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Dulce de Leche Cookies

Dulce de Leche Cookies are a perfect marriage of rich, luscious, gooey caramel with crumbly, buttery cookies.

Straight on shot of dulce de leche cookies—sandwich cookies filled with caramel.

Because these caramel filled cookies are based on a traditional Latin American cookie, they’re perfect for celebrating Cinqo de Mayo.

Wedding sweet, rich caramel bliss with a buttery shortbread-like cookie also makes them ideal for celebrating my wedding anniversary, which happens to be the same day!

Dulce de Leche Cookies, or Alfajores, are popular all over Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina.

Overhead shot of dulce de leche cookies, or alfajores, on a wire rack.

Why You’ll Love these Dulce de Leche Cookies

There are so many reasons to love these Dulce de Leche cookies!

Easy to make—There are only 9 ingredients including the dulce de leche and coconut, which is optional.

Perfect texture—The cookies are delicate and tender and are the perfect match for the rich caramel.

Beautiful—These cookies are so pretty, especially if you fancy them up by using a cookie mold.

Super special—These delicate sandwich cookies are guaranteed to impress, so they’re perfect when you want something a little more special than a basic drop cookie.

overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make these cookies.

Ingredients you need

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

These sandwich cookies use mostly basic pantry ingredients. Here’s what you need:

  • Powdered sugar—This recipe calls for powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar because it gives the cookies a perfectly delicate crumbliness.
  • All-purpose flour—The heart of the cookie.
  • Baking powder—Which keeps it light.
  • Salt—For balance.
  • Butter—I use unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter if it is what you have on hand. If you do use salted butter, omit the salt.
  • Egg—Use a large egg and let it come to room temperature before adding it (if you remember! Don’t sweat it if you forget!)
  • Vanilla extract—I love this organic vanilla extract!
  • Dulce de leche—You can use a store-bought dulce de leche or make your own dulce de leche filling using canned sweetened condensed milk. Use a good quality version that is rich and creamy. Or make your own dulce de leche!
  • Shredded coconut—I use shredded sweetened coconut milk, but you can use toasted unsweetened shredded coconut if you prefer. Or leave the coconut out altogether—it’s optional!

How to make them

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

These caramel filled cookies are easier to make than you’d think. Here’s how:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients—Start by combining the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. A quick whisk is all you need.
  2. Add the butter—The butter is added next, cutting into the flour mixture to make for a delicate, crumbly cookie.
  3. Add the wet ingredients—Finally, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat just to combine and bring the dough together.
  4. Roll the dough—Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to an even ¼-inch thickness. You can do this on a lightly floured board or on a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Chill—Transfer the rolled cookie dough to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape as they bake. You can put the whole cutting board in the fridge, or if you rolled the dough out on a sheet of parchment, you can slide it onto a baking sheet.
  6. Cut—Cut out the cookies. I used a 2 ½-inch fluted cookie cutter. You can use a simple round cookie cutter, if that’s what you have. To make the flower pattern on top, I used a cookie mold on half of the cookies.
  7. Bake—Bake the cookies just until they are beginning to turn light gold on the edges. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool
  8. Fill—Pipe the dulce de leche onto the bottoms of half of the cookies. Press the other cookies on top and then add coconut to the edges, pressing it into the caramel.
Close up shot of an alfajores cookie broken in half so that you can see the caramel filling inside.

How to serve them

These delicious cookies are absolute perfection—crumbly cookie, gooey caramel center, and shreds of chewy coconut. Serve them on their own or with a cup of tea or hot cocoa.

overhead shot of dulce de leche cookies.

Or add them to a cookie platter along with Flourless Chocolate Cookies, Kolacky, Ginger Snap Cookies, Hamentashen, Honey Cookies, Salted Toffee Cookie Bars, Rhubarb Cookies, or Lemon Coconut Macaroons.

If you want to try making cookies in the air fryer, try Air Fryer Cookies like these Air Fryer Peanut Butter Cookies or Air Fryer Hot Cocoa Cookies.

Close up shot of dulce de leche cookies.

Dulce de Leche Cookies

Robin Donovan
Popular all over Latin America, these delightful sandwich cookies combine a crumbly cookie base with a rich, gooey caramel filling.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 11 sandwich cookies


  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 7 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups dulce de leche at room temperature
  • cup sweetened shredded coconut


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix until well combined.
  • Add the vanilla and egg and beat on medium speed until they are well incorporated and the dough comes together in a ball.
  • On a lightly floured board, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to an even ¼-inch thickness. Transfer the whole board to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a board that can be easily moved to the refrigerator, roll the dough out on a lightly floured piece of parchment. Then you can slide the parchment onto a baking sheet or tray that you can put in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and cut out the cookies using a 2 ½-inch round or fluted cutter.
  • Place the dough rounds on th prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are a bit golden.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Stir the dulce de leche to make sure it is loose enough to pipe onto the cookies and then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (or use a sturdy zip-top plastic bag and cut the corner off for piping).
  • Pipe about 1 ½ tablespoons of dulce de leche onto the bottom of half of the cookies. Top each with a second cookie, smooshing them together so that the caramel spreads to the edges of the cookies. Press some coconut into the caramel around the sides.
  • Refrigerate the cookies to firm up the caramel.
  • Serve at room temperature.


1, I used a 2 ½-inch fluted cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. You could use a plain round cookie cutter, too.
2. To add the flower pattern to these cookies, I used a cookie mold.
3. Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on April 27th, 2022


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 50 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners5 Ingredient Cooking for TwoSushi at HomeThe Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. → More about Robin

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