This Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is homemade version of the Latin American favorite! Creamy, smooth, sweet, and full of caramel…lots and lots of caramel!
When I was a child, I wanted to own and drive an ice cream truck.
On top of wanting to be a teacher, a cake decorator, a princess, and an unfortunately uncoordinated Olympic gymnast.
Yes, my deepest desire was to drive around my neighborhood every summer, 8-bit circus music blaring all the way, and cater ice cream cones and popsicles to anyone who flagged me down with some quarters in their pockets.
Of course, a few quarters won’t get you anything from those super-rare ice cream trucks nowadays, so I’ve had to improvise.
Check another box off the culinary bucket list and try making your own ice cream with me!
This Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is pure heaven.
It’s no secret that I’m slightly in love with caramel. That sweet, sticky, almost-burned sugar syrup has my heart, and it ranks right up there on my list of favorite things.
Though it will never topple chocolate from the number one spot, it’s still totally up there.
Big shout out to my husband who’s single-handedly nourished this love for the last 15+ years. Many pints of Haagen Dazs later, I knew trying my hand at churning my own version of their insanely delicious dulce de leche ice cream.
Yes, churning. This isn’t a no-churn recipe where you fold whipped cream in to condensed milk (even though that kind is also deeelicioussss). This is good old-fashioned cream-and-egg-custard kind of ice cream that just happens to be loaded with all the dulce de leche.
There’s just something so satisfying about taking ordinary ingredients, cooking them up, churning them for thirty minutes, and ending up with something as lovely and delicious and absolutely perfect as this ice cream.
It’s a real shame that ice cream trucks are endangered.
What is dulce de leche?
A short cut recipe involves canned sweetened condensed milk, which reduces the amount of cooking time needed to achieve that creamy deliciousness that can (and should) be enjoyed on its own, in ice cream, or as a filling for pastries, cakes, and donuts.
Ingredients for Dulce de Leche ice cream
Some ice cream recipes don’t require an ice cream maker, and only 3 ingredients. This is a churned. custard-based recipe, so it will require a little more work and patience, but it’s so worth it!
- Heavy cream – also known as double cream in Europe, this is what gives this ice cream its rich, creamy flavor
- Whole milk – the fat content of whole milk works best here. You can use a lower fat % if you’d like, just expect a slightly less rich end result
- Dulce de leche – this can be found in the coffee aisle at most grocery stores, next to the canned milks. homemade is also great if you’ve got some
- Eggs – only the yolks; you can save the whites for macarons!
- Granulated sugar – this is actually optional and up to your taste. The dulce de leche is plenty sweet on its own, so use your discretion
- Vanilla extract – you can substitute vanilla bean paste or fresh vanilla bean scrapings here
- Kosher or sea salt – just a pinch, or a bit more if you really love salted caramel
How to make Dulce de Leche Ice Cream:
- Warm the heavy cream, milk and 1 cup of of dulce de leche in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture is blended and steam begins to rise from the surface.
- In a large heatproof or metal mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar (if you’re adding it), vanilla, and salt.
- Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the bowl, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture without allowing it to boil, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency.
- Pour the mixture though a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl, and use a rubber spatula to press the custard through. Set the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate 1 hours until chilled.
- Transfer the custard mixture to an ice cream maker or Kitchenaid mixer attachment and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At the end of the freezing stage, add the remaining dulce de leche into the churning ice cream until it is swirled throughout.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezable container with a lid (like a loaf pan), cover and freeze until firm, 3-4 hours, or overnight.
Love ice cream? Try these frozen treats next!
If you love this recipe, please consider leaving a 5 STAR RATING! If you really love it, leave us a comment and let us know – we appreciate all forms of feedback!
Join in on the fun in our Facebook group! Feel free to share YOUR favorite recipes, ask questions, help out your fellow home cooks, and see what’s new with The Crumby Kitchen (so that you never miss a new recipe)! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #crumbykitchen so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
You can also enjoy exclusive content before anyone else by subscribing to our weekly newsletter – and you’ll never miss a delicious recipe again!
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups dulce de leche
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, milk and 1 cup of the dulce de leche, stirring constantly until the mixture is blended and steam begins to rise from the surface, about 4-5 minutes.
- In a large heatproof or metal mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar (if using), vanilla, and salt until blended.
- Slowly add the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook without allowing to boil, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency, 6-10 minutes, depending on your stove.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a clean bowl and pour the custard mixture through. Set the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate 1+ hours until chilled.
- Transfer the custard mixture to an ice cream maker or Kitchenaid mixer attachment and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. At the end of the freezing stage, add the remaining ½ cup dulce de leche into the churning ice cream until it is swirled throughout.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezable container with a lid (like a loaf pan), cover and freeze until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats says
I’m all obsessed with caramel – my favorite topping! And the ice cream truck just drove by our house last night:)
GiGi Eats says
Guess who’s making ice cream for lunch… THIS GIRL – lol!
Erin @ The Speckled Palate says
Umm, holy cow. This ice cream, woman. It looks darn good. And like you, I’m a big caramel fan, so I’m sure I’ll be obsessed with it. I suppose it’s a good/bad thing that I do not have an ice cream maker at home because, well, I’d be making this for myself, like, right now, if I did.
I love seeing recipes for making your own ice cream, and I haven’t seen a recipe for dulce de leche ice cream yet! Your photos are mouth-watering. I’ve GOT to try this very soon.
Christina @ Christina's Cucina says
OMG, richness in a cone! I would kill for this ice cream right now, as it is SOOO hot and humid here in LA! I love chocolate, but I won’t complain if you give me really good caramel anything! Those coconut creations sound fab, too! 🙂
Tammilee Tips says
I have never heard of Dulce de Leche Ice cream before!! I love caramel as well and this sounds just amazing. I have made strawberry ice cream before, I may need to try making this one next.
Janell Mares says
I love anything caramel. I put it in everything from brownies to ice cream. I think I am in dire need of some Dulce de Leche ice cream in my life…looks to die for! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!
Yum! This looks so good! I remember as a kid my parents would make ice cream is this giant ice cream maker they had and we’d have homemade ice cream during family picnics. It was always so much better than store-bought ice cream. This recipe seems easy enough and looks delicious, so I think I need to try it and relive some childhood memories.
Nancy (@spiffykerms) says
I could eat ice cream for breakfast lunch AND dinner and still not tire of it. Though to be honest I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever had a dulce de leche flavour before. Shocking to me since I’m a HUGE caramel fan.
I think that’s what I’ll get next time 🙂
Maurene C. says
There is no better thing than caramel! I love the chocolate ones, too, but you never go wrong if you brought me a caramel ice cream. I would definitely have this later on dessert. Thanks for sharing!
Mmmm, that looks sooo good and a perfect way to cool down on a very hot day! It looks easy to make and I think I can do this. My kids will surely love this.
rosemary palmer says
OMG you had me at ice cream, then add caramel. A little bit of heaven during this hot weather. But, I used to work for a local IC company, and I don’t think it’s ever too hot or too cold for ice cream. Good ice cream that is.
Oh my, this Dulce de Leche Ice Cream looks delicious! I only wish I could try this as I am dairy free… my kids would probably devour this if I made it, in one sitting!
Oh my goodness, I’d love a double scoop of this right now! I have a new ice cream maker and I will definitely be giving this a try!! Pinning!
Swoon! Your dulce de leche ice looks to die for. Caramel really does just enhance the flavor of whatever you put in on. I think it’s sweet that you wanted to be an ice cream driver when you where little – you had the right ideas about life
Fi Ní Neachtáin says
I’ve never tasted dulce de leche before so I have no idea what it tastes like but you’ve made it look so delicious! As a family we love trying out new ice-cream flavours. My son is ice-cream made at the moment, I might have to invest in an ice-cream maker 🙂
Sarah | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean says
I definitely want to try making ice cream this summer! And oh gosh this looks so creamy and delicious, I might start with this recipe :-).
I never have been a fan of caramel in my coffee but this looks like a nice treat for me. I need to give it a try. I wish I had an ice cream maker. I think I would use it ALL the time. I just saved a recipe for banana ice cream that I Wanted to try that just requires NO ingredients EXCEPT bananas!
Byron Thomas says
Oh my God, Erica! This looks divine and you’re killing my waistline!
I think I am a little obsessed with caramel too… Its beyond fab..I am drizzling caramel in all forms on everything, when I am not busy eating DDL by the spoonfuls.. 🙂 Beautiful images!!
Megan Marlowe says
this looks absolutely scrumptious and dreamy! i love anything caramel and this sounds perfect for these hot summer days we’ve been having.
pam (Sidewalk Shoes) says
Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t even begin to imagine how good this is!!!
Nothing says true love better than eating copious amounts of sweets together! My boyfriend always blames me for his ever growing belly, but I figure he can’t complain too much when he’s well fed! Lol love this ice cream though! I’ve ever only done no churn ice cream at home, so I would love to invest in an ice cream maker and tackle this recipe! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I’m reading David Lebovitz’s book now and he is all over dulce de leche, too! I’ve never had it. I think the universe is telling me something….
Madiha Nawaz says
Very delicious looking ice cream!
Matt @ Plating Pixels says
I don’t have an ice cream maker but now I’m regretting that decision. I’m totally craving this now
I’m excited to try this recipe, but you’re going to have to change your blog about it a bit. Caramel is made with sugar and water, Dulce de Leche is made with condensed milk.
Lisa Sharpe says
I don’t usually rate things but this has got to to be the best ice cream I have ever had. i added raisins