How to Store Dulce de Leche (Homemade)

Dulce de leche, also known as arequipe, manjar or cajeta, is widely used in pastries and serves as a filling, topping, or alone. And today, we are going to show you how to store dulce de leche

It is possible to preserve homemade dulce de leche for a week at room temperature, although the unopened industrial may last longer. Then, it can be refrigerated for about 3 or 4 weeks in the medium term. In the long run, freezing the dulce de leche is viable for 3 or 6 months.

How to store Dulce de leche

In general, homemade dulce de leche has a long shelf life due to sugar. But, obviously, due to preservatives, industrially manufactured dulce de leche has a much longer duration.

The climate does not affect much dulce de leche, so it resists warm climates of up to 95°F (35°C). Therefore, storing it at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or even in the freezer is possible.

To know the storage methods of dulce de leche, you need to continue reading.

Table of Contents

Keep dulce de leche at room temperature

Dulce de leche preserves well at room temperature and is an excellent option to preserve dulce de leche without a refrigerator.

Suppose the dulce de leche is of industrial manufacture and uncovered. In that case, you can leave it in the pantry, in a dry and cool area, until the expired date indicated by the manufacturer. However, it is advisable to consume before three months

On the other hand, to store homemade dulce de leche, you must do the following:

  • Step 1: Sterilize the container. 

Using a glass jar with an airtight cover is ideal. Boil water in a pot with a thick bottom and leave the jar and the lid for 30 minutes

  • Step 2: Dry the container.

The bottle is removed with tweezers and then allowed to drain on a slit or paper towels until it dries completely.

  • Step 3: Wait for the dulce de leche to cool.

If you just made the dulce de leche, it is best to wait for it to cool completely before passing it into the glass jar.

  • Step 4: Transfer the dulce de leche to the glass jar.

Fill the jar leaving one inch of space

  • Step 5: It is covered and placed upside down. 

As soon as you close the container tightly, turn the jar upside down, so the lid is the base. The pressure will release the oxygen as the dulce de leche goes down so that the jar will be “vacuum-sealed “in about 6 hours. After that, the lid should not go up or down when touching it.

If you want to eat dulce de leche daily, you can skip the emptying.

  • Step 6: Place in the pantry.

It is desirable to store the dulce de leche in a dark, dry, and cool place, such as the cupboard. Thus, dulce de leche can last about three months at room temperature

But in case the jar is opened regularlydulce de leche will only be able to last a week. [1]

Store dulce de leche in the fridge

As soon as you open the dulce de leche, storing it in the fridge is an excellent option, either industrially or homemade.

Suppose it is dulce de leche purchased in a store or supermarket. It will only be enough to store the container or can inside an airtight container. This way, it can last from 4 to 6 weeks. But if it has not been opened, it will last until the expiration date indicated on the packaging.

To refrigerate homemade dulce de leche, you should do the following:

  • Step 1: Sterilize the glass jar. 

Boil water in a thick-bottomed pot and place the glass jar with its lid for about 30 minutes.

  • Step 2: Dry the bottle.

Remove the jar with tweezers and let it dry using a slite or paper towel.

  • Step 3: Wait for the dulce de leche to cool.

It prevents moisture from being created due to steam.

  • Step 4: Pour the dulce de leche into the jar.

We will leave space at the top as we fill the jar, so don’t fill until it is complete because the dulce de leche usually expands in the cold.

  • Step 5: Cover and flip.

If you want to store the dulce de leche for a long time, we recommend vacuum sealing it. To do it, place the jar upside down for about 6 hours. On the other hand, skip this step and close the lid if you want to eat regularly.

  • Step 6: Tag.

Label the jar with the current date.

  • Step 7: Store in the fridge. 

After following all these indications, homemade dulce de leche can remain refrigerated for 3 or 4 weeks

If you vacuumed it and haven’t opened the container yet, the dulce de leche may last 3 or 4 months.

How to frost dulce de leche

Suppose you need to store the dulce de leche for an extended period, especially if you opened and used a part of the dulce de leche. In that case, the freezer is the perfect option.

To freeze dulce de leche, do the following:

  • Step 1: Transfer the contents to a freezer-safe container.

Use a glass or plastic container for a homemade dulce de leche. If you bought a can, you can leave it there and put the can inside an airtight bag. 

Do not fill the jar entirely since the dulce de leche expands at cold temperatures, potentially breaking the container.

  • Step 2: Tag.

To avoid confusion and keep control of the storage, label it with the freezing date.

  • Step 3: Place it in the freezer.

The dulce de leche can last between 3 and 6 months. Usually, homemade dulce de leche lasts less than industrially manufactured. Still, if the container was sterilized and sealed, it could last six months

If the dulce de leche is unopened, it is not advisable to store it in the freezer, considering it can remain in good condition at room temperature or in the fridge.

How do you know if dulce de leche is bad?

Due to the high sugar content and reduced water, it is difficult for dulce de leche to develop mold. Still, it is possible that the containers, particularly the lids, can get molded, and if that’s the case, discard the dulce.

Nor should it be eaten if dulce de leche has a rare taste and smell, such as rotten, and not the typical sweetness.

How long does dulce de leche last?

Dulce de leche usually lasts a long time if it is well covered. Here I leave you a summary of the storage time.

Homemade dulce de leche sealed at room temperature3 months
Dulce de leche open at room temperature1 week
Dulce de leche canned or packaged at room temperature3 months or indicated by the manufacturer
 Refrigerated sealed homemade dulce de leche3 – 4 months
Homemade dulce de leche open refrigerated3 – 4 weeks
Dulce de leche canned or refrigerated packagedIndicated by the manufacturer
Canned dulce de leche or refrigerated open packaging4 – 6 weeks
Frozen homemade dulce de leche3 – 6 months
Canned or frozen open packaged dulce de leche6 months

What is the best way to preserve dulce de leche?

Dulce de leche is well preserved either at room temperature or refrigerated. Unopened can be left in the cupboard.

High temperatures do not affect dulce de leche much. It only makes it a little softer. 

However, if you have uncovered the container, it is advisable to keep the dulce de leche refrigerated

In the long term, you can freeze it. However, if the jar is sealed, you should avoid the freezer to keep its good quality.

Did you like it? If the article was good enough to solve your questions, be ready to discover how to preserve any other kind of food


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