One Ingredient Caramel is a simple and decadent treat you can make in minutes!

This is one of our favorite caramel sauces for topping desserts, dipping apples and eating with almost everything!

Once you give this easy recipe a try, you may never purchase store bought caramel again!

Pouring caramel over bananas with a title

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Ok, ok I know… its not technically “CARAMEL”.. maybe more along the lines of a dulce de leche.. but it is dang delicious with that sweet caramely goodness!

In this recipe, sweetened condensed milk is cooked until it creates a deliciously rich caramel sauce! The best part is this recipe has ONE ingredient! Just one!  Easy huh?

I personally LOVE sweetened condensed milk in any dessert and this has to be one of my favorites!

Pouring condensed milk into a white baking dish

You’re going to simply pour condensed milk into a pie pan or casserole dish.  Cover it with foil and place it in a larger pan of water and bake.  SO easy!  I put my water level about 1/2″ to 3/4″ (depending on your pan) so just check the oven every now and then to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated.

One more thing, you may get a little crust on the top once your caramel bakes (which is delicious).  You can either just serve it as it, just eat the caramel underneath or blend it with an immersion blender.

In the image below my caramel has been blended with an immersion blender while warm.  Any little crusty bits on the top just melt right into the caramel.

Round white dish with caramel in it

Please note that this recipe has been adapted from the original recipe which included cooking a can of unopened sweetened condensed milk fully submerged in a large pot (1″ above the can) and boiled for 3 hours.  There has been some question as to the safety of the original method (although, like many of you, I’ve been doing it for years and years).  I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and try another method.

I’m more than happy to report that not only was it easy, it was quicker than the original method and it tastes just as amazing.  You won’t be disappointed.

Pouring caramel over bananas
4.87 from 79 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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One Ingredient Caramel

Sweetened Condensed Milk Caramel is one of our favorite caramel sauces for topping desserts, dipping apples and eating with almost everything!
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (regular or low fat)
  • apples for dipping optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into a casserole dish or pie plate. Cover with foil.
  • Place in a larger pan and fill to ¾" with water. (Fill water as needed while baking)
  • Bake 60-90 minutes or until condensed milk has reached a golden brown color.
  • Cool completely.

Notes

Note: If you caramel forms a thin crust on top, you can either just use the caramel underneath or blend using an immersion blender for a minute to mix it in.
Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
4.87 from 79 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 158 | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 183mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Can i use this caramel condensed milk for drizzle on cupcakes and will it harden. How long is the shelf like for this caramel.5 stars

  2. Making this now! My 4 yr old and I are tired of peanut butter with our apples for lunch , he asked if we caramel. We didnt but had sweeten condensed milk ! I was wary of boiling a can ( know its tried and true lol) so glad to find this recipe. Fingers crossed I’ll update in an hour or so !

  3. An easier way to accomplish the same is to boil the entire unopened can for one hour on your stovetop, let it cool and open up the can. It will be caramel.

    1. This recipe has been adapted from the original recipe which included cooking a can of unopened sweetened condensed milk fully submerged in a large pot (1″ above the can) and boiled for 3 hours. There has been some question as to the safety of the original method (although, like many of you, I’ve been doing it for years and years). I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and try another method.

      I’m more than happy to report that not only was it easy, it was quicker than the original method and it tastes just as amazing. You won’t be disappointed.

  4. Well a temp setting would have been handy for those of us that need to look up some sort of directions, just sayin

      1. This caramel doesn’t harden as you would want on a caramel apple but it is delicious for dipping apples in for a caramel apple style appetizer. For a true caramel apple try this recipe!

      2. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Megan. But I would imagine it would take longer to make. If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  5. Thank you very much for sharing! I tried this and it worked out perfectly. Needed almost 2 hours, kept checking it to make sure there was enough water and blended it once cooled.

      1. Hi Louise, it should be fine in the fridge overnight just be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent a crust from forming on the top.

  6. Can I use this to make caramel corn? Will it harden once mixed w popcorn? If not, is there an easy way to thicken?
    Thanks

  7. I’m so disappointed! The top layer didn’t get “crispy” it burnt…. after 35 min following the exact instructions….. and the inside goo tasted awful, like burnt milk. I wouldn’t waste your time with this. Maybe some things we just gotta do the old fashion way?1 star

    1. How disappointing for you Sheri! Based on the reviews, this recipe works well as written for most readers so I can’t say for sure what went wrong. I’ve made this countless times and haven’t had a burnt flavor/top. Did you use the water bath?

  8. Hello Holly!

    I found your recipe because I too, am wary of cooking inside the sealed can. I see that this recipe makes 8 servings, but what is a serving size? I need to make 2/3 cups of caramel sauce. Thank you so much for your consideration to my question!

  9. For the love, please don’t use a Pyrex casserole dish as the container for water. Halfway through baking the condensed milk, I opened the oven and saw that the Pyrex was dry. I poured some water from the fridge to replace the liquid level and the glass EXPLODED. Literally, glass shards everywhere in my oven…the cleanup was a nightmare. Because the milk/caramel was covered that was actually fine, so I’m finishing it the next day using an aluminum roasting pan underneath for water. Fingers crossed :)

      1. Pyrex is actually designed to withstand hot/cold changes, however the company tried replacing their own glass with a cheaper alternative at some stage and they started having issues like this

  10. Can you use condensed coconut milk instead? We don’t do dairy and I’d like to make a salted caramel ice cream (vegan) but the recipe calls for dulce de leche or canned caramel. Thanks!

    1. I have only made the recipe as written so can’t say for sure, but maybe another reader can help.