Easy Dulce de Leche Latte Recipe: Indulge In Decadence

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The Dulce de Leche Latte is a sweet and indulgent treat that combines the richness of espresso with the caramel-like flavor of dulce de leche.

This unique drink has become a favorite in specialty coffee shops for its decadent taste and creamy texture.

In this post, you’ll learn how to make this delightful beverage at home, along with tips and customization options.

Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a coffee enthusiast, this guide will help you create the perfect Dulce de Leche Latte in no time!

How To Make A Dulce de Leche Latte: At A Glance

  • Step 1: Prepare the Dulce de Leche
  • Step 2: Whip the Cream
  • Step 3: Heat and Froth the Milk
  • Step 4: Brew the Espresso
  • Step 5: Assemble the Latte
  • Step 6: Enjoy!

What is Dulce de Leche?

Dulce de leche is a sweet, caramel-like confection made from milk and sugar.

Its name translates to “sweet milk” in Spanish.

Originating from Latin America, dulce de leche has become a beloved treat worldwide, enjoyed for its rich, creamy texture and deep, caramel flavor.

While it’s often compared to caramel, dulce de leche is distinct in how it’s made.

Caramel is made by heating sugar until it melts and browns.

Dulce de leche, on the other hand, is created by simmering sweetened milk slowly until it thickens and turns a golden brown.

This slow cooking process gives dulce de leche a smoother, creamier consistency compared to the firmer texture of caramel.

There are several methods to make dulce de leche at home.

The traditional method involves simmering milk and sugar together for several hours, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

A more modern shortcut is to heat a can of sweetened condensed milk.

This can be done by placing the unopened can in a pot of boiling water for two to three hours.

For a quicker and easier method, you can use an Instant Pot to achieve the same results in a fraction of the time.

Dulce de leche can be found in most grocery stores, often in the Latin foods section.

However, making it at home allows you to control the sweetness and texture, ensuring it’s just right for your Dulce de Leche Latte.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

To make the perfect Dulce de Leche Latte, you will need a few key ingredients and tools.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Espresso or Strong Coffee: Brew a strong espresso shot or use strong brewed coffee as the base.
  • Whole Milk: This provides a rich, creamy texture. You can also use almond milk or oat milk as alternatives.
  • Dulce de Leche: You can use store-bought dulce de leche or make it at home.
  • Granulated Sugar (Optional): Adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Whipped Cream (Optional): Perfect for topping your latte for a decadent finish.

Tools Required

  • Espresso Machine or Moka Pot: Essential for brewing the espresso. If you don’t have one, you can use a strong coffee maker.
  • Milk Frother: This helps create a frothy, creamy milk that enhances the texture of your latte.
  • Saucepan: Used to heat and combine the milk and dulce de leche.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise measurement of ingredients.
  • Whisk: Useful for blending the milk and dulce de leche, as well as whipping cream if you choose to make it.

How to Make Dulce de Leche Latte

Creating a Dulce de Leche Latte at home is easy and rewarding.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make a rich, creamy latte that rivals your favorite coffee shop’s version.

Step 1: Prepare the Dulce de Leche

Instant Pot Method

  • Place a can of sweetened condensed milk in the Instant Pot.
  • Fill the pot with water until the can is fully submerged.
  • Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally, then carefully remove the can and let it cool before opening.

Traditional Simmering Method

  • Pour sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan.
  • Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 hours until it thickens and turns golden brown.
  • Let it cool and store in an airtight container.

Store-Bought Options

Dulce de leche can be found in most grocery stores, often in the Latin foods section.

It’s also available online from various retailers.

If you don’t want to make the Dulce de Leche yourself, this is the easiest option.

Step 2: Whip the Cream

Tips for Achieving Soft Peaks

  • Use cold heavy whipping cream and a chilled bowl.
  • Whip the cream with a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Adding Sugar for Extra Sweetness

Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar to the cream before whipping for a sweeter topping.

Step 3: Heat and Froth the Milk

Combining Milk and Dulce de Leche in a Saucepan

  • In a saucepan, combine one cup of milk with two tablespoons of dulce de leche.
  • Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the dulce de leche is fully dissolved and the mixture is steaming.

Techniques for Frothing Milk to Achieve a Light Foam

  • Use a milk frother to froth the hot milk until it becomes light and foamy.
  • If you don’t have a frother, you can whisk the hot milk vigorously by hand or use an immersion blender.

Step 4: Brew the Espresso

Using an Espresso Machine or Alternatives Like a Moka Pot

  • Brew a double shot of espresso using an espresso machine.
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine, a moka pot or a strong coffee maker can be used to brew strong coffee.

Ensuring the Right Strength and Flavor

Ensure the coffee is strong enough to balance the sweetness of the dulce de leche.

Adjust the coffee strength to your preference.

Step 5: Assemble the Latte

Swooshing Dulce de Leche Inside the Mug

Use a spoon to swoosh a tablespoon of dulce de leche inside each mug.

This adds extra sweetness and flavor to your latte.

Layering the Espresso, Frothed Milk, and Whipped Cream

  • Pour the brewed espresso into each mug.
  • Add the frothed milk, holding back the foam with a spoon to pour the liquid first, then top with the foam.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Final Touches with Dulce de Leche Drizzle

  • Drizzle additional dulce de leche over the whipped cream for a beautiful and delicious finish.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade Dulce de Leche Latte!

Tips for the Perfect Dulce de Leche Latte

Creating the perfect Dulce de Leche Latte requires a few key techniques.

Follow these tips to ensure your latte is smooth, creamy, and visually appealing.

Ensuring the Right Temperature for Frothing Milk

The temperature of the milk is crucial for achieving a good froth.

Here are some tips:

  • Ideal Temperature: Heat the milk to around 150°F (65°C). This is the perfect temperature for frothing. If you don’t have a thermometer, aim for milk that is hot but not boiling.
  • Avoid Overheating: Overheated milk can scorch and lose its ability to froth properly. Keep an eye on the saucepan and remove it from heat as soon as it starts to steam.

Techniques for a Smooth and Lump-Free Dulce de Leche

Getting the dulce de leche to blend smoothly into your latte is key.

Follow these techniques:

  • Room Temperature Dulce de Leche: Ensure the dulce de leche is at room temperature before you start. This makes it easier to mix with the milk and espresso.
  • Whisk Thoroughly: When combining dulce de leche with milk, whisk it continuously until fully dissolved. This prevents any lumps from forming.
  • Use a Fine Sieve: If you notice any lumps, pour the mixture through a fine sieve to ensure a smooth consistency.

Best Practices for Layering the Drink for Aesthetic Appeal

Presentation matters, especially for a drink as delightful as the Dulce de Leche Latte. Here’s how to layer it beautifully:

  • Swoosh the Mug: Start by swooshing a tablespoon of dulce de leche inside the mug. This not only adds sweetness but also creates a visually appealing swirl.
  • Pour Espresso First: Add the brewed espresso to the mug. This creates a strong base and enhances the coffee flavor.
  • Add Frothed Milk Gently: Pour the frothed milk slowly over the espresso, holding back the foam with a spoon. Once the liquid milk is in, spoon the foam on top.
  • Top with Whipped Cream and Drizzle: Finish with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche. This not only looks great but adds an extra layer of indulgence.

Customization Options

Creating a Dulce de Leche Latte at home gives you the flexibility to tailor it to your taste.

Here are some customization options to make your latte perfect for you:

Adjusting Sweetness

If you prefer your latte less sweet, use less dulce de leche.

Start with one tablespoon and add more if needed.

For a sweeter drink, you can increase the amount to two or more tablespoons.

Taste as you go to find the right balance for your palate.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

For those who are lactose intolerant or prefer non-dairy options, almond milk and oat milk are great substitutes for whole milk.

These alternatives froth well and add their own unique flavors to the latte.

Just replace the whole milk with your preferred non-dairy milk in the recipe.

Adding Flavors

Enhance your Dulce de Leche Latte with additional flavors:

  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle a dash of ground cinnamon on top of the whipped cream for a warm, spicy note.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add a drop of vanilla extract to the milk and dulce de leche mixture for a richer, more complex flavor.

Making an Iced Version

For a refreshing iced Dulce de Leche Latte, follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare the Dulce de Leche: Mix dulce de leche with a splash of milk until it’s pourable.
  2. Brew the Espresso: Brew your espresso or strong coffee and let it cool.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a glass filled with ice, add the cooled espresso, milk, and dulce de leche mixture. Stir well.
  4. Top It Off: Add a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche on top for an extra touch.

This iced version is perfect for hot days or whenever you crave a cold, sweet treat.

Serving Suggestions

A Dulce de Leche Latte is not only delicious but also versatile, making it perfect for various occasions.

Here’s how you can serve and pair it to elevate your coffee experience.

Ideal Occasions for Serving Dulce de Leche Latte

This rich, sweet latte is perfect for special occasions and everyday indulgence. Serve it during:

  • Lazy Weekend Mornings: Enjoy a slow start to your day with a cozy, homemade Dulce de Leche Latte.
  • Brunch Gatherings: Impress your guests with this unique coffee treat at your next brunch.
  • Holiday Celebrations: The caramel notes of dulce de leche make this latte a festive choice for holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
  • Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: Take a break from your busy day with a comforting cup of this creamy latte.

Pairing Suggestions

Pair your Dulce de Leche Latte with a variety of sweet and savory dishes to enhance its flavor.

Here are some delicious ideas:


  • Croissants: The buttery, flaky texture of croissants complements the sweet creaminess of the latte.
  • Cinnamon Rolls: The warm spices and sweet glaze of cinnamon rolls pair beautifully with the caramel notes.
  • Muffins: Blueberry or banana nut muffins add a fruity or nutty contrast to the latte’s rich flavor.

Breakfast Dishes

  • Pancakes or Waffles: Drizzle with syrup and enjoy alongside your latte for a sweet breakfast treat.
  • French Toast: The custardy, spiced bread pairs perfectly with the creamy, caramel flavors.
  • Oatmeal: A bowl of hearty oatmeal with a touch of brown sugar or fresh fruit complements the sweetness of the latte.


Making a Dulce de Leche Latte at home is simple and rewarding.

You only need a few ingredients and basic kitchen tools to create this rich, creamy drink.

Adjust the sweetness to your liking, explore non-dairy options, and add flavors like cinnamon or vanilla.

Don’t forget to try the iced version for a refreshing treat.

Give this recipe a try at home and enjoy the indulgent flavors.

We’d love to hear your feedback and any variations you come up with.

Share your creations and tips with us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make it without an espresso machine?

Yes, you can make a Dulce de Leche Latte without an espresso machine.

Use a moka pot to brew strong coffee, or make a concentrated coffee with a French press or drip coffee maker.

The goal is to achieve a rich, strong base similar to espresso.

How to store leftover dulce de leche?

Store leftover dulce de leche in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

It will keep for up to two weeks.

When ready to use, let it sit at room temperature or gently warm it to make it easier to mix into your latte.

Can you make it with non-dairy milk?

Absolutely! You can use almond milk, oat milk, or any other non-dairy milk as a substitute for whole milk.

These alternatives froth well and add a unique flavor to your latte.

Just replace the milk in the recipe with your preferred non-dairy option.

How to adjust the recipe for different sweetness levels?

To adjust the sweetness, simply vary the amount of dulce de leche you use.

For a less sweet latte, start with one tablespoon and add more to taste.

For a sweeter drink, use two tablespoons or more.

You can also add a bit of granulated sugar if you want extra sweetness.

Taste as you go to find the perfect balance for your preferences.

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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