We’ve collected the very best Hispanic desserts just for you.
Whether you’ve got a hankering for Churros, Torta de tres leches, Alfajores, Buñuelos, Arroz con leche or Rosca de Reyes, we’ve put together a collection of 26 plus traditional Latin American desserts everyone should try before they die.
Be warned, these desserts will make you run to the store to buy the ingredients to make them. Let’s dive right in…
Check out this list of Hispanic desserts you must try before you die. These are some of the best and most popular desserts the Hispanic community recommends.
While you can find churros in the States and most Latin American countries churros originated in Spain. This sugar-sprinkled fried dought pastry was first introduced to South America during the Spanish Inquisition in the 1500s.
Churros get their own unique, regional spin. If you visit Mexico, most churros are filled with “dulce de leche” or “cajeta.” In Brazil, they are dipped in “doce de leite.”
Churros can be easily made at home. It’s a dough based on wheat flour and water, fried in vegetable oil and finally dipped in a bed of sugar (and cinnamon, optionally). It is one of the most popular Hispanic desserts. Once the Churros are ready you can serve them with hot chocolate or café con leche to enhance the eater’s experience.
However, you can get creative and stuff them with chocolate, condensed milk or fruit toppings like some people do in other countries.
Alfajores are delicious butter cookies that can be topped with Cajeta. These are snowy white cookies that are perfect for the holiday season. You don’t have to dunk the cookies in Cajeta. They can either be topped with it or Cajeta can be spread between the cookies to make a cookie sandwich.
3. Tres Leches Cake
An amazingly delicious cake that will make you go “Yum” on the very first bite. It is a sponge cake made with butter, milk, and cream. It is one of the most popular birthday desserts in Hispanic countries. This cake is eaten and loved by almost all Hispanics. You can find this cake in almost all major bakeries in Mexico. However if you don’t find it in the market, you can always cook it at home. It is easy to make and tastes delicious.
A buñuelo is a fried dough ball or fritters topped with sugar and/or a topping of your preference found throughout Latin America. This simple to make Hispanic dessert is an incredibly popular snack in many parts of countries such as Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico. You can’t go wrong with deep-fried dough dusted with powdered sugar or even hot chocolate syrup. Let’s make some Buñuelos!
5. Arroz Con Leche
This is probably the easiest Hispanic dessert to make and one you will be a fan for life. Arroz con leche (or creamy Spanish rice pudding) is a sweet and simple Latin dessert made with the help of condensed milk, sugar, Spanish rice and topped with cinnamon. Oh, and you’ll love the taste of warm raisins. You can eat warm or cold. They both taste great! This traditional sweet rice-based dessert will make you change your perception about rice.
Let’s talk about Mexican conchas also known as pan dulce (sweet bread). Conchas are without a doubt the most popular Hispanic dessert in Mexico. The word conchas mean “seashells” in English. Makes sense given its topping seashell-shaped inspired look. The topping is a type of sweet roll topped with a cookie crust. Every Mexican bakery, all over the world, makes conchas. They are the quintessential Mexican pan dulce. With its cookie dough cap on, the sweet rolls are baked, and, ideally, served warm. Made from an enriched, yeasted dough similar to brioche or challah. Sometimes you can even find Conchas filled.
7. Leche Merengada
Leche Merengada is not a juice, milkshake or smoothie; it’s a classic dessert, drink that you need to try at least once in your life. Made with milk, egg whites, white sugar, cinnamon and the skin of a lemon, Leche Merengada ( or meringue milk) is served in ice cream stores all over Spain. It has a texture that resembles a smoothie and ice cream combined.
This list keeps getting better, or should we say sweeter. Flan is another delicious Hispanic dessert craved around the world. Flan, also known as crème caramel, and it’s basically made from milk (condensed and/or evaporated milk), sugar, and eggs. You can enjoy this creamy custard dessert topped with caramel sauce at any time of the day. Have guests at your house? No problem, a small slice of flan is sure to delight your visitors. Make sure to use a hot water bath to cook this custard.
9. Suspiro de Limena
This mouthwatering Peruvian dessert was born in the capital of Peru, Lima. We are certain this dessert will make you “sigh” of pleasure when you eat it. Its creamy, caramel-like pudding (dulce de leche) is topped with a port flavored meringue and sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon. The name “Suspiro de limeña,” or ‘Sight of a Lima Lady’ in English, was given by poet José Gálvez Barrenechea because it is soft and sweet like the sigh of a woman. It is normally served in a bowl or cup. If you ever visit Peru, don’t forget to try this amazing Peruvian treat.
10. Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de Reyes is a traditional Mexican sweet bread consumed a special food for Three King’s Day, known as “Día de Reyes” in Spanish. This bread is typically adorned with dried fruit. The main flavor of the bread is orange and it has a spongy texture. It has the shape in the form of a wreath and a figurine of baby Jesus baked inside. Whoever gets the figurine in their slice has to cook tamales on Candelaria Day (February 2nd), another Mexican holiday.
Coconut lovers it’s your lucky day! Tembleque, which means “wiggly,” is a creamy coconut pudding that’s famous throughout Puerto Rico. It’s a pudding thickened with cornstarch resulting in a slightly firm pudding with a custard texture that has a little jiggle when shaken.
12. Milhojas Cake
Meet the cake of the thousand layers! It’s a popular Hispanic Dessert throughout Latin America. Made with layers of pastry bound by custard cream. There are different varieties of Milhojas but the most traditional is made of three layers of puff pastry separated by layers of chantilly cream, frosting or dulce de leche.
This tasty treat is one of Brazil’s favorite sweets! Brigadeiro (or Brazilian fudge balls) is easy to make and it only requires condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and a pinch of salt. The outside layer can be covered with chocolate sprinkles, shredded coconut, cocoa powder or anything you like.
You’ve never seen bread used in this way. This sweet and classic Latin dessert is made from bread, evaporated milk, and eggs. Budin is a combination of two words, bread, and pudding. Its soft chewy texture will please the most demanding dessert eaters.
Named after Pope Pius IX’s name in Italian, “Pio Nono,” this Peruvian dessert will tempt you over and over to taste its delicate jelly roll cake filled with Manjar Blanco, the creamy filling also used in Alfajores. Its spongy texture and spiral look make Piononos a fabulous pastry to serve anytime. In Spain is known as Brazo de Gitano and it’s also known as Swiss Roll, Jelly Roll, or Gâteau Roulé.
16. Colombian Merengon
This Colombian dessert is a must-try in the list of foreign tourists. If you are in Colombia, you can find it in almost any restaurant, food fair, bakery or corner store. Merengón consists of layers of crunchy meringue which are offset by cream and summer fruits.
As the name implies, the main ingredient of this dessert is coconut. They consist mainly of shredding coconut, condensed milk, and eggs. Most tropical countries have their own version of cocadas.
18. Pastel de Elote
Nope! It’s not your traditional American cornbread. This Pastel de Elote is loaded with fresh sweet corn kernels and sweetened with condensed milk. This sweet corn cake has a very crumbly and moist texture. You can eat as a treat with your morning coffee or for dessert, every bite is absolutely exquisite. We guarantee you will love this popular Mexican dessert.
19. Natilla Colombiana
It is a traditional Colombian dish that can be found in every house during the Christmas season. However, if you are craving this delicious dessert you can make it whenever you like. It is a simple custard dessert that can be served with Bunuelos. Adding Bunuelos to the mix enhances the entire eating experience.
20. Picarones (Peruvian doughnuts)
While Picarones may look like buñuelos or your traditional American doughnut they taste nothing like it. They are addictively good. Picarones use squash but you can also use sweet potatoes as their main ingredients. These two ingredients are boiled until tender, then mashed to make a silky puree, and finally mixed with flour, yeast, and sugar, making a runny dough. This soft dough is shaped into lopsided rings and deep-fried. Accompany with Chancaca syrup. If you get the chance to try them don’t hesitate to order.
21. Leche frita
Leche Frita means “fried milk.” and for good reason. A crunchy fried shell of flour and eggs encapsulates a delicious cold milk-pudding. Leche Frita is among the most popular Spanish desserts. The milk fritter is a sweet custard, set in the fridge overnight, cut into squares, fried like a doughnut and served with a dusting of sugar, cinnamon or ice cream.
While Empanadas can be savory, a sweat tasting empanada is a lot of fun and delicious. These stuffed dough pockets can be filled with anything you desire. Enjoy empanadas as a small snack, as a meal, or even dessert if filled with a sweet jam.
The dough can be made from a variety of ingredients including, flour or cornmeal, mashed plantains, potatoes, almond flour, chocolate and more. It depends on your preference. Not satisfied so far with this list, check our next most popular Hispanic desserts.
23. Plátanos Calados (Caramelized plantains)
These caramelized sweet ripe plantains are eaten as a side dish or dessert with fresh white cheese in Colombia. Platanos Calados are basically plantains with brown sugar syrop but there are different variations including Platanos al Caldero, Platanos en Tentacion, and Dulce de Platanos. However, the concept is the same.
Chocotorata is the typical birthday cake in Argentina. This chocolatey Argentine dessert is layered with chocolate cookies, coffee, cream cheese and dulce de leche.
It’s all layered and chilled so it’s intensely easy and very to bake. This Argentine dessert phenomenon is worth trying.
25. Dulce de leche
Dulce de leche is so sticky sweet and delicious and can be used in so many different ways. It’s easy to make. It’s basically condensed milk on a “bain-marie” baked in the oven. The longer you bake it, the darker and thicker the dulce de leche will be. It has a sweet and mellow, toffee or butterscotch-like flavor without the bitterness associated with caramel (i.e., burned sugar).
26. Sopa Borracha
Looking for a Hispanic dessert to surprise your guests? In Panama’s Sopa Borracha might be your choice. Sopa Borracha (or drunk soup) features a very light and airy sponge cake covered in a delicious rum and sherry syrup.
It’s most enjoyed in autumn or winter after a long day of work or a walk in the cold but it’s ideal for parties or gatherings.