Homemade Cajeta – 3 flavors!

Homemade Cajeta (caramel) recipe - easy homemade dessert sauce in 3 Flavors! SnappyGourmet.com

Homemade Cajeta (caramel) recipe, an easy homemade dessert sauce in 3 Flavors! I volunteered to host a women’s night out at my house in April and thought I’d get a head start on the food.  I decided on a “dessert night” and the main attraction will be a Fried Ice Cream Sundae Bar.  I love making “fried” ice cream and it always gets rave reviews!  It’s so easy to make and you can make it ahead of time which is my kind of recipe!  But more on the ice cream and other treats at a later date, because I haven’t even gotten that far yet!  :)

Homemade Cajeta Recipe (3 flavors) | SnappyGourmet.com

To me the best part of a sundae bar is the sauces!  So many possibilities, so little time! I decided to make a huge batch of homemade Cajeta (caramel) and turn it into 3 different kinds – Vanilla, Dark Mocha, and Amaretto.  I’ve made versions of this recipe several time before and since it takes awhile to make, I make a huge batch and freeze it.  It’s not only great on ice cream, it’s great over cake, great to dip fruit in, great to make frosting out of, and I could keep going, but I’ll stop now!  If you have a big enough pot (or 2 large pots) definitely consider making a big batch (or half the recipe if you don’t want that much).

I adapted this recipe from Rick Bayless’ recipe.  Check out his cookbooks, restaurants, and website!  I LOVE Rick Bayless and I’m a huge fan!   I took his recipe, made a few changes and put my own spin on it by with the three different flavors.  I have so many other ideas for other flavors that it was probably a good idea that I ran out of Cajeta!

Homemade Cajeta Recipe (3 flavors) | SnappyGourmet.com

I did a few things different than the original recipe.  I cooked the cajeta over a higher heat (medium-high rather than medium), partly because I was making a lot and I was trying to get the cajeta to a simmer quicker (just be sure to stir or whisk regularly so that the bottom doesn’t burn).  The original recipe also says to simmer for about an hour.  It always takes me a lot longer than that.  It usually takes me anywhere from 2-5 hours depending on how much I want it to reduce, size of the pan I’m using,  and how well I can maintain the simmer.  I also used ground cinnamon rather than a cinnamon stick because that’s generally what I have on hand, but a cinnamon stick would work great if you have it!

Homemade Cajeta Recipe (3 flavors) | SnappyGourmet.com

I  like to use half cow’s milk and half goat’s milk for the homemade cajeta.  The goat’s milk give the cajeta a slightly tangy taste.  You can usually find goat’s milk in the refrigerated section by the cow’s milk but you can also sometimes find canned goat’s milk in the baking aisle near sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.  I have used both the canned and refrigerated and they both work well.  I use whatever milk I can find or what I have on hand and need to use up!  The taste may vary time-to-time, but it’s all good! Hope you enjoy your homemade cajeta!

Homemade Cajeta Recipe (3 flavors) | SnappyGourmet.com


Homemade Cajeta - 3 flavors!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Makes about 6-9 cups (depending on how long you simmer)
3 flavors of Cajeta.
  • 8 cups goat’s milk
  • 8 cups cow’s milk
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons water
(for different flavors, see notes below)
  1. Whisk together goat’s milk, cow’s milk, sugar, and cinnamon in a VERY large pot (mixture should be no more than halfway up side of pot. If it’s more than halfway up, make in batches, larger pot, or 2 pots). Place pot over medium-high heat. Whisk mixture regularly until mixture comes to a simmer.
  2. In small bowl mix together baking soda and water until well combined. Remove pot from heat and slowly whisk in baking soda. Mixture will bubble up, so be careful that it does not go over side of pot. When the bubbles/foam subside, place pot back over medium-high heat. Bring back to a simmer and adjust heat as needed; stir regularly. NOTE: Be careful because if the temperature is too high the mixture will boil over.
  3. Cook Cajeta about 2-3 hours or more until reduced to desired thickness and color is deep brown. Pour Cajeta through a sieve if desired to catch any particles on bottom of pan. Store Cajeta in sealed containers in refrigerator (for up to a month) or in the freezer (for at least a few months). Reheat Cajeta in pan or microwave before serving.
  4. To flavor the Cajeta, divide the basic Cajeta into different containers before adding the flavorings. My Cajeta was 9 cups, so I divided it into 3 (3 cup) containers. But if you have a different amount of Cajeta, just adjust the flavorings a little. You can’t mess it up; it will taste great regardless!
To 3 cups hot Cajeta, stir in 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of instant coffee until cocoa and coffee granules are dissolved.

To 3 cups hot Cajeta, stir in 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract.

To 3 cups hot Cajeta, stir in ⅓ cup Amaretto until well combined.

SNAPPY TIPS: Make sure you keep an eye on the Cajeta while it’s on the stove and stir regularly. If the temperature isn’t quite right it can boil over.

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: I’m sure any combination of goat’s and cow’s milk would work fine. I used heavy cream, skim milk, and goat’s milk because that’s what I had on hand. I have used all sorts of combinations and although the taste may differ, it’s all good! Instead of Amaretto you could use any of your favorite liqueurs. Instead of dark cocoa powder you can also use regular unsweetened cocoa powder.


  1. So funny you should post this as I’ve been helping my mom with a Mexican menu for her luncheon this Friday. We have been tossing around many dessert ideas including fried ice cream but flan won out in the end. I’m sure if we’d have seen this it would have a different ending. Your sauces look wonderful.

  2. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says:

    That sounds fabulous! I was just wondering a few weeks ago if I could make my own caramel, and now I see that you can. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Snappy Gourmet says:

      Thanks for stopping by Snappy Gourmet! You can definitely make your own caramel sauce. There are lots of different ways to make it just depends on what you like. Cajeta is a hispanic version and a little different than other caramel sauces, but quite yummy! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. you had me at amaretto. YUM!

  4. my mouth is watering!!!!

  5. Those look amazing! I like the sound of making them in different flavours!

    • Snappy Gourmet says:

      Thanks Kevin! I’m a firm believer if you’re going to mess up the kitchen you might as well make a lot and/or make different varieties of whatever you’re making. Hope you enjoy the cajeta! :)

  6. I make large batches of cajeta with my own goats’ milk (gloat). Any suggestions for canning it? I’d like to give it for Christmas gifts, but have no idea how it keeps. And I run out of fridge space just with the goats milk! Thanks!

    • snappygourmet says:

      Wow, so jealous that you have your own goat milk!!! Unfortunately, I’m not much of a canner (although it’s on my list of things I need to get more into one of these days) so I’m probably not the best person to answer. I don’t see why you couldn’t can it and why it would be any different than say caramel. If you have freezer space you could definitely freeze it which is what I do. I freeze in small containers and stack. Yoru friends/family will be quite luck to get some homemade Cajeta at Christmas!!

  7. Yum, yum, and yum!!!! They all look delicioso…I made cajeta a couple weeks ago because one of my neighbors raises goats and had some fresh goat milk…I loved it and so did my kids. I was wondering about flavoring it so thank you for the idea that I can flavor it with most anything…back to the kitchen to test more flavors…thanks again and pretty jars too!

  8. Thanks for these recipes! They sound great. While I was reading I thought they would work really well in an egg creame – just add to seltzer or club soda. Yum!

  9. Is there a recipe for slow cooking cajeta in a crock pot?

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