Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (2024)

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Instant Pot Caramel. Whether you call it instant pot caramel, instant pot caramel from condensed milk or dulce de leche, it is a wonderful quick one ingredient pantry instant pot pressure cooker recipe that reminds you why owning an instant pot makes your life in the kitchen so much easier and cheaper.

Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (1)

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Instant Pot Caramel

This easy instant pot caramel recipe is an update from a 2017 recipe. One of our favourite instant pot pantry recipes and perfect for a quick batch of caramel for a recipe.

Welcome to how to makeInstant Pot Caramelfrom condensed milk. If there is justONEInstant Pot recipe that youMUSTmake as a beginner to the instant pot it has to be Instant Pot Caramel.

I often get emails from either potential (or brand new) Instant Pot users.

They are all fascinated by the electric pressure cooker trend and want to know (considering they can cook good) what is the point in them owning theInstant Pot Pressure Cooker?

Well you can see it from their point of view, can’t you?

  • They like cooking
  • They hate the idea of batch cooking
  • They are not in a huge rush so a 40-minute chicken doesn’t appeal to them
  • They are good at peeling their boiled eggs
  • They like the smell of a warm stew in the oven

Though, I think I just described me and the hubby!!!

Instant Pot cooking is very much about being able to cook an 8 hourpulled porkin less than an hour, being easy for people that are terrible at cooking and a fantastic option for if you hate peeling eggs.

But if none of that bothers you then why get an Instant Pot?

Well for me it comes down to one thing and one thing only. You can turncondensed milkinto caramel in just 40 minutes instead of 4 hours on the stove. I mean that is truly an amazing time saver.

This has nothing to do with whether you are an excellent cook or not, but about an act of magic.

Dominic (my husband of over 17 years) was a chef when we met. He is excellent in the kitchen and has a natural ability when it comes to cooking.

When I said that I was getting an electric pressure cooker he was far from pleased, as we like to cook so much.

But when he realised, he could make his favourite caramel so fast I had him. He was hooked.

You might be the only one in your family with an instant pot and trying to get the rest of the family on board and this instant pot caramel will do that.

Or you are new to the instant pot and want easy steps. If that is you straight after doing your instant pot water test, do instant pot caramel.

Cooking Condensed Milk To Make Caramel

To me cooking condensed milk to make caramel is old school classic cooking.

My grandmas would always have cans of condensed milk sat in their pantry and they would be perfect for a range of desserts.

It was back then, and it is right now, much cheaper to buy a can of sweetened condensed milk and turn it into caramel yourself rather than having it done for you.

Making caramel from condensed milk would involve submerging a sweetened can of condensed milk in a pan on the stovetop and then it would boil away and eventually turn into caramel.

It was a slow process though and it would take on average between 3 to 4 hours.

How to make caramel from condensed milk quickly? Like I mentioned above this is when the instant pot comes into play.

Instead of taking several hours you are reducing the time significantly.

Another interesting point is that when you cook condensed milk on the stovetop you are boiling, while the instant pot is retaining the flavour by pressure cooking.

Instant Pot Caramel (dulce de leche)

If it is just instant pot caramel, then why do most people call it instant pot dulce de leche?

Dulce de leche is a Mediterranean phrase that describes caramel made from sweetened canned milk.

It is how many desserts are described throughout Spain, Portugal and other neighbouring European countries.

Here in Portugal we have dulce de leche ice cream, which is vanilla ice cream that has been sweetened with condensed caramel.

Cooking Condensed Milk In Instant Pot

Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (3)

Cooking condensed milk in the instant pot to make caramel is so ridiculously easy you will want to do this all the time. Just maybe take up running if it becomes a daily occurrence!

  1. The wrapping is removed from the can of condensed milk.
  2. It is submerged in the instant pot so that water just covers it.
  3. It pressure cooks.
  4. You cool it down.
  5. You eat it.

Just think that is how you use the instant pot to turn condensed milk into caramel. Have I got you hooked on this easy kitchen gadget now?

Instant Pot Caramel Sauce

Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (5)

If you want to transform your instant pot caramel into instant pot caramel sauce, then I suggest that you add some milk and a little water to your instant pot caramel until it reaches the right thickness.

I have found that skimmed milk is best because it is fat free and therefore thin and easy for making something super thick, all skinny.

How Long To Cook Condensed Milk To Make Caramel?

If using the instant pot, it takes JUST 40 minutes to cook condensed milk to make caramel.

But there is also the time to get your instant pot to pressure and the time for your caramel to cool down enough for you to touch it.

My best tips for decreasing the time is to use warm water when you fill your instant pot. Because there is a lot of water to go to pressure.

My other best tip is Dominic’s and he pours cold water over the condensed milk can once done, so that it can cool down quicker.

Listen To How To Make Caramel

Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (6)

Want to learn more about our Podcast? Then click here and you can browse through past episodes and subscribe to the Magic With Gadgets Podcast.

Desserts With Caramel Condensed Milk

With my love for caramel made with condensed milk, I am sure you will appreciate that we use caramel condensed milk a LOT in our desserts.

Here are a few of our favourite desserts with caramel condensed milk:

  • Dulce De Leche Ice Cream
  • Instant Pot Banoffee Pie
  • Instant Pot Caramel Rice Pudding
  • Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn
  • Air Fryer Caramel Cheesecake
Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (7)

Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (8)

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5 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk

Instant Pot Caramel. Whether you call it instant pot caramel, instant pot caramel from condensed milk or dulce de leche, it is a wonderful quick one ingredient pantry instant pot pressure cooker recipe that reminds you why owning an instant pot makes your life in the kitchen so much easier and cheaper.

Prep Time2 minutes mins

Cook Time40 minutes mins

Total Time42 minutes mins

Course: Side Dish, Snack

Cuisine: Instant Pot

Servings: 4

Calories: 319kcal



Kitchen Gadgets:

Instant Pot Caramel Ingredients:



  • Remove the packaging from a can of condensed milk and place into the instant pot inner pot.

  • Pour warm water over the can of caramel until it is submerged.

  • Place the lid on the instant pot, set the valve to sealing and cook for 40 minutes on manual pressure cook.

  • Use quick pressure release and pour cold water over the can to cool it down quicker.

  • Once the can of condensed milk is cool enough to handle remove the lid, stir and eat.


Many of our readers have cooked several cans of condensed milk at the same time with great success. Just as long as they all fit and are all submerged you are good!


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 368mg | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Recipe This | Instant Pot Caramel From Condensed Milk (2024)


Does boiling a can of condensed milk turn into caramel? ›

This is a simple baking hack to create 'Carmel in a Can' (Dulce De Leche). It comes together super easy, all you need to do is take the label off a can of condensed milk, fire it into boiling water for about 3 hours (make sure it's fully under the water) and boom, it's ready to go.

Why is my condensed milk caramel not thickening? ›

Melt 200g of butter in the microwave (in a large microwavable bowl) for 2-3 minutes, then add the condensed milk and golden syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Heat for 6-7 minutes until it is boiling, stirring thoroughly every minute.

Is it safe to pressure cook a can of sweetened condensed milk? ›

A pressure cooker can cook sweetened condensed milk, transforming it into caramelized milk, or Dulce de Leche, in less than a third of the time it would take to make the sweet dessert spread traditionally in an open saucepan.

Which method is quickest in caramel making? ›

Dry caramel is quicker to make than wet caramel, but it's also trickier: Without additional liquid, the sugar can caramelize very quickly, burning before you realize it. Using moderate heat, as Mel suggests, can help safeguard against burning, as can vigilance: Don't walk away from the pan once you've started.

How to make caramel from condensed milk without boiling? ›

Heating in a Slow Cooker

Fill the slow cooker with enough water to fully immerse the can and cover it with an extra two inches (five cm) of water. Heat on low for eight to 10 hours. For a lighter dulce de leche, cook for eight hours; for a thicker and darker sauce, heat for ten hours.

How do you know when condensed milk has turned to caramel? ›

When you add heat to your ingredients, they undergo a chemical reaction known as the “Maillard reaction.” This means that the sugar is cooked to the proper moisture level and caramelization occurs. You know when this happens as the mixture changes colour to a rich brown.

Is it safe to make caramel with sweetened condensed milk? ›

Is it safe to boil my can of sweetened condensed milk to make caramel sauce? No. For safety reasons, we do not recommend heating a can of our condensed milk, opened or unopened. The current can is not designed to withstand high temperatures.

What to do if caramel doesn t set? ›

Too short of a cooling time: Caramel sauce thickens significantly as it cools, so let the caramel cool for the appropriate time to achieve the right thickness. If the sauce is still too thin after cooling completely, place it back on the stovetop and reheat it on low heat for a few additional minutes.

Why won't my caramel get hard? ›

If caramels are too soft, that means the temperature didn't get high enough.

What happens if you have too much condensed milk? ›

Because condensed milk is more concentrated than the same volume of regular milk, it contains more lactose. cardiovascular issues are more likely to occur. It can also make insulin resistance worse, which inhibits the body from metabolizing the sugar that leads to type 2 diabetes.

What is the difference between dulce de leche and caramel? ›

Caramel and dulce de leche might look and taste somewhat similar, but they are actually pretty different. While caramel is made from slowly simmering water and sugar until it caramelizes, dulce de leche is made from simmering milk and sugar super slowly until it turns into a creamy, caramelized substance.

Is it OK to drink a can of condensed milk? ›

Yes. As a kid, I often drunk the whole can. But it is so very sweet and dense that you have to make little breaks to breathe a little bit. You cannot drink it like water.

Can you turn condensed milk into caramel in the microwave? ›

How to make caramel from a tin of condensed milk in a microwave - Quora. It's easy, as long as you have a nice large bowl. Empty a can of condensed milk into a bowl and microwave it for 3 minutes. Take it out, stir it, and do it again, watching carefully.

What happens when you microwave sweetened condensed milk? ›

After the first two stirs, you'll notice that the milk bubbles and foams up as it expels moisture. Then, with each stirring, the milk will be thicker and more caramel colored. If after the 10 minutes, you like the color and consistency, stop!

Can you microwave condensed milk? ›

MICROWAVE METHOD: Pour one (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk into a 2-quart glass measure. Cook on MEDIUM (50% power) 4 minutes, stirring briskly every two minutes until smooth.


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