Cajeta recipe is Dulce de Leche or caramelized milk that is made by boiling sugar, cinnamon and goat’s milk. It is a popular and easy Mexican Dulce de Leche recipe that you can make at home. Drizzle on your favorite dessert!
Cajeta is a rich and thick sweet caramel sauce that can be used for sweetening, baking or just spreading on a toast.
I’m sure everyone will love this homemade goat’s milk caramel sauce, and it is easier to make than Dulce de leche! This sweet treat is authentic traditional Mexican recipe that you should try at home. The whole family will love it!
Your kitchen will smell amazing after making this easy slowly-cooked Mexican caramel sauce!
What is cajeta in English
Cajeta in English is simply caramelized goat’s milk. It is pronounced correctly: ka-he-ta. The name refers to delicious Mexican caramel sauce made from goat’s milk.
“Caja” means “box” in Spanish, so cajeta is a “little box”. It was traditionally packed in little boxes. I can say it is a box with addictive sweetness! However, I would recommend storing it in the jar, not in the box. Mason Jar is a perfect solution!
Mexican caramel sauce for Cinco de Mayo
It is a perfect sweet treat treat for Cinco de Mayo! You can make sweet empanadas de cajeta, drizzle the pancakes or ice cream, dip in cookies or berries. I think it is fun to serve a jar on a sweet charcuterie board!
If you cook Mexican caramel sauce further and let it dry a little, you can turn them into cajeta candy, a popular sweet treats in Mexico!
You can eat it just from the jar, no judgement!
How to store cajeta
It will last up to 3 months in the fridge or up to 1 year in the freezer.
Make sure you use appropriate tray that is closed or wrapped and leave some space on top for expansion in the freezer.
I find it pretty good for transporting and gifting, as it can keep up to one day at room temperature without refrigeration.
What goes good with cajeta
Cajeta is a perfect caramel to spread on your breakfast toast or add to sweet pies, pancakes, waffles or empanadas.
You can drizzle cajeta sauce on your ice cream, stir into morning coffee, oatmeal or granola.
It is delicious delicacy to eat with a spoon or dip in sliced fruits like apples!
You can use it cold right from the fridge. But if you want to make it thinner, you can add a splash milk (goat or cow) or water and cook on low for couple minutes.
You can also heat it in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between (be careful as it will rise, when heating).
Is caramel and cajeta the same thing
Caramel is made with sugar and water, but cajeta is made with goat’s milk (leche de cabra), sugar and milk.
On the other hand, Mexican cajeta sauce is not similar to Dulce de Leche, because Dulce de Leche is made by boiling condensed milk or cow’s milk and sugar.
How to make cajeta with goat milk
Put goat’s milk, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon stick in the medium pot. Bring it to boil on the medium heat, then simmer gently for about an hour.
Stir from time to time with silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Goat’s milk is more stable and can endure high heat without scorching.
Be careful not to burn yourself, as the caramel is hot!
Let it reach the thick, spreadable consistency (keep in mind that it will thicken more, when it cools).
I wanted to use cajeta for my next sweet empanadas recipe, so in order it doesn’t spread to much in the oven, I’ve made it very thick and cooked longer.
By the way, if you cook it to the thick consistency, you can transfer it to the baking paper and leave o cool. Then cut and wrap them separately, and you will have cajeta candies ready for sharing and gifting!
If you want to make a caramel sauce for dipping, you should remove it from heat when it starts to thicken.
Carefully remove the cinnamon stick, let it cool completely, then fill the jars. This recipe will make one small jar, so you won’t get too obsessed with this delicious caramel! It is enough to serve for 4-8 people, depending on their sweet tooth.
Of course you can double and triple the recipe, to make a bigger batch for holidays. Make sure you have appropriate size of the pot!
By the way, you can add a booze with a splash of rum or brandy, when cooking caramel sauce.
Avoid grainy cajeta
Although goat’s milk is hard to scorch and it is resistible to high heat, avoid using high heat for long time.
If your cajeta is grainy, make sure you stir all from the bottom to the top for the smooth texture, when simmering.
I used ultra-high-emperature pasteurized (UHT) goat milk for this recipe, so it won’t work the same with raw or other types of milk.
Look next on our blog to find empanadas de cajeta. This is a perfect use of this Mexican caramel!
Tips to make the best cajeta recipe
- Don’t use other milk instead of goat milk. Goat milk is hard to scorch and it is more stable. You can find it at well-stocked supermarket or health food stores. Chose UHT goat milk.
- Don’t forget to stir from time to time with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- Heat on the medium heat, then simmer for an hour. Keep an eye on your caramel sauce.
- Use a good pot with a heavy bottom. It is easy to clean the pot, just by letting it stand for half an hour, filled with water.
- Keep an eye on consistency. Remember, caramel sauce will thicken, when it is cooled.
- Be careful, as it is hot! Let it cool a little before pouring into jars or eating.
- If you plan to serve it the same day, start making Mexican caramel sauce at least 2 hours ahead. That way you have enough time to heat and cool.
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Cajeta Recipe - Mexican Caramel Sauce
- 1 medium pot with heavy bottom
- 1 silicone spatula
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 clean glass jar
- 4¼ cups goat milk UHT
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Add milk and sugar to the pot.4¼ cups goat milk, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Add cinnamon, salt and vanilla.1 cinnamon stick, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp vanilla powder
- Bring to the boil.
- Remove from heat and add baking soda. Carefully stir with a spatula.½ tsp baking soda
- Cook until reduced in half and thicken, stirring.
- Remove cinnamon stick.
- Keep cooking until desired consistency.
- Let the sauce cool and fill the jars.