Dulce de Leche Cupcakes Recipe

If you are looking to add a little South American flair to your desserts, you will love our dulce de leche cupcakes recipe. This popular and versatile flavor is threaded throughout this sweet and tempting cupcake recipe.

If you are searching for a new cupcake recipe that will be different from anything you’ve baked in the past or want to serve a fun Cinco de Mayo dessert, we are confident this dulce de leche cupcake recipe is it.

A horizontal close up of a dulce de leche cupcake on a grey slate tray, with more cupcakes in the background on a white plaid towel.
These dulce de leche cupcakes are so easy, that even the kiddos can make them.

RELATED READING: The Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe (The Internet Says So)

Easy Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we not only love to share new recipes with our readers, but we especially enjoy sharing unique recipes like our dulce de leche cupcakes recipe. We don’t want to pass up a chance to share an international dessert with you.

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In English, dulce de leche means “candy made from milk”. If you don’t know, dulce de leche has Argentinian roots and is used in many different ways. You can spread it on bread, use it as a sauce for sweet and savory dishes, drizzle over pancakes or waffles, and add to your morning coffee, just to name a few. It would be a great Argentina Day dessert idea.

If you need time to gather the ingredients for your cupcakes, bookmark this page so it’s easy to come back to when you are ready to create your delicious dessert.

A vertical image of a dule de leche cupcake cut in half with several more cupcakes behind it on a plaid white towel.
Our dulce de leche cupcakes are moist and full of caramel and buttery flavor.

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Why These Cupcakes Make the Perfect Dessert

They are absolutely divine! The sweet flavor just adds a different level of flavor. If you have a sweet tooth, this recipe will let you indulge.

It is a great opportunity to share a recipe from another country with your family. This opens a door for a teaching opportunity.

This is an uncomplicated recipe! At first glance at this, you may think they are difficult to make because they look like they’re bakery-bought but they’re not.

They are cost-effective. Because they are made from scratch, you will most likely have the bulk of the ingredients in your fridge or pantry already. The few items you may have to purchase won’t run you much at all.

A vertical close up of a dulce de leche cupcake on a grey slate tray on a white plaid towel
These dulce de leche cupcakes are going to become a fast family favorite.

RELATED READING: Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – Save This Favorite!

Tips for Making From Scratch Cupcakes

  • Should you use cake flour or all-purpose flour when making cupcakes? The main difference is that the cake flour has less protein and gluten. It gives an airy texture to your cakes and cupcakes.
  • What is baking soda and how do I use it in baking? Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, which is a leavening agent. It gives cupcakes an airy texture from the bubbles it makes when it reacts to the other ingredients. It is fast-acting and much more potent than baking powder.
  • Conversely, baking powder also contains sodium bicarbonate but it also has added acid or starch. With baking soda in your bake, you have more time to get your bake in the oven.
  • Does it matter if I use eggs or egg whites in my cupcakes? Yes! Egg whites have a neutral flavor, and contain more water and less fat than a whole egg. They will have a drying effect on your overall bake. Whole eggs have more fat and will give your bake more flavor and texture.
A square image of a close up of a dulce de leche cupcake, net to a bowl of dulce de leche nearby and a tray of cupcakes on a white and blue plaid towel.
These cupcakes are topped with a dulce de leche frosting and drizzle.

Ingredients for Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Below are the ingredients for the dulce de leche cupcakes and the delicious frosting we made. Before you head to the store, check your pantry and fridge to see what you have on hand. For information on using egg whites versus whole eggs in your recipe, read the tips section above.

NOTE: if you have a box of cake mix, use this recipe for easy cake mix cupcakes.

  • Unsalted butter softened
  • Sugar
  • Egg whites
  • Vegetable oil
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • 13.4-ounce can of dulce de leche
Ingredients for the Dulce de Leche cupcakes on a white marbled surface.

How to Make Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Each step for this recipe is detailed below so it’s easy to follow. Keep this page open and follow along. If you would rather have a printable recipe, scroll down and select the print button.

A large metal bowl with sugar and butter creamed together on top of a white marble surface.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 12-cavity cupcake pans by placing the liners for the 24 cupcakes. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-electric mixer and a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar.

A large metal bowl with cupcake ingredients and egg whites on top of a white marble surface.

Add in the egg whites, oil, baking powder, salt, vanilla and milk. Mix well.

Large metal mixing bowl with dry cupcake ingredients on a white marble surface.

Add in the flour and mix. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides and mix again.

A large metal bowl with cupcake batter and dulce de leche on top on a white marble surface.

Fold in 1/2 of the can of the dulce de leche and mix well.

A large metal mixing bowl with cupcake batter inside on a white marble surface.

Add the batter to the cupcake pans, filling each cavity 2/3 full.

Baked cupcakes on a wire cooling rack with dulce de leche and a piping bag full of frosting on the side on top of a white marble surface.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for the Dulce de Leche Frosting

  • Unsalted butter softened
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Dulce de leche in a can
Ingredients for the frosting on top of a white marble surface.

How to Make Dulce de Leche Frosting

In a large mixing bowl of a stand or using an electric hand mixer, combine the softened butter and powdered sugar.

A large metal mixing bowl with powdered sugar mixture and milk in it on a white marble surface.

Add in the milk until the frosting is smooth.

a large metal mixing bowl filled with frosting ingredients on a white marble surface.

Add in the vanilla, and salt until the frosting is smooth and forms small, stiff peaks. Fold in the remaining dulce de leche, except for 2 tablespoons for the drizzle.

Dulce de Leche cupcakes frosted on a wire cooling rack with a cup of dulce de leche on the side with a white marble surface.

Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and frost the cupcakes.

Dulce de Leche cupcakes drizzled and frosted on a wire cooling rack with a cup of dulce de leche on the side with a white marble surface.

Drizzle the remaining dulce de leche over the frosted cupcakes.

Notes for Making Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

  • We found our can of dulce de leche at Walmart. If you have trouble finding this product, you can make your own by boiling a pot of water and adding a can of sweetened condensed milk (the actual can). Simmer for 2-3 hours depending on the light or dark caramel color you want to achieve. Store unopened for up to three weeks.
  • You can use a standard teaspoon for drizzling the dulce de leche over your cupcakes or you can purchase this pack of two drizzle spoons for under $5 here.
  • Our favorite frosting tip is the 1M open star tip. If you don’t have this particular tip, you can find it in the pack of 10 frosting tips.
  • If you enjoy baking cupcakes on the regular, disposable piping bags can get expensive so consider reusable piping bags.

More Desserts You May Enjoy

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A double stacked image with a black slate tray with dulce de leche cupcakes, with several cupcakes around the tray on a blue and white plaid towel on top with the supplies for the cupcakes on the bottom on a white marble surface.
Our delightfully decadent dulce de leche Cupcake recipe is irresistible.
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Dulce de Leche Cupcake Recipe

A square image of a close up of a dulce de leche cupcake, net to a bowl of dulce de leche nearby and a tray of cupcakes on a white and blue plaid towel.

Our delightfully decadent Dulce de Leche cupcake recipe is irresistible. Savor this sweet indulgence as you bite into these moist and fluffy cupcakes. They are filled with a rich and creamy dulce de leche, so each delectable bite is the perfect balance of caramelization and buttery goodness. These cupcakes are topped with a dulce de leche frosting and drizzle. This recipe is so easy, even your older kiddo can make these cupcakes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ⅔ cup sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 - 13 oz can dulce de leche (divided)

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 - 13 oz can dulce de leche (divided), less 2 tablespoons for the drizzle

Instructions

Directions for the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two cupcake pans by placing the liners for 24 cupcakes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg whites, oil, baking powder, salt, vanilla and milk. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour and mix. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides and mix again.
  5. Add in half the can of dulce de leche and gently swirl into the batter by hand.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Directions for the Frosting:

  1. Combine the softened butter and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand or using an electric hand mixer.
  2. Add in the milk, vanilla, and salt, until the frosting is smooth and forms small, stiff peaks.
  3. Fold in almost all of the remaining half can of dulce de leche, leaving about 2
    tablespoons for the drizzle.
  4. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Gently pipe a spiral
    cone shape of frosting on each cupcake.
  5. Heat the remaining dulce de leche in a microwave-safe bowl for 15-20 seconds or
    until softened. Using a spoon, carefully drizzle over each cupcake. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 0gSugar: 48gProtein: 5g

All nutrition information is estimated. For accuracy, please calculate your exact brands and ingredients if accuracy is desired.

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