje/Flickr/Attribution 2.0

    Suspiro de limeña is a classic Peruvian recipe, quite unusual and delicious. The bottom layer is made of dulce de leche that has been enriched with egg yolks. The top is a sweet, stiff meringue made with port wine.

  • 10 of 12
    Close-Up Of Caramel
    Erik Witsoe/EyeEm/Getty Images

    These decadent little tarts have a graham cracker shell and are filled with dulce de leche and topped with meringue.

  • 11 of 12
    Cake truffles
    StockFood/Getty Images

    Cake truffles, or cake balls, are delicious bite-size treats made by mixing crumbled cake with frosting (or in this case, dulce de leche). The mixture is shaped into balls and dipped in chocolate, white chocolate, or more frosting.

  • 12 of 12

    Dulce de Leche Whoopie Pies

    Whoopie Pies
    Lew Robertson/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    These whoopie pies take on the flavor of a South American alfajor cookie, with a creamy caramel dulce de leche filling (and a little North American marshmallow fluff for good measure) sandwiched between cinnamon-spiced chocolate cake "cookies."