Twenty-Four Hour Cajeta (Dulce De Leche) by Rick Bayless

"From Rick Bayless book "Frontera". There is another Bayless cajeta recipe on this site, but it is done on the stove. This one is easier and is made in a crock-pot. Dulce de leche is readily available here in Costa RIca and is very inexpensive. But it doesn't compare to this wonderful recipe. Especially when you make it with fresh, raw goat's milk. Yum!"
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Ready In:
3 cups




  • Dissolve baking soda in the tablespoon of water. Set aside.
  • Pour the milk into the slow cooker. Whisk in the sugar. Add the cinnamon stick and the dissolved baking soda. Stir well.
  • Turn slow cooker on high and cook, uncovered, for 24 hours, but see next step before leaving it alone that long.
  • After about 18 hours, the cajeta will have darkened into light golden brown. That's when to keep an eye on it. Stir from time to time to make sure it cooks evenly.
  • When it is noticeably thick and richly golden, test a couple of drops on a cold plate. The cooled cajeta should be the consistency of caramel sauce. If still a little runny, cook longer until it reaches consistency.
  • When cajeta is ready, strain through fine mesh into a bowl or wide mouth storage jar.
  • It will keep for a month or more, covered, in the refrigerator. But who could possibly leave it for a month? You'll be wanting to put it on everything!

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  1. I came across this recipe published in my family circle magazine recently and decided to give it a try. I put it in at 1 in the afternoon and woke up at 2:30am to a horrible smell. when I checked on it, it was black charcoal in my slow cooker. that was only 13 1/2 hours into cook time. I did see just now that it said to cook uncovered, and I had the lid on. maybe it kept too much heat in with it being on high and being covered,I don't know. going to have to try it again since I really wanted this to work out.


I'm originally from San Diego, California but now retired and living the tranquilo life in Dominical, Costa Rica!
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