Our Dulce de Leche Cake recipe tastes as good as it looks and is easy to make from scratch. tPerfect for any caramel lover in your life.

Our other favorite “birthday party” worthy cakes include German Chocolate Cake, Coconut Cake, Carrot Cake and Flourless Chocolate Cake.

An easy Dulce de Leche Cake recipe with one slice being separated to serve.

We’ve crowned Dulce de Leche Cake our new birthday fav.

There’s not treat that reigns more supreme for me than cake, and I’m very excited to introduce you guys to this brand new Dulce de Leche Cake. I started testing this cake last year, when my oldest son requested a “caramel-like” cake for his birthday. Over the months it’s become everyones birthday request, and I’ve tweaked it until it has the perfect tender cake crumb and high quality dulce de leche buttercream.

Be careful not to over bake the cake layers, or they will be dry. And take care to whip the buttercream until light and fluffy.

How to make Dulce de Leche Cake:

Make Cake Batter: Cream together butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla and then eggs, mixing in one at a time, until combined. With the mixer on, add sour cream and slowly add ½ of the can of dulce de leche, mixing until batter becomes lighter in color.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture.

Two images showing the batter for the best Dulce de Leche Cake being made.

Bake: Pour batter into prepared cake pans then bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs). Do NOT over bake the cake, or it will be dry. Remove cake and cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Two images showing Dulce de Leche Cake before and after it's baked.

Make Frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, powdered sugar and ½ can of dulce de leche. Mix for several minutes, tunil lightened in color, and very fluffy and smooth. Add a little milk, if needed, to thin the frosting.

Two images showing homemade Dulce de Leche frosting before and after it's mixed.

Assemble: Place one cake round on serving platter or cardboard cake round and spread a thin layer of frosting on top. Add ½ of the second can of dulce de leche to a small bowl then microwave for a just a few seconds, to soften it a little. Spread it on top of the cake, leaving a 1 inch border. Place the second cake round on top.

Pipe a line of frosting into the crack between the two layers of cake. Frost cake completely with a very thin layer of frosting—the crumb coat. Stick in the fridge for 20 minutes, or freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and add another layer of frosting over the crumb coat.

Four images showing a Dulce de Leche Cake filling and after it's assembled and finished with a crumb coat.

Decorate Cake: Warm remaining ½ can of dulce de leche in a small bowl in the microwave for a just a few seconds to soften. Smooth dulce de leche over the top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch board. Pipe decorative frosting swirls around the outer top edge, if desired. (I use my reusable ateco piping bag and wilton 1M piping tip). Sprinkle a pinch of flake salt on top of the cake, if desired.

Two images showing an irresistable homemade Dulce de Leche Cake and then after one slice is served on a plate with a bite on a fork.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: The dulce de leche frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before remixing into soft and fluffy.

To Freeze: The cakes and frosting can be frozen. Allow the cakes to cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to one month. Frost cakes when they are still frozen. Freeze frosting in an airtight container for up to three months.

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Recipe

An easy Dulce de Leche Cake recipe with one slice being separated to serve.
Prep 35 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 1 hour
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Ingredients
 
 

Dulce de Leche Cake:

Dulce de Leche Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter , slightly cold
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 14 oz can dulce de leche* , divided (half in frosting, half reserved as topping for the cake).
  • flake salt , optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Cream together for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and then eggs, mixing in one at a time, until combined.
  • With the mixer on, add sour cream, and slowly add ½ of the can of dulce de leche, mixing until batter becomes lighter in color.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs). Do NOT over bake or the cake will be dry. Allow to cool for a few minutes before inverting onto wire cooling racks to cool completely.
  • Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, powdered sugar and ½ can of dulce de leche and beat for several minutes, until very fluffy and smooth. Add a little milk, if needed, to thin the frosting.
  • Assemble: Place one cake round serving plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top. Add ½ of the second can of dulce de leche to a small bowl and microwave for a just a few seconds, to soften it a little. Spread it on top of the cake, leaving a 1 inch border. Place the second cake round on top. Pipe a line of frosting into the crack between the two layers of cake. Frost cake completely with a very thin layer of frosting—the crumb coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and then add another layer of frosting over the crumb coat.
  • Warm the remaining ½ can of dulce de leche in a small bowl in the microwave for a just a few seconds to soften. Smooth dulce de leche over the top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch board. Pipe decorative frosting swirls around the outer top edge of the cake.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of flake salt on top of the cake, if desired.

Notes

Makes a 2 layer (8inch) cake.
Dulce de Leche: The recipe uses two 14 oz cans of dulce de leche. I recommend the La Lechera brand. You will use half a can in the cake batter and half a can in the frosting. Half a can in between two cake layers when frosting, and remaining half can on top of the cake at the end. To make your own dulce de leche, use a can of sweet and condensed milk. Remove the wrappers. Place cans upside down in a large pot and add enough water to submerge them by about two inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour. Flip can. Make sure water level is still above the lid, and simmer for another hour. 
Decorating: I have two favorite tips for piping swirls on a cake: Wilton 1M and Wilton 2D and this large 14” ateco piping bag
Make Ahead Instructions: The dulce de leche frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before using.
Freezing Instructions: The cakes and frosting can be frozen. Allow the cakes to cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to one month. Frost cakes when they are still frozen. Freeze frosting in an airtight container for up to three months.

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 3gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 171mgPotassium: 57mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 832IUCalcium: 60mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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