Looking for some traditional Brazilian desserts? You’ve come to the right place!
Brazilians are dessert lovers. Apart from the breath-taking scenery, a trip to their beautiful country also means treating yourself to a plethora of sweets!
Influenced by diverse cuisines and cultures, Brazil’s desserts aren’t just packed with color and flavor, but also have wonderful stories behind them.
Want to explore Brazil’s rich history without leaving your home? This gastronomic tour will introduce you to the country’s most popular delicacies!
From brigadeiros to cheese puffs to acai bowls, I have every drool-worthy dessert Brazil has to offer.
Let’s start things off with a Brazilian hot chocolate. It’s the best beverage to warm you up on a chilly day.
Brazilian chocolate is just as rich and chocolatey as its American counterpart. The difference is that it’s so thick, it can coat the back of a spoon!
It gets its luscious consistency from sweetened condensed milk, which is a very common ingredient in Brazilian desserts.
The combination of chocolate, condensed milk, and whipped cream makes the creamiest, most decadent drink. Enjoy as is or add a splash of liquor or cachaca for a bit of a boozy kick!
Next up is the most popular Brazilian dessert there is: brigadeiros.
These bite-sized balls are well known, for good reason. Made with cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk, and butter, these truffles are sweet, chocolatey, and ooey-gooey.
These melt-in-your-mouth treats have been around since 1940 and were invented as a response to a fruit and dessert shortage.
Since the basic recipe only called for 3 ingredients, it was very affordable, convenient, and easy to make.
Just like American carrot cake, the Brazilian version is moist, tender, and packed with flavor. The difference? Instead of a cream cheese frosting, it’s glazed with brigadeiro!
Also, instead of shredded carrots, the Brazilian carrot cake makes use of pureed carrots, giving it that vibrant yellow hue.
While it’s coated in thick brigadeiro, it’s not that sweet, so you can serve it either for dessert, breakfast, or an afternoon snack.
Rabanada, or Brazilian French toast, is made with thick, round, stale bread flavored with custard and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Rabanada has been around since the 15th century. It was given to new moms to help them recover from giving birth, hence its nickname, “fatia-de-parida,” meaning, “slices for the new mom.”
It’s similar to the French classic but differs in the way it is prepared. First of all, the bread is round or oval and is sliced very thickly.
Instead of soaking it in an egg-milk mixture, it’s dipped in milk and then in beaten eggs. It’s then deep-fried in oil and coated with cinnamon sugar.
The result is a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside toast that’s perfectly sweet and custardy.
Since it’s a lot sweeter than French toast, it’s more commonly served as a dessert than for breakfast.
Arroz doce, or rice pudding, is another popular Brazilian dessert made from rice, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon.
As you can tell, this rice pudding is incredibly sweet! The rice does a fine job of absorbing the coconut milk and cinnamon, giving it a super creamy and warming flavor.
Traditionally, Brazilian rice pudding takes over 3 hours to make. But this shortcut recipe will give you the same flavor and consistency in just one-and-a-half.
Cocada de Forno, or baked coconut, are sweet and tender bars made with condensed milk and coconut.
Loaded with shredded coconut, they are a lot like macaroons, but in bar form!
7. Acai Bowl
Acai na tigela, or acai bowl, is a sweet breakfast treat made with acai berries, an indigenous fruit in Brazil.
The berries are mashed, turning them into a smooth sorbet.
Mixed with banana slices, granola, and other fruits and nuts, it’s a healthy, refreshing, and energy-boosting dish eaten for breakfast.
The acai bowl has been around since the 80s, and was made famous by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu founder, Carlos Gracie.
It became popular not only with Jiu Jitsu practitioners but surfers as well. Over time, its fame reached the US – specifically in Hawaii and Southern California – and became a staple for surfers.
8. Papaya Cream
Creme de Papaya, or Papaya cream, is a refreshing and fruity treat made with just 4 ingredients.
Combining the goodness of sweet papaya, vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and an optional creme de cassis, you’ll get a sweet, thick, and creamy treat that will take you to tropical paradise.
According to stories, papaya cream was invented as a way to make use of over-ripe papayas. What a genius way to avoid waste!
Beijinhos are another popular coconut-y treat in Brazil. Meaning “little kisses,” these sweets are made by combining coconut, condensed milk, and butter.
The mixture is shaped into bite-sized balls and rolled into shredded coconut. Think of them as brigadeiros, but coconut-flavored.
Quindim is a Portuguese custard made from egg yolk, ground coconut, and sugar. It has a bright yellow hue and a flan-like consistency.
Coated in syrup, quindim is a super sweet, creamy, and addictive treat.
The addition of shredded coconut is a Brazilian twist. The coconut sinks to the bottom as it bakes, forming a nice, cheesecake-like crust.
It gets its charming yellow hue from using egg yolks, which is a common characteristic in Portuguese desserts.
It is also very easy to make. Just 5 ingredients and 30 minutes are all it takes!
Just stir the ingredients together and pour in small ramekins (or one large pan to make a quindao), and bake!
Soft cheese and guava paste make a perfect pair that can make anyone fall in love. The Romeu and Julieta is a combination of these two unique ingredients, making a simple yet stunning dessert.
Goiabada is a thick, butter-like preserve made with guava and sugar. Cueijo minas is a mildly salty cheese from the region of Minas Gerais.
Together, they make a wonderful sweet and salty combination that will surely win your heart over.
12. Manjar Branco
Manjar Branco, or Brazilian coconut flan, is a custard flavored with condensed milk and coconut. It’s a classic dessert served during the holidays, but it’s so easy, you can make it any time!
The melt-in-your-mouth flan is topped with a wine-infused plum sauce, giving it a fruity twist.
13. Bolo Nega Maluca
Bolo nega maluca is chocolate cake frosted with brigadeiro. It’s super moist, tender, and loaded with chocolate flavor!
Unlike other chocolate cakes, however, this Brazilian chocolate cake makes use of chocolate powder (instead of cocoa powder). This results in a sweeter cake that’s a sure hit with the kids.
Looking for the perfect cocktail for your next summer party? Brazilian sunrise it is!
Made with orange soda, grenadine, Apple Sourz, and vodka, this colorful drink is sweet, tart, and refreshing.
Pé-de-moleque, which literally means “brat’s foot,” is Brazilian peanut brittle. Made by combining peanuts and melted sugar, it’s a crisp, chewy, and peanut-y candy.
Other variations of pé-de-moleque use butter and milk for more flavor.
Pé-de-moleque has been in existence since the 16th century, upon the arrival of sugarcane in Brazil.
According to legend, these snacks were sold by streets vendors and were often stolen by little boys. The women who sold them would yell “Pede, moleque,” meaning “ask for it, kid!”
Pudim de leite condensado is a custard flan drizzled with a creamy caramel.
There are many variations of this dessert, but they all contain the same basic custard ingredients – milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and sugar.
To make the sweet caramel sauce, the cake pans used to cook the custard are coated with a caramel sauce made with sugar and water.
The egg-milk mixture is then poured into the pans and cooked in a water bath.
Canjica is a popular Brazilian pudding or porridge made with whole maize kernels, milk, and cinnamon. Some recipes add sweetened condensed milk and coconut for more flavor.
It’s often served during winter festivals, which in Brazil, take place in June.
While well-loved all over the country, the dessert has a different name, depending on where you are.
In central-southern Brazil, it’s called canjica. In the northern states, it is more popularly known as mugunza.
Pacoca, or peanut candy, is a three-ingredient dessert made with only peanuts, sugar, and salt.
It’s one of the simplest desserts on this list, but it’s also one of the best.
Meaning “to crumble,” the pacoca mixture is smashed with a mortar and pestle and formed into various shapes.
Pacoca is commonly served during “Festas Juninas,” the winter festivals that take place in June.
These are celebrations to honor Saints Anthony, John, and Peter, and the start of harvest season.
19. Torta Holandesa
Torta Holandesa is a rich and creamy dessert made with Oreos, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate ganache. Wow!
Those three ingredients are already fantastic on their own, so just imagine what they’re like together.
Torta Holandesa is Portuguese for “Dutch Tart.” Don’t be fooled by the name, though, because it’s Brazilian in nature.
The famous dessert was invented by Silvia Leite in 1991, the owner of Holandesa & Cia.
The idea is simple: a cookie-based crust filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate ganache. The sides of the tart are then garnished with whole cookies.
20. Bom Bocado
Bom bocado, meaning “a good bite,” is another custard made from shredded coconut, parmesan, flour, milk, butter, sugar, and eggs.
It’s served like a pie, topped with whipped cream, and a cup of Brazilian coffee.
It’s often served on Independence Day.
Pudim de tapioca, or Brazilian tapioca pudding, is a sweet, milky, and creamy treat made with tapioca pearls.
Flavored with coconut, and topped with a caramel sugar sauce, the pudding is similar to traditional custard.
22. Bastida de Coco
Bastida de coco is another refreshing cocktail that only calls for basic ingredients. It’s like a coconut milkshake spiked with liquor!
Made with coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and cachaca – a Brazilian liquor, this cocktail is super sweet, rich, and creamy.
Just be careful when enjoying this drink, because its mild boozy flavor can be deceiving. Just a few sips can make you super buzzed!
Pão de Queijo, or Brazilian cheese puffs, are small buns loaded with cheese. They’re a popular breakfast and snack, and for good reason. They’re super soft, pillowy, and cheesy.
They’re also a cinch to make. You just make a simple bread dough made from tapioca flour, milk, oil, eggs, and cheese.
Roll them into bite-sized balls and bake! Very simple, yet oh-so rewarding.
They’re also very addictive, so be sure to make a huge batch!
Biscoitos de Maizena are cookies made from cornstarch!
The term, “maizena,” is a popular cornstarch brand in Brazil.
Here’s a fun fact about cornstarch: did you know that it was originally meant for starching clothes and linen back in the 1840s? It only started to be used as a flour substitute in 1950.
The use of cornstarch makes these cookies so soft, they melt in your mouth.
Apart from cornstarch, these cookies also contain flour, sugar, and salt. Most recipes call for shredded coconut for more flavor.
That said, you can leave out the coconut and still get super soft cookies.
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