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A phioto showing a dulce de leche cake on a pink cake stand with a piece being removed. The cake is covered in sugar shards

Dulce de Leche Cake

A moist vanilla cake filled with silky dulce de leche and covered in show stopping sugar shards.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 273kcal


For the Cake

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain yogurt whole milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp bourbon

For the Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp bourbon you can use vanilla instead if preferred

For the filling

  • 26 oz dulce de leche

For the Shards

  • cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


For the Sugar Shards

  • Line 2 edged baking sheets with tin foil.
  • Add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir and bring to a boil.
  • Set a candy thermometer over the edge of the pan and continue cooking at medium heat until the mixture reaches 300F. This takes about an hour so be patient.
  • Remove from heat and slowly pour onto the lined pans. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes then crack the sugar with a wooden spoon until you have pieces at the desired size.

For the Cake

  • Butter and flour 3 eight inch pans. I use cake strips on my pans for more even baking as well. Preheat oven to 340F
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time while mixing then add in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Don't worry if the mixture isn't totally homogenous.
  • Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Use a spatula to give the bowl a scrape and a final mix.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans
  • Bake at 340 for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch.

For the Buttercream

  • Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, salt and bourbon and mix.

For the Assembly

  • Pipe a circle of buttercream around the edge of the first layer. Fill center with dulce de leche and place next layer on top. Repeat.
  • Cover outside with buttercream and smooth.
  • Place sugar shards on the outside and serve.



If you can't find dulce de leche just boil a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot with an inch of water for about an hour. 
To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set on the shop page or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 10.6g | Saturated Fat: 5.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 74.3mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 0.7mg