Indulge in Sweet Perfection: The Ultimate Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart Recipe

If you’ve ever had the chance to visit Colima, Mexico, you may have stumbled upon a delightful collection of candies that captures the essence of local sweetness. Among these culinary treasures are rollos de guayaba (guava rolls), borrachitos, and bolas de tamarindo (spicy tamarind candies). Yet, the true star of the show, and perhaps the most beloved, are the little boats filled with cajeta. Not only is cajeta sweet, but it’s also incredibly luscious and sticky, making it a delightful companion to many desserts. In essence, cajeta is what happens when goat’s milk is transformed into a heavenly, thick syrup, akin to dulce de leche.

Now, you might be wondering about the origins of this delectable treat. The playful myth in Colima and Jalisco suggests that cajeta comes from "leche de burra," or donkey’s milk. However, these whimsical tales have never deterred any sweet tooth from indulging in this delicious syrup.


The Birth of a Sensation

Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart Recipe | Epicurious

In 2017, the world was introduced to a spectacular creation, the Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart. These brownies are a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that leave an indelible mark on your taste buds. When I, as a novice vendor, brought them to a pop-up event for the first time, I wasn’t sure how they would be received. Within minutes, my entire pan of cajeta brownies vanished. People not only devoured them but also placed special orders, a testament to their extraordinary taste and appeal.

The visual allure of these brownies is equally enticing. With their beautiful swirling appearance, they are as much a work of art as they are a delectable treat.

This recipe for the Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart is a true gem. If you’d like to explore it further, you can find it in the book ‘Chicano Eats’ by Esteban Castillo. You can also purchase the book on Amazon for a more extensive culinary journey.

The Recipe

For those eager to try their hand at creating this masterpiece, here’s the basic recipe:

Ingredients for the Brownie Base:

  • ½ cup (70 g) grated Abuelita chocolate
  • 8 Tbsp. (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt

For the Cream Cheese Cajeta Layer:

  • 8 oz. (226 g) cream cheese, very softened
  • ½ cup cajeta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Begin by spraying a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Place the tart pan on a large baking sheet for easy handling.

  2. To make the brownie base, follow these steps:

  • In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the coffee, grated chocolate, and sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and add the butter. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, allowing the butter to melt and cool slightly.
  • After this short resting period, sift in the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Then, whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Finally, stir in the flour and set the mixture aside.
  1. To create the cream cheese cajeta layer:
  • Beat the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. This should make it smooth and lighter in texture, which usually takes about a minute.
  • Add the cajeta and stir on medium speed to combine. Then, add the egg and vanilla extract and stir on low speed until just combined.

By following these instructions and combining the flavors of Abuelita chocolate, cajeta, and cream cheese, you’ll create a Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart that’s truly a culinary masterpiece.

In conclusion, the cajeta cream cheese brownie tart is a delightful journey for your taste buds. It combines the rich flavors of cajeta with the velvety goodness of cream cheese and the deep, dark allure of Abuelita chocolate. It’s a treat that’s not only delicious but visually stunning, making it a work of art you can enjoy with every bite.

Curious Delights for the Food Enthusiast

What are the key ingredients for Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart?

To create the delectable Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart, you’ll need the following key ingredients:

  • 225g of cream cheese
  • 150g of Mayca Cajeta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

These ingredients form the foundation of this indulgent dessert, combining the creamy richness of cream cheese with the sweet, luscious flavor of Cajeta. The result is a delightful treat that’s bound to satisfy your sweet cravings.

What are some serving suggestions for Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart?

Elevate your Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart experience with these serving suggestions:

  • Pair these cream cheese brownies with your choice of ice cream, such as vanilla, cheesecake, mint chocolate chip, or even pumpkin pie flavors.
  • Enhance the indulgence by adding a generous drizzle of hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, dulce de leche, or a dollop of marshmallow fluff.

These accompaniments complement the rich flavors of the brownie tart, creating a dessert that’s as versatile as it is delicious.

Do cream cheese brownies need to be refrigerated?

Indeed, cream cheese brownies should be refrigerated. Despite being baked, the cream cheese component contains dairy and should be stored in the refrigerator. If you prefer a slightly warmer brownie for consumption, you can leave a portion on the counter for approximately 30 minutes to reduce its chill, or gently warm it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.

How do you store cream cheese brownies?

How to Store Cream Cheese Brownies:

Do cream cheese brownies need to be refrigerated? You have some flexibility in storage:

  • Initially, you can keep cream cheese brownies on the counter for a few days.
  • For longer freshness, transfer them to the refrigerator in an airtight container where they can be stored for up to a week.
  • Enjoy them either chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference.

This storage approach ensures your brownies remain delicious and ready to satisfy your cravings.

Does a cake baked with cream cheese need to be refrigerated?

Is it best to store brownies in the fridge?

Should Brownies Be Stored in the Fridge?

In warmer seasons or hot climates, the shelf life of brownies may be shorter when stored at room temperature. To safeguard their delectable flavor in such conditions, it’s advisable to store brownies in the refrigerator. Refrigeration can extend the freshness of brownies, ensuring they remain delicious for up to two weeks.

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