Oh-So-Easy Crockpot Caramel

Oh-So-Easy Crockpot Caramel...you seriously won't believe how easy it is to make this amazing caramel!  Just one ingredient + a crockpot is all you need.  Amazing!

True story:  If forced to choose between caramel and chocolate, I will choose caramel every single time, hands down.  I can’t get enough of the stuff, so can I just tell you that I was thrilled beyond thrilled to discover this practically foolproof and so-easy-you’ll-die method for making the most delicious caramel sauce EVER?

Are you ready for it?

A can of sweetened condensed milk + a a crockpot.

That’s seriously all you need.

Seriously.

Now, if you want to make things slightly more complicated (but avoid the potential of chemicals from the can leaking into your caramel) you can transfer the milk into a small canning jar before placing it in the crockpot.  I’m not sure I believe it really makes a difference, but since it wasn’t that much extra effort, I just went ahead and used canning jars instead of the can itself.  Either way, it is still the easiest recipe you will ever follow!

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Here is what you need:

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 small canning jars with lids and rings (optional)
a crockpot

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Step 1:  (Optional) Divide the sweetened condensed milk from 2 cans equally into 3 small canning jars.  Close jars with lids and rings.

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Step 2:  Place jars (or the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk) into crockpot and fill crockpot as full as you possibly can so that jars or can are completely submerged in the water.  This is important!  No part of the jar or can should be out of the water at any time!  Turn crockpot to low for 8-10 hours, refilling water if necessary.

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Step 3:  Let caramel cool on counter at room temperature before opening.  The canning jars may appear to seal but the caramel will NOT be shelf stable–it should be stored in the refrigerator!  Use as a topping for ice-cream, as a dip for apples, or in recipes such as these Salted Caramel Pretzel Crust Brownies!

Oh-So-Easy Crockpot Caramel...you seriously won't believe how easy it is to make this amazing caramel!  Just one ingredient + a crockpot is all you need.  Amazing!

 

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Have you ever made caramel in a slow cooker before?  Do you have any tips to share?

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{ 134 comments… add one }

  • Barbara September 19,

    This looks fabulous! I want to try this but wonder…do you put the lid on the crockpot or leave it off?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 20,

      Keep the lid on!

      Reply
  • Anne September 19,

    Wow!! Is it really that easy?! I must try it. :)

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 20,

      Yep, and SOOOOOO good! :-)

      Reply
  • Jeanne Bilson September 19,

    This is actually not true caramel, but is the recipe for dulce de leche, a South American treat. Caramel is made with butter. Dulce de leche has been a family favorite since I remember because we lived in Argentina for several years when I was little. Thanks for sharing the crock pot version. Iv’e always made it a soup pot with water covering the can.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 20,

      Yes, you are absolutely correct–this is actually dulce de leche. Caramel is just a little more familiar! :-)

      Reply
    • Matt December 28,

      So true, glad someone else realized that. Dulce de leche is milk based while caramel is a sugar base product. While similar to many, they are very different. For the most part, dulce de leche can be used in pace of caramel for most items and I actually often times rather have it over caramel. I typically suggest it to individuals who want to make their own sauce, but aren’t comfortable with making caramel.

      I have always used a dutch oven or large stock pan to make dulce de leche and typically use an 8 inch sauce pan to make caramel.

      Reply
  • Kate @KateMovingForward September 19,

    Best thing ever! So brilliant!!

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 19,

    You can also boil these on the stove top

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 20,

      That is true, but from what I read the stove top can be a little more dangerous if you are not watching it very carefully!

      Reply
  • Anonymous September 20,

    Any idea how long this will keep in the refrigerator?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 25,

      Not officially, but probably 4-6 weeks at least, I would guess!

      Reply
      • Nathan October 9,

        I’ve been making this for years, and I’ve never had a batch long enough for it to go bad.

        Reply
    • Nancy November 21,

      About 24 hours with kids around ;o)

      Reply
  • RT September 22,

    This isn’t a caramel recipe at all. It’s Dulce de Leche a totally different item. May want to retitle your post….?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 25,

      Yes, it is technically dulce de leche and not caramel! :-)

      Reply
      • Anonymous September 16,

        That’s right

        Reply
  • Shelby September 22,

    I just put mine in the crock pot, fingers crossed they turn out awesome, I’m seeing “caramel” banana pancakes in the morning!

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 23,

    Do you cover the canning lids with water as well or just water to the lid?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 23,

      Completely covered! There was about an inch of water over top of the lids.

      Reply
  • Judy September 23,

    Could you coat Apples with this sauce?

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 18,

      No it’s gonna be runny

      Reply
  • Nancy September 24,

    Is there a way to make this shevable? I woukd love to make up a bunch of these for gifts.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 25,

      Our lids sealed but I don’t know enough about canning to know whether that makes them shelf stable. Anyone else know?

      Reply
      • Ticha October 29,

        I’ve been doing this for years, I just take the label off the can and place it back on shelf. I knows the ones without labels are caramel. I’ve kept them at least 3 months. I usually make 4 or 5 at a time just to store.

        Reply
        • Tcha October 29,

          I just use the can…. Not canning jars. Leave the can unopened and it will be fine.

          Reply
          • Becci Sundberg April 11,

            Yep this is what I have been doing for years too. First in a stock pot before I bought a slow cooker. No need to decant at all. Even the ring pull cans work perfectly fine.

            Reply
    • Dee September 30,

      I believe you would have to sanitize your canning jars by boiling them and the lids first while they are open and empty, then filling them (using utensils sanitized the same way as the jars) and following the recipe as stated. Don’t quote me on that though, you may want to look into it :)

      Reply
      • CK October 14,

        Sanitizing is a good first step. While temperatures inside the crock pot are high enough to kill most live bacteria, when canning anything what you are trying to do is kill off bacterial spores (particularly those of the Botulism bateria), which may require much higher temps depending on the acidity of what your canning. That is why most canning procedures require a boiling water bath for X number of minutes. You probably are pretty safe, since this isn’t something from the garden, but was already canned and sterilized at a canning plant, but opening it and transferring containers introduces possible contamination. Canning milk products likely requires the use of a pressure canner to reach high enough temps, and most sources advise against the safety of attempting canning of milk products at home.

        Reply
    • Nancy November 21,

      The first time I made this I put the sweetened condensed milk cans right on the bottom of my crock pot. When I took it out later I had terrible rust rings in the bottom of my crockpot that I couldn’t scrub out. So now I put a yogurt lid under the cans. Works like a charm! This is seriously good stuff!

      Reply
      • Allen May 11,

        Use some bar keepers friend it will get the rust rings out of the bottom of your crock pot.

        It got rust off of some vintage fiesta ware that someone left steel wool on.

        Works every time.

        Reply
    • rapunzel December 15,

      The make homemade jelly shelf stable you put the jelly in the jar and then pour some wax on top before putting the lid back on. I wonder if the same method could apply for this caramel?

      Reply
      • Anonymous December 15,

        Ooops typo *When making…not… “The make” lol :)

        Reply
        • luv2bamoma1 February 14,

          The wax sealingb is no longer recommended for preserving. Considered unsafe.

          Reply
          • Jeff in Guelph September 27,

            Absolutely DO NOT seal with wax

            —pls trust me on this, I have 25 years of industrial food product design and a degree in food chemistry—

            Why not? If you are (un)fortunate enough to create an air tight seal, that creates anaerobic conditions, and in the highly likely event there is 1 spore of clostridium, you will create more botox than you need to puff up your lips.
            So why is (was) it done for jelly? Clostridium needs oxygen free environments AND certain nutrients AND very little competition. 70% sugar at 200F (proper technique for filling jams and jellies) is very unfriendly to Clostridium (and almost everything else), so the wax was likely little more than cosmetic anyway.

            Reply
  • Rebecca September 25,

    I just put some in my crockpot as well. I really hope that it turns out. I have made ‘real caramel’ before, which was good, but time consuming. You can call it whatever you want, as long as it’s good. I’ve never had Dulce de Leche before, so I might not have been drawn to this post if it hadn’t said ‘caramel’ and ‘easy’. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 25,

      You’re welcome! I know technically dulce de leche and caramel aren’t quite the same thing, but they taste almost identical (at least to my unrefined taste buds!) and whatever you want to call this stuff, it is DELISH! :-) Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  • lisa September 25,

    you’re killing me here. 1 jar 1 spoon 1 serving

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 7,

      Lisa, you are too funny!!!

      Reply
    • Anonymous April 30,

      I made this and we added to apple pie ( over the top with some nuts on top) it was yummy…m

      Reply
    • Taura September 3,

      Hahaha! YES!!

      Reply
  • Terri Burfield September 26,

    I like the idea of putting in a canning jar, that way you can see the transformation taking place. I do a lot of home canning and I would think that if the lids did seal (as long as you use new lids and the jar were sterilized prior to putting in the milk) that it would be safe. Most things can be canned by a hot water bath method.

    Reply
    • Jaelithe September 30,

      The only things that can be safely canned using a hot water bath are things with a high acid content. So, jams and salsas. Other things, such as fish or beans or sauces need to be canned using a pressure cooker, otherwise all of the bacteria present won’t be killed!! This milk-based product DEFINITELY needs to be keep in the refrigerator!

      Reply
      • Anonymous October 7,

        Jaelithe,

        If one does have a pressure cooker do you think it would be fine to submerge these after they have been made in the crockpot? Or would the whole process, from milk to the end result of dulce de leche, have to be done in the pressure cooker? Clearly, I don’t have one of these as may seem obvious by my ignorant questions, but I believe my sister does and I just may venture into that world if I can make caramel this easy and give it away as a gift! Unbelievably cheap but awesome gift, no??

        Reply
        • Melissa K. Norris November 4,

          Jaelithe is absolutely correct that this has no acid in it and therefore is not safe for water bath canning. Milk products don’t do well with a pressure cooker. Milk isn’t stable at high prolonged heats used in pressure canning. This is one best to store in the fridge. You could gift it with a note to open and store in fridge.
          I love my pressure canner! We’ve already put up over 200 jars of food this year and use it a ton throughout the summer.

          Reply
      • Jeff in Guelph September 27,

        What she said— as I have mentioned elsewhere— pls just eat it out of the frig within a few weeks— if you dont know how to can things properly, please, for the love of our Great Jehovah, do not guess.
        Guess wrong, outcome is not a case of the runs. It’s death.
        Those that guess won’t be posting here, b/c they die from botulism poisoning. Sorry to be a buzzkill, but this isnt just a case of learning by eating your mistakes.

        Reply
  • tammy October 1,

    Ruth,
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us. It sounds sooo delish…. I cannot wait to try it!
    BTW, I love your blog.

    Reply
  • Kelly @ IdealistMom.com October 1,

    Okay, it’s official now. I *must* get a crockpot!

    Reply
  • mary October 2,

    Do you use pint size jars?? Thanks, will try this weekend with the pretzel brownies!!

    Reply
  • Laura B October 5,

    Have you tried this gooey goodness with fat free sweetened condensed milk? Do you think it would work?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup October 5,

      I have not so I can’t say for sure. I am a firm believer in full fat everything! :-)

      Reply
    • Nikki October 7,

      I read about this on another site and it called for lite condensed milk but stated clearly do not attempt with nonfat. Maybe you can meet in the middle of fat free and full fat and try the lite? I haven’t tried either yet but will be doing so this week, cannot wait!!!

      Reply
    • Anonymous February 11,

      It will not work with Fat Free I tried it.

      Reply
  • Nikki October 7,

    Do you think this sauce would be thick enough, once it’s done, to put a few jars BACK into the crockpot to warm and then dip apples or pears in for caramel apples? I made crockpot caramel apples last fall for a Halloween party and peeled hundreds of candy caramels…it was a pain in the ***! I would much rather do this option for 2 reasons; 1. WAY easier, and 2. I like knowing it is one ingredient. I typically avoid HFCS like it’s the plague.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup October 8,

      It is pretty thick. I have to heat it up to pour it so it probably would work like that!

      Reply
  • Amanda C October 9,

    Mine turned out really bad. .:( i was hoping you could give me tips. it’s chunky and not smooth and creamy. looks almost like cement. did I do it too long? too short? it doesn’t taste great either. fixable? love love love your blog, I read it almost all last weekend. :)

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup October 11,

      Mine had a few lumps that smoothed out when I warmed it up and stirred it. It was definitely thick when cool but perfect after I heated it in the microwave–you might want to try that! Let me know if it helps!

      Reply
  • Anonymous October 10,

    Amanda C., this stuff is definitely a matter of taste… my family loves it, I don’t.
    Condensed milk will sometimes caramelize on its own if stored in a hot location, so perhaps yours was already partway there? It should smooth out with a good stir.

    Reply
    • ruth graber October 23,

      I’m responding to Amanda and Anonymous…Possibly the reason it turned out bad was using the wrong canned milk. I learned about this on another site and many of the readers had problems with their end product because the used the wrong milk. IT DOES NOT WORK WITH CONDENSED MILK! I found it works perfectly with “Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk” the best and not so good with other brands. You can always TRY others, but be advised that it’s an experiment.

      Reply
      • Suzi April 2,

        It doesn’t work with EVAPORATED milk…

        Reply
      • Jeff in Guelph September 27,

        Why it doesnt work with EM and does with SCM?
        SCM is ‘seeded’ with lactose (milk sugar) to pre-emptively prevent crystallizing, post cook. EM doesnt go thru the same high-solids, hi-fat scenario in a retort (industrial canning device) like SCM. So, why you take it beyond what it had to endure in the industrial process,, you have an undesireable outcome… grit/ cement. There is no combination of time and temperature to overcome this…dont use Evap Milk.
        To make all the deliciousness you can bear: Use SCM, in the can, in a slow cooker, on a yoghurt lid. KISS.
        (25 yrs of industrial food product design and a degree in Food Chemistry)

        Reply
  • Jennifer October 13,

    I tried but it was way too thick and lumpy I think I had it in to long. I tried heating it but it just stayed about the same. Do you have any suggestions? I am going to try again and cook it a shorter time.

    Reply
    • Karen Howell October 22,

      Jennifer, you most likely also had the temperature too high on your crockpot. If it’s thick and lumpy, the milk has ‘curdled’ which comes from milk reaching the boiling point (slightly higher than 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. Technically, milk placed in boiling water cannot reach boiling point because steam is released. But in this case, the pot/crockpot is covered, elevating the pressure just enough to possibly reach the boiling point. Here’s what to do:
      1. Heat the jar/can SLOWLY. Don’t boil the water then cover the pot and turn the temp down. This will curdle the milk.
      2. If you’re using stovetop method, you can bring the water to a boil, remove it from the heat, THEN place the can/jar in the water, but be careful! The jar will burst if it isn’t already somewhat warm (you can place it in a separate bowl with hot tap water to temper the glass first). Place it on another burner turned to the very lowest setting. Cover with a lid and let it sit 8-10 hours, checking water and adding hot water as needed.
      3. All that is too complicated, so do yourself a favor: Use the crockpot. Set on lowest temp, cover with hot water (not boiling), cover and leave it 8-10 hrs adding water as necessary.
      Good luck! Remember, heat slow and easy, never boil, cover the pot, add water so it never gets too low.

      Reply
      • Laurie October 6,

        I tried this recently on the stove top in a dutch oven, no lid. I got the water boiling (following instructions I found on Pinterest) and dropped the can (minus the label) into the hot, bubbling water. Directions said to put it on its side or it would hop up and down and make noise and drive you crazy – so it rolls around in there (perhaps preventing a rust ring). I did this for 3 hours – and I had a 2nd pot boiling so I could add boiling water to the big pot with the SCM in it, so as not to let the water go below the top of the can. House got hot and steamy and I had to add water a every 15-20 minutes or so because it was evaporating. At 3 hours, I took it out and had to leave it to cool overnight. (Now I’m terrified to do it again for fear of botulism). In the morning I put the can in the fridge because I had to go to work. When I got home, I opened it up to perfect, caramel-colored, creamy (without stirring) caramel (ok, “dulce de leche”). Should I not have done many of the things I did? It seemed perfect to me.

        Reply
  • Samantha @ Five Heart Home October 16,

    Love this idea! I’ve always avoided recipes that call for cooking a can of condensed milk to make caramel, because I’m worried about the BPA leaching out of the lining of the can into the milk. But this is a brilliant way around that problem! Thanks for sharing…pinned!

    Reply
    • luv2bamoma1 February 14,

      The milk has already been cooked in the can before purchase. Pasturized and canned.

      Reply
    • Marcy February 21,

      I’ve posted everywhere about this, but seems no one really cares. You’re correct not to do it. I called Eagle Brand directly and asked them about the lining of the can and being heated up to make the caramel sauce. The woman gave me alternative for microwave and oven, both of which I messed up, but she DID say they don’t recommend doing what everyone does and THAT’S cooking in that can! Granted, it’s easier, but unless you’re only going to do it, like ONCE, I wouldn’t take the chance. I want to do it in the mason jars, but after making such a mess in the microwave one (kinda burned) and the oven (let the water bath run dry), I’ll be waiting a bit to try again!

      Reply
  • Judy S October 19,

    I made it 2 days ago and it’s delicious!!!! I used the canning jars and put them in the crockpot overnight for 8hrs. They turned out perfectly. Yes, it’s dulce de leche, which is delicious. My husband and I already finished a jar. We ate it with Granny Smith apples. Yum!!!!

    Reply
    • Anonymous September 3,

      I did the same,but the Husband never got a taste.

      Reply
    • Laurie October 6,

      So, the crockpot method – doesn’t the water evaporate at all and go below the can height? It can explode if what I’m reading if you let the water level drop to where it is not covering the condensed milk.

      Reply
  • Tracy October 21,

    Mine was really thick too..tastes wonderful but not a sauce as pictured..I tried the micorwave to warm it up..didnt help..I dont know if it cooked too long or what..I would be willing to try it one more time..I want to perfect it so I can give it away as a gift :D

    Reply
  • KAREN HOWELL October 22,

    I’ve made this many times, using both methods (stovetop & crockpot). It is incredibly delicious and rarely makes it to the fridge. We eat it all beforehand! Dulce de leche is a somewhat unfamiliar term in America, but caramel is very identifiable and the tastes are so close that most will not know the difference, so call it what you will, but the first time you make this, you will be hooked and there’s no cure except to make MORE!!! :)

    Reply
  • Michelle Ivey October 25,

    You can also that and use a regular pan and cook it on the stove. And it takes less time. Put the can in pan with water cover the can. And boil for 4 hours. And that is all you have to do.

    Reply
  • Christina October 27,

    How long does it take it to get color? I’ve had mine on for seven hours now it’s barely a light brown. In a crockpot on low and completely covered with water in canning jars.

    Reply
  • Jessie October 28,

    I have been craving a caramel pie. Would this work for a pie or no? I know it sounds like a dumb question but I am to scared to try to do caramel on the stove.

    Reply
  • Michelle R. October 29,

    If anyone really wants to “can” this beautiful concoction, and has questions about the safety of it (I know I would be concerned) call your local extension office. If you don’t have a local extensions office, then look one up in your state. Typically they will deal with things such as cooking safety and the like. My mother and I were in charge of the canned foods division of our local county fair for 15 years and I never saw anyone try to can a milk product. Probably not a safe bet, but you never know since it is technically “candy” now.

    Reply
  • tina October 30,

    I wonder if you could just freeze it? The small canning jars are usually freezer safe.

    Reply
  • Pam November 9,

    Has anyone tried or know if you can you use full fat coconut milk in place of the sweetened condensed milk?

    Reply
    • Sally January 22,

      I have made sweetened condensed milk from coconut milk before. There are recipes online. That is what I will use to try it out. Cant wait!

      Reply
  • Steph November 9,

    This sounds absolutely yummy! I have two granddaughters who love caramel sauce and actually prefer it on ice cream instead of chocolate. I will definitely try this. Did you know you can make your own sweetened condensed milk in the microwave. Barbara Harris provides the recipe in her book “Let’s Cook Microwave”. This is an old book written in 1987. I just looked on Amazon and you can get it there, used. There are 4 “new” ones for a mere $101!! Anyway, I hope Barbara doesn’t mind if I share her sweetened condensed milk recipe: 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup water, and 1 cup dry milk crystals (I am guessing instant milk?). In a 2 cup glass measure, add sugar, water and butter. Microwave on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Combine in blender with milk crystals. Process until smooth. Double this recipe to substitute for one can of sweetened condensed milk you buy in the store (14 oz. can = 1-2/3 cups) The above recipe makes 1 cup. I would assume you’d have to use canning jars to make the caramel using the recipe above. Do you think this would work (using homemade milk)?

    Reply
  • Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista November 17,

    This is SO SO good. No need to can…you will want to eat this stuff up! I used one can in two jars if there is concern about having too much. Thank you Ruth. This has changed my life! :)

    Reply
  • denise November 18,

    OK…I tried this last night and mine did not turn out right. it was VERY dark and came out of the can in a blob. Iam guessing It cooked to long?

    Reply
  • Anonymous November 19,

    This is such a cool recipe! Perfect for the Holidays!!! I tried it in the crock pot and it seemed more like a gelatin? Very thick and not creamy, I didn’t let it cool but for maybe a half hour though….I think I am going to try to whisk it up (The can I opened) and cook the others for a tad bit longer. I used an off brand, so will use eagle brand next time for sure!!!
    Michelle

    Reply
  • Shanna November 22,

    Delicious! I can’t wait to try this with apples. We pour ours in graham cracker pie crusts, top it with cool whip, and sprinkle on chocolate chips or pecans. It’s a super easy dessert that tastes just like O’Charley’s caramel pie :)

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup November 22,

      Oh, that sounds so yummy!

      Reply
  • Kelley Stramiello November 25,

    Thank you! Trying this now for my annual caramel pie (which has claimed more pirex dishes making the caramel than I care to admit. So easy!!! I will let you know how it goes!

    Reply
  • Juli November 27,

    I have an older crock pot RIVAL brand, that has high or low for settings. There is a huge difference between 8 and 10 hours of cooking time. I will be using Eagle sweetened condensed milk. Has anyone tried this method in this crock pot and how long did it cook? Also, has anyone tried a ball jar that has a regular screw on metal lid? Got it from store bought product and it is thoroughly cleaned. Looking forward to trying this on apple pie alamode!

    Reply
  • Anonymous November 28,

    Mu jars are flooting what do I do ?

    Reply
    • Anonymous December 28,

      To weight it down, use small plate and small heavy jar to fit between crockpot and lid. It sound as if there’s a lot of air pocket in jar.

      Reply
  • Jean December 3,

    I love this stuff! I made mine putting the can in a deep pot and submerging the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk. I removed the labeled and cleaned both ends of the can before putting the can in the water. Placed can in the pot and completely covered can with water. Turned on high until water begins to boil, then reduced heat until water is boiling slowly. While waiting for the water to boil the first time, I placed a kettle of water on another eye or burner, and kept this at a slow boil to use to replace water covering the unopened can- to keep the temperature the same at all times. Mine came out a beautiful color and the best tasting I have ever had! It was also thick and I did not try to stir, when back to room temperature, I opened both ends of the can and it simply slid out of the can like cranberry sauce does. So easy and so elegant at parties. Enjoy!

    Reply
  • Jean December 3,

    I failed to mention that then this slid out of the can, I sliced it into small pieces to serve. It was truly a huge hit!

    Reply
  • Karen Mc. December 6,

    This was so easy! I needed some caramel for turtles and a caramel pie so I doubled the recipe and let it cook on low for 11 hours, then turned it off and let it sit until cool. I opened one of the jars and the caramel ( or dulce de leche) is thick and delicious, just perfect! For many years I have been cooking the condensed milk in the can in a pot on the stove, but now that some cans have pull tab tops I didn’t know how I was going to make this. Thank you for your clever idea!

    Reply
  • jaime hall December 10,

    So I made some of this and was wondering how safe it would be to send to someone for gift in mail, even with gift tag that tells to open and refridgerate. Would it be ok to be mailed?

    Reply
  • Carla December 14,

    There was a brownie recipe with this with the Carmel on top, do you have this, thank you. The Carmel is very good.

    Reply
  • Drea December 20,

    Did anyone try adding vanilla to the condensed milk before cooking it?

    Reply
  • momma to 3 boys December 24,

    Does this set up firm? I’m trying to make turtle candies for Christmas and I don’t want to waste my expensive pecans!

    Reply
    • Anonymous February 21,

      I make this on the stove top and use it for turtles every christmas

      Reply
  • teresa January 16,

    My question is , when you talk about the jars, are you referring to the smallest jar ? Surely not the pint size jar.
    Teress

    Reply
  • Anonymous January 21,

    I’m stopping on the way home for this recipe!! I love caramel!! Can’t wait to try it. :-). Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Carolyn Wallace January 27,

    I have made this using the stove top method, and made home made caramel ice cream. It is wonderful.
    You need to have it warm to mix it with the ice cream mixture. A must try if you love caramel.

    Reply
  • tammy January 29,

    Pies…
    I used this recipe for years making “caramel” pies. 2 cans of Eagle.Brand sweetened condensed milk, boil for 2 hours, poor into 2 Graham cracker pie crusts, cool and cover with whipped topping. There’s your caramel pie. I’ve also dressed those pies up with some chocolate chips and pecans. My family loves this! Tips:
    Be sure cans are completely covered with water
    Be extra careful when opening the cans, the caramel is extremely hot and may ooze out when the can is punctured.

    Reply
  • Tammy February 20,

    I wonder if I can sustained the can of condensed milk 4 raw milk?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup February 21,

      I’m sorry Tammy, you can not substitute raw milk for the condensed milk in this recipe.

      Reply
  • Ashley Z February 20,

    My grandmother made this and we ate it on Ritz crackers! Salty and sweet, great combo

    Reply
  • Valerie February 20,

    Sorry if someone has said this already, but I’ve done this by pouring the condensed milk in a glass baking dish, then covering it with tin foil and putting it in a bain marie. 350 degrees for 1-1.5 hours. Stir occassionally and it will turn caramel colour.

    Reply
  • Anonymous February 21,

    I do this but leave the condensed milk in the cans, as long as they are completely covered with water it’s fine, that way they are fine to put back in the cupboard until your ready to use them :)

    Reply
  • Kate Wetmore March 5,

    Another advantage to doing this in canning jars (other than the chemical leaching worry) is that you can see how dark the dulce de leche is before you take it out of the crockpot. I like mine darker so I cook it a little longer. The problem with this, though, is if you cook it too long you end up with dulce de leche fudge rather than sauce!

    For those who love dulce de leche, try making it from scratch sometime. The depth of flavor is much deeper and complex. It’s a little more work, but worth it.

    Reply
  • Wilford Raney March 6,

    I just made this and I have half a can. It’s awesome. I left it in the unopened can. It made the whole day fun. Thanks for the recipe

    Reply
  • Julie Hatchett March 21,

    Love your website! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Melissa E Brown March 24,

    I love making new things, and I love caramel, soooooo… I have had caramel pie one time, and I think I want to make that first. Thanks to everyone for all the recipes and comments. I wrote a lot down, hope to do it right.

    Reply
  • Colleen Gould-Gascoigne March 24,

    How long is it good to store in the refrigerator?? Does anyone know??

    Reply
    • Anonymous April 8,

      I have used mine for up to a year before.

      Reply
  • Kimberly April 8,

    My mom, sister, and I did this every Christmas when I was a kid. I do it now with mine. We never used a crockpot, only boiled the cans (completely submerged) for three hours. Crockpot seems so much more sensible, I will do that from now on. Thanks for the tip. BTW, the recipe that we make is as follows:

    Boil SCM, chill for a few hours, form into small balls and roll in crushed pecans. Chill for another hour and then drop into melted chocolate and chill for another hour. Absolutely perfect millionaires (known to some as ‘Turtles’) every time!

    Reply
  • Kimberly April 8,

    I have used my caramel for up to a year out of the fridge. It stays good for a long time. When it begins to crystalize or get watery it should probably be thrown out.

    Reply
  • Gina April 15,

    Anyone added other ingredients prior to cooking? Anyone know if you could add butter to the milk? Oh … and salt. Then it would maybe taste more like caramel? Yum! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup April 16,

      Let us know if you try it Gina–I would be interested to hear how that turns out!

      Reply
  • Jane April 24,

    Do you need to take the paper off that lines the outside of the can?

    Reply
  • Anonymous April 30,

    I think it was easier to transfer from can into canning jar first as when it is hot it is. Harder too transfer…After it cools just put them in ref.

    Reply
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    Reply
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    Reply
  • Mandi July 15,

    How did you make cubes of them? I’m curious if I can use this recipe and add cream filling to make a Caramel Cream Bullseye Candy and wrap them up??? Thanks!

    Reply
  • kiana July 31,

    Wow this sounds good my mom used to make this but she had for how long you had to cook it cant wait to try it(-:

    Reply
  • Wendy August 13,

    Unlike some, I didn’t have lumps… It was the perfect consistency throughout. I would describe it as “cajeta”. I never read through the comments before I started. I didn’t want to do 8-10 hours since I was starting late in the day. I put mine on high and it still took 8 hours to change color.

    Reply
  • Company India September 2,

    Everything posted was actually very logical.
    But, what about this? what if you were to create a awesome title?
    I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, but
    suppose you added a post title that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Easy Crockpot Caramel | How to Make Caramel in a Slow Cooker
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    Reply
    • Susie September 6,

      I hope you can use the plastic lids on the canning jars rather than the metal?

      Reply
  • Beth Cacace September 12,

    Has anyone used homemade sweetened condensed milk for this?

    Reply
  • Carol September 13,

    Ruth, while this does taste great, please advise your followers to never heat anything in a sealed can. The crockpot does not make it safe. I received 2nd and 3rd degree burns resulting in skin grafts and multiple surgeries while making this many years ago!

    Reply
  • Heleena September 23,

    OMG. i did it last night… very yummy and just looks beautiful!!! thank you thank you thank you… best part… my kids think im magic!!!

    Reply
  • Chris October 2,

    So, I’m wondering if there is a dairy free version? Coconut milk?

    Reply
  • jessica October 3,

    I made the stuff last night and this morning I opened it and stirred it and it looks awful! The lid was out of the water tho because my crock pot is too small :( could that be the reason it didn’t turn out smooth and creamy?

    Reply
  • Freida October 23,

    I would strongly suggest that the use of canning is the best and only way. Remember the can is vacuum sealed …. very high risk of explosion !!!!

    Reply
  • Jennifer October 27,

    Just got some apples from the NC mountains and I’m getting ready to make this for an after school snack!!! Yum!!

    Reply
  • Jacob Brett October 27,

    I plan on using something like this to make caramel apples, but I want to cover the caramel in chocolate. Got any tips or tricks to make the caramel creamier or thinner? Sugar is good but caramel chocolate AND candy on one tiny Apple is just cavities waiting to happen!!

    Reply

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