When we think of Cinco de Mayo desserts, things like sopapillas, flan, churros, and tres leches cake come to mind.
But as this list of Mexican treats will show, there are plenty of other great dessert options for your next Cinco de Mayo celebration, birthday party, or any other occasion where you might want to eat them.
These desserts range from deep-fried and decadent to light, creamy, and fluffy, and they cover every variation in between.
You’ve probably heard of some of them. Maybe you’ve even enjoyed them in the past. Others are a little less common outside of Mexican and Hispanic households.
All of them, though, are absolutely delicious and should be big hits at your next Cinco de Mayo celebration.
I’ve experimented with several recipes for sopapillas over the years, but this one is the only one that resulted in light, puffy, and crispy pillows of yumminess.
Before, my sopapillas always turned out kind of flat. I much prefer them like this.
Once they’re done, I like to add a slice of canned pineapple to the top of each one and drizzle all of them in honey.
I know that’s not traditionally how people serve them, but the tartness of the pineapple is sheer perfection against the honey’s sweetness.
2. Mexican Flan
Flan is one of those polarizing foods that people either love or hate. For most people, I think it’s about its consistency more than its taste.
It’s light and creamy and has a somewhat Jello-meets-cheesecake-like consistency, although flan shouldn’t be as jiggly as Jello.
If you like cream cheese and vanilla and don’t mind the somewhat unique texture, you’ll probably enjoy flan.
Many people who’ve never had churros erroneously assume they’re similar to Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists. That’s not the case at all.
Homemade churros do have the same crispy, cinnamon-sugary outsides as Cinnamon Twists, but their insides are soft and tender.
They’re also surprisingly easy to make, taking no more than 35 minutes to cook about 20 churros.
Serve them with some melted chocolate or caramel sauce for extra yumminess.
These little round balls of buttery, crumbly deliciousness are some of my favorite cookies, and no, I do not wait until someone’s wedding to make them.
You’ll cover each one in powdered sugar, so they’re a bit messy, but they taste so good, no one’s going to mind the mess.
Sometimes I add a little cinnamon into the dough for an extra special treat.
I have friends who add pumpkin pie spice, as well, particularly in the fall.
These vanilla- and chocolate-covered Mexican sweet breads get their name from their distinctive shell-like appearance.
The top of each piece is sliced and spiraled to resemble – you guessed it – a conch shell.
Despite their gorgeous, intricate appearance, though, they aren’t hard to make.
You’ll have to let the dough rise for about 4 hours, but aside from that, they’ll only take about 20 minutes to prepare and 25 to cook.
People often get concerned about the spiral design, assuming they’ll never be able to shape the dough correctly. Really, though, the dough is just a ball.
You won’t cut the spirals into the bread until you add the chocolate or vanilla topping.
Then, you’ll simply make cuts in the toppings themselves. It’s super easy.
If you’ve never had Mexican hot chocolate, you may be wondering, “How’s it different from any other hot chocolate?” Good question.
The difference comes in the delicate balance of chili powder, cinnamon, and chocolate.
Furthermore, the chocolate flavor is deeper and richer than any powdered hot chocolate mix.
Honestly, it’s some of the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted, and if you give it a try, you won’t be sorry you did.
If you can bake cookies in an oven, then you can make these enchanting little sombrero cookies.
Start with the regular sugar cookie as your base, then add a colorful gumdrop in the middle of each cookie, ensuring it stays in place with decorating gel.
After that, add sprinkles and any other cutesy decorations you like. In the end, they actually do look like tiny, brightly colored sombreros.
I don’t care what anyone says. Tres leches cake is one of the softest, fluffiest, moistest, and most delicious cakes in the world.
Made with heavy cream, three types of milk, and traditional cake batter ingredients for the base and heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and fresh strawberries for the topping, the cake is just perfect.
That’s the only word for it.
Mexican chocolate cake is Mexican hot chocolate but in edible cake form.
The two feature similar ingredients, including chili powder, cinnamon, and chocolate, and they taste remarkably similar.
The cake is rich, spicy, and of course, chocolatey, and the thick glaze made from powdered sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, and salt, pushes it over the edge into pure decadence.
Don’t expect to bring any leftovers home if this cake is what you take to your Cinco de Mayo get-together. There won’t be any left.
Yep! There are cookies, too! And yes, they taste just as good as the hot chocolate and the cake.
They’re thick, soft, and chewy and take only 45 minutes to make.
They also have that fantastic kick of heat that makes them pair perfectly with a tall glass of milk.
Mexican Buñuelos are a lot like cinnamon- and sugar-dusted donut holes.
They’re small balls of deep-fried goodness that you can make in 35 minutes.
Serve them with hot chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, or maple syrup for dipping, and get ready to wow the crowd.
12. Piñata Cake
How nice would it be to cut into a soft, moist chocolate cake and have a ton of surprise candies pour out onto your plate in a cascade of sweetness?
That’s precisely what happens when you cut into a piñata cake.
In most ways, it’s just a yellow cake with chocolate icing, but those unexpected inner surprises make it so much more fun and exciting.
Paletas take about 6 hours to freeze completely, so you have to plan ahead when making them.
However, as long as you allow enough time for freezing, you can easily whip these up in 10 minutes.
Simply pick your favorite fruits or berries, blend them with some lime juice, sugar, and water, and pour the mixture and a few pieces of diced fruit into popsicle molds.
Let them freeze for several hours (overnight is best) and then serve them as a cool, refreshing treat on a hot Cinco de Mayo afternoon.
If you’re looking for popsicles that are less fruity and more rich and creamy, make these arroz con leche (rice with milk) pudding pops instead.
They’re almost as easy to make as the paletas, but you’ll have to cook the rice first, which takes a little time.
They’re basically frozen rice pudding treats that are thick, velvety, and delicious.
Despite what some people think, champurrado and Mexican hot chocolate aren’t the same things.
Champurrado is thicker, sweeter, and richer than hot chocolate, and it doesn’t contain chili powder, so there’s no heat or spice.
Even so, they’re both pure chocolatey deliciousness, and either one is sure to make people happy.
16. Fresas con Crema
If you’re looking for something sweet, simple, and pretty to look at, why not make individual servings of fresas con crema (strawberries with cream)?
It takes about 10 minutes to make eight servings.
All you’ll need are strawberries, evaporated milk, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk.
When it comes to food, there are few things better than biting into the perfect pastry crust only to find a delightfully fruity filling.
Pineapple empanadas combine the warm, flaky crusts of empanadas with the sweet tanginess of pineapple preserves.
The extra bit of sugar on the outside of these makes them even better.
18. Sweet Tamales
I didn’t know that sweet tamales were a thing until a couple of years ago when a friend of mine brought me a batch she had made.
I was hooked after the first bite.
The dough is similar to traditional tamale dough, except it also contains sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
The fillings can be anything you like, from strawberry, pineapple, or peach preserves to diced fruit, raisins, nuts, and more.
You’ll also dye the corn husks with food dye to make them more festive.
Unless you’ve had them before, leche quemada, or burnt milk candies, are kind of hard to describe.
They look like fudge, they taste like caramel squares, and they feel like pralines.
They’re similar to so many things but are still so unique.
The only thing I can tell you for sure that they are is incredibly, mouthwateringly good.
They’re hard and crumbly (in a good way) and have a sweet, wonderful caramel flavor.
However, there’s also this slightly burnt taste that makes them so much better than plain caramels.
Just try them. Really, you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll understand what I mean.
20. Arroz Con Leche
We talked about rice pudding pops earlier, but this recipe is for traditional rice pudding (arroz con leche).
It’s thick, warm, sweet, and cinnamon-like, and the raisins add a nice, slightly tangy, but still sweet touch.
This stuff is so good that I sometimes have it for breakfast, too.
You can put a Mexican spin on just about everything, including fruit cups.
Just be sure you pick the correct fruits – mostly tropical fruit (mangoes, pineapples, jicama) with watermelon – and add your seasonings.
The tajin chile-lime seasoning, chamoy sauce, and freshly squeezed lime juice add heat, zest, and just a hint of sourness for a well-rounded, multi-flavor experience.
These fantastic sandwich cookies are like Oreos — or they would be if Oreos were made of shortbread-like cookies, a creamy dulce de leche filling, and coconut.
Okay. So they’re nothing like Oreos. But they are sandwich cookies, and I do love to dip them in milk, so I’m going to stand by what I said.
23. Chocoflan Cake
This multilayer cake starts with a base of rich chocolate, which you’ll then top with a layer of sweet, silky smooth flan.
Then you’ll add a generous helping of caramel sauce on top of those layers.
Each bite you take will have a caramel, cream cheese flan, and chocolate combination that’ll blow your mind and tantalize your tastebuds.
Why choose between sopapillas, cheesecake, and churros when you can have all three?
This one is another multilayer dessert that’s almost too sweet to handle.
Despite all the layers and its incredible taste and appearance, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 30 to cook.
It needs an hour to cool, though, so give yourself at least 2 hours before you plan to serve it. It’s simple, cinnamon-like, and spectacular.
I absolutely love cheesecake taquitos because they’re just so different and unusual.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I can make two dozen of them in just a couple of hours with fewer than ten ingredients and very little fuss.
Each tortilla contains a bold, flavorful mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. The filling takes almost no time to prepare.
Then you’ll simply roll your tortillas and top them with melted butter before coating each one in a marvelous mix of sugar and cinnamon.
Finally, you’ll bake them, and when they’re ready to serve, add your whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
It doesn’t get much simpler or tastier than that.
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