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Cajeta Recipe

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Much like dulce de leche, cajeta is a Latin American caramel sauce traditionally prepared with goat’s milk. Here’s how you can make this traditional delight at home!

Costa Rican Cajeta Recipe

Ingredients: (stovetop)

  • 4 cups goat’s milk
  • 1.5 cups of sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

Instructions: (stovetop)

Combine the goat’s milk, sugar, and baking soda. In a heavy saucepan, bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer until golden brown caramel forms. This should take about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Once the caramel is fully formed, stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.

Instructions: (slow cooker)

Combine ingredients in a mason jar and seal tightly. Place the jar in a slow cooker and cover with water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or overnight. 

Remove the jar with tongs and allow to cool. Take off the lid and enjoy!

Instructions: (pressure cooker)

Repeat the instructions for the slow cooker recipe, but instead, cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.

About This Cajeta Costa Rica Recipe

Though cajeta is a Mexican specialty, we love it down in Costa Rica, too! Traditionally made with goat’s milk and sugar, cajeta is a variation of dulce de leche. This rich thickened caramel concoction and is SO good for dessert toppings and fillings!

Like dulce de leche, cajeta can be drizzled on cakes, shortbreads, ice cream, and brownies. It’s especially delicious when paired with apple pie, and is a great add-in for chocolate shakes!

Without further ado, here is the recipe for traditional cajeta!

Related Recipes You’ll Love:

Empanadas de Cajeta

Dulce de Leche Recipe

Substitutions

On the stovetop, you can swap in cow’s milk for goat milk. This will make a lovely dulce de leche!

Variations

You can make a vegan, lactose-free version of dulce de leche with unsweetened canned coconut milk. 

It’s also possible to add sea salt to your cajeta for an irresistible salted caramel flavor!

Another way to spice up (literally!) your cajeta is to throw in a cinnamon stick or some cloves (clavos de olor) while it simmers.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your cajeta warm and drizzle over your favorite dessert! 

Cajeta also makes for a wonderful empanada filling.

FAQ

1.) What is the difference between caramel, dulce de leche, and cajeta? – While caramel consists of water and sugar simmered together over time, cajeta is made of goat’s milk and sugar. It’s a bit thicker and richer. Meanwhile, though cajeta is a type of dulce de leche, dulce de leche is generally prepared with sweetened condensed milk (leche condensada).

2.) How long is cajeta good for?- Cajeta will keep up to three months when stored in a refrigerator. 

3.) How do you eat cajeta?- Oh, let me count the ways! Cajeta is super versatile and can be spread on toast and pancakes, drizzled on ice cream, stirred into coffee, or paired with apple slices. (You can also just eat it straight out of the jar– no judgment!)
4.) What country invented cajeta?- While cajeta is beloved all around Latin America, it is technically a Mexican caramel. It hails from the state of Guanajuato.

Printable Recipe

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Cajeta Recipe

Generous spoonful of cajeta.

Much like dulce de leche, Costa Rican cajeta is a caramel sauce traditionally prepared with goat’s milk.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups goat’s milk
  • 1.5 cups of sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Combine the goat’s milk, sugar, and baking soda. In a heavy saucepan, bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer until golden brown caramel forms. This should take about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. Once the caramel is fully formed, stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 0gSugar: 57gProtein: 6g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

Follow her at: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello, did you actually try the crock pot and pressure cooker versions? I did and I can tell you they do not work. It seemed kinda odd that they would be sealed with a tight lid as this would not allow for any evaporation and all you will end up with is caramel milk. I even put the pressure cooker one in for an additional hour and still just caramel milk. I ended up just cooking them all in a pot under low heat, evaporating the liquid until Thick consistency. Other crock pot versions always have lids off for evaporation. Please show pictures of this process or correct the recipe.

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, travel and language. I’m a mom of two Latinas, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here

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