Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

This Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is so rich and flavorful you’ll think it took hours to make. In reality it has just a few ingredients and you don’t even need an ice cream maker!

Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream! No-churn, no machine needed. This ice cream is full of dulce de leche flavor without all the work!

Friday night was Bingo night at Jordan’s elementary school. I was in charge of running the food service, like I was last year. The hot food gets delivered and my job is to make sure it gets served to 280 people – FAST. There is nothing worse than waiting in line for food, so I want that line to move quick. To do this I rely on lots of teen volunteers, although I use the term “volunteer” loosely. If someone is required to volunteer for graduation, doesn’t that just make it homework?

Anyway, the volunteers ended up being great – they moved the line fast and everyone was happy. But, OMG. Teens today freak me out. Like, if this is what I’m pinning my golden years on, I’m a little scared.

I can’t wait to be in my nursing home, having an emergency and pushing that little button that says I fell and I can’t get up, and have the person supposed to be helping me make me wait because they have to answer that text from their BFF.

I actually had to ask a girl – twice – to put her phone away.

Another couldn’t quite understand how to serve a chicken sandwich.

And then I asked them to move tables for me. OMG. Like, it was the apocalypse or something.

Thank goodness my faith in my future geriatric care was restored when I got home. I’ve never had to have a babysitter for that many hours before, but Jordan ended up sick and Mel was at the hospital because his step-dad was in surgery, so I had to hire one. She came even though there was a fever involved, and she made Jordan smile and happy and not miss bingo night one bit. She is amazing!

Anyway, this really has nothing to do with this amazing Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, except that anyone can make it even while texting, and I came home and ate my weight in it after a loooong day on my feet.

dulce-de-leche-ice-cream (2 of 5)

I’ve never had Dulce de Leche before last week. I know, I’ve been missing out. I’ve seen it all over blogland for years and never picked up a can. And part of me wishes I never did because O M G.

Give me a spoon and a can of Dulce de Leche and I’d be a happy girl.

Basically, Dulce de Leche is sweetened condensed milk that’s been heated and cooked for a long time. It turns into this thick, wonderful, caramel type mixture. It’s amazing.

When I was craving ice cream last week, I knew I wanted to make easy ice cream (you know, the kind without a machine) and I couldn’t think of a flavor that knocked my socks off.

{You know that easy ice cream, right? The kind that uses a can of sweetened condensed milk mixed with either Cool Whip or Whipped Cream? You mix those two things together and freeze and voila! You have ice cream, no churning or machine needed!}

Then I realized…Dulce de Leche IS sweetened condensed milk. Could I make ice cream out of it the same way?

The answer? Oh yes, yes you can!

dulce-de-leche-ice-cream (5 of 5)

This ice cream is made with a can of Dulce de Leche and a tub of fat-free Cool Whip. You can totally substitute whipped cream for the Cool Whip, but beware – this is rich and thick with the whipped topping – I can’t imagine how much thicker it would be with real cream! Plus, fat-free Cool Whip makes this a (little) less guilty.

I wanted to add a crunch, so I cooked some brown sugar, butter, and pecans together and stirred them into the ice cream, with some vanilla. This came together in literally minutes! I froze it overnight and boom. Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.

It’s AMAZING. It’s even better with a sprinkling of sea salt before eating. Salted Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.

Ohhh. Emmmmm. Geeeeee.

dulce-de-leche-ice-cream (1 of 5)

Make this for Cinco de Mayo. Or a random Monday. Or because your teenager refuses to listen to you when you give instructions. Whatever.

Just make it. Mmmmkay?

Did you make this recipe?

Easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

No churn ice cream that’s full of dulce de leche!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 can (about 13.4 ounces) dulce de leche (I used Nestle la Lechera brand)
  • 8 ounces fat-free whipped topping, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. 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.
  2. Place dulce de leche in a large bowl. Stir to break it up a little. Add vanilla and whipped topping 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Try sprinkling it with a little sea or kosher salt before serving. It’s amazing!
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

DIY Dulce de Leche in the slow cooker

DIY Dulce de Leche (8 of 8)w

Other Ice Creams I love:

Lemon Ice Cream

Skinny Lemon Ice Cream 2 words

Cherry Ice Cream Pie

Cherry Ice Cream Pie 2 words

Sweets from friends:
Caramelized Almond Nougat Mousse Ice Cream by A Finn in the Kitchen
Easy Key Lime Pie Ice Cream by Something Swanky
Funfetti Cake Batter Ice Cream by Sweet 2 Eat Baking

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  1. I haven’t ever tried dulce de leche either. Maybe I should take your advice and never try it or else I will be in TROUBLE. I love anything and everything caramel flavored. Genius idea making an ice cream with it.

  2. I hear you on the teens – and tweens are just as bad, which scares me even more because they are too young to be that obnoxious already!
    Love this recipe!

  3. I loved this post. You are too funny. I’ve never heard of making ice cream with Cool Whip, but I bet this is so good!

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  5. Yum! I love dulce de leche, and I hate using an ice cream maker, so I love how easy this is!

  6. Oh my word this sounds so wonderful.

  7. I have a ton of left over strawberry whipped cream and was thinking I should make ice cream with it. Your version sounds amazing! Speaking of teens…have you heard about the new Facebook Home for cellphones? That’s just what kids need!

  8. Oh wow. This sounds absolutely incredible! And your photos are gorgeous!! Such a creative idea – love it!

  9. Your ice-cream looks seriously amazing (and sounds dangerously easy!) I love that you don’t need an ice-cream maker too!

  10. This ice cream sounds wonderful! I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I really like the fact that you don’t need one to make this recipe.

  11. I can not believe I have still not tried Dulce De Lech anything yet!! Can you believe it?? This is a must make! It looks so crazy delicious!

  12. This sounded good just with the dulce de leche sauce but then you added sugar-crusted pecans and OMG, for sure! Absolutely mouth-watering! I wish I could stick my spoon through my laptop! 🙂

  13. Dulce de leche is incredible on its own and now you’ve gone and done it – ice cream perfection!!

  14. Dorothy, I love that “volunteering” is a requirement for graduating, lol. So glad everything went well for you. I think you totally earned your ice cream dealing with teenagers and this one sounds so good!. Love the addition of the candied pecans!

  15. OMG…that looks amazingly good….like I seriously wish I could eat dairy good!!!

  16. Now I am in the mood for ice cream. I have yet to purchase a can of Dulce-de-leche, looks like I better try it soon.

  17. The first time I saw the recipe for two-ingredient ice cream, I had the same thought process of using dulce de leche and it was so so good! I love your addition of the pecans though – sounds utterly fabulous!! Pinned, and definitely making again – with your addition!

  18. This looks great! I’ve pinned it and can’t wait to try it! 😀

  19. Oh my goodness! This looks so good. I bought a jar of dulce de leche a few weeks ago. I haven’t used it yet. I’m afraid I will like it too much! Pinned to my food board!

  20. Oh my gosh, whats wrong with kids these days? Lord I hope my kids don’t act like that one day. Gee, remember when we were teens and didn’t have cell phones? We actually had to interact with people and we couldn’t talk to our friends until we got home to our wall phones? And some of those were rotary! I’m missing out on this ice cream! I’ve never had dulce de leche anything! Whats wrong with me?

  21. I could definitely use a scoop of that! I adore anything with dulce de leche in it so I can’t imagine what I am going to do on Cinco De Mayo with this sad addiction!

  22. Teenagers scare me too. Especially the phone obsession. I just don’t get it!

    However, I totally get this delicious ice cream! 🙂

  23. Make it while texting! You’re hilarious. Except I think I’m the only person in the world (not in a nursing home) who doesn’t text. GREG

  24. Ever since I moved away from home I’ve missed having an ice cream maker!! Don’t have to miss it anymore!! This looks super over the top delicious 🙂 I love easy ice cream recipes.

  25. Easy and delicious…. Dulce de leche is one of our favorites.. We grew up eating this stuff that our Cuban grandmother would make for us… Thats why we were cubby babies.. lol

    Dulce de leche has such a intense flavor compared to plain ole carmel… They dont compare!!!

  26. Oh my…Why did you show me how to make one of my biggest weaknesses!? I purposely haven’t picked up a carton of dulce de leche ice cream in years because I cannot have ANY self control with it.

    Now I want to make this!

  27. Do you think I could throw this DELICIOUS mix into my ready-and-waiting ice cream maker anyway?

    • Hmmm…I’ve never tried that! I think it would work, but I’d substitute whipping cream (or half & half/milk or a combo) for the Cool Whip. I’m not sure what the Cool Whip would do in an ice cream maker! Let me know what happens and what you use!

  28. I had Dulce de Leche for the first time earlier this year…and oh boy! That is some awesome stuff! I love that you made it into an ice cream with candied pecans. Brilliant!!! My kids keep begging for a phone and I keep saying no way! Maybe I can keep them somewhat normal if they don’t have texting options 🙂

    • Totally right? I’m so glad Jordan can only text at home (her iPod is wifi only). Then at least I only have to deal with her. She won’t need a phone for a long time, I hope! 🙂 Thanks Jocelyn!

  29. I love that you do the sweetened condensed milk+fresh whipped cream version of ice cream. That’s all I ever do because we don’t have an ice cream maker — and don’t need one 🙂 LOVE dolce de leche. We use sweetened condensed milk a lot in our house with all the Brazilian recipes, but ice cream is my favorite use, and dolce de leche is such a great taste.

  30. Thanks for the little shout-out of my ice cream Dorothy! I feel like every generation thinks the ones under them are slightly marginal, but things seem to work out for the most part 🙂 This ice cream looks incredibly rich and delicious. I can’t seem to stop making ice cream. I think it’s a disease…

  31. I don’t think I can wait the four hours needed in order for this ice cream to freeze! Love dulce de leche!

  32. A friend had someone beside her in yoga with her phone…seriously, Take a break!

    This looks so creamy and delicious!!!

  33. This + sea salt… YES. I neeeeeeeeed.

    Also, teenagers these days are horrible. I know, because I was one several years ago and I am thoroughly embarrassed on behalf of my generation and future generations to come. We are awful people.

  34. On Valentine’s Day me and my boyfriend split a dulce de leche ice cream sundae and fell HARD for it! I must recreate it NOW!

  35. Holy yum!! This looks so creamy and sinful! It’s such a pretty color, too. You’re genius!

  36. Since I don’t have an ice cream maker to speak of, my daily craving of homemade ice cream goes unsatisfied. Not anymore though! Who knew cool whip produced such a creamy texture? Pinning!

  37. that ice cream looks SO rich and creamy…i really need this, it is TOO HOT!!

  38. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh….oh my gosh. I want this right now. Like, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the night without ice cream now.

  39. This is my kind of ice cream 🙂 Your timing was perfect … summer has begun in Southern California. Thank you!

  40. Dulce de leche ice cream? Yum –I’m in!!! Great post. 🙂

  41. I love caramel anything – this ice cream sounds awesome! And it’s so easy – that’s my kind of recipe! 🙂

  42. I, too, just recently tried dulce de leche and omg I want to dulce de leche all the things! And I agree with you about the young generation today. I mean I’m obsessed with my phone, but I at least put it away when out with a friend. I cant wait to dig into this ice cream!

  43. You are a total genius, and I feel really confident that you are going to be the overlord of the now teens then geriatric nurses someday. You will just taunt them with tasty treats and they will throw their phones in the trash can and help you pick out the perfect muumuu to wear to bingo. (Ha! Bingo!) This looks AMAZING. I’m pretty sure it would be impossible for me to come up with an original dessert that didn’t use Sweetened Condensed Milk.

  44. No comment on teenagers 🙂 However, I will comment on this ice cream. Yum. Drool. Gimme some now!

  45. Crikey woman, this is beyond heavenly. I have such a weakness for ice cream.

    I also worry for our future being in the hands of duck facing, serial textaholics. Scary!

  46. Visiting from Monday Funday. I’d like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at thejennyevolution.com. And who knows, you may just get featured next week.


  47. I tasted my first Dulce de Leche yesterday. But I only took a couple of bites because I HAD to make your ice cream.
    I just made it and put it in the freezer. I am looking forward to tonight’s taste test.

    I am new here. Thanks for sharing your many, many, many delish-looking and sounding recipes.

  48. Love love love this recipe! Thank you!

  49. This looks amazing! I am having a craving now! 🙂

  50. Girl, you have to submit it to the food fight featured for next month! http://willcookforsmiles.com/2013/05/food-fight-party-submit-your-ice-cream-and-fruit-pops.html
    Bring any ice cream or fruit pops you have 🙂
    I loooove Dulche de Leche and this is amazing!

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  53. 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.

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  55. ” 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!

  56. 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 🙂

  57. 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.

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  62. 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.

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  65. 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!

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