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Pan Dulce Leche Recipe: A Sweet Fusion of Bread and Caramel

Pan Dulce Leche is a delightful fusion of two beloved Latin American treats—Pan Dulce and Dulce de Leche. This dessert pairs the soft and sweet Pan Dulce bread with the rich and creamy caramel flavor of Dulce de Leche sauce. In this article, we’ll guide you through creating this harmonious dessert, perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings. Let’s dive into this delicious pairing!

Whether you’re an experienced baker or new to the world of Latin American sweets, let’s embark on this delicious journey together and create a delightful treat from start to finish. Let’s dive into this delicious pairing!


You will require Pan Dulche and Dulche de Leche. These can either be store bought or made at home. Skip to the next section if you have already bought (either or both of) these from a store.

Recipe for Homemade Pan Dulce (Mexican Sweet Bread):


For the Pan Dulce dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F or 43°C)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Step 1: Activate the Yeast

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy, indicating that the yeast is active.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  4. Gradually add the activated yeast mixture and flour.
  5. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, which should take about 10 minutes.

Step 3: First Rise

  1. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Step 4: Shape and Second Rise

  1. Punch down the risen dough and shape it into your desired Pan Dulce shapes.
  2. Place the shaped Pan Dulce on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes.

Step 5: Preheat and Bake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Once the second rise is complete, bake the Pan Dulce in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Recipe for Homemade Dulce de Leche:


  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) of sweetened condensed milk


Step 1: Simmer in the Can

  1. Remove the labels from the cans of sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Place the unopened cans in a deep saucepan.
  3. Fill the saucepan with enough water to fully submerge the cans, ensuring there’s at least an inch or two of water above the cans.
  4. Place the saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  6. Allow the cans to simmer for approximately 2 to 3 hours. During this time, the sweetened condensed milk inside the cans will slowly transform into rich and caramelized Dulce de Leche.

Step 2: Monitor the Water Level

  1. Keep an eye on the saucepan to ensure that the water level remains above the cans throughout the simmering process.
  2. Add more hot water as needed to prevent the cans from being exposed.

Step 3: Cool and Open

  1. After 2 to 3 hours, carefully remove the cans from the simmering water using tongs or a large spoon. Be cautious as the cans will be very hot.
  2. Allow them to cool completely at room temperature.
  3. Once the cans have cooled down, carefully open them using a can opener.
  4. You’ll be greeted with luscious and caramelized Dulce de Leche ready to be enjoyed.

Now you have both homemade Pan Dulce and Dulce de Leche to create your delicious Pan Dulce Leche dessert!

Combining Pan Dulche and Dulche de Leche [Instructions]:

Step 1: Warm the Dulce de Leche

With your Dulce de Leche, heat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until it becomes slightly softer and easier to drizzle.

Step 2: Slice Pan Dulche

Meanwhile, slice the Pan Dulce into individual portions, and place them on dessert plates.

Step 3: Drizzle warm Dulce de Leche each slice of Pan Dulce.

By doing this the sweet bread will soak up the creamy caramel sauce, creating a delectable combination of flavors and textures.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Serve your Pan Dulce Leche immediately while it’s still warm. Each bite will be a delightful blend of soft, sweet bread and luscious Dulce de Leche. It’s a simple yet indulgent dessert that’s sure to satisfy your dessert cravings.

Calorie Estimate:

The calorie content of Pan Dulce Leche will depend on the specific Pan Dulce and the amount of Dulce de Leche used. On average, a serving of Pan Dulce Leche can contain approximately 250-350 calories.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Pair your Pan Dulce Leche with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra creamy and cold contrast.
  • Enjoy it alongside a cup of coffee or hot chocolate for a comforting dessert experience.


Pan Dulce Leche is a delightful dessert that brings together the best of both worlds—soft and sweet Pan Dulce bread and rich and creamy Dulce de Leche sauce. Whether you’re serving it as a sweet ending to a meal or indulging in a special treat, this fusion of flavors is sure to bring joy to your taste buds. Share this dessert with friends and family, and let them savor the irresistible combination of bread and caramel.