TOP 10 : Most Famous and Delicious Latin American desserts!

Welcome to a sweet trip

I've always jokingly argued that my love of desserts merits a second stomach; wouldn't you agree that it would be ideal?

If you share my passion for desserts, I invite you dear friend to take a tour of Latin America, where we will immerse ourselves in the sweetness and charm of the 10 best desserts of these magical lands!


  1. Dulce de leche|Caramelized Milky| Milk Candy | Milk Jam

  2. Tres Leches | Three Milks (México)

  3. El Quesillo (Venezuela)

  4. Arroz con leche | Rice Pudding (Panamá, Ecuador, Perú)

  5. Brigadeiro (Brazil)

  6. Alfajores (Argentina, Chile y Uruguay)

  7. Suspiro Limeño | Heavenly Sigh (Perú)

  8. Plátanos al horno | Baked Plantain (Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic)

  9. Mousse de Maracuyá | Passionfruit Mousse (Brazil, Paraguay)

  10. Bocadillo de guayaba | Guava Paste (Colombia, Venezuela)

Dulce de Leche |Caramelized Milky| Milk Candy | Milk Jam

For as long as I can remember, dulce de leche has been my culinary obsession. Its irresistible flavor and silky and creamy texture make every bite a true experience for the senses!

Dulce de leche is a source of pride for several Latin American countries. Some countries claim to be the creators of this delicious dessert. This friendly rivalry highlights the deep cultural connection that Dulce de leche has with the culinary identity of each Latin American country.

It is believed that dulce de leche was originally prepared in Indonesia in the 6th century when it was brought to the Philippines. Then, during Spanish rule in the 16th century, it was exported to the Americas, reaching the area of Acapulco, Mexico. From this point, dulce de leche spread throughout the continent.

In Argentina, it is said that the recipe arose accidentally, on June 24, 1829, when the cook of the governor of the province of Buenos Aires left a pot of milk with sugar on the fire for a long time, and upon discovering it, she realized that it had transformed into a delicious, thick caramel-colored cream.

Dulce de leche is known by different names in different Latin American countries. Some of the most common names are:

  • Dulce de Leche: Argentina, Bolivia, Central America, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay

  • Arequipe: Colombia and Venezuela

  • Fanguito: Cuba

  • Cajeta: Mexico

  • Manjar Blanco: Peru, Bolivia, and Chile

The preparation of dulce de leche varies slightly according to the region, but in general, it is made from milk and sugar. The milk is simmered with sugar, and during the cooking process, the mixture thickens and acquires a characteristic caramel color. In some variants, vanilla or baking soda may be added to enhance the flavor.

The key to obtaining a perfect dulce de leche is patience, as it requires slow and steady cooking, stirring to prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. The outcome is a creamy substance with a silky texture and caramelized flavor that can be consumed on its own or in desserts such as alfajores, cuchuflíes, wafers, pancakes, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and pies or cakes.

Dulce de leche is a true delicacy that has conquered the hearts of many dessert lovers around the world, so the next time you try a dulce de leche, savor its history and feel the love and passion that this traditional sweet carries with it!

cuchara con dulce de leche en vaso de vidrio
cuchara con dulce de leche en vaso de vidrio

Tres Leches | Three Milks (México)

Tres Leches is a Mexican dessert that has conquered the hearts of sweet lovers around the world. Its name comes from its most distinctive feature: it is soaked in a mixture of three types of milk, which makes it a moist and fluffy treat like no other.

The base of this dessert is a light, fluffy sponge cake, which acts like a sponge to soak up the mixture of different kinds of milk. Traditionally, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream are used, but some variants also incorporate regular milk or even coconut milk to give it an extra touch of flavor.

The preparation process is a true labor of love. After the cake is baked, it is pierced with small holes to facilitate the absorption of the milk. Then, the milky mixture is poured slowly over the cake, letting each drop soak into the cake. Patience is key, as the cake must sit in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight to reach the perfect texture.

The result is a divinely smooth and creamy dessert, with a sweet and delicate flavor that melts in the mouth.

The decoration can be adapted to every taste and region. It can be decorated with whipped cream, meringue, chocolate or dulce de leche (cajeta/manjar/arequipe). Alcoholic beverages (rum, brandy, aniseed) can also be added to the mixture of the three milks.

Torta de tres leches
Torta de tres leches
Flan de caramelo
Flan de caramelo

El Quesillo (Venezuela)

The Quesillo has conquered palates all over the world thanks to the Venezuelan immigrant community that has brought with it its delicious culinary culture.

It is the Venezuelan dessert par excellence. Why is it so loved? The answer is simple: it is easy to prepare and requires few ingredients (whole eggs, milk, and condensed milk). It is usually served as a dessert or as an accompaniment to the birthday cake.

The word quesillo comes from the small characteristic holes that give it a resemblance to Swiss cheese, hence its name. The Quesillo differs from the traditional flan because whole eggs are used in its preparation rather than egg yolks. The key to getting the small holes is in the duration of the pounding: a slow beating produces them, whereas a longer beating yields a dense and even consistency.

Traditionally, the Quesillo is cooked in the oven, in a bain-marie, for an hour to ensure even cooking. In Venezuelan homes, a traditional mold called quesillera, a small, slightly tall aluminum mold with a lid is used.

The Quesillo leaves room for a lot of creativity. Some people add pumpkin, pineapple, mango, chocolate, arequipe, or coconut. The most popular variant is strawberry quesillo.

vaso con arroz de leche uvas pasas y canela
vaso con arroz de leche uvas pasas y canela

Arroz con Leche | Rice Pudding (Panama, Ecuador, Perou)

Rice pudding is a classic and beloved dessert in Latin American gastronomy. With a rich history dating back to the 15th century, this delicious delicacy has become an integral part of the culinary culture of several countries.

In Panama, for example, rice pudding is traditionally served to celebrate the first teeth of a newborn baby, while in Colombia, Venezuela, and much of the Caribbean it is included in birthday and wedding celebrations. It can also happen in Peru, where it is also accompanied by the traditional purple corn mazamorra.

The basic recipe for rice pudding consists of cooking rice in milk with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. The milk is slowly reduced until the rice is smooth and creamy.

There are many variations of rice pudding, for example, different types of milk can be used, such as almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, and many others. This versatility of the recipe is one of the main reasons why it has become a classic in the cuisine of many cultures.

'The clasic', a Peruvian rice pudding, is a fascinating combination of rice pudding and mazamorra morada (a colorful mixture of blackberries and pineapples, cooked with purple corn flour and seasoned with spices). This combination is known as 'the Clasic', in reference to the popular sports match between the most important Peruvian soccer clubs.

Brigadeiro (Brasil)

Brigadeiro is a true national icon in Brazil and is part of its rich culinary culture. This delicious sweet is loved by people of all ages and social strata; from the youngest at their parties to the most elegant occasions where it is presented in gourmet versions.

The story about the origin of the name is accompanied by some controversies. One version says that the brigadeiro was created in honor of Brigadier Eduardo Gomes during a presidential campaign in Brazil in the 1940s.

These delicious balls of cocoa powder, condensed milk, and butter, can be covered with chocolate beans, nuts, coconut, lemon, or strawberry, the options are endless!

The preparation of the brigadeiro is simple and very fun to make with our little ones. The ingredients are mixed and simmered until it becomes a creamy mass. Then comes the most exciting moment for the children: forming small balls and decorating them with granulated chocolate.

Brigadeiro spheres on a table
Brigadeiro spheres on a table

Alfajores (Argentina, Chile y Uruguay)

Covered in a layer of sweet delicacy, chocolate or icing, these irresistible filled cookies have won hearts around the world. Did you know that alfajores have a fascinating history behind them and that each Latin American country has given them their distinctive touch?

Our first destination takes us to faraway Al-Andalus, where alfajores found their roots in medieval Muslim Spain. The name itself comes from the Arabic "al-hasú", which means "stuffing". Over time, these exquisite morsels traveled to Latin America during the Spanish colonial era and were adapted to local flavors. When it arrives in Argentina, the recipe is completely transformed: dulce de leche did not exist in Spain.

Each country has given alfajores a personalized spin. In Argentina, cornstarch alfajores and famous brands such as Havanna and Balcarce are true gastronomic gems. In Uruguay, we find the Punta Ballena that has a layer of meringue in the middle of two layers of dulce de leche, while in Chile, the alafajor has two thin tops and plenty of dulce de leche. Each country has forged its own identity in alfajores, and the debate for the best is always boiling!

cuatro alfajores en torre y vaso de leche
cuatro alfajores en torre y vaso de leche

Suspiro Limeño | Heavenly Sight (Perú)

The Suspiro Limeño is an emblematic dessert of Peruvian gastronomy, famous for its delicious combination of flavors and textures.

The Suspiro Limeño has its roots in the 19th century, when Amparo Ayarza, wife of the Peruvian poet José Gálvez Barrenechea, created this sweet. It was Gálvez himself who gave it the name "suspiro" when he tasted it and marveled at its softness and sweetness, comparing it to the sigh of a woman.

The base of the suspiro limeño is a creamy mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and egg yolks that give it an extra smooth texture.

On top of this base is a layer of Italian meringue, made with egg whites, port wine, and sugar. This meringue is carefully placed on top of the blancmange, providing a delicate contrast, which perfectly complements the whole. It is usually served in individual glasses, but can also be prepared in a large bowl.

Today, The Suspiro Limeño continues to be an important part of Peru's gastronomic culture and is enjoyed at special celebrations and family reunions.

copa de vidrio postre suspiro de limeña
copa de vidrio postre suspiro de limeña

Plátanos al horno | Baked Plantain (Honduras, Nicaragua, República Dominicana)

Baked sweet plantains are a traditional and popular dessert in Latin America. In some places, they are served as an accompaniment to savory dishes, while in others, they are the main dessert or even a breakfast option.

The process of making baked plantains is as simple as it is satisfying. Well-ripened plantains are cut lengthwise. Then, they are placed on a baking tray or baking dish, and different ingredients are added depending on the region. Let's see some ways of preparation in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia:

Honduras: Ripe Plantains in the Oven.

In Honduras, ripe plantains are drizzled with a little butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon to taste. They are served hot and can be accompanied by cream, ice cream, or a touch of condensed milk.

Nicaragua: Maduros al Horno con Queso (Baked Ripe Plantains with Cheese)

In Nicaragua, baked ripe plantains are served with a salty touch and a burst of flavor thanks to the cheese. Ripe plantains are cut into thick slices and baked until golden brown and caramelized. They are then sprinkled with grated cheese and baked again until the cheese melts. The combination of the sweetness of the plantains with the saltiness of the cheese is irresistible.

Dominican Republic: Baked Plantains with Sugar and Lime

In the Dominican Republic, baked plantains are a very simple but delicious delicacy. Green plantains are taken and cut into thick slices. They are mixed with sugar and lemon juice, which adds a refreshing acid touch. Then, they are baked until they are tender and golden brown. The combination of the sweetness of the sugar with the citrus of the lemon creates a unique flavor experience.

Colombia: Plátanos Horneados con Bocadillo (Baked Plantains with Sandwich)

In Colombia, baked plantains are transformed into an exquisite dessert when combined with bocadillo, a guava candy. Ripe plantains are sliced and a piece of bocadillo is placed on top. Then, they are baked until the sandwich melts and caramelizes. The result is a combination of flavors that mixes the sweetness of the plantain with the intensity of the sandwich.

In addition to their exquisite flavor, baked plantains are a healthier option compared to some more elaborate desserts. Bananas are a source of nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C, and when baked, there is no need to add large amounts of sugar, as their natural sweetness is intensified in the baking process.

platano al horno
platano al horno

Mousse de Maracuyá | Passion fruit Mousse (Brasil, Paraguay)

Passion Fruit Mousse has its roots in Latin America, where the exotic passion fruit originates. This fruit is also known as:

  • Parchita: In Venezuela

  • Parcha: In Puerto Rico

  • Chinola: In Dominican Republic

  • Passion fruit: In general, in several countries, it is known as "passion fruit".

Passion Fruit Mousse fuses the explosion of the color and sweet and sour flavor of this tropical fruit with the delicate French mousse technique, creating a delicious, fluffy, and refreshing dessert.

Its preparation is simple: the passion fruit pulp, sugar, and lemon juice are combined and cooked over low heat. Then add the whipped cream and the whipped egg whites to give it that light and fluffy texture. A touch of lemon or lime zest can be added to further enhance the citrus flavor.

Passion Fruit Mousse is a perfect ally for the summer heat!

moussse de maracuya fruta de la pasion
moussse de maracuya fruta de la pasion

Bocadillo de Guayaba | Guava Paste (Colombia, Venezuela)

The Guava Paste is a delicious and traditional dessert consumed in Colombia and Venezuela. The snack is the result of the combination of ripe guavas and sugar, a simple recipe that has lasted for generations.

For its preparation, ripe guavas are cooked until soft and then processed to obtain a dense and tasty pulp. This pulp is mixed with sugar and simmered until a thick, sticky paste is obtained. The resulting mass is poured into molds to cool and take shape. Once cooled, the snack is cut into blocks or slices, ready to be enjoyed.

In addition to its delicious taste, the guava snack also offers nutritional benefits. Guavas are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, making the snack a sweet and nutritious option.

In Colombia, the guava snack is an integral part of the culinary culture and is commonly accompanied with cheese, creating a real treat for the palate.

pasta de guayaba o bocadillo
pasta de guayaba o bocadillo

In conclusion, the 10 best Latin American desserts presented here are just a sample of the rich and varied culinary offerings that this magical land has to offer.

The incredible diversity of flavors, textures, and aromas is an invitation to immerse ourselves in the culture and traditions of this part of the planet. Each bite is an emotional journey that connects us with our roots and fills us with nostalgia and joy. Latin American desserts are more than just sweets; they are a celebration of the identity and culinary heritage we share as a Latin American family.

So, I encourage you to venture beyond this list, explore new flavors and let yourself be captivated by the magic of Latin American gastronomy!

Bon appétit!

DdL Mom