Home Desserts 20 Top Dominican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

20 Top Dominican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

by insanelygood

If you’ve ever tried Dominican desserts, then you’ll know they can be fresh, fruity, creamy, and impossible to resist. 

The Dominican people like to use fresh fruits and coconut milk and can even make a simple butter cake to die for with the right pineapple filling. 

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Dominican Three Milks Cake

From ultra-moist tres leches cake and the ever-popular caramel flan to a unique corn pudding and a spiced oatmeal drink, I’m positive there’s something for everyone here. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake)

This recipe is very similar to a traditional Victoria sponge. My nana used to make it with half a pound of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. It’s nice and easy.

To get that super light, airy texture, be sure to beat your butter and sugar until it’s very pale and fluffy.

This can only really be done in a mixer, so give those biceps a rest!

Fill this with whatever you like, from ganache to a simple frosting. But if you want it authentic, try this tart pineapple filling.

2. Torta De Tres Leches (3 Milks Cake)

Is it possible that you’ve never tried tres leches cake? Really?

This cake is creamy simplicity at its best. No fancy flavorings or crazy ingredients, just a delicious milky cake with a light whipped cream frosting.

As you can guess, this cake uses three different kinds of milk: whole milk evaporated and condensed. Each plays a key role, so don’t try to substitute anything!

3. Majarete Dominicano (Dominican Corn Pudding)

I think I’ve mentioned my love for corn in the past, but it bears repeating.

Corn is such a versatile vegetable that works amazingly in tacos, salsa, bread, and even cake. 

You’ll start by making a corn smoothie using whole kernels, coconut, and evaporated milk.

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Once it’s nice and smooth, strain away anything that isn’t pure flavor and start cooking. 

Like most puddings, this is thickened with cornstarch and sweetened with added condensed milk.

Keep it moving to prevent anything from burning, and top with cinnamon for a touch of warmth.

4. Dominican Arepa Dulce De Maiz (Cornmeal Coconut Cake with Pumpkin)

If you’re a fan of tres leches cake and you have a love for all things pumpkin spice, this might just be the perfect recipe for you!

This cake is dense, creamy, rich, and spiced to perfection with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Oh, did I mention the brown butter? Talk about indulgence!

5. Pudín de Pan (Spiced Bread Pudding)

Bread pudding is such a joy to make and always a pleasure to eat.

It can be sweet, savory, spiced, full of chocolate, or loaded with fruits. No matter what, I’ll never turn down a bowl. 

This recipe is fantastic. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, it really packs a punch. But you might not be as familiar with the method. 

In this dish, you’ll need to cook the bread with the spices and milk until it’s absorbed.

You then add the egg and bake until firm. Doing it this way breaks down the bread, making it much more like a cake. 

6. Paletas de Coco (Coconut Popsicles)

Five ingredients, no artificial anything, and just 5 minutes is all you’ll need to make a batch of these sensational coconut popsicles. 

It’s as easy as blending some coconut milk, coconut flakes, condensed milk, and heavy cream.

If you want to remove any residual pulp, strain through a fine-mesh strainer before pouring into the molds. 

I love the pure white of these, and the coconut can really shine when it’s on its own.

But I also think they would look stunning with some pops of color. Mango, maybe?

7. Morir Soñando (Orange and Milk Cocktail)

I know that you don’t typically combine orange juice and milk. If you have in the past, no doubt you regretted it immediately. 

But in this drink, it just works. To prevent anything from turning lumpy, always start with orange juice, sugar, and ice.

Once this is blended, add in the milk little by little. 

8. Classic Caramel Flan

Being a cheesecake lover, it’s not too much of a jump for me to be a little obsessed with flan too. Creamy, dreamy, and so sweet, it’s simple and satisfying. 

I love the trick to making the caramel here. I’ve been burned too many times (literally!) and using a blender is really the only way to get your flan flawless.

Knowing when to turn your flan out can take some practice.

You won’t want to do it right away, as the flan won’t be quite set. But if you leave it too long, the caramel will stick. 

I recommend making it in ramekins and making extra if it’s your first time. They’re just too irresistible!

9. Jalea de Batata Dulce (White Sweet Potato Pudding)

I had honestly never heard of white sweet potatoes and had to Google them right away.

They’re a cross between regular orange sweet potatoes and a russet potato.

The flavor is not as sweet as a regular sweet potato, and it is a little bit dryer when cooked. 

For this recipe, since it’s full of warm spices, you could easily use normal sweet potatoes instead.

But you might need to cut back on the coconut milk just slightly to account for their higher moisture content. 

10. Butter Cookies (Mantecaditos)

If you’re looking for a simple, buttery, delicate little cookie to serve with a pot of coffee at the next book club, you should give this recipe a try!

It comes together much like shortbread, meaning it needs to be turned out before it’s fully formed.

The shaggy dough will come together on the counter and keep the cookies nice and short. 

11. Maiz Caquiao or Chacá (Cracked Corn Pudding)

Since cracked corn isn’t as readily available in many supermarkets, you can make a fantastic version of this using hominy. 

I much prefer this with the rice added, so you’ll get a thicker finish.

Raisins are also a must for me, though I usually soak them in some rum before I add them in.

12. Avena Caliente (Spiced Hot Oatmeal Drink)

When it’s cold and grey outside, I find myself making warm drinks all day. I start out with coffee and move on to tea.

Then the evening rolls around, and all I want is something warm to bring to bed with my book. 

One sip of this spiced oatmeal drink will have you throwing out those packs of hot cocoa. It’s rich, creamy, warm, and super thick.

If you’re like me, you’ll probably end up reaching for something sweet to snack on before bed.

But with this drink, you won’t need anything else. It’s so filling!

13. Batida de Lechosa (Papaya Shake)

Papaya is healthy, sweet, pretty, and bursting with flavor. So, why don’t we use it more? Let’s change that!

Did I mention this smoothie has rum inside? 

This smoothie is such a simple way to use papaya, and you’ll only be sorry you didn’t buy more. It’s also easy to make vegan with the milk of your choice. 

14. Habichuelas con Dulce (Dominican Sweet Beans)

You might not think that pinto beans would make the tastiest of desserts, but here we are.

Pinto beans, coconut milk, and a handful of other ingredients come together to make this sweet little pudding.

If you don’t want to use dry beans (they’re cheaper, remember), you can use canned.

Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly, as they tend to have a saltiness that won’t work for this recipe.

15. Dominican Buñuelos (Fried Dough Balls)

These might seem simple: fried dough balls soaked in vanilla and cinnamon syrup – but they are truly a one-of-a-kind dessert. 

When cooking the yucca, make sure they are nice and soft before pulling them from the heat.

A nice alternative would be to use sweet potatoes if you can’t find yucca. 

16. Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)

I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over, and one thing I’ve learned is that rice pudding is popular pretty much everywhere. 

Latin America especially has a deep love for this creamy dessert, and they tend to cook it in coconut milk and add some warm spices. 

The difference with this recipe is that you’ll cook the rice in water first and then add the milk. This guarantees a creamy finish. 

17. Dulce de Leche en Tabla (Milk Fudge Squares)

I’m not exaggerating when I say I ran straight to the kitchen to make this. I love fudge, and I love caramel. How could I not?

I forgot how delicious a simple fudge could be, and this is super simple—just condensed milk and sugar.

Cook it until it looks like peanut butter, and then leave it to cool. 

18. Dulce de Leche Cortada (Curdled Milk Dessert)

Once you get past the word ‘curdled,’ this recipe is actually something pretty special. It’s like a dulce de leche textured pudding with lime. Still with me?

You will literally curdle your condensed milk for this. If you’re unsure, just cook it until you see the milk solids separating and floating on top. 

The lime juice helps this along, and then you’ll need to let it reduce so you have a thicker final result. 

19. Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)

If you’re looking for something a little different to add to your cookie/candy boxes, this one is for you.

And yes, this is essentially coconut and honey. It’s natural and sweet with fantastic texture. 

As you cook this, the honey will turn darker and become thicker, making the candy much easier to handle.

It will also set easier, though it will still be sticky, so I recommend using mini-paper cupcake liners to serve. 

20. Guava Empanadas

Guava has such a unique and fantastic flavor. It’s sweet and juicy with hints of strawberry and pear.

It can even give you notes of mango when you pick it just right. 

These little hand pies are too good to resist. The cream cheese cuts through the concentrated paste just right, and you’ll definitely go back for seconds.

20 Top Dominican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

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