Gluten Free Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

So I have this Colombian friend who used to be a student at an English school I worked at and I discovered that he lives on the same street as me, so we tend to hang out a lot. He has been in Australia for a while now and is always promising to do a Colombian style lunch for me and my boyfriend so that we could get a taste of his traditional home country food. The other day, we finally got to doing it!

Part of the bargain was of course that I make cupcakes and they be Colombian style in order to fit in with the theme of the lunch, however I had no idea what Colombian style was. Normally when I think of Colombia, I think of salsa dancing and that infamous white powder, neither of which could end up in my cupcakes! Then my amazing boyfriend, suggested I make some Dulce de Leche and somehow incorporate that into my cupcakes. Perfect! The Colombians call it ‘Arequipe’ instead of Dulce de Leche, but it means the same thing: ‘candy of milk’. If you have ever made Dulce de Leche before then you know that’s exactly what it is and it tastes deliciously divine.

I also wanted to cut back on the sugar in the recipe as I knew the cupcakes were going to be quite sweet with the Dulce de Leche frosting, so I used some Natvia sweetener instead. I also made the cupcakes gluten free so my boyfriend could enjoy them too. Seemed only fair considering they were his idea!

I chose the saucepan method for the Dulce de leche. I boiled some water on the stove then added a can of sweetened condensed milk, then left in there to boil for about 4 hours. The longer you leave it the darker and more caramel the Dulce becomes. When you use the saucepan method you need to check it regularly and ensure the can is always fully submerged in the water, so you may need to add water as it does evaporate over time. It’s also good to rotate it every now and then to ensure the all of the milk inside gets caramelised. Do be careful making it this way. Although its never happened to me, I have read horror stories of cans exploding and all sorts of crazy stuff, so make sure you are checking it regularly whilst its going through its transformation.

After 4.5 hours I turned it off and carefully removed the can from the water with some tongs and placed it on a rack to cool. It takes a while to cool, so it’s best to let it sit overnight. Then when you open it the next day it looks a little like this …

I found a vanilla cupcake recipe that used coconut flour instead of normal flour as I thought this would make it gluten free and also add to the colombianess (I know that’s not a word, but you get what I’m saying) of the cupcakes. I found the original recipe over at Flourish. It can be hard to find good gluten free recipes, but I think this recipe is delish and moist, especially considering coconut flour is the only flour used in the recipe. And it doesnt have that ‘cardboardy’ flavour some gluten free cupcakes have. I made a few slight changes, as I said I wanted to make it a little healthier and cut the sweetness out.

I used silicone moulds for these cupcakes as I have heard that using coconut flour can make the cupcakes a little greasy.

So you basically add all the wet ingredients together and mix well. Then add the flour and baking powder. My mixture was quite runny to start with but it did thicken up the more I mixed it. Then pour your mixture into your silicone moulds and bake in the oven until they are golden brown on top.

Once done, place on a rack to cool. I left them in the silicone moulds until the next day when I removed them to frost them, but I’m sure you could remove them once cooled, just be gentle to ensure you don’t break the cupcake when you pop them out.

So for the frosting, as I mentioned before I was trying to cut the sweetness from this recipe so I simply used butter, the dulce and a small amount of icing sugar.

The frosting was very smooth but didn’t quite have the same firm hold it would if I had added a lot more icing sugar. But the consistency was still firm enough to pipe a cute little swirl on top of the cupcakes.

And there you have it, delicious and moist gluten free coconut cupcakes with decadent Dulce de Leche frosting.Have you ever made Dulce de Leche or used it in baking before? I would love to hear how you made your Dulce and what you used it for 🙂


  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 2/3 cup Natvia sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs large
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  • 170 grams butter softened
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 can Dulce de leche

Servings: 10 Cupcakes


  • Preheat over to 180 degrees Celsius and line your baking tray with silicone cupcake moulds.
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, eggs and milk.
  • Sift in the coconut flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.
  • Spoon mixture into cupcake moulds filling approximately 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, rotating half way through. Cupcakes will be done when they are slightly golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a tray to cool. Frost once completely cooled.


  • Beat softened butter until light and fluffy (approximately 3-5 mins)
  • Add dulce de leche in batches, beating well after each addition.
  • Add sifted icing sugar and beat well.
  • Once mixture is smooth, spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes

Recipe Notes

You may want to add more icing sugar in the frosting if you which to have a firmer more defined swirl.

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