Dulce De Leche – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


low carb dulce de lecheRemember when I said I had many plans for my low carb sweetened condensed milk?  Well this low carb dulce de leche recipe was one of those plans. And now I have plans upon plans, as this little gem is bound for many other recipes.

But before I go on to that, I just have to say something.  Something that is bound to get me some dirty looks from the kinder, gentler folks in polite society.  But it has to be said, I’m afraid, and I am not one to shy away from speaking the difficult truths in life.  So here it is.  Simply put, three year olds suck.  They are the rottenest creatures ever known to man, and as far as I can tell, they were put on this earth for the sole purpose of driving their exhausted mothers completely batty.  Oh sure, they are cute to look at, but believe me, that is just a ruse.  A way to lull you into complacency before they knock you over the head with pure naughtiness.  And they are utterly remorseless.  They can be caught red-handed and unblinkingly lie about the origins of the destruction all around them.  Sometimes it’s enough to make you laugh…if it doesn’t make you cry first.

low carb dulce de leche

My three year old is smack dab in the throes of three year old behaviour and it’s a remarkable thing to watch.  She is the very opposite of rationality.  She will give you two contradicting statements in the very same breath.  “I want toast for breakfast, I don’t want toast for breakfast”, with barely a beat between the two.  Whatever you might say, she will declare that the exact opposite is true, even when it is a verifiable fact right before her eyes.  “No, Mummy, the sky is NOT blue!”.  All with a challenging gleam in her eye and a defiant tilt to her chin, daring you to take her on.  And the destruction, oh the destruction.  Everything she can get her hands on is upended and spilled and ripped and scribbled on, all with remarkable vigor.  You always know she is up to no good when she’s suddenly quiet and out of sight.  That’s when you need fear for your books/walls/carpets/cat.

homemade dulce de leche

Fortunately, I’ve had two of these creatures before and I know full well it’s just a phase one must survive.  Say what you will about the various discipline methods, three year olds are a law unto themselves.  I am not a lax parent by any stretch, and I don’t let my kids get away with much.  But even an iron fist has little effect on a three year old.  For the parents, this particular stage is just something to be lived through.  Stay consistent and keep plenty of wine on hand.

And when all else fails, spoon low carb dulce de leche straight into your mouth.  Go on, it’s good for you!  And it soothes the frazzled soul.

low carb dulce de leche

Dulce De Leche – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 8 servings



  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Pour Low Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk into a glass or ceramic baking dish. Stir in molasses and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  3. Cover tightly with foil.
  4. Place baking dish in a larger casserole or roasting pan and fill with water to 3/4 of the way up sides of baking dish.
  5. Bake 1½ to 2 hours, checking on it every 30 minutes or until condensed milk has taken on a caramel colour and a rich, caramel flavour.
  6. Whisk until smooth, let cool, then transfer to a glass or ceramic container and store in fridge.


Serves 8. Each serving has 3.1 g of carbs.


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  1. Catherine H. says

    “Three year olds suck.” Bwa-ha-ha! As one of my friends used to say with mild sarcasm, “Tell us what you *really* think, Carolyn.” I have a six year old who still acts like a three year old, so I have to agree. I’ll just have to numb my pain with this glorious dulce!

  2. says

    Ahhh….the three year old! My two year old will be three in just a matter of days, and I have been seeing the slow change into that awful phase. Good to know that this dulce de leche will help. Thanks, and hang in there. :)

    • Carolyn says

      Um, yeah. About the ice cream. It’s homemade, but I literally didn’t write down the recipe at all when I made it. I was worn out. It’s fairly basic, though…a custard base made with 1 1/2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups half and half, 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup Swerve. Then, before churning add 2 tbsp vodka (helps keep it from getting icy) and 1 tsp vanilla extract. 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum can help too, just whisk in well.

  3. Sharon says

    My two kids are 14 months apart and I remember those days. I had no idea how incredibly sweet four year olds were because my daughter was three when my son was four. I do think that the girl was more work than the boy. My babies are now 20 and 21 — time flies too quickly. Thanks for the amazing recipes and wonderful stories as well.

  4. Eric says

    As I don’t have kids, I can’t comment on 3-year-olds, but I did have a question about the recipe: Should the water in the water bath be boiling when you add it? This looks amazing, and incredibly useful. thanks for coming up with it.

  5. says

    Words don’t describe my love for dulce de leche! We don’t do it like they do down in South America and I feel like I need to make a trip down there to not only see the beautiful culture but also to enjoy all their dulce de leche treats! Orrrr…..I could just follow your recipe and make it at home! Yours looks so thick, sweet and creamy, just the way it should be! Love your photos and will let you know when I try your recipe!

  6. Dawn says

    I’ve always wondered why people talk about the “terrible twos” because my kids are always at their worst at age 3. And considering that I’ve got one in that stage right now, I feel your pain. Fortunately for us she’s very sweet, so when she’s not making mayhem she actually says “please” and “thank you” unprompted and offering loving hugs (but look out because there may be permanent market in that little hand).

  7. Gerri says

    A wise friend said she’d rent out (cheap) her three year old to anyone wanting to have kids.

    Yum, can’t wait to make this! My husband was eating the sweetened condensed milk by the tablespoon when I made it for the cookie bars. Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  8. Rebekah Phillips says

    This looks amazing, I am a bit fan of your condensed milk. How do I convert my 7 YO carb & sugar addict to a lower carb lifestyle? He doesn’t like my deserts, yet my 3 YO loves them.

    • Carolyn says

      I’d just keep putting the healthier versions in front of him and limit the not-so-healthy ones. He will get there!

  9. Rina says

    Loved your take on 3 year olds! Mirrored my own views when my three children were in the “Troublesome 3’s” ( they are all in their 20’s now). I used to regularly reference my Ames & Ilg parenting book for 3 year olds -“Your 3 Year Old -Friend or Enemy” and look up normal behaviors in the back. Fortunately all my little angels behaviors were listed. Made it through with lots of chocolate, laughter, and remembering how adorable they looked when sleeping.

    Your Dulce De Leche looks so delightful that I can just imagine how wonderful it will taste when I whip some up this weekend. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! I have converted to Swerve due to your posts and love it. Keeps my blood sugar T2 diabetes in control while satisfying my sweet tooth.

  10. says

    Haha! I remember – not so long ago – when my twins were 3-year-olds. They really can push you to the edge of *crazy* some days. I think dulce de leche is a pretty good medicine though! Will have to try this recipe!

  11. Evelyn says

    YOU ROCK! I love your recipes. As for 3 year olds, my now 26 y/o son was THE ROTTENEST 3 y/o EVER! To this day i wonder why people talk about the ‘terrible twos’ – two-year olds are a breeze. When my son hit three – I threatened to sell him – cheap.

  12. Flor Rodriguez says

    Oh my God! I feel the same way about 3 year olds! My beautiful niece is 3 years old. I found her to be so polite, charming, funny, smart, etc, last year! Then she turned 3, and I find her difficult at times. For example, she found my baking bar of dark chocolate and waned to eat it. I said she wouldn’t like it, and took it away. I gave her another piece of candy and she seemed happy enough. But then she tells my brother that I was mean to her and took away her candy! I reminded her I gave her a replacement candy, and she looked me in the eye and said no.

    Sorry to rant, but I felt so awful for thinking she could be rotten at times. Your post, and other commenters made me feel less awful.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe too :)

  13. Catherine H. says

    If you happen to read this soon, Carolyn, I was wondering if you would answer a question: I made the sweetened condensed milk and simmered it down to what I thought was half the amount. Right before I put it in the oven,, I discovered there was actually a little over a cup of liquid, so I really only reduced it by a third. However, it seemed pretty thick. Also, I was a little gun-shy because when I tried the condensed milk recipe the first time I used all cream, (which I do not recommend–more on that) so I put it in the oven anyway. After an hour and fifteen minutes it was dark enough, but I’m not sure about the texture: fairly thick, almost gellid–a bit like a custard? When I stir it up, it’s very smooth and less custard-y. Is this what I should be looking for? Could it need more time because there was more liquid when I started it?

    About the sweetened condensed milk, I’ll put my comments over there so that people who try it can see them instead of having to click over here.

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Catharine,

      I am a touch confused. Since you start with 2 cups of liquid, you should end up with about a cup of liquid after reducing (it may be off by a bit, because you eyeball it). I am not sure how you think you only reduced it by a third? All cream would definitely thicken up a LOT more and a lot faster. In fact, in that case, I might reduce (or even skip) the xanthan gum. Now I am curious to try half cream and half almond milk…I wonder how well that would work?

      It sounds like you ended up with close to the right product for the dulce de leche…it is thick and a bit custardy. Because we aren’t using sugar, it doesn’t get as syrupy as traditional dulce de leche or condensed milk. It sure tastes a lot like it, though!

      Thanks for adding your insight, it’s always good to get feedback.

  14. Catherine H. says

    Umm, yeah . . . Math was never my strong suit. I forgot I was supposed to start with TWO cups, I was thinking I had started with one and a half. Duh. You’re right, and I was right, even though I didn’t know it.

    I just took the dulce de leche out. YUM! I’ve never tried the “real” stuff, so I can’t compare with past experience, but I think the sugar-eaters are missing out. This will be great on ice cream!

  15. Batya says

    Hi Carolyn! I discovered your blog about a month ago, and I’ve already marked about a dozen amazing-looking recipes to try. This was the second one. (The first was the chocolate-filled ginger cookies, and it was an amazing success.)

    This one was almost a success too — it looked and tasted marvelous right out of the pan — but after about 28 hours of refrigeration, the sweetener (I used Swerve) has started to crystallize out of it. :( It still tastes delicious! It just has tiny crunchy sugary fragments in it, which it really shouldn’t.

    Any idea what I did wrong? Any suggestions?

    • Carolyn says

      HI Batya, I don’t think you did anything wrong, but mine hasn’t done that. Erythritol does tend to re-crystallize out of solution, but I had no trouble the two times I’ve made this. The first time, I did put it in the fridge, the second I actually left right on the counter for a few days. Neither recrystallized. My best suggestion is to heat it gently in the microwave and whisk again before using next time. That should work the crystals right back into solution. And it may not happen the next time at all, since mine hasn’t done it.

      • Batya says

        I’ll give it a shot! Thanks. :)

        (There is a recipe I have this in mind for, eventually. The original calls for a pre-made pie crust, sliced bananas, and caramelized sweetened condensed milk — which until now I didn’t think I could do low-carb. And now I can!)


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