Atole de Cajeta

This atole de cajeta has a delicious caramel-like flavor with a smooth and creamy texture. It’s perfect to pair with savory tamales or your favorite Mexican pastries.

Atole de Cajeta served in two mugs and some pastries on the background.

Atole has been always my favorite comfort drink for the coldest season. There’s just something special about holding a hot clay mug filled with this sweet beverage that makes me think of home.

About The Recipe

Atole de Cajeta is a hot drink made of Mexican caramel sauce, milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, and vanilla. The recipe is one of the many variations of atole, a thick beverage that has its roots in Mayan cuisine.

In old times, atole was made only with corn masa which gives a thick and grainy texture to the drink. However, other thickener agents are used nowadays, like cornstarch.

Our recipe is made using homemade Mexican caramel (cajeta), but you can also make it with the store-bought version for convenience.

This warm and comforting drink is perfect to enjoy as a sweet treat during cold days, on its own, or along with pastries or tamales.

It is a family favorite and kids love it because of its caramel and creamy flavor. You should try this easy recipe, I am sure you will love it after you see how easy is to make!

Atole de Cajeta served in mugs with some pastries on the side. View from top.

I am so excited to share with you this recipe because is seriously indulgent and super rich. Ok, I admit it, it is not a light drink, but it is something you surely deserve from time to time.

Besides, is made with just simple ingredients and is so easy to throw together. The best part about this cozy drink? Pouring it into a mug and diving on in!

Ingredients Needed

  • CAJETA: Use your favorite brand of store-bought cajeta sauce, you can find it on Amazon or Mexican food stores. Or you can make our easy recipe (listed in the recipe card below).
  • MILK: For a creamy consistency, use whole milk. Or sub with your favorite plant-based milk.
  • CORNSTARCH: Used to thick the drink, there are many brands available, use the one you prefer.
  • CINNAMON: This gives the cajeta atole a smoky depth of flavor, we recommend using Mexican canela if you can or you can also substitute with cinnamon powder.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT: I just love the smell and subtle flavor of vanilla. It is an optional ingredient, so you can leave it out if you don’t have it available.
Ingredients for atole de cajeta displayed with names on a marble surface.

How To Make Atole de Cajeta

Start by mixing together cornstarch with one cup of milk until nicely combined. Make sure there are no lumps left.

Cornstarch and milk mixed in a cup.

Now, place the remaining milk into a large pot along with the cinnamon stick. Heat the milk over medium heat while stirring constantly.

Milk and cinnamon cooking in a white pot.

Allow heating for 5 minutes, so the cinnamon will release its aroma and infuse the milk.

Add the cajeta and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine everything. Always making sure the milk doesn’t heat to the point where it starts to boil.

A collage with two photos of cajeta added to the pot and then mixed with the milk.

Now, slowly and while mixing, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. And add also the vanilla extract.

Cornstarch mixture being added to the pot.

Keep cooking the atole for 10 minutes over low heat and mixing constantly. In the end, atole de cajeta should have a smooth and slightly thick texture.

Showing atole de cajeta mixture with a spoon.

Serve the hot drink in mugs and enjoy. Be careful when you drink it as it’s very hot.

Recipe Notes

  • Add the cornstarch mixture slowly and while whisking, to prevent the drink from forming lumps.
  • Cook the atole mixture always over low-medium heat to prevent it from sticking to the pot and burning, which will add an unpleasant flavor.
  • Never leave the pot unattended or the milk mixture will boil and spill out.
  • Substitute 2 cups of milk with 1 can of evaporated milk to make it creamier.
  • You can also use 4 tablespoons of masa harina as a substitute for cornstarch, it will give this atole a slightly grainy texture, typical of this beverage.
  • To prevent skin from forming on top of the atole while cooling down, give it a quick mix from time to time.

How To Serve

As you might know, atole beverages are perfect to pair with tamales. There’s just something special when you combine this sweet drink with fluffy savory tamales.

So, here are a few recipes that you might want to try:

If you want to serve cajeta atole with pastries we recommend Mexican pan dulce, such as cortadillos or coricos cookies.

How To Store And Reheat

Store atole de cajeta leftovers in a glass airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

To reheat, place atole in a saucepan and heat up over medium-low heat while stirring constantly.

Atoles made with cornstarch tend to get a thinner texture once cooled down. To bring back its thickness allow it to simmer for 5-6 minutes over low heat and mix continuously until thick again.

More Atole Recipes

Atole de cajeta recipe. Served in mugs with Mexican pastries.

Atole de Cajeta Recipe

author Maricruz
4
Atole de cajeta is a sweet, warm, and creamy Mexican drink made with caramel sauce, cornstarch and milk. Enjoy as a sweet treat any day of the week!
prep 5 minutes
cook 17 minutes
total 22 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup Mexican cajeta (or dulce de leche)
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Mix together cornstarch with one cup of milk until well combined.
  • Place the remaining milk into a large pot with the cinnamon stick.
  • Heat the milk over medium heat while stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cajeta sauce and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine everything.
  • Slowly and while mixing, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Then add also the vanilla extract.
  • Keep cooking the atole for 10 minutes over low heat and mixing constantly until it will have a smooth and slightly thick texture.
  • Serve hot in mugs and enjoy.

Notes

  • Add the cornstarch mixture slowly and while whisking, to prevent atole from forming lumps.
  • Cook the atole mixture always over low-medium heat to prevent it from sticking to the pot and burning, which will add an unpleasant flavor to the drink.
  • Never leave the pot unattended or the milk mixture will boil and spill out.
  • Substitute 2 cups of milk with 1 can of evaporated milk to make it creamier.
  • You can also use 4 tablespoons of masa harina as a substitute for cornstarch, it will give this atole a slightly grainy texture, typical of this beverage.
  • To prevent skin from forming on top of the atole while cooling down, give it a quick mix from time to time.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 463mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 384mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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