This dulce de leche cake roll is decadent, creamy, and perfect for just about any occasion. Made with just 6 ingredients, it’s deceptively simple!
This decadent dulce de leche cake roll is one of my all-time favorite desserts. As a proud Ukrainian, I’m obsessed with all things dulce de leche. You’ll find this cake roll making appearances at everything from my family’s Christmas dinner to birthday parties. It’s that good!
If making a cake roll seems out of your comfort level, fear not. It’s much simpler than you think. With a little kitchen towel trick, you’ll get a cake roll that looks like it could be in the window of the fanciest bakery.
How to Make Dulce de Leche
There are two ways to make dulce de leche from scratch. If you have an Instant Pot, it will only take a little over 30 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use the method below.
- First, fill a large pot with water. Next, place unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk in the water, making sure the water level remains several inches above each can. Note: Some of the water will evaporate during cooking, so make sure to keep the water level above the can as it cooks!
- Bring the water to a boil and allow the cans to cook for 3 hours.
- Turn the heat off and remove the cans with tongs or an oven mitt. Set them aside to cool completely at room temperature.
- Open the cans and you’ll have homemade dulce de leche waiting for you inside.
How to Make a Dulce de Leche Cake Roll
Making a dulce de leche cake roll only requires 6 ingredients despite its super fancy presentation. Below, find a quick rundown of the recipe before you dive in.
- Make the Cake Batter: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture doubles in volume. Next, add the flour in thirds.
- Bake the Cake: Grab your baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Next, spread the batter evenly across it and bake for 12 minutes. Top the cake with a clean kitchen towel and roll it up. Set it aside to cool.
- Make the Frosting: Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the softened butter and half of the dulce de leche together. Next, add in the cold whipping cream and beat just until you get stiff peaks.
- Assemble the Cake: Microwave the other half of the dulce de leche in a small bowl. Carefully unroll the cake and remove the parchment paper. Next, spread the melted dulce de leche across it, followed by a layer of the dulce de leche frosting. Roll the cake back up and frost the outside with the remaining cake cream.
- Decorate the Cake: Decorate the cake with a sprinkle of crushed caramel candy or a drizzle of dulce de leche. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate before serving!
Crushed Candy Topping: To make the crushed candy topping pictured, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to boil in a saucepan. Pour the syrup on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it harden. Use a clean hammer to break it apart.
Tips & Tricks
Here you’ll find a handful of tips and tricks to help you make the best dulce de leche cake roll.
- Allow the cake roll to cool completely at room temperature. After rolling the cake in a kitchen towel, allow it to cool completely at room temperature before you attempt to unravel it. This will prevent the hot cake from sticking to the towel and breaking apart.
- Allow the butter to soften at room temperature. For the best frosting, allow the butter to soften at room temperature before you attempt to beat it with the dulce de leche. This will make for a more consistent texture.
- Use extra cold heavy whipping cream. For extra fluffy whipped cream, use extra cold heavy whipping cream. Cold whipping cream yields the lightest, most fluffy whipped cream. If you have to, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes before beating it.
Storing a Dulce de Leche Cake Roll
Whether you have a bit of leftover dulce de leche cake to store or want to freeze an entire cake for a rainy day, find all the best storage tips you need here.
- Refrigerator: To keep the dulce de leche cake roll on hand for up to a week, store it in an airtight cake container. This will prevent it from soaking up any smells lingering in your refrigerator.
- Freezer: To keep your dulce de leche cake roll on hand for up to a month, freeze it. To do so, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop it in the freezer uncovered. Once it’s completely frozen, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. To thaw it, place it in the fridge overnight.
What is the difference between caramel and dulce de leche?
Caramel is made by slow-cooking granulated sugar and water, while dulce de leche is made by slow-cooking sugar and cow’s milk or sweetened condensed milk down.
How long does it take to make dulce de leche?
It takes about 3 hours to make dulce de leche by boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk. If you’re using an Instant Pot, it only takes about 30 minutes.
How do I prevent the towel from sticking to the cake when rolling it?
The best way to prevent the towel from sticking to the cake is to allow it to cool completely before you attempt to unravel it.
Do I need to keep this cake refrigerated?
Yes, you need to keep the cake refrigerated in between snacking. To do so, keep it stored in an airtight container (like a cake container) in the fridge.
Can I freeze dulce de leche cake?
Yes, dulce de leche cake is great for freezing. You can keep it stored for up to a month.
Dulce De Leche Recipes
- Dulce de Leche Waffle Cake – Crispy waffle cakes
- Russian Walnut Cookies aka Oreshki – Festive walnut cookies stuffed with dulce de leche
- Dulce de Leche Macarons Recipe – French almond flour sandwich cookies
- Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies – Buttery sandwich cookies with dulce de leche
Dulce de Leche Cream
- 26 oz dulce de leche
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream very cold
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Next, beat the eggs with 1 cup of sugar until the mixture doubles in volume.
- In thirds, fold the flour into the egg mixture, being extra careful not to over mix the batter.
- Spread the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (10" X 15" is the perfect size). Bake for 12 minutes.
- Once it comes out of the oven, place a towel on top of the cake and roll it into a spiral. Set the cake aside to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat the softened butter and half of the dulce de leche until smooth.
- Next, add in the extra cold heavy whipping cream and whisk on high speed. Once it reaches stiff peaks, immediately stop whisking it.
- Microwave the other half of the dulce de leche for about 30 seconds, or until it softens. Gently, unroll the cake and remove the parchment paper. Spread the dulce de leche onto the cake roll, followed by a layer of the dulce de leche frosting. Roll the cake back up and apply the remaining frosting to the outside of the cake.
- Decorate the cake by sprinkling the top with crushed caramel candy or drizzling it with dulce de leche. Enjoy immediately or allow the cake to set in the refrigerator for an hour before serving!
Some things I find confusing about this recipe. Like why one should roll the cake in a towel and after its done cooling unroll it to roll it up again later.
I found the cake slightly dry tasting compared to other dulce de leche cake roll recipes I've tried that have used a chiffon cake recipe. Although this recipe is very simple, so it does gain a lot of points for that.
I prefer to not mix the dulce de leche with whip cream and also skip the butter. I really like the contrasting taste of the dulce de leche and whip cream. Instead of using the frosting I coat with another layer of dulce de leche.
I would love to try the candy topping though, as I think it would add to the asethic of the cake a lot, because otherwise it can turn out looking like a lumpy log, even with the frosting or dulce de leche topping.
Hi Kirsten - Thanks for such thorough feedback. For the cake roll, you should always roll it up when it's still hot. This will help it form that signature shape. Love the idea of the variations you made for the whipped cream and adding candy - let us know how those turn out.
This is the best cake roll ever!! Soo yummy!
Hi Jennifer, I am so glad you loved the recipe, thank you for taking the time to comment your feedback!
Yum, yum! This cake is delightful! A nice cup of black coffee and I'm set! Perfect cake for Christmas!! Looks like a log! I could totally use this as my yule log cake instead of the traditional log cake! Love it!
Hi Betsy, yes the beautiful white makes it perfect for Christmas! I am so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for your feedback!
Beautiful and such delicious dessert!
Hi Melissa, thank you very much, glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Hi! I had a question for you about the servings. If I want to make it for 20 servings I see the measurements adjust (which is great) but do I need to use additional baking sheets and bake the dough in two parts meaning two rolls?
Or a bigger baking sheet?
Thank you for sharing the recipe
Hey Ale, the measurement configuration would get tricky with cake. I would suggest just cutting it in half or doubling the recipe. That tool is meant more of non baking recipes. Enjoy
I plan to make this delicious cake soon. How long do I keep the cans of sweetened condensed milk in the boiling water?
Typically for 3 hours, be sure that the cans are covered the entire time. You can also make dulce de leche in an instant pot, really fast and easy. Here is the link: https://momsdish.com/easy-ins…
Good afternoon Natalya
I have a question where did u get ur towel to roll the cake ? And how did u make it hard cany that u crashed it ?
The towel is from Ikea, I had it for a while.
The candy is a combo of sugar and water that I cooked on the stovetop. I poured on a parchment paper and after it has hardened I broke it.
What candies did you use for decorating on top?
I cooked sugar with water and created candy. I need to add instructions to the the recipe.
Yes please. You need to add your website about how to created candy for decorating the cake.
Hey Liliya, this is great feedback. I think everyone gets creative in their own way. I will share a tip for it. Thank you!
Hi, Thank you so much for putting the effort in your blog and sharing your recipies with everyone!! this Seems simple I want to make it,I was wondering did you just roll it up in a towel as soon as it came out the oven and in the lined paper?
Btw, thank you for following along and using the recipes from my blog. I appreciate when you guys comment and say hi!
Hey Anna, I put it in a towel because its easier to roll it up this way and when it cool to a room temperature, it keeps the shape. Most towels should stick to the cake cake, they are easy to remove.