Valentine's Day

Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue

February 15, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes about 2 1/2 cups
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. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.
Contest Entries

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  • BavarianCook
  • Loves Food Loves to Eat
    Loves Food Loves to Eat
  • beyondcelery
  • LocalSavour
  • Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
    Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

81 Reviews

Laura December 25, 2019
This is a great recipe. Good descriptions and the result is delicious fondue. We all enjoyed fruits and cold oven pound cake. Delicious! A definite keeper!
BavarianCook June 5, 2015
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!
Loves F. January 22, 2014
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!
beyondcelery March 9, 2011
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.
hardlikearmour March 9, 2011
Thanks, Syronai! I love the cajeta alone, too. It's great stirred into coffee.
beyondcelery March 9, 2011
I'll try that! It's also great over Vanilla Coconut Bliss ice cream. My next project is to bake it into muffins.
LocalSavour March 8, 2011
Congratulations hardlikearmour ~ can't wait to try this recipe ~ what a fantastic combo of flavors!
hardlikearmour March 9, 2011
Thanks, LocalSavour! My husband just told me one of his freshmen students made my fondue! How cute is that?
Ordinary B. March 5, 2011
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!
hardlikearmour March 4, 2011
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!
Kayb March 3, 2011
Oh, wow....this looks stunning. congrats, and can't wait to try!
thirschfeld March 2, 2011
Congrats, this looks delicious and I love the flavor combinations.
kmartinelli March 2, 2011
So excited to see that this won!!! Congrats! You SO deserve it!
midnitechef March 2, 2011
Bravo for the win! I might have to save this recipe for company!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 2, 2011
Yay!!! Many well-deserved congrats!!! So happy for you!
TasteFood March 2, 2011
Congratulations on your win!
Lizthechef March 2, 2011
So well-deserved! Brava!
hardlikearmour March 2, 2011
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 ;-)
fiveandspice March 2, 2011
Hahaha! We probably all need an intervention! :)
Sadassa_Ulna March 2, 2011
Congratulations hla!
Sagegreen March 2, 2011
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!
TiggyBee March 2, 2011
Yay! Congrats to you on your really lovely fondue!!
arielleclementine March 2, 2011
huzzah! congrats on your win!
mrslarkin March 2, 2011
Woo hoo! I am so thrilled for you! Can't wait to make this (after I lose the 5 pudding pounds I gained) :)
hardlikearmour March 2, 2011
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.