Got a sweet tooth? Then why not learn how to make Mexican desserts? Mexican cuisine offers an array of crispy, crunchy, smooth, soft, surprising, and sweet desserts and snacks.
But what are some Mexican desserts, and how do you make them? Here are 17 of the best traditional Mexican desserts, plus recipes that you can whip up yourself.
17 Mexican Desserts to Make
1. Tres Leches Cake
Pastel de Tres Leches, or Tres Leches cake, is a simple sponge cake soaked with three different types of milk: condensed, regular, and evaporated milk. Vegan versions of the Mexican cake can be made by switching out the types of milk used.
2. Pineapple Empanadas
Mexican pastries are a whole sub-genre of Mexican food! An empanada is a pastry turnover filled with all kinds of fillings, both savory and sweet. Pineapple-filled empanadas are a fun, sweet take on the classic Mexican dish.
3. Pan de Muerto
A great time to try traditional Mexican desserts is on a traditional Mexican holiday. Pan de muerto is a sweet brioche-type bread that’s traditionally eaten on Dia de Muertos in early November.
4. Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican hot chocolate is typically made with chocolate made from cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon. It makes a perfect accompaniment to a sweet bread like pan de muerto.
Originating in Spain and Portugal, churros are a popular sweet in Mexico and other Latin American countries. They’re fried sticks of dough, somewhat like a donut but not circular. Churros are often served with hot chocolate or chocolate dipping sauce.
6. Dulce de Leche
Dulce de leche means sweet milk, and it’s the result of reducing and caramelizing sugar and milk or condensed milk. It’s incredibly sweet and rich and can either be enjoyed alone or as a topping or filling for other desserts, like cookies, cakes, or pastries.
7. Caramel Flan
Caramel flan is a baked custard dessert made with eggs, vanilla extract, and condensed milk. Caramel sauce forms at the bottom of the dish and becomes the topping when the flan is cooked and flipped over.
While you might be used to seeing gingerbread people in bakeries, in Mexico marranitos, or gingerbread pigs, are common. They’re flavored with molasses.
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9. Arroz con Leche
Arroz con leche is Mexican-style rice pudding that’s flavored with cinnamon. It’s easy to make and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
10. Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Creamy avocado chocolate pudding is a vegan-friendly Mexican dessert that’s incredibly simple to make. The key ingredients are avocado (of course), cocoa powder, and coconut milk.
Sopapillas are deep-fried pastries that puff up into little pillows. They’re often served with a drizzle of honey and a dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
12. Mexican Bread Pudding
Called Budín de Pan in Mexico, Mexican bread pudding is a great way to use up leftover bread. Common ingredients are raisins, shredded coconut, candied figs, and chopped pecans.
13. Sweetcorn Cake
Another dessert made with an ingredient that you might associate more with savory dishes, Pan de Elote is Mexican sweetcorn cake. It’s made with fresh rather than canned corn, and it’s best if the corn has dried out a bit first.
14. Sweet Tamales
Common throughout Latin America, tamales are a dough-based dish wrapped and steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Tamales can be made sweet by adding raisins, cinnamon, and sugar.
Polvorones are Spanish-style shortbread cookies that are eaten throughout Spain, Mexico, and Latin America. In Mexico, they’re often made with brightly hued food coloring.
When it comes to Mexican Christmas desserts, buñuelos are among the most popular. They’re deep-fried fritters or balls of dough that are sprinkled with granulated sugar or drizzled with sugar syrup.
17. Candied Sweet Potatoes
Mexican candied sweet potatoes, or Camotes Enmielados, are a cold-weather comfort food. They’re made by simmering the sweet potato in a syrup made from cane sugar and spices such as cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
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