Creamy dulce de leche whipped into a luscious mousse. With rich caramel flavor and a light airy texture, this Dulce de Leche Mousse is fit for a caramel connoisseur but easy enough for a weeknight dessert.
Dulce de Leche is a delightful caramel confection made popular in Latin America. I love caramel. A friend introduced me to a candy recipe named “Brigadiero.” It’s from Brazil and is a chocolate caramel fudge ball. I was fascinated by the creamy, chewy insides.
A Creamy Caramel Journey
My friend told me this treat was made with sweetened condensed milk. It began a journey for me to learn what sweetened condensed milk can do and about a form of caramel made from slowly heated sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de Leche means “candy made of milk.” It is a nice caramel with the richness of sweetened condensed milk but better.
I ran to the Hispanic shops in the area and learned quickly there were many different varieties of dulce de leche. Not all are made with cow’s milk. Because I’m still working on developing a taste for goat’s milk, I prefer dulce de leche made from cow’s milk.
Keeping it Simple
I used to make my own dulce de leche from scratch. My recipe is quick and simple. I didn’t trust the recipes online that said to put a can of sweetened condensed milk in a crockpot or oven all day, as I was worried it would explode. So I came up with a way around it. If you’re interested in making the dulce de leche from scratch, you can find the instructions in our Dulce de Leche Brownies. In fact, each of these recipes only requires half a batch of dulce de leche so make a batch of brownies while you’re at it!
However, I like to keep things simple for myself and for you. Our local grocer started carrying dulce de leche in a small can, about the size of a can of sweetened condensed milk. I use the brand Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche. In any recipe that calls for dulce de leche, I use that almost exclusively. I don’t have to watch a pot of caramelizing sugar on the stove. Just opening the can is a delight – gorgeous, creamy caramel. The canned dulce de leche matters for this Dulce de Leche Mousse because it’s important to have a thick dulce de leche when making this recipe.
Easier Than Pie
When I was creating this Dulce de Leche Mousse, I wanted something simple to make that wouldn’t require lots of testing. It also needed to be simple enough that I would be willing to make it again. I started with my favorite Cream Cheese Whipped Cream as the base. It’s a stable, multi-use whipping cream with the slightest hint of tang from the cream cheese. I’ve used this in so many desserts and it performs well every time. If you’re looking for something to really highlight the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream, I recommend my simple Cream Puffs.
I made a few simple adjustments to really highlight the flavor of the dulce de leche. Brown sugar has a deeper, caramel flavor from the molasses in it that is a perfect pair for the dulce de leche. With such a simple recipe, you’ll hardly believe how good this Dulce de Leche Mousse tastes!
The mousse itself only uses half of the can of dulce de leche. I use the rest mixed with a bit of cream to create a pretty topping. There’s no mistaking it as a Dulce de Leche Mousse with the topping. If you prefer to keep this a light, simple mousse, use the leftover dulce de leche another day as an ice cream topping. It freezes well for the day you just need a dulce de leche ice cream sundae, complete with a banana!
Make It Your Own
This Dulce de Leche Mousse can be topped with whipped cream instead of a layer of dulce de leche. You could add pecans, almonds, or even cashews, graham crackers, bananas, or whatever your heart desires to the top.
You could layer it with Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream. It might be nice layered on cubes of Rich Chocolate Cake and cream in a chocolate dulce de leche trifle. We have even used this recipe in our Chocolate Cream Puffs.
No matter which toppings you choose to eat on this creamy Dulce de Leche Mousse, leave us a review to let us know how you liked it. And if you share on social media, don’t forget to tag us @tastebeforebeauty. Enjoy!
Dulce de Leche Mousse
- ½ can (6.5 oz) Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¼ C (2 oz) brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 C (9 oz) heavy cream
Dulce de Leche Topping
- 1 ½ T heavy cream
- ½ can (6.5 oz) Dulce de Leche
Caramelized Sugar Garnish
- ½ C (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp light corn syrup
- 2 T water
Make the Caramelized Sugar Garnish
- Prepare cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Pour sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pan on the stove. Heat over medium heat and stir until light amber.
- Using a fork, dip in the caramelized sugar and drizzle in lines on the parchment paper. Let some overlap slightly to hold the shape together. Let cool, break into 8 pieces, and set aside.
Make the Dulce de Leche Mousse.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip cream cheese, vanilla, and brown sugar until smooth. Scrape the bowl before adding cream.
- Add ½ can (6.5 oz) of dulce de leche and 1 C (9 oz) heavy cream. Whip until soft peaks form.
- Pipe or pour into 8 small ( ½ C) serving dishes, smooth tops carefully, and place in the fridge.
Make the Dulce de Leche Topping and Assemble.
- Mix remaining 6.5 ounces of dulce de leche and 1 ½ T heavy cream. Put in microwave or heat until smooth.
- Spoon 1 T of dulce de leche mix over the top of each mousse cup and gently spread until smooth.
- Serve chilled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Just before serving, add a piece of Caramelized Sugar Garnish.
- You can also add bananas, nuts, graham crackers, chocolate, or whipped cream to garnish.
- My favorite dulce de leche is Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche.