You may not be as familiar with Guatemalan desserts as you are with the desserts of other countries, such as Mexico, Spain, Greece, or Italy.
That’s probably because, outside of certain areas in the United States, Guatemalan food and restaurants aren’t as popular as restaurants serving other ethnic foods.
Still, there are a few typical Guatemalan desserts that you may recognize, such as tres leches cake and arroz con leche.
Others like torrejas and Magdalena cake will probably be new to you.
Either way – familiar or unfamiliar – they are all delicious. Don’t take my word for it, though.
Go through this list, try a few (or all) of them for yourself, and find some new favorite desserts!
These thin, crispy cookies have a delightful, buttery flavor that’ll remind you of homemade shortbread cookies.
The sesame seed topping adds only a little flavor but plenty of crunch.
The cookies aren’t overly sweet, but they’re a delicious accompaniment to a hot mug of coffee or cup of tea. Best of all, they’re relatively simple to make.
They take a little bit of time, but they use reasonably simple ingredients, and the process isn’t complicated at all.
2. Guatemalan Bananas With Sweet Cream
All you’ll need to make this incredible seven-ingredient, 15-minute dessert is butter, bananas, whole milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Bananas make a wonderfully sweet treat as they are.
However, when you top them in a glaze made from brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, they’ll become even more spectacular.
Serve them by themselves, on top of pancakes or waffles, or covered in creamy vanilla ice cream. Either way, they won’t disappoint.
3. Borracho Cake
Also known as the drunk cake, borracho cake is a sweet, textured dessert covered in an alcohol-based simple syrup.
It’s a light cake made from dark rum, pitted prunes, whipping cream, sugar, and other tasty ingredients that’ll have you licking the plate clean to get every last crumb.
It’s hard to decide what you’ll like best – the rich, sweet flavor or the spongy, fluffy texture. Both are equally enjoyable.
And no, it won’t actually make you drunk. (Sorry for any disappointment that may cause!)
4. Arroz con Leche
Arroz con leche, literally “rice with milk” or rice pudding, is a popular dessert in many Hispanic and Latin countries. It tastes great and is very filling.
However, one of the reasons people love it so much is that it’s so simple to make. All you’ll need is water, white rice, milk, sugar, salt, and a cinnamon stick.
The preparation time is a mere 5 minutes, though it takes another 30 minutes to soak the rice and about 45 to cook and finish the pudding.
These Guatemalan sweet breads are a snap to make. All you’ll need are eggs, flour, brioche bread (or panes dulces), and vegetable oil.
However, the syrup is what gives it all its delicious taste. It’s full of allspice, orange, cinnamon, and clove flavors.
There are some raisins, sugar, and prunes in there, as well.
Once you get ready to serve them, add some extra sugar (colored sugar makes them prettier) and a prune for presentation and flavor.
It tastes great, and it has a fantastic fall scent that’ll make your house smell amazing.
Buñuelos are a lot like sopapillas, so much so that people often confuse the two. They’re both crispy tortillas covered in cinnamon and sugar.
The difference is that buñuelos are thinner and crispier, while sopapillas have open, airy centers. These are like sweet fritters with a satisfying crunch.
7. Tres Leches Cake
You’ll make tres leches, or three milk, cake with milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk for a fantastically moist, fluffy, and totally addictive dessert.
And that’s before you add the incredible topping made from sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla extract.
Top the whole thing with sliced strawberries for a bit of color and tartness to offset the sweetness.
8. Guatemalan Pineapple Empanadas
It doesn’t matter if you’re from Mexico, Guatemala, Portugal, or the United States; everyone can appreciate a good empanada.
The warm, flaky crust, powdered sugar topping, and fabulous fruit filling make them a hot, sweet treat that never gets old.
These are especially delicious because of their sweet and tangy tropical pineapple filling.
9. Rellenitos de Plátano
Plantains are always a yummy treat, but these are a little different from the ones you’re probably used to eating.
For one thing, you’ll make them with black refried beans!
Each sweet, cinnamony plantain features a rich filling of black refried beans, water, cocoa powder, and sugar.
You can serve them with extra bean chocolate sauce for added decadence.
Chancletas look like nothing so much as stuffed peppers.
Instead, they’re chayote squash stuffed with lots of sweet things like raisins, almonds, cinnamon, sugar, coconut, and more.
They’re easy to make, smell incredible, and taste even better.
The recipe says you can use breadcrumbs from sweet buns, but if you’re a coconut fan, I suggest using it instead.
The flavor is more robust if you do.
These messy confections will have you wiping powdered sugar on everything, but they’re so tasty that you won’t care.
You only need five simple ingredients to make them: flour, cornstarch, sugar, butter, and shortening.
Despite their simplicity, though, they’re intensely rich and decadent.
They’re warm shortbread squares covered in powdered sugar, and every bite is like a little taste of heaven.
12. Quesadilla De Arroz
You might see the word “quesadilla” and think you know exactly what to expect from these Guatemalan sweet treats, but you’d most likely be wrong.
This quesadilla isn’t a flat tortilla stuffed with cheese, meat, and veggies.
Instead, it’s a thick, fluffy cake full of whole milk, heavy cream, and a scrumptious Latin cheese.
It looks a bit like cornbread but is lighter and softer, and it has a crunchy sesame seed topping that makes it even better.
13. Pan de Banano
Guatemalan banana bread is remarkably similar to traditional banana bread, but it’s moister and has a crispier exterior.
The ingredients are pretty similar in both, though.
All you’ll need to make it is butter, sugar, banana, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice, eggs, flour, and baking powder.
It’s lightly sweet, full of banana goodness, and tastes absolutely phenomenal with a bit of honey drizzled over the top of it.
14. Magdalena Cake
The Magdalena cake is an interesting cake that’s somewhere between a pound cake, an orange roll, and a coffee cake.
It has a sweet orange and vanilla flavor, a buttery, fluffy texture, and pairs well with a bold cup of coffee or hot tea.
You can top it with powdered sugar, a sweet and sticky glaze, or be even more self-indulgent and use ice cream or even maple syrup.
Either way, it’s sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.
15. Guatemalan Squash Cake
This dense, orange-colored cake tastes similar to sweet potato or pumpkin pie. It has cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and more.
It has crisp edges, a beautiful brown crust, and a soft but filling center. The glaze adds even more sticky-sweet flavor.
You’ll make it with powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, almond milk, and warm, flavorful dark rum.
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