Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (2024)

HomeRecipesDesserts

jump to recipe

pin

Author:

Isabel

Published:

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure policy.

This easy Cajeta recipe is made with only 5 ingredients and is so simple to make! It makes a perfect topping for anydessert. If you like dulce de leche, you’re going to love cajeta!

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (1)

Table of Contents

What is cajeta?

Cajeta is a thick and gooey caramel-like sauce that’s made by boiling and slowly cooking goat’s milk and sugar until it reduces to a beautiful golden brown or amber color. The goat’s milk gives cajeta its rich and complex flavor that is slightly tangy and deliciously sweet.

Cajeta can be found all over Mexico and is often served as candy, as a topping for cakes and ice cream, and as a spread to put on thin cookies or pancakes.

It’s commonly described as Mexican caramel and can easily be cooked to different consistencies, from a thin sauce to a glossy and hard candy.

What’s the difference between cajeta and dulce de leche?

Cajeta and dulce de leche are similar in that they’re both sweet confections made from milk and sugar, are made in very similar ways, are are used and eaten in similar ways. Where they differ is the type of milk they’re made from.

Cajeta is made from goat’s milk and dulce de leche is made from cow’s milk. While that doesn’t seem like a huge difference, the different milks give each confection a unique and distinct flavor that is undeniable.

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (2)

How to make cajeta

To make cajeta, start start by mixing a couple of tablespoons of goats milk with some baking soda in a small bowl, then setting it aside for later use. The baking soda helps to reduce the temperature at which the cajeta can brown and caramelize, allowing it to develop its beautiful color slowly and without burning.

Add sugar, a cinnamon stick, and goat milk into a large pot or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, making sure to stir frequently to fully dissolve all the sugar.

Once the mixture is simmering, place it off the heat and add the baking soda mixture. This will cause the cajeta to bubble and foam up. Keep stirring. Once the bubbling is finished, return the pot to the heat and bring it back to a simmer.

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (3)

Cook the mixture uncovered until it reduces and thickens. This can take anywhere from 45-60 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture frequently so that the bottom doesn’t burn. You’ll know the cajeta is done when the mixture is a rich medium to dark brown color and it coats the back of the spoon, almost like the consistency of thick honey.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. The cajeta will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (4)

Getting the right consistency and thickness

The great thing about making cajeta at home is that you can cook it to your preferred thickness.

  • For a thinner consistency, stop cooking the cajeta when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and only momentarily leaves an empty trail whenever you scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula.
  • For a thicker consistency, stop cooking the cajeta when you can scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula and it easily leaves an empty trail for a few seconds. You’ll know when it reaches this point because the cajeta will be undeniably thick!

Ways to use cajeta

This dessert sauce is so versatile, you can use it in many different ways. These are a few of my favorites:

  • Dipping sauce: Dip anything from fresh fruit, churros, or pan dulce.
  • Topping: Drizzle on ice cream, sopapillas, apple empanadas, pumpkin empanadas, or swirl on top of my Mexican brownies.
  • By itself! This sauce is so addicting and perfectly sweet and decadent, you’ll find yourself dipping a spoon inside the jar and eating it solo.

Storing

To store, transfer cajeta to a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Cajeta will thicken and harden as it cools. To soften it, you can heat it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or run it under hot water until it reaches your desired consistency.

More Desserts

  • Flan de Queso (Cream Cheese Flan)
  • Camote Enmielado
  • Dulce de Leche Brownies
  • Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
  • Mexican Buñuelos
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Mexican Brownies

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (5)

4.77 from 34 votes

Cajeta (Mexican Caramel)

servings: 10 servings

Print Pin Review Save

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Cook: 1 hour hour

Total: 1 hour hour

Cajeta is a thick and gooey Mexican caramel sauce made by boiling and slowly cooking goat's milk and sugar. Made with only 5 ingredients!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of goats milk with the baking soda. Set aside.

  • Place the remaining goats milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium to medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and add in the baking soda mixture. The milk will begin to bubble and froth up quickly. Continue stirring. Once the mixture stops bubbling, return the pot to the heat and bring it back to a low simmer.

  • Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened (about 45-60 minutes). Be sure to stir frequently, especially towards the end of the cooking time, scraping the bottom of the pot so it doesn't burn. The cajeta is done when you can scrape the mixture aside and see the bottom of the pot.* It should be thick like honey.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Notes

  • For a thinner consistency, stop cooking the cajeta when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and only momentarily leaves an empty trail whenever you scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula.
  • For a thicker consistency, stop cooking the cajeta when you can scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula and it easily leaves an empty trail for a few seconds. You’ll know when it reaches this point because the cajeta will be undeniably thick!
  • Cajeta will thicken once it cools. To soften it, heat it up in the microwave a few seconds at a time or run it under hot water.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 131kcal (7%), Carbohydrates: 24g (8%), Protein: 3g (6%), Fat: 3g (5%), Saturated Fat: 2g (10%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 10mg (3%), Sodium: 109mg (5%), Potassium: 169mg (5%), Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 24g (27%), Vitamin A: 100IU (2%), Vitamin C: 0mg, Calcium: 100mg (10%), Iron: 0mg

Author: Isabel Orozco-Moore

Category: Mexican

Leave a Reply

  1. Sam

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (6)
    I can’t wait to make this! I’m skipping a step and using evaporated goats milk, which can be made into regular goat milk with 1:1 water. I was just wondering what is the size of a serving? Is it a tbsp? Cup?

    Reply

  2. Deni

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (7)
    I made the recipe using 16 cups of goat milk. It took 2 1/2 hours to get thick enough. Turned out great, just a longer process when you make a big batch.

    Reply

  3. Bobbi Renee

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (8)
    So easy and so amazing!!!! I used fresh goat milk from our nubians and WOW!!!

    Reply

  4. Cassie

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (9)
    Great recipe! I’m going to double it to make a big batch for Christmas. Would you recommend I also double to amount of baking soda? I know sometimes ingredients like this stay the same even when other ingredients double.

    Reply

  5. Laura

    I made 4x the recipe, and simmered for 90 minutes + and it was still so thin! It was tasty however.
    Thoughts what may be going wrong?

    I finally took it off cause I needed to go to bed, but am now considering how I might be able to save/thicken it.

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Laura! That’s definitely odd! It thickens more as it cools, but if it’s still too thin, you can add more sugar a 1tbsp at a time until it thickens.

      Reply

  6. Judy

    Hi Isabel, I cant get goats where I live. Is there a good substitute? I would love to try your caramel sauce. Thanks for your help. Judy : )))

    Hi isabel,

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Judy! You can sometimes find canned goat milk or in a carton, but if not you can try making dulce de leche that uses milk. It’s the same idea but slightly less rich since it uses cow’s milk. There’s a recipe for dulce de leche on the blog if you wanted to check that out!

      Reply

  7. angie casas

    you state goat milk but is it fresh goat milk or can goats milk?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Angie! We used fresh goat milk but you can definitely use canned.

      Reply

  8. Judy

    Can you use canned goat milk?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Judy! Yes you definitely can!

      Reply

  9. Lilian

    Just a quick question, is this caramel gluten free?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Lilian, I believe it is. But I would double check if this is a dietary concern for you!

      Reply

  10. Alice

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (10)
    please do you have Mexican group I can join ? I live in Canada now but I’m from San Antonio Texas and miss the food.

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Alice! Right now we don’t, but we do have an Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook page you can follow for updates and recipes. That is a great idea though and something we have been considering. Updates on that would be promoted on our social media if you wanted to follow us!

      Reply

  11. Angelita

    Mine came out a bit thicker than desired, did I just cook it too long?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Angelita! Yes it sounds like that may have been what happened.

      Reply

  12. S Mark Cates

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (11)
    I’m sorry! I have been using your recipe for years and have neglected to make a comment. So…here I am. I love caramel. I went through a lot of recipes over the years and many of them make good solid caramel… but yours is hands down …to my taste…the best of them all! I always return to it. I have it printed but didn’t pull it out this time and here I am in covid times back on line to say…Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
    Mark

    Reply

  13. Karla

    Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (12)
    I made this with fresh, from the farm goat’s milk, only I quadrupled the recipe the first time; multiplied it by 8 the second time. I left out the cinnamon. Just preference. After I bottled the caramel sauce, I had some left over so I continued to cook it down and down and down. It is now a nice caramel. I’m going to scoop some onto plastic spoons and freeze it and try to sell it at market. Was going to wrap it in wax paper but it probably needed to cook for another 5 minutes. Oh…my…goodness! This is delicious!

    Reply

    1. Isabel

      Wow, sounds like you made some big batches! I’m happy you’re enjoying it! Thank you so much for your feedback 🙂

      Reply

    2. Stephanie

      Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (13)
      When should the cinnamon stick be removed?

      Reply

      1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

        Hi Stephanie! You can remove it once the cajeta reaches the desired consistency, and before you stir in the vanilla.

        Reply

←Older Comments

12

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (14)

Free ebook!

Download My Tried and Tested Mexican Recipes Ebook

Subscribe and receive a free e-cookbook of the Top 10 Reader Favorites of 2024!

Cajeta Recipe (Mexican Caramel) - Isabel Eats (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6271

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.