Atole de Cajeta

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is just around the corner. (As is Halloween!) Last year, for Día de Muertos we visited our dearly departed at el panteón (the cemetery), then stayed to watch a one-woman play called "La Muerte Irridenta". We all loved visiting el panteón on a cold and eerie night, but the whole time we were there I kept thinking to myself that I should've taken a thermos of something warm to drink to keep us all warm. Thankfully the city officials served hot chocolate and tea when the show was over, but I made a mental to note to remember to bring along something warm to drink for next year.

Well, it's next year already, and I have just the beverage for our annual Día de Muertos outing at the cemetery this year... Atole de Cajeta! Atole is a warm, creamy milk-based beverage that is slightly thickened with cornstarch (aka corn flour) or masa harina. Now I love thick atoles like my Sweet Potato Atole and Champurrado that get their grainy texture from the masa harina. But there is something to be said for the silky smooth creaminess of atoles thickened with cornstarch, like my Atole de Nuez (pecan). Those are the kind of atoles I remember my grandpa making me when I was growing up. And that is just the kind of atolito that will keep us warm at the cemetery come Día de Muertos.

You'll notice in the recipe that I don't sweeten this atole with sugar or piloncillo, like you see in other atole recipes. That's because this atole is made with cajeta, which is a sweet Mexican caramel sauce made from goat's milk. Cajeta is all the sweetness you need! No need to add more sugar, but you can always add more cajeta. If you're lucky enough to find cajeta envinada (spiked cajeta - Woohoo!), then by all means go ahead and use that instead of regular cajeta. But if you are unable to find cajeta of any kind and you really want to try this Atole de Cajeta, you can substitute a can of dulce de leche or a cup of caramel topping for the cajeta.

And finally, if you're looking to try more atole recipes to try be sure to tune in to my Cocina next month for a special #AtoleWeek (Nov. 10th - 14th)!

Atole de Cajeta -

Atole de Cajeta

  • 5 cups milk, divided
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick 
  • 1 cup Mexican cajeta or dulce de leche 
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (I used unflavored Maizena)

In a 2-quart stockpot, heat 4 cups of the milk with the cinnamon stick and Mexican cajeta over medium heat until very warm, stirring constantly to dissolve the cajeta. While the milk is heating on the stove, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining cup of milk. Just before the milk on the stove starts to bubble, add the cold milk and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the atole has thickened slightly. Ladle into mugs. Enjoy!

Cajeta Atole -

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