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

tres leches
Tres Leches is a Mexican cake served with fresh fruit and cream.

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

Pineapple empanadas served with fresh pineapple.

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

dia de muertos bread
Pan de muerto is served on Dia de Muertos.

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
Mexican hot chocolate with sweet bread: among the most authentic Mexican desserts.

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.

5. Churros

Source: Pexels
Authentic Mexican desserts like churros are best served hot with a sprinkle of sugar.

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

chocolate cookie
Source: Unsplash
Among easy Mexican desserts, dulce de leche takes a long time but isn’t difficult to make.

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

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Caramel flan is rich and smooth.

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.

8. Marranitos

gingerbread pig cookies
Source: Instagram
Marranitos are gingerbread pig cookies.

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 conn leche
Source: Instagram
As far as easy Mexican desserts go, arroz con leche is up there.

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

Source: Instagram
The creamy consistency of avocado pairs well with chocolate.

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. 

11. Sopapillas

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Sopapillas are one of the most popular Mexican pastries.

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

bread pudding
Source: Instagram
Bread pudding is a rustic comfort dessert.

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

sweetcorn cake
Source: Instagram
Sweetcorn cake is called Pan de Elote in Spanish.

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

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Tamales are steamed or a corn husk or banana leaf.

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.

15. Polvorones

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Polvorones are popular in Spain, Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking countries.

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.

16. Buñuelos

Source: Pixabay
Bunuelos are one of the popular Mexican Christmas desserts.

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

sweet potatoes
Source: Instagram
Sweet potatoes are mixed with spices for a sweet treat.

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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Written by:

Elen Turner