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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is so rich and flavorful you’d think it takes hours to make, but it doesn’t! This easy no-churn ice cream recipe is so easy to make. You only need a few ingredients, and you don’t need an ice cream maker!

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Dulce de leche ice cream being scooped out of container
Table of Contents
  1. Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream without a machine
  2. What flavor is Dulce de Leche ice cream?
  3. Is dulce de leche the same as caramel?
  4. What is dulce de leche ice cream made of?
  5. How to make dulce de leche ice cream
  6. Expert Tips
  7. More Dulce De Leche Desserts
  8. Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Recipe

Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream without a machine

Have you made no-churn ice cream? This method is the easiest way to make homemade ice cream because you don’t need to make a custard ice cream base or use a machine to churn it.

Simple no-churn ice cream is made with sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream. All you do is fold whipped cream into the milk and then add any mix-ins. Freeze it, and the next day, you have delicious homemade ice cream.

I first made this ice cream flavor after realizing dulce de leche IS sweetened condensed milk. Well, it’s sweetened condensed milk that has been cooked until it turns into a thick caramel sauce.

Could I use it to make ice cream? The answer is: Oh, yes – yes, you can! And you can skip the ice cream maker because this fantastic ice cream is made with dulce de leche and a tub of fat-free Cool Whip. It’s the best no-churn ice cream – dulce de leche style!

Blue bowl full of dulce de leche ice cream

What flavor is Dulce de Leche ice cream?

If you’ve never had dulce de leche before, I am very excited for you to try it. It takes like the most decadent caramel sauce you’ve ever had – I can seriously eat it by the spoonful from the can.

You can use it in all kinds of ways, and this creamy ice cream is one of my favorites. Combining that unique caramel-y concoction with ice cream gets you the BEST caramel ice cream. Haagen Dazs actually has this flavor you can buy, but I am telling you – this homemade dulce de leche ice cream is better than Haagen Dazs!

Is dulce de leche the same as caramel?

They’re similar in flavor but made with different ingredients. Dulce de leche is made with milk and sugar, while regular caramel is made with water and sugar.

Because dulce de leche is made with milk, it has a much richer flavor and has a very creamy texture. The flavor is similar to regular caramel because they both have sugar that caramelizes when it’s cooked.

Overhead shot of all ingredients needed to make dulce de leche ice cream

What is dulce de leche ice cream made of?

Butter: You can use salted or unsalted, this is to help toast the pecans.

Brown sugar: To sweeten the toasted pecans, make sure you pack it.

Chopped pecans: Adds a nice crunch to the ice cream.

Dulce de Leche: Use canned dulce de leche or make my homemade dulce de leche.

Heavy Whipping Cream: We’ll beat this into whipped cream to make the ice cream. You an also use cool whip – see below.

Vanilla: For flavor

Four photos showing process of making dulce de leche ice cream

How to make dulce de leche ice cream

  1. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a skillet over low heat.
  2. Add the pecans, stir, and cook them for about a minute. Take them off the heat to cool.
  3. Place the dulce de leche in a large bowl and stir to smooth it out. Add the vanilla and whipped cream. Fold the whipped cream into the caramel until almost combined. It’s okay if there are some streaks of caramel.
  4. Fold in the pecans and then transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Freeze the ice cream for at least four hours or, ideally, overnight.
Hand holding a waffle cone filled with scoops of dulce de leche ice cream

Expert Tips

For this recipe, you can use store-bought dulce de leche or make my easy slow cooker dulce de leche.

The nuts are totally optional, but they do add a nice crunchy texture to the ice cream.

Substitute 2 containers whipped topping: I like whipped topping because it’s easier, but also fat-free topping makes a little less guilty.

When making whipped cream: whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Then fold it into the dulce de leche carefully so it doesn’t break.

No churn ice is not as firm as regular ice cream. It’s closer to soft-serve in texture, so let it freeze long enough to firm up. Also, store it in the coldest part of the freezer, which is usually in the back.

For bonus ice cream points, sprinkle some sea salt over the topping before serving. I love some salted caramel dulce de leche ice cream!

Blue bowl full of dulce de leche ice cream

More Dulce De Leche Desserts

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Dulce de leche ice cream being scooped out of container

Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

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This simple no churn caramel ice cream has sweet toasted pecans and is a delicious homemade ice cream!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups (474ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 13.4 ounce can dulce de leche (I used Nestle la Lechera brand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Melt butter and brown sugar together in a small pan over low heat. Cook until butter is melted, then add the pecans. Cook over low heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool.
  • Beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Place dulce de leche in a large bowl. Stir to break it up a little. Add vanilla and whipped cream and fold gently until almost combined (there will still be a few swirls of dulce de leche showing). You don’t want to over-stir or it won’t set up in the freezer. Fold in pecans.
  • Place in a airtight container and freeze until semi-firm (it won’t be as firm as regular ice cream), at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Try sprinkling it with a little sea or kosher salt before serving. It’s amazing!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Substitute Cool Whip (regular, low fat, or sugar free): Use two 8-ounce containers whipped topping and omit heavy cream.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 756IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword dulce de leche, ice cream
Hand holding a waffle cone filled with scoops of dulce de leche ice cream with recipe title on bottom of photo

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is so rich and flavorful you’d think it takes hours to make, but it doesn’t!

Last Updated on March 29, 2022

Dorothy Kern

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108 Comments

  1. These look delicious! I really prefer the texture of churned ice cream – can you give me any hints to change a “no-churn” recipe into one I can use in the ice cream maker? Thanks so much.

  2. Just put mine in the freezer. I was so excited by your recipe because it looks like the right color of Argentine dulce de leche ice cream…. But mine looks really white – did you use more dulce de leche? Or did the bits add color? I skipped the nuts. Thanks!

    1. Did you use dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk? I used the La Lechera, I believe, that you get in the baking aisle. It should be a nice amber color!

  3. Just ran across your site, and besides your GREAT sounding recipes, some of your ‘stories’ are very worth reading. I’d like to make your ‘Chocolate Zucchini Doughnut Muffins’ . Like to print it out to save it. No ‘print’ stated.
    Thanks.

  4. Dorothy!
    Hi. I think we crossed each other’s path on the way to Oz. That yellow brick road’ll take you where no one can go without trying! You’re probably as obsessed with the science of putting these things together as I am. Compelled to make
    an easy version of THEE most delicious flavor of ice cream I’ve ever had (salted caramel gelato) I dreamed
    about it JUST last night, meditating on using Cool Whip for the airiness in creamy ice cream and not using an ice
    cream maker! Not kidding. And here is where my midnight prowl took me. You’re a GENIUS! Hope to see you in further culinary adventures. Love your site!
    Thanks, M. Dianne ( CookieZeal’s Queen of Shortcuts)

    I’ve successfully trumped my intelligence with this wonderful recipe.

  5. I am originally from Argentina and we have dulce de Leche ice cream there as well as the real dulce de Leche (not the can kind you are talking about).
    We had some pieces of shredded chocolate to it and we love it it is called DULCE DE LECHE GRANIZADO 🙂

  6. ” fat-free Cool Whip makes this a (little) less guilty.” No way! Always go for the natural stuff: real cream! You’re only having a little, so it’s fine. You’ll die sooner from eating the fake ingredients in Cool Whip than eating the real thing!

    1. Oh, I know that real cream is better for me. But I don’t just eat a little bit, so the less calories/fat is where I need to be. 🙂

  7. You had me laughing and smiling the whole post…

    …Then you said you never had dulce de leche before. For reals?! I used to live off that stuff! My first experience was with a Häagen-Dazs milkshake and I NEVER looked back. It was my favorite flavor for a long, long time.

    I have to have some now. See what you did?! I gotta try this out.