Cajeta - Mexican Caramel Recipe with Caramelized Goat Milk

Mexican Food - Cajeta Recipe

Cajeta is a very common and delicious Mexican sweet. Goat or cow’s milk is cooked very slowly with sugar to create a beautifully complex, thick syrup, a little like caramel.

Cajeta is considered a specialty of the city of Celaya in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. It is made by simmering sweetened milk, stirring frequently, until it becomes very thick due to evaporation, and caramelized. The origin of it's name is sometimes disputed, but it most likely takes its name from the small wooden boxes it was traditionally packed in. (The word cajeta is spanish for small box.)

Cajeta can be spread on toast, drizzled over ice cream or even in crepes. It’s delicious on pound cake, with fruits, over baked apples or as a dip for fresh fruit. Cajeta is delicious anywhere you would normally think to use caramel. Add it to coffee, pastries or any number of places where you'd enjoy the complex, delicious sweetness of this confection.

Mexican Recipes - Cajeta Caramel Sauce

Mexican Food - Cajeta Recipe

Mexican Cajeta Caramel Sauce

Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized goats milk.
Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized goats milk.

Mexican Cajeta Caramel Recipes

Cajeta Caramel Recipe #1 (Caramel Sauce)

2 quarts of goat’s milk, cow’s milk, or a mixture of the two

2 cups sugar

1 large vanilla bean, split open (or substitute 1 T pure Vanilla extract)

½ teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1T water

In a large, heavy pot, combine the milk, sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until the milk comes to a simmer and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and add the dissolved baking soda; it will bubble up. When the bubbles have subsided, put the pot back on the stove. Simmer the mixture briskly, but do not boil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns a pale golden brown, about 1 hour.

At this point, you’ll need to stir the mixture more frequently. It will begin to thicken and turn a caramel-brown color. Do NOT allow the milk to stick to the bottom of the pot. To test for doneness, drop a small amount into a glass of cold water. If a soft ball forms, the cajeta is ready. If not, return it to the heat and cook a little longer.

If you take the pot off the heat and allow the cajeta to cool, it should be a medium thick sauce. If it’s too thick, add hot water, 1T at a time until it is the proper consistency. If it is too thin, return to the heat until it thickens.

When the cajeta is cool, remove the vanilla bean. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or wide-mouthed jar, then scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cajeta. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cajeta is best served warm.

Cajeta Caramel Recipe #2 (Caramel Sauce)

4 cups sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned evaporated goat's milk or whole fresh goat's milk

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, swirling the pan occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the mixture, swirling occasionally (do not stir), until it has a medium amber color and honey-like consistency. (If the mixture seems to be browning too fast, lower heat to medium.) Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and salt. Slowly pour in goat's milk (mixture will bubble furiously) and stir until smooth. Let the cajeta cool slightly before serving.

Mexican Food Recipes

If you would like to plan a complete and authentic Mexican meal, there is nothing more traditional than tamales and to complete the meal serve a delicious Tres Leches Cake with a cup of Cafe con Leche. The Cajeta makes a great addition to the coffee as well!

Mexican Foods - Cajeta Caramel Sauce

Mexican Cajeta is very similar to the ever popular dulce de leche, a dairy based confection that uses cows’ milk. However, cajeta is based on goats’ milk.

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Comments 22 comments

Lamme profile image

Lamme 5 years ago Author

PiaC, I know what you mean! Cajeta is delicious, but you could easily overindulge. Yummy! Thanks for commenting.

PiaC profile image

PiaC 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

Oh dear! This recipe is dangerous! I love cajeta! But its not diet food, exactly, is it :)?

Uv 5 years ago

Very helpful information, its my lucky day i found the right site. Hope to find such helpful information in future as well.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

LOL RNMSN, yea, it's not exactly diet food ... but, oh so worth the calories!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

wow Lamme this looks decadent and so easy!! cant wait to try it and yes definitely ice cream well there goes the diet... ave!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks Twenty One Days, now I'm getting a sweet tooth and want some over ice cream :) This stuff is so addicting.

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Twenty One Days 6 years ago

great recipes. I used to make the second -with cream, butter & sugar. Thumbs Up!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

yummy stuff Shawn!

Shawn Scarborough profile image

Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'm sure I'll be hooked too.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

I warn you oceansnsunsets ... if you try this, you'll be hooked! LOL This stuff is so much better than most caramels. Let me know if you try it! Thanks for reading and commenting.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Oops, I mean Mexican sauces...sound wonderful. I would love to try to make them.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

This Mexican caramel sauce sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Try it Jamie ... you're going to fall in love!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the tip RTalloni ... I've seen those mini crockpots. This stuff is delicious over ice cream as well! Ummm, so delicious ... so decadent. And yes, the goat's milk is they key!

Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

That looks great - I'm a great fan of mexican food - thanks have bookmarked to return to.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Oh mama! I made it with goat milk and it is fabulous stuff. An easy way to serve it heated is in one of those tiny crock-pot thingys just for heating (similar to but not the one for potpourri).

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Lgali, you're very welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Lgali profile image

Lgali 6 years ago

Thanks for nice recipe.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks Smireles, it is delicious. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear if you liked it.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas

Thanks for the recipe. This sounds really, really good!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks BKCreative, this stuff is so addicting!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

You know, I have tried this when I was in this excellent South American restaurant and of course loved it - but never thought I would see a recipe. I love sweets!

Another winner - thanks so much!

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