Cajeta & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Cajeta & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Print Recipe
12 generous sized rolls Roles de Canela y Cajeta
Ingredients
  • For the starter:
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For the dough:
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more to knead the dough
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted, plus more to butter the bowl
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into 1/4 -inch dice
  • 3/4 cup Cajeta or dulce de leche
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or canela
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
To Prepare
  • To make the starter: Place the lukewarm milk and water in a small bowl. Be careful as it shouldn’t be hot or cold, or the yeast will not react. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid along with a tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let rest until it puffs up and becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • To make the batter: Place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs, foamy yeast starter, sugar, and salt. Start combining the ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. After a few strokes, add the melted butter. Mix with energy, until fully combined. The dough will be very sticky and gooey.
  • Sprinkle your counter or work surface very generously with all-purpose flour. Turn the sticky dough onto the surface, and knead until it transforms from being sticky and gooey to soft and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add a bit more flour to the counter, if needed, and use a bench scraper to gather the sticky dough from the counter as you knead the dough, and it becomes malleable and soft. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Butter a large bowl, place the ball of dough in it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  • To make the rolls: Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  • Sprinkle your counter or working surface generously with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the floured counter and knead gently to begin to form a rectangle. Sprinkle a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a long rectangle of about 10-inches wide by 24-inches long.
  • Leaving a 1-inch frame around the rectangle spread the dulce de leche across the length of the dough to form a centered and long 6-inch stripe. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, the cinnamon, and the butter chunks all over the surface, except for that 1-inch frame.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Working lengthwise, roll up the rectangle tightly. Brush the top 1 inch edge of the rectangle, with water, and close the roll up. Cut into 12 rolls: I like to cut the log in half first, then that half in half, and each of those quarters into 3 rolls. Place them in the buttered baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a kitchen towel, and let them rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, until they double in size, about an hour.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 27 to 30 minutes, until they are fully cooked and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven.
  • To make glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the vanilla, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk and mix with a whisk or spatula. Incorporate the confectioners sugar and mix until fully combined. Pour freely all over the rolls.
  • If you add the glaze while the rolls are still hot, they will turn out even better. Eat as soon as glaze has set, or at least try; it will be just a few minutes.
Ingredients
  • For the starter:
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For the dough:
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more to knead the dough
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted, plus more to butter the bowl
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into 1/4 -inch dice
  • 3/4 cup Cajeta or dulce de leche
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or canela
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
To Prepare
  • To make the starter: Place the lukewarm milk and water in a small bowl. Be careful as it shouldn’t be hot or cold, or the yeast will not react. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid along with a tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let rest until it puffs up and becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • To make the batter: Place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs, foamy yeast starter, sugar, and salt. Start combining the ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. After a few strokes, add the melted butter. Mix with energy, until fully combined. The dough will be very sticky and gooey.
  • Sprinkle your counter or work surface very generously with all-purpose flour. Turn the sticky dough onto the surface, and knead until it transforms from being sticky and gooey to soft and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add a bit more flour to the counter, if needed, and use a bench scraper to gather the sticky dough from the counter as you knead the dough, and it becomes malleable and soft. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Butter a large bowl, place the ball of dough in it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  • To make the rolls: Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  • Sprinkle your counter or working surface generously with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the floured counter and knead gently to begin to form a rectangle. Sprinkle a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a long rectangle of about 10-inches wide by 24-inches long.
  • Leaving a 1-inch frame around the rectangle spread the dulce de leche across the length of the dough to form a centered and long 6-inch stripe. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, the cinnamon, and the butter chunks all over the surface, except for that 1-inch frame.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Working lengthwise, roll up the rectangle tightly. Brush the top 1 inch edge of the rectangle, with water, and close the roll up. Cut into 12 rolls: I like to cut the log in half first, then that half in half, and each of those quarters into 3 rolls. Place them in the buttered baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a kitchen towel, and let them rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, until they double in size, about an hour.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 27 to 30 minutes, until they are fully cooked and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven.
  • To make glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the vanilla, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk and mix with a whisk or spatula. Incorporate the confectioners sugar and mix until fully combined. Pour freely all over the rolls.
  • If you add the glaze while the rolls are still hot, they will turn out even better. Eat as soon as glaze has set, or at least try; it will be just a few minutes.

58 comments on “Cajeta & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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  1. I made these today. OMG YUMMO
    Being from Texas, we LOVE cinnamon rolls with pecans and I’ve tried for years to get that “bakery” taste. THIS IS IT!!! I’m going on a beachhouse vacation with a group of friends in Nov and I’m the designated cook. I know what I’m making for everyone now. The beachhouse will smell wonderful too, BIG PLUS!

  2. Watched your segment on PBS the other day and knew I had to try your recipe. I spent the morning making these. Waiting for the 1 hr rise time and then they can be popped into the oven. Very excited to taste the end product. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. I’ve had this on my radar for months and finally made it this morning. I love it. Especially the lightness of the bread. It’s not too sweet. I’ll offer more of the topping on the side for those who like a little more sweet. I love the lime in the topping too. Yum, Thanks for cooking for us and giving us inspiration!

  4. Pati, esta receta esta deliciosa. Can I let the rolls rest overnight once I’ve cut them and placed them in the buttered dish and bake in the morning?

  5. I love the roll recipe, but each time I tried to make these with the dulce de leche it leaks out so bad and the rolls are barely flavored. Perhaps I’m doing the caramel placement wrong ?

    1. Hm… maybe it is the kind of Dulce de Leche you are using. There are so many brands these days. Is it very runny? If so, use a bit less. Or try looking for a Dulce de Leche that is a bit thicker…

    2. I had a lot of dulce de leche coming out of the rolls also. I ended up turning the rolls over in the pan about half way through the rising time. We all loved these rolls! I made them on Christmas morning. I think if I use this recipe again, I will make it more like a coffee cake, with a layer of dough pressed into the pan, the dulce de leche in the middle, and then dough covering it. You could really use more of the dulce de leche this way! I’ll pour the glaze on after baking. This glaze was very special. I would never have thought of lime juice, but it was wonderful.

  6. Pati.
    Just made these but a friend is allergic to tree nuts so I cooked 6 apples in cinnamon, sugar and a little water to soften them. New family favorite. They now want these over my lemon rolls.

  7. Hi Pati,
    Very much enjoy your show and the fact that you seem to love what you’re doing! I’m wondering if you have ever tried the Nestle brand of Dulce de Leche and how it compares to the homemade version. Thank you!

  8. Sweet Lord!!!!
    Just made these cinnamon rolls and I am beside myself. D.E.L.E.C.I.O.U.S.
    These things are amazing. The dulce de leche is an incredible addition. I will be making these again.

  9. OMG…these were a BIG hit for Christmas morning! Made everything from scratch and I am now a huge fan of cajeta!! Already thinking of other ways to use it. Thank you for sharing and hope you are enjoying the holidays!

  10. Hello. Wondering if this recipe was available in spanish. My mother in law isattempting to make but it’s hard for me to translate. Help please. Thank you.

  11. Hi Patti, Wow, Wow! Thank you for this absolutely PERFECT Delish recipe!! These cinnamon rolls came out AWESOMELY DELISH!! Love, Love the cajeta filling :). I have made these 3 times & the 3rd time were the Best batch. One thing I’ve learned by making & baking these DELISH rolls is you have to have patience for rolls to rise properly. My 3rd batch I let my dough rise in the oven for 2 hours then 1 hour after rolling them. My rolls came out soooo buttery & soft. The glaze is absolutely fabulous!
    This is my family’s new favorite cinnamon rolls with our favorite mexican cajeta filling. Gracias again! Mucho amor,Brenda 🙂

  12. Well I placed them in the warmest area possible or atleast tried to. We have a kitchen vent that can blow in there. They did rise when I baked them, which was great! I think I over rolled the dough? They weren’t as fluffy as yours. Although they came out really good! But I’m going to try again. 🙂

  13. Hi Pati! I’m attempting to make your cinnamon roles. I’m at the point where you put them in the butter baking pan for rising, the step before they go in the oven. They didn’t double in size like you said. It’s been an hour. Can I let them sit longer? Or did I do something wrong? They haven’t changed size since I rolled them.
    By the way I love your show!!

  14. Hi Pati. Thanks for the great recipes and enthusiasm. For dulce de leche, the easiest way to make it is to buy a can of sweetened condensed milk, take the label off, put the can in a pot of simmering water for 2-3 hours (the longer the time the darker the dulce)…make sure the can stays covered in water. Let cool, open can, dulce de leche!

    Great sweet roll recipe BTW!

  15. dear pati, just saw the show on these cinnamon rolls….. cannot wait to make them! maybe yournext cookbook should be a baking book!……….per your response…….Surely, Caren: conchas, cuernos, orejas, banderillas… there were others unique to that bakery, such as the “pelones”!
    they looked so good!
    luv ya, lou

  16. Pati, In one of your earlier shows you were somewhere in Mexico where a family was making beautiful wooden spoons. Could you tell me what season and show that was. Has the artisan made the spoons available on the internet. Thanks I love your show and all of the beautiful places that you take us to. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes. Sometimes you had something delicious but can find the recipe because it’s a family secret, o nomas un secret. Munchas gracias. Luv your show. Toni Holguin

  17. Hi Pati,
    This morning I watched you making the cinnamon rolls and the great layered breakfast dish…yum yum. Bless you for the greatest flavorful foods that make me really need to try.
    As always, you made my day with inspirations.

    Fondly,
    Margie

  18. The ingredients list says 3/4 oz of active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp) but the packet of active dry yeast says its 1/4 oz and equal to 2 1/4 tsp so does that mean I put 3 packets in to equal 3/4 oz or just one to equal 2 1/4 tsp? Sorry I’m confused a little lol!
    Thank you
    Gabby

  19. I made these rolls today, and they are the best cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had! I’ve been trying cinnamon roll recipes for many years, but your are by far the softest, lightest, and fluffiest! The dulce de leche and the pecans are the perfect ingredients! Thank you so much for this recipe. We really enjoy watching your program – one of our favorite episodes was the “JuJu Show” 🙂

  20. Dear Pati, Love love your shows, I’m going to bake the delicious cinnamon rolls of yours, my question is when is the proper time to freeze them.

    Thank you!

    1. You can freeze or refrigerate after you have made them into rolls, before they rise (as rolls). Then when ready to bake, let them thaw and rise outsideuntil puffed up and then bake. However, you don’t need to refrigerate or freeze. Hope you like them!

  21. For some reason I can’t get the recipe for the dulce de leche rolls. Can you please send it to me?

    Thanks!

  22. Hello I just watched my 3rd episode of your show sorry to be a late viewer. I was trying to understand the names of all the sweet rolls you held in the bakery so I could look each one up on line. I really have enjoyed your site, and show. I plan on making many recipes since we love spicy food. could you please tell the names of the beautiful bakery items you placed on your tray in the bakery?

    1. Surely, Caren: conchas, cuernos, orejas, banderillas… there were others unique to that bakery, such as the “pelones”!

  23. Pati I just wanted to thank you for your amazing recipes…I just made these cinnamon rolls with my 2 little ones Sofia 7 and Julian 5 yrs old….they loved the preparation process and the tasting of their hard work, it gave us wonderful family time together, which you can never put a price on that….I’ve been following your show since season 1, my parents are from Jalisco. My Dad was from Lagos de Moreno, and my Mom from Ciudad Guzman. Mexican food is so awesome, your recipes bring back beautiful memories of my mom’s cooking. Thank you for your time, sincerest thoughts,
    Noemi Solis Rivas

    1. You are so generous and kind with your comments, and I am so happy to hear your kids enjoy jumping in the kitchen with you! It is by far my favorite thing to do with my boys… (Jalisco has the best ever Pozole Rojo…)