Mexican Cajeta (aka Dulce de Leche) and September’s YBR Signup

by Spicie Foodie on September 21, 2012

Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie Foodie

I’m back! Did you miss me? I missed you guys. Before we get to today’s recipe, I’d like to give a very special thanks to Liz and Vianney for their yummy guestpost. Thank you ladies for your help and for the delicious treats you shared.

September’s YBR submissions are now open, add yours here http://www.spiciefoodie.com/ybr/ybr-signup-temporary-page/

Spicie Foodie Photography eBook

Secondly I would like to thank you for the sweet comments you left regarding my upcoming photography eBook. I read each and every one of your comments. They are so kind and it makes me really excited to share the project with you. On that note, I’d like to tell you that the eBook is in the very last stages before being submitted for final approval. Hopefully I will have a release date or download link by early next, I’ll keep you posted. Okay, let’s get on to today’s recipe.

Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie FoodieCajeta is one of my favorite things in the world! Cajeta, also known as dulce de leche, is a hispanic sweet thick milk caramel sauce or syrup. In Mexico this sweet confection is know as cajeta and in other Spanish speaking countries it is called dulce de leche. I grew up calling it cajeta so that’s the name I prefer, but I do realize that in some other Spanish speaking Latin American countries the word cajeta is considered to be a not so nice word.

The word cajeta can also mean little wood boxes, and traditionally the cajeta was packaged and stored in wood boxes. So as you can see it has many different meanings and uses depending on the region or dialect of Spanish. There are several areas in Mexico that claim they invented or that cajeta originated there. But since the indigenous people did not really consume dairy products, most likely the sweet originated in Spain and brought to Mexico or introduced by the conquistadores.

Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie Foodie

My family’s hometown in Mexico is know for it’s cajeta. The cajeta is sold throughout the town center in many confectionery shops. The shops in my town all compete with each other by offering different varieties and flavors of cajeta. Some  shops even carry cajeta boracha or drunk cajeta, which can be prepared with a number of different alcohols. The shops set up extensions of their stores on the side walks, from which they have their employees offering small tastes or samples of their cajetas to passers by. When I was a little girl, and living in or visiting my towm, my sisters, cousins and I took advantage of the shop’s offerings. We would keep walking up and down the street or switching to other streets just to get a free sample. It was a silly thing to do but we were silly kids. I have great memories of eating cajeta in Mexico while visiting our family during our summer holidays.

Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie Foodie

My family uses cajeta as a topping on almost anything we want, there are even popsicles made with it. My personal favorite is to eat it right off the spoon like peanut butter or Nutella. One of the most popular ways of eating cajeta, in Mexico, is by spreading it on a piece of bolillo, a Mexican bread, just like you would spread jelly on a piece of toast. Another of my favorite ways of eating it is on “pankeis” or pancakes, it’s like an American-Mexican fusion treat. In my family it was a special treat and the kids went crazy for it. We were lucky too because, after we moved to the states, my mother would buy and bring back plastic tubs from her trips to our hometown.

There are many different uses for cajeta and it’s pretty much something to use as you like. Here is the recipe, I make the small portion for the two of us but if you have a larger family you could try the larger version. Either way these are standard recipes that are used by many people.

Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie Foodie

(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe. Please do not copy and paste recipe on Pinterest, Google+, or Facebook. Thank you!)

5.0 from 13 reviews
Authentic Mexican Cajeta (aka Dulce de Leche)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: snack, dessert, sauce, topping
Serves: 2-8
Small Portion Ingredients:
  • 2 cups or 16 oz. or 500 ml goat milk*
  • ⅓ cup or up to ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract or ¼ tsp bourbon vanilla powder
  • one cinnamon stick
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp whole fat cow milk
Large Portion Ingredients:
  • 2 quarts or 1.90 liter goat milk
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract ¾ tsp bourbon vanilla powder
  • one cinnamon stick
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp whole fat cow milk
Equiptment Needed:
  • large heavy pot
  • wooden spoon
  • clean jar
  1. Pour the goat milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon (if using) into a large heavy pot and bring to a light boil over medium heat. Stir to make sure all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the cow milk and baking soda until the baking soda has dissolved. Remove pot from burner, pour baking soda mixture into the goat milk, stirring fast, be careful because the liquid will quickly froth and overflow. Stir until the bubbles have subsided then turn the heat to medium and bring the pot back to the heat.
  3. Continue to cook the goat milk mixture, stirring very frequently because the mixture may bubble and pour over the pot. After another 20-30 minutes the mixture should begin to a darken and start thickening into a thick sauce consistency. Continue simmering and stirring frequently until the mixture turns a dark caramel color and coats the wood spoon, this may take another 20-40 minutes depending on liquid left in the pot. The cajeta should the same consistency as maple syrup.
  4. Pour into a jar and allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cajeta will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
  5. The cajeta taste best if warmed up a little bit before using as desired.
*Whole fat cow milk may be substituted for the goat milk. Or a mixture of half goat milk, half cow milk may also be used. **The process is the same wether making the small or large version. The only difference is that it may take a bit longer for the larger version.** (P.S. I forgot to include the cinnamon stick in the ingredients photo. Oops!)


Authentic Mexican Cajeta, aka dulce de leche, by Spicie FoodiePhotography Notes:
Unfortunately I ran out of sunlight and didn’t get a chance to shoot more photos. I was just too tired to set up my artificial light stand. For these photos I pushed myself to shoot and move out of my confort zone. Instead of shooting in my signature style I tested out a lighter color palette. Though I still prefer my moody dark colors it was a fun experiment. What do you think?

September’s YBR submissions are now open, add yours here http://www.spiciefoodie.com/ybr/ybr-signup-temporary-page/

in Desserts-Sweets,Mexican

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