Cajeta is a thick caramel sauce made with goat’s milk. It is similar in color and thickness to dulce de leche. Dulce de leche starts with sugar and milk – it is commonly made with sweetened condensed milk, which already has some of the water cooked out of it – and is cooked slowly until a thick, sweet, golden brown caramel sauce forms. Cajeta uses goat milk in place of cow milk and is made using the same process.
As you might expect, cajeta has a deep caramelized sweetness and a clear dairy flavor. From the goat’s milk, it has a very slight tang and a hint of grassy/earthiness. While this might sound like a strange way to describe a caramel, please don’t be put off by it! The goat’s milk is what sets this delicious sauce apart from other caramels by giving it a unique flavor. If you like goat cheese and dulce de leche, you’ll probably love cajeta.
You can find cajeta in many markets in the Latin/Mexican foods section, and you will definitely be able to find it at Latin/Mexican market, where it is likely to be less expensive. I’ve also seen it offered for sale at gourmet foods stores, usually in the section with dulce de leche, jams or other caramels and condiments.
How to Enjoy It
While I see cajeta most often as a thick caramel sauce, it can come in many forms, including firm and taffy-like candies. The caramel sauce can be drizzled on pancakes, spooned over ice cream, stirred into coffee, spread on toast and substituted into recipes that call for dulce de leche. You can always eat it with a spoon, too. Brands that are a little bit thinner are often a better choice for drizzling, however you can thin out the caramel by warming it up slightly in the microwave.