Dulce de Leche Loaf Cake

by jenna on October 1, 2013

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If you know me, you know I am much more of a cake girl than an ice cream girl.

I think it’s because I’m always cold and therefore, am not the biggest fan of cold desserts. Everything about cake is glorious and I don’t discriminate between types. Yep, I’m definitely a cake girl. Always have been, always will be.

Like I said, I don’t discriminate between types but for some reason I do particularly enjoy cakes baked in a loaf pan. They just seem a bit rustic and old fashioned to me. When I was little, my favorite thing in the whole world was pound cake and I remember getting a slice once a week at the farmer’s market with my mom. Just a bite of that buttery, rich cake sent me to heaven. Some things never change.

This cake has all the goodness of a rich, buttery pound cake but with an added bonus! Dulce de leche swirled into the batter. Seriously. If you’ve never tried this at home, friends, the time has come.

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This is another recipe I developed for my friends over at Starbucks. I’d pair it with their new Caramel K-Cup flavor to heighten that dulce de leche goodness even more. While I don’t snack on cake every afternoon {I wish}, I love having a cup of coffee and a small piece of cake every once in a while as an afternoon treat…especially in the fall. The temperatures get cooler, sweaters get cuter and cake paired with a steaming cup of coffee just works. Need I say more?

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You can find dulce de leche in the Hispanic section of most major grocery stores. Or, you could go all DIY and make your own from scratch. I’ve never done that before but I hear it can be done in a slow cooker. Next time I make this I might attempt that. The canned version is really, really, really good though. And no one has to know the difference.

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Dulce de Leche Loaf Cake

serves 6-8

Print this Recipe!


2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

dulce de leche {found in the Hispanic section of most large supermarkets…or you can make your own}


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients along, with the milk, and mix well.

Spread half the batter in your prepared loaf pan. Drop three heaping spoonfuls of dulce de leche right on top of the batter. Be generous here! Then, smooth the rest of the batter on top, sealing the edges around the pan. Take a butter knife and run it through the batter to swirl the caramel filling, then place in the oven.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden and edges pull away from the pan. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan then invert out onto a flat surface to finish cooling.


1 hour 15 minutes



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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Blair @ The Seasoned Mom October 1, 2013 at 3:53 am

This looks delicious! I’m definitely a cake girl as well…it’s my favorite food! Can’t wait to try this version. :)


Ksenija @ Health Ninja October 1, 2013 at 4:00 am

Oh my, what a great idea! I love dulce de leche, though I mostly just use the pre-form: sweetened condensed milk, but if you cook it you’ll get dulce de leche. So making it from scratch shouldn’t be too hard.


Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 1, 2013 at 4:33 am

This looks so good! I love dulce de leche! I recently made dulce de leche cupcakes to take to work, and they were a huge hit — even though most of my coworkers had no idea what dulce de leche was :)


Megan October 1, 2013 at 4:34 am

Recently you promoted the Mocha Club which according to the website states, “The impact starts with you giving up a few mochas a month.” Now you are working with Starbucks? I fully support developing a brand, but this is extremely hypocritical and confusing to your readers who support you and your “philosophies.”


jenna October 1, 2013 at 7:16 am

Recipe development for big brands like Starbucks is my job and how I help pay the bills. I am able to give monthly to organizations to Mocha Club because of jobs like these.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 1, 2013 at 4:37 am

This cake is so pretty! Love it!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 1, 2013 at 4:37 am

Wow! I hear you on always being cold. As a kid I loved ice cream, but now I’m far more fond of warmer desserts. I love dulce de leche, caramel, and butterscotch-like flavours (Werthers Originals get me ever time!) and this looks fabulous!


Alicia October 1, 2013 at 4:55 am

Would it be good without the dulce de leche swirl?


Lauren @ The Highlands Life October 1, 2013 at 4:58 am

Amen on the pound cake train. I love my parents pound cake recipe. So rich, dense and buttery. Not to mention the crust that forms on top. Agh. I want a slice now with my coffee.


Danielle October 1, 2013 at 5:11 am

Send the ice cream my way, lady! I’ll trade ya :)


Nicole October 1, 2013 at 5:24 am

Yum! ‘Tis the season for bread baking!


Vicki @ WITK October 1, 2013 at 5:40 am

I have a can of dulce de leche in my pantry that I bought on a whim. Now I know what I should make with it!


Kinsey October 1, 2013 at 5:56 am

This reminds me of the Alfajores I made last week! http://kinseycooks.com/2013/09/23/alfajores/

I was lucky enough to have some dulce de leche leftover, so I made a dulce de leche buttercream to go with a pumpkin gingerbread layer cake. It was so good!


erin @hooleywithaz October 1, 2013 at 7:10 am

um, dulce de leche is my love language. so are alfajores. i lived in uruguay for a while, and i kid you not…i ate one every single day while i was there. so excited about this recipe!


Madison October 1, 2013 at 6:15 am

yum yum yum! I’m much more of a cake girl too–and cookies and brownies! haha


erin @hooleywithaz October 1, 2013 at 7:11 am

like i just told kinsey, i am obsessed with dulce de leche…i might even have a jar left over from when i forced our family friend to bring it back for me on his last trip to uruguay.


Jennie @themessybakerblog October 1, 2013 at 7:19 am

I love loaf cakes. They seem less daunting than, say, a 4-layer frosted cake. This cake looks delicious. Pinned!


Katie @peacebeme October 1, 2013 at 7:43 am

Wow that looks delicious!!!! Loaf cakes and breads have always been my favorite too. Banana bread is one of my favorite things in the whole world.


Caroline L. October 1, 2013 at 8:05 am

Visiting the Sara Lee outlet when I was a kid was the best thing – we’d buy a cart full of their pound cake … mmm, it was so good w/ strawberries & whipped cream!


Maria October 1, 2013 at 8:07 am



Stacey I October 1, 2013 at 8:25 am

I’ve never had Dulce De Leche before – so it has a caramel flavor? I love all things caramel, so will have to try this!


joelle (on a pink typewriter) October 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

Love the newspaper prop in your photos – adds a rustic feel to these photos. :)


Laura October 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

So when you say you develop a recipe for Starbucks, does that mean they like post it as a suggestion for people to make or do they actually use the recipe to make and mass produce to all of their stores to sell? If so, that would be so cool to know you came up with the recipe for something I buy there!


Marie October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I’m curious about this too!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

You had me at dulce de leche!


Kristin @ FoodFash October 1, 2013 at 9:21 am

I’m such a caramel girl, I’m sure I’d eat this right up!


Dana October 1, 2013 at 9:29 am

Everything about this looks stunning and amazing…and delicious!!! I will have to try!


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe October 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’d love to just eat a spoonful of that dulce de leche right now. This cake sounds just fabulous. I too prefer the rustic nature of cakes baked in loaf pans (or cast iron skillets)!


Averie @ Averie Cooks October 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

A rich, buttery pound cake with dulce de leche sounds so good! And congrats again on your Starbucks partnership – that is so awesome, Jenna!


Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent October 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

Love dulce de leche. It makes anything better :)


Amy October 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Jenna, this is so brilliant! I love dulce de leche so much that I refuse to bake with it myself. I’d eat the entire batch of cookies/cupcakes/cake/frosting/whatever all by myself in a single afternoon. Absolutely deadly!

And now that fall has finally come to my corner of Northern California, I definitely agree — a cup of coffee and a pastry in the afternoons are practically mandatory. I’ve recently been snacking on healthier muffins and scones, but I really wish I had a slice of your loaf cake instead!


Ja @Ja on the RUN October 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm



Michelle Macarai October 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

What time do you recommend for mini loaves?


jenna October 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Probably more like 45 minutes, but you should check on them!


Michelle Macarai October 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Thank you! Will be baking them for my (almost) 3 year old’s birthday party.


Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Oh my goodness! Homemade cake has always been my favorite, but I’ve never had a cake like this before. I’m a huge fan of dulce de leche though so I’m sure I’d love it.


Olviya@servingsisters.com October 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

What a beauty! Imagine french toast made from this bread! Swooooon


Katie October 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I love sweets but I just know way too many people with type 2 diabetes.
They aren’t necessarily overweight either.
Other than that, this looks delicious.
I will enjoy it vicariously.


Laura October 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm

That dulce de leche looks incredible! Definitely want to try this recipe.


Kristin October 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

This looks so fabulous….something about this post is just so cozy and comforting. Thanks for sharing! Excited to make this when the weather *finally* starts to cool down here in Florida :)


Ashley October 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

This looks divine!


Bryony @ Friday Night Dinners -- PDX October 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Yum! I’m always cold too, so hot drinks and warm desserts are the best. Can’t wait to try this out!


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic October 2, 2013 at 7:05 am

I love dulce de leche and always keep a can in my pantry. I like trying the “gourmeT”: versions in jars, too, and haven’t yet attempted to make my own. This looks delicious, Jenna!


Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes October 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I love loaf cakes and this one is no exception. Dulce de leche in, on, or anywhere around cake makes it that much better!


Laurie {Simply Scratch} October 2, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I love loaf cakes too… especially ones with dulce de leche in the titles… wowza!


Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King October 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Yum! That dulce de leche is screaming my name. Need this in my life. Thanks for sharing!


Karen October 4, 2013 at 5:47 am

This sounds amazing! I’m going to attempt it with gluten-free flour this weekend for my celiac daughter.


Heather October 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm

If this is a sponsored post for Starbucks K-cups, it really could use an official disclosure statement!


N October 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

this looks wonderful! although i must ask, do you actually eat your dessert recipes? Im sorry that seems so odd, but im finding bloggers more and more who dont eat their own recipes! And seeing as you’re so slender im curious (not saying someone cant be slender and eat whatever they please!) i really adore your site and your spirit comes through so vibrantly!


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