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Foodie – Carmelita’s Sticky Buns, Oaxaca


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Ula Real



Welcome to the world of food travel! If you’re a food lover and an adventurer at heart, then joining the ranks of foodies who explore the culinary delights of different cities and countries is an absolute must. One destination that should be at the top of your list is Oaxaca, Mexico. Known for its rich gastronomy and vibrant food scene, Oaxaca offers a unique blend of flavors, ingredients, and culinary traditions that will leave your taste buds in awe.


One standout establishment in Oaxaca is Carmelita’s Sticky Buns, a gem that has captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Nestled in a quaint corner of the city, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is renowned for its irresistible treats that embody the true essence of Oaxacan cuisine.


In this article, we will take a deep dive into the world of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns, exploring the history, ingredients, and process behind these delectable creations. We will also discover how Carmelita’s Sticky Buns perfectly encapsulates the unique flavors of Oaxaca, making it a must-visit spot for food travelers.


So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure. Open your mind and prepare your taste buds as we delve into the tantalizing world of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns and the incredible food scene in Oaxaca.


A Brief History of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns

Carmelita’s Sticky Buns has a rich history that dates back several generations. It all began with Carmelita Ramirez, a talented baker with a passion for creating mouthwatering pastries. Born and raised in Oaxaca, Carmelita was influenced by the colorful food culture that surrounded her. She grew up watching her grandmother bake traditional Oaxacan treats and quickly developed a love for the culinary arts.


As Carmelita honed her baking skills, she experimented with different recipes and techniques, striving to bring a unique twist to traditional favorites. It was her fascination with sticky buns, a classic American treat, that sparked her creativity. Combining the flavors and ingredients of Oaxaca with the comforting warmth of sticky buns, Carmelita created a masterpiece that would soon become her signature creation.


Word of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns started spreading, and locals and tourists flocked to her small bakery to try her delectable treats. The reputation of her sticky buns grew quickly, earning her a dedicated following and establishing her as a leading figure in Oaxaca’s vibrant food scene.


As Carmelita’s business flourished, she decided to pass down her baking secrets to her children and grandchildren. The recipe for Carmelita’s Sticky Buns was carefully guarded and handed down through the generations, with each family member adding their unique touch along the way.


To this day, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns remains a family-run business, with Carmelita’s descendants carrying on the tradition of crafting these delectable treats. The bakery has expanded its offerings to include other Oaxacan delicacies, but the sticky buns continue to steal the spotlight and capture the hearts of anyone who takes a bite.


The influence of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns can be felt throughout the city, as many other bakeries and cafes in Oaxaca have been inspired to create their own versions of this beloved treat. However, there’s no denying that Carmelita’s Sticky Buns holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors, standing as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Oaxaca.


Oaxaca: A Gastronomic Paradise

Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico, is a food lover’s dream come true. Known for its vibrant culinary scene, Oaxaca is often hailed as a gastronomic paradise, where traditional flavors and innovative techniques come together in a harmonious symphony of taste.


The cuisine of Oaxaca is deeply rooted in indigenous culinary traditions and has been influenced by various cultures throughout history. From the ancient Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations to the Spanish colonizers, each group has left its mark on Oaxacan cuisine, resulting in a diverse and fascinating blend of flavors.


One of the standout features of Oaxacan cuisine is the use of local ingredients that are unique to the region. From the famous Oaxacan cheese, known as queso Oaxaca, to the rich and earthy mole sauces, Oaxaca offers a plethora of flavors that are both familiar and delightfully surprising.


One cannot talk about Oaxacan cuisine without mentioning its vibrant street food scene. The city streets are lined with food stalls serving up an array of dishes that showcase the best of Oaxacan flavors. Whether it’s the smoky and tender barbacoa tacos, the crispy tlayudas topped with savory meats and fresh vegetables, or the refreshing aguas frescas made with local fruits, street food in Oaxaca is a feast for the senses.


Oaxacan cuisine also showcases a deep appreciation for traditional cooking methods. From the use of the traditional comal, a flat griddle used to cook tortillas, to the use of clay pots and wood-fired ovens, Oaxacan chefs take pride in preserving these age-old techniques, resulting in dishes that are infused with a distinct smoky flavor and a connection to the past.


Moreover, Oaxaca is home to a wide variety of fresh produce, thanks to its fertile soil and diverse microclimates. The markets of Oaxaca burst with colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, enticing visitors to indulge in the vibrant flavors of the region.


Whether you’re wandering through the bustling markets, exploring the hidden gems of Oaxaca’s culinary heritage, or simply enjoying a meal at one of the city’s renowned restaurants, Oaxaca is sure to leave you with a deep appreciation for its unparalleled gastronomic offerings.


The Inspiration Behind Carmelita’s Sticky Buns

Carmelita’s Sticky Buns draws its inspiration from the vibrant culinary heritage of Oaxaca. The creation of these delectable treats is not only influenced by the flavors and ingredients of the region, but also by the rich cultural traditions that permeate Oaxacan cuisine.


Oaxaca is known for its unique blend of flavors, combining traditional indigenous ingredients with Spanish and other international influences. This diverse culinary landscape served as the foundation for Carmelita’s Sticky Buns, as the desire to create something special and representative of Oaxaca was at the forefront of its inception.


The traditional ingredients of Oaxacan cuisine, such as chocolate, cinnamon, and various fruits, play a key role in the flavors of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns. These ingredients are carefully selected to bring out the essence of Oaxacan flavors and to create a sensory experience that is unrivaled.


But it’s not just the ingredients that inspire Carmelita’s Sticky Buns; it’s also the cultural significance of food in Oaxaca. Food is deeply intertwined with celebrations, traditions, and family gatherings in Oaxacan culture. This sense of community and togetherness is reflected in each batch of sticky buns.


The buns themselves are a testament to the warmth and hospitality of Oaxacan culture. With each bite, you can taste the love and passion poured into the dough, the care taken in selecting the perfect combination of flavors, and the commitment to preserving Oaxacan culinary heritage.


The artistry behind Carmelita’s Sticky Buns goes beyond just the flavors. The bakery takes pride in the presentation of its creations, paying attention to every detail to ensure that each bun is a work of edible art. From the perfectly golden exterior to the gooey, caramelized filling, every aspect of the sticky buns is carefully crafted to create an unforgettable experience.


Furthermore, the inspiration behind Carmelita’s Sticky Buns extends beyond Oaxaca itself. It is a celebration of the fusion of Oaxacan and international flavors. The bakery embraces the influence of different cultures, incorporating elements from around the world to create a truly unique and innovative twist on the classic sticky bun.


Overall, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is a tribute to Oaxaca and its gastronomic heritage. It is a testament to the artistry, creativity, and passion that goes into Oaxacan cuisine. With each bite, you are transported to the vibrant streets of Oaxaca and immersed in the flavors and traditions that make this region a culinary delight.


Ingredients Used in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns

Carmelita’s Sticky Buns are crafted using a unique combination of ingredients that are both traditional to Oaxaca and reflective of the bakery’s creativity and innovation. These carefully selected ingredients work together to create the perfect balance of flavors and textures that make each bite irresistibly delicious.


One of the key ingredients in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is Oaxacan chocolate. Known for its rich and distinctive taste, Oaxacan chocolate adds a deep and complex flavor to the buns. The chocolate is typically made from cacao beans that are roasted, ground, and combined with sugar and spices, resulting in a smooth and velvety texture.


Alongside the chocolate, cinnamon plays a starring role in the flavor profile of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns. Cinnamon is a spice cherished for its warm and comforting notes, adding a subtle complexity to the buns. The bakery carefully sources the finest cinnamon to ensure the highest quality and optimal flavor.


Another ingredient that sets Carmelita’s Sticky Buns apart is piloncillo, a traditional Mexican sweetener. Piloncillo is made from raw sugar cane that has been boiled, evaporated, and formed into a solid cone shape. This unrefined sweetener adds a rich and caramel-like flavor to the buns, creating a delightful contrast to the chocolate and cinnamon.


Oaxacan cheese, also known as queso Oaxaca, is another standout ingredient in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns. This soft, stringy cheese has a slightly salty and tangy flavor that adds a unique twist to the buns. The cheese is thinly shredded and incorporated into the filling, enhancing the overall richness and texture of the sticky buns.


Additionally, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns feature local fruits, such as plantains or guavas, depending on the season. These fruits provide a fresh and juicy element that balances the sweetness of the buns, adding a burst of flavor with each bite. The bakery meticulously selects the ripest and most flavorful fruits to ensure the highest quality.


To bring all these ingredients together, the bakery uses a tender and buttery dough as the base for the sticky buns. The dough is made with traditional baking techniques, allowing it to rise slowly and develop a deep flavor and fluffy texture. Each bun is carefully crafted by hand, ensuring consistency and attention to detail in every batch.


By combining these exceptional ingredients, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns capture the essence of Oaxaca’s culinary heritage and offer a truly unforgettable taste experience. The careful selection and artful combination of flavors elevate these sticky buns to a level of excellence that keeps customers coming back for more.


The Process of Making Carmelita’s Sticky Buns

The making of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is a labor of love that involves several steps and precise techniques to ensure the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Every batch is crafted with care and attention to detail, resulting in sticky buns that are both visually appealing and incredibly delicious.


The process begins with the preparation of the dough. Carmelita’s Sticky Buns use a special recipe that combines flour, yeast, sugar, butter, and a touch of salt. The ingredients are carefully measured and mixed together to create a soft and elastic dough. This dough is then left to rise, allowing the yeast to work its magic and develop the desired texture.


While the dough is rising, the filling for the sticky buns is prepared. It starts with a mixture of Oaxacan chocolate, cinnamon, and piloncillo, which is melted and combined until smooth. The soft, stringy queso Oaxaca is delicately shredded and added to the chocolate mixture. This unique blend of flavors creates a velvety and slightly tangy filling that is the heart of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns.


Once the dough has risen, it is rolled out into a rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface. The chocolate and cheese filling is generously spread across the surface of the dough, ensuring an even distribution of flavors. The dough is then carefully rolled up, creating a tight spiral of chocolatey goodness.


The rolled dough is then cut into individual portions and placed in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. As the sticky buns bake, the filling melts and caramelizes, creating a gooey and sweet topping that glazes the buns. The baking process requires precision and careful monitoring to ensure that each bun is baked to perfection, with a golden-brown exterior and a soft and tender interior.


Once the sticky buns are out of the oven, they are given a few minutes to cool slightly. This allows the caramelized filling to set, making it easier to handle. The buns are then carefully transferred to a serving dish or individual plates, ready to be enjoyed.


Carmelita’s Sticky Buns can be enjoyed as they are, with their warm and gooey interior, or topped with a drizzle of sweet glaze or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. They are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, when the flavors are at their peak and the aroma fills the air.


The process of making Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is a testament to the artistry and skill of the bakers at Carmelita’s. From the precise measurements to the careful rolling and baking, every step is executed with precision and love, resulting in sticky buns that are not only visually appealing but also incredibly indulgent.


The Unique Flavors of Oaxaca in Every Bite

What sets Carmelita’s Sticky Buns apart is the incorporation of the unique flavors of Oaxaca, creating a truly unforgettable taste experience. Each bite is a journey through the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of this Mexican region.


One of the key flavor profiles in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is the combination of chocolate and cinnamon. The rich and velvety Oaxacan chocolate adds a deep and complex flavor, while the aromatic cinnamon adds warmth and depth. These two ingredients intertwine harmoniously, creating a symphony of flavors on the palate.


The use of piloncillo, an unrefined sugar cane sweetener, adds a delightful caramel-like flavor to the sticky buns. This ingredient is a staple in Oaxacan cuisine and brings a unique sweetness that perfectly complements the chocolate and cinnamon notes.


But the flavors of Oaxaca go beyond just chocolate and cinnamon. Carmelita’s Sticky Buns also incorporate the distinct taste of Oaxacan cheese, queso Oaxaca. This soft and stringy cheese adds a tangy and slightly salty element to the buns, creating a delightful contrast to the sweetness and adding depth of flavor.


In addition to the classic flavors, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns also showcase the abundance of fresh fruits that Oaxaca is known for. Depending on the season, the buns may feature sliced plantains or guavas, bringing a burst of natural sweetness and a touch of tanginess to each bite. These fruits add a refreshing element that balances the richness of the other ingredients.


The combination of these unique Oaxacan flavors results in sticky buns that are not only sweet and indulgent but also complex and exciting. Each bite is a celebration of Oaxacan culinary heritage and a journey through the diversity of flavors found in this region.


Moreover, the flavors of Oaxaca are deeply rooted in the cultural traditions and history of the region. The use of indigenous ingredients and the influence of different cultures throughout history create a culinary tapestry that is both ancient and ever-evolving. Carmelita’s Sticky Buns perfectly capture this dynamic blend of flavors, paying homage to the rich heritage and traditions of Oaxacan cuisine.


So, whether you’re a chocolate lover, a fan of cinnamon-spiced treats, or simply someone who appreciates the complexity of flavors, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns will not disappoint. With every bite, you’ll experience the vibrant and unique flavors of Oaxaca, transporting you to the heart of this gastronomic paradise.


The Secret to the Sticky Texture

One of the hallmarks of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns is their irresistibly gooey and sticky texture. The secret behind this delightful sensation lies in the careful balance of ingredients and the precise baking technique employed by the skilled bakers at Carmelita’s.


One key element that contributes to the sticky texture is the use of piloncillo in the filling. This unrefined sugar cane sweetener, when heated, melts and caramelizes, creating a luscious and sticky glaze. As the sticky buns bake, this sweet glaze permeates the dough, adding moisture and stickiness to every bite.


In addition to piloncillo, the proper resting and rising of the dough also plays a crucial role in achieving the desired texture. The dough is given sufficient time to rise, allowing the yeast to ferment and create air pockets that contribute to a light and fluffy interior. This airy texture contrasts beautifully with the sticky filling, creating a delightful interplay of soft and gooey sensations.


Another secret to the sticky texture lies in the precise baking technique. The buns are placed in a baking dish with just enough space between them to allow for expansion during baking. This allows the filling to spread and melt, creating a gooey and caramelized surface that adheres to the dough.


The baking temperature and time are also carefully controlled to achieve the perfect sticky texture. The buns are baked at a moderate temperature, allowing the dough to cook through evenly while giving the filling enough time to caramelize and become sticky. This careful balance ensures that the buns are fully cooked but retain their soft and sticky interior.


Once the sticky buns are out of the oven, they are given a few minutes to cool slightly. This allows the sticky glaze to set, giving it a chewy and caramel-like consistency. This final touch ensures that each bite is a delightful balance of textures, with the soft and fluffy dough contrasting with the sticky and chewy glaze.


It is this meticulous attention to detail and the careful orchestration of ingredients and baking techniques that yield the signature sticky texture of Carmelita’s Sticky Buns. Each bite offers a symphony of flavors and a delightful mouthfeel that keeps people coming back for more.


So, whether you’re a fan of sticky treats or simply curious to experience the unique texture that sets Carmelita’s Sticky Buns apart, be prepared to savor a mouthwatering combination of sticky, gooey, and utterly delicious sweetness in every bite.


Carmelita’s Sticky Buns: A Culinary Delight

Carmelita’s Sticky Buns are more than just a sweet treat – they are a culinary delight that embodies the rich flavors, cultural heritage, and artistic craftsmanship of Oaxacan cuisine. From the first bite to the last, these sticky buns offer a sensory experience like no other.


With each mouthwatering morsel, you can taste the careful selection of ingredients that highlight the unique flavors of Oaxaca. The velvety Oaxacan chocolate, the aromatic cinnamon, and the rich piloncillo all work in harmony to create a symphony of sweetness on the palate.


But it’s not just the flavors that make Carmelita’s Sticky Buns exceptional; it’s also their texture. The soft and fluffy dough serves as the perfect canvas for the gooey and sticky filling. With each bite, the contrasting textures create a delightful dance on the taste buds, keeping you coming back for more.


What truly sets Carmelita’s Sticky Buns apart is the passion and artistry that goes into every batch. The bakers at Carmelita’s take pride in their craft and carefully execute each step of the process, from the dough preparation to the precise baking technique. The result is a visually stunning creation that is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.


Moreover, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns act as a gateway to the culinary heritage of Oaxaca. They embrace the traditions, ingredients, and techniques that have been passed down through generations, paying homage to the diverse culinary landscape of this vibrant region.


Carmelita’s Sticky Buns have not only captured the hearts of locals in Oaxaca but have also gained international recognition, drawing food travelers from around the world. Visitors can’t resist the allure of these delectable treats and the chance to experience the flavors of Oaxaca in a new and exciting way.


Whether you’re indulging in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns as a morning pastry, a midday treat, or a dessert after a satisfying meal, you’re in for a culinary adventure that will leave you craving more. These sticky buns are more than just a sweet indulgence – they are a testament to the artistry and love that goes into the culinary world of Oaxaca.


So, make sure to add Carmelita’s Sticky Buns to your food travel itinerary. Allow yourself to be transported to the bustling streets of Oaxaca, where the flavors and textures of these delectable treats will open your senses to a world of culinary delights.



In the world of food travel, few experiences can compare to the delight of indulging in Carmelita’s Sticky Buns in the culinary haven of Oaxaca. These delectable treats embody the rich flavors and cultural heritage of the region, offering a one-of-a-kind taste experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


From the first bite, it is evident that Carmelita’s Sticky Buns are crafted with passion and attention to detail. The careful selection of ingredients, such as the Oaxacan chocolate, cinnamon, piloncillo, and queso Oaxaca, creates a unique blend of flavors that celebrate the culinary traditions of Oaxaca.


But Carmelita’s Sticky Buns are more than just a combination of ingredients. They represent the artistry and craftsmanship of the bakers who carefully prepare the dough, create the delicious filling, and bake the buns to perfection. Each step of the process is infused with love and a dedication to preserving Oaxacan culinary heritage.


The sticky texture of these buns is a tantalizing invitation to explore the diversity of flavors that Oaxaca has to offer. The balance of soft and fluffy dough with the gooey and caramelized filling creates a sensory experience that is truly unparalleled.


Furthermore, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns act as a gateway to the vibrant food scene of Oaxaca. They embody the unique fusion of traditional and modern flavors, showcasing the culinary creativity and innovation that is prevalent in the region.


So, whether you’re a devoted foodie, a curious traveler, or simply someone with a sweet tooth, Carmelita’s Sticky Buns are a must-try. They offer an unforgettable taste adventure that captures the essence of Oaxaca’s gastronomic paradise.


So, next time you find yourself in Oaxaca, be sure to seek out Carmelita’s Sticky Buns and experience the magic of these culinary gems. Indulge in the unique flavors, savor the sticky texture, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Oaxacan cuisine.


Embrace the culinary artistry, the cultural heritage, and the warm hospitality that Carmelita’s Sticky Buns represent. It’s an experience that will leave you craving for more and longing to return to the captivating world of food travel in Oaxaca.