Cajeta is a caramel made by slowly cooking and caramelizing sweetened goat or cow milk. It’s a common confection in Central and South America, especially popular in Mexico, and it is truly delicious drizzled atop melted ice cream. The most important ingredient in this cajeta recipe is patience! Do not rush this one, or your cajeta will foam over and you will have a sticky mess on your stovetop.–Molly Moon Neitzel

LC Got Goat Milk? Note

Got goat milk? If not, no worries. Traditionally cajeta is made with goat milk, although we also tried making it with cow milk and we have to concede, it was darn good. Uh, just don’t try this with soy milk. Or almond milk. Or the like. Trust us.

Special Equipment: candy thermometer

Cajeta Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • 4 cups (2 pints) goat or cow milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch kosher salt


  • 1. Place all the ingredients in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk over medium heat to dissolve the sugar and honey. Carefully bring to a boil, keeping an eye on the pan so the milk doesn’t overflow, and then reduce the heat to as low as possible. Keep the cajeta at a very gentle simmer until the color changes to a dark brown and the mixture is syrupy and luscious and it reaches 225°F (107°C) on a candy thermometer. This will take place at some point between 60 and 120 minutes, depending on the size of your pan and the specific heat of your burner. Keep an eye on the mixture throughout, as it can easily boil over if left unattended, but stir it infrequently, as it tends to foam the more it is stirred. You may need to occasionally remove the pan from the heat to prevent the cajeta mixture from foaming over the sides of the pan.
  • 2. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. The cajeta will thicken as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Cajeta can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
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