Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue

By • February 15, 2011 80 Comments

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Author Notes: This dessert fondue is inspired by a Coconut Dulce de Leche recipe from Bon Appétit magazine that I found on I've made it multiple times, and have tweaked it a bit to my liking. My most major change is the addition of chocolate. It took a bit of experimenting to figure out the proportions so the chocolate doesn't overwhelm the more delicate caramel flavor. If you are not a coconut fan, don't fear, the coconuttiness is pretty subtle if you use vanilla extract & plain rum or cognac. This fondue is so luscious you really won't believe there's no cream or butter in it. NB: This recipe can be made vegan, as long as you track down vegan turbinado sugar & use vegan dark chocolate. - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Food52 Review: We loved the idea of fondue made with chocolate and cajeta (a close cousin of dulce de leche), and when we saw that hardlikearmour used coconut milk to make her cajeta, well -- there was no holding us back. Her fondue is silken and almost custardy, punctuated with rum and vanilla and generously salted, the way we like caramel to be. Not surprisingly, it is quite rich and sweet, and we found our favorite dipping instrument ended up being salty, extra-dark pretzels. We highly recommend you try the combination. - A&MThe Editors

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 2 13.5 ounce cans regular coconut milk (I use Chaokoh brand or another high-fat version)
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (8 oz)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt (if using Morton's scale back to 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum, coconut rum, or cognac (optional)
  1. Combine coconut milk, brown sugar, and salt in a 12-inch or larger heavy skillet. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring more frequently as the mixture thickens; this should take 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture will become darker, and the bubbles will go from being somewhat frothy to looking more like bubbling lava. A wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula scraped along the bottom from one end to another should leave a trail that "heals" within a few seconds. When this happens, remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate, wait about 1 minute, then stir to incorporate. Once chocolate is fully melted, stir in the vanilla and optional liquor.
  3. Transfer to fondue pot or ceramic bowl. If using a fondue pot, make sure the heat is low to prevent scorching. Serve with fresh fruit (bananas, pineapple, strawberries, etc...) and/or angel food or pound cake cubes.
  4. NB: If you are not a fan of chocolate, feel free to omit it. The flavor without is a good balance of caramel and coconut.

More Great Recipes: Chocolate|Desserts|Coconut

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Comments (80) Questions (3)


3 months ago BavarianCook

Oh fabulous! Thank you! My lactose intolerant innards are excited! Finally a dessert that is satisfying, has chocolate but no dairy. On my weekend menu now!


over 1 year ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

I don't know how I didn't see this sooner... I make that salted coconut caramel from Bon Appetit all the time, and never thought to add chocolate and rum...pure genius. Can't wait to make this!


over 4 years ago beyondcelery

I've only so far made the cajeta without the chocolate and it's delicious! I adore caramel, though can't really do the dairy--now I have a perfect substitute. Grats on the win, you totally deserve it.


over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Syronai! I love the cajeta alone, too. It's great stirred into coffee.


over 4 years ago beyondcelery

I'll try that! It's also great over Vanilla Coconut Bliss ice cream. My next project is to bake it into muffins.


over 4 years ago LocalSavour

Congratulations hardlikearmour ~ can't wait to try this recipe ~ what a fantastic combo of flavors!


over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, LocalSavour! My husband just told me one of his freshmen students made my fondue! How cute is that?


over 4 years ago Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

What an unusual and fantastic sounding recipe. I am a major fan of coconut and chocolate, and dipping pretzels in is brilliant. Can't wait to try this one!


over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Made a batch this evening for my brother and our vegan friend using the Endangered Species 70% chocolate bar and organic, vegan demerara sugar. Came out perfectly. Pretzels were the favorite dipper. Great suggestion, A&M!


over 4 years ago Kayb

Oh, wow....this looks stunning. congrats, and can't wait to try!


over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Congrats, this looks delicious and I love the flavor combinations.


over 4 years ago kmartinelli

So excited to see that this won!!! Congrats! You SO deserve it!


over 4 years ago midnitechef

Bravo for the win! I might have to save this recipe for company!


over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yay!!! Many well-deserved congrats!!! So happy for you!


over 4 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations on your win!


over 4 years ago Lizthechef

So well-deserved! Brava!


over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks to all for your kind words and support! I'm sneaking a few food52 minutes in between appointments, and have felt abuzz all day. Love, love, love food52 -- ps. to my brother, I don't need an intervention ;-)


over 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hahaha! We probably all need an intervention! :)


over 4 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Congratulations hla!


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Yay! I'm so thrilled for you with this win, hardlikearmour. It is a great recipe to represent your prolific and creative repertoire. Hope you will celebrate big!


over 4 years ago TiggyBee

Yay! Congrats to you on your really lovely fondue!!


over 4 years ago arielleclementine

huzzah! congrats on your win!


over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Woo hoo! I am so thrilled for you! Can't wait to make this (after I lose the 5 pudding pounds I gained) :)


over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

lol...i'm feeling you on that! there are several pudding recipes i really want to try, but will need to wait for sometime when i've been more virtuous.


over 4 years ago lapadia

Woo-Hoo....Congratulations on your win, HLA!!