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15 Popular Brazilian Desserts You Must Try

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love these traditional Brazilian dessert items.

Brazil seems to have everything: the largest rainforest worldwide, the most impressive waterfalls, the most iconic carnivals, soccer, samba, and capoeira. But what about Brazilian dessert?

Rabanadas Brazilian dessert

This country is steeped in history and blessed in diversity with various cuisines influenced by Portugal, Italy, Argentina, India, and even faraway West Africa.

It surprises many food enthusiasts who fly to Brazil and are overwhelmed by the hundreds of delicious foods, drinks, and snacks that titillate the senses and soothe the soul.

Brazilian cuisine is full of fun, flair, and flavor – none more so than the dessert of this great South American giant.

Brazilians are known for their remarkable sweet tooth and love to eat something sweet with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The country is surrounded by nature’s bounties, with papaya, acai, and guava on full display with every meal.

Brazilian Desserts

Let’s look at the 15 best Brazilian desserts that are famous nationwide and beloved by all and sundry.


Brigadeiro

The brigadeiro is an iconic Brazilian dessert with a unique history. In 1946, a young and dashing Brigadier, Eduardo Gomes, was running for the top job in Brazil.

To support his ambition, Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira crafted a sweet to sell at his rallies, and the Brigadeiro was born.

Brigadeiros were first made with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder for that rich flavor burst.

However, I prefer it better with chopped pistachios or shredded coconut. These bite-sized chocolatey sweets are a favorite at parties and birthdays.

Ingredients

  • Condensed milk (sweetened)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • Chocolate sprinkles

Açai

I love acai bowls because it’s a combination of healthy goodness. This dessert from Brazil consists of acai berries with slices of banana, guarana syrup, and peanut shavings.

The amazon basin is filled with acai palm trees with berries that have an earthy flavor. The dessert is an all-time Brazilian favorite.

 I only need to walk a short distance to find a juice bar or kiosk selling this delicious, refreshing bowl of goodness.

Legendary martial artist Carlos Gracie popularized this dessert outside of Brazil, which is currently enjoyed in Hawaii and California.

Ingredients

  • Acai berries/Acai pulp (frozen)
  • Banana
  • Guarana syrup
  • Granola sprinkles
  • Sliced fruit

Quindim

Quidim is a flan-like Brazilian treat I like because of the rich eggy flavor on the custard top and a coconut crunch at the bottom.

It’s a Brazilian-styled custard that’s aesthetically pleasing thanks to its bright yellow color.

The crust is reminiscent of a macaroon, and using light brown sugar will give it a pale gold tint.

The term “quindim” originates in the Bantu language and follows the Brazilian tradition of using eggs in most desserts.

Quindim is one of my favorite desserts because it requires few ingredients and is easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • White sugar
  • Shredded coconut
  • Egg yolk
  • Coconut flakes
  • Coconut milk
  • Flavoring

Beijinho

I grew up eating Beijinho de Coco, and the cute snowball treats are some of my best memories of childhood.

Beijinho, or “the Brazilian kiss,” is a delicious variation of the brigadeiro. That’s why it’s difficult to see one without the other in most events.

Beijinho consists of condensed milk, coconut, and butter. Just like the brigadeiro, it’s rolled into miniature balls and coated with an extra layer of coconut topped with a clove.

Beijinho is often used to fill dried plums. This Brazilian dessert is known as Olho-de-Sogra or “Mother-in-law’s eyes”!

It takes nothing to make a beijinho, and you can buy one in the little doceiras littered about the city.

Ingredients

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Shredded coconut
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cloves (decorative option)
  • Heavy cream

Canjica

Canjica de milho is a creamy white coconut and corn porridge that’s great to eat during rainy weather.

It’s similar to rice pudding but replaces rice with corn as the main ingredient.

This traditional Brazilian dessert is delicious during winter. It’s a versatile dish I like to eat for breakfast, dessert, or snack!

The rich, warm flavors of coconut milk and subtle notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves make this dessert one to remember.

There’s a raging debate that Canjica traces its roots in West Africa. Still, there’s no question how much this snack is enjoyed during Festas Junina.

Ingredients

  • Hominy corn
  • Water
  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Cloves
  • Coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon powder

Bolo de Rolo

Bolo de Rolo is an authentic Brazilian snack with a mild guava taste and a soft, buttery texture.

It originates from Pernambuco but is enjoyed the entire length and breadth of South America.

It looks like a Swiss roll – and that is where the similarities end. Bolo de Rolo can be a challenge to prepare. It often has up to ten layers of sponge, giving it a unique decorative spiral shape.

I prefer to make this dessert at home, even though it’s usually found in supermarkets and pastry cafes around Brazil.

However, it can be too sweet, and the best way to cut some of this sweetness is by serving the dessert with unsweetened cream.

Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Sifted flour
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Guava paste

Cocada

Cocada is a famous street dessert in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Angola. Interestingly, cocada traced its roots to the Yorubas of Nigeria.

It was a ritual dish to Orisa – a deity popular in traditional Yoruba culture and the Candomble religion of the Bahia people of Brazil.

Coconut is always present in this dish, no matter the variation, and it takes less than ten minutes with five ingredients to whip up this snack.

Cocada is similar to fudge and comes in various colors, including white, black, and brown.

Cocadas come in different types; it’s a challenge to find a true Brasileiro who doesn’t crave some once in a while!

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Coconut flakes
  • Coconut milk
  • Heavy cream

Mousse de Maracuja

Brazilian passion fruit takes center stage in this creamy, dreamy delight. Mousse de Maracuja is a popular South American dessert I love to eat with friends.

Condensed milk is the simplest way to make this treat which may look complicated at first glance.

A simple version of this dessert doesn’t include gelatin or egg whites, but you must serve this variation in a glass.

Mousse de Maracuja has a light, fluffy texture that melts in the mouth. While some people prefer their mousse without gelatin, others like the delicacy without the ingredient.

Still, it’s almost impossible to fault the rich flavors oozing from this tasty treat!

Ingredients

  • Passion fruit
  • Water
  • Lime juice
  • Egg whites
  • Tartar cream
  • Sugar
  • Gelatin (optional)

Pudim de Leite

Pudim de Leite, or Brazilian Flan, is popular in Brazil and Portugal because both countries share a rich cultural heritage.

Pudim looks like flan but with a taste described as a foodgasm. More importantly, it needs only four ingredients!

Like many other Brazilian desserts, you can find various twists. For instance, Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico follow the same recipe but top the Pudim with jam.

However, Chileans prefer theirs with quince paste. No matter the style, one thing you and I can agree on is that this dessert is heavenly!

Ingredients

  • Sweet condensed milk
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk

Curau de Milho

I find it interesting how many Brazilian desserts need a few ingredients, and Curau de Milho is no different.

Curau de Milho is often confused for Canjica, but the texture of this dessert is smoother.

Interestingly, Curau de Milho is insanely popular in West Africa and is called Ogi or Akamu by the Yoruba and Igbos of Nigeria. The flavor and white or yellow color are derived from the corn.

Ingredients

  • Fresh corn starch
  • Whole milk
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Goiabada

Goiabada is a famous dessert in Portuguese-speaking nations of this world, including Angola and Brazil.

It has a controversial history because of its connection with slave labor in Brazil’s colonial days.

Still, I find it hard to fault this delightful delicacy made from red guavas and sugar put on a slow boil under a wood fire.

This dessert has a moist texture; I like to use it as a spread similar to jelly or marmalade.

Ingredients

  • Guava
  • Sugar
  • Water

Maria Mole

Children’s parties in Brazil often serve many Maria Mole for a good reason – it disappears instantly!

This dessert looks like marshmallows but not entirely because it may or may not contain egg whites. It’s more decadent than Turkish delight, bouncier, without being sticky or chewy.

The feeling of biting into the center of this treat is like eating a coconut cloud. I prefer to pair Maria Mole with coffee on Sunday after lunch.

Ingredients

  • Gelatine powder
  • Water
  • Coconut milk
  • Caster sugar
  • Coconut flakes

Pave

If you like tiramisu, you’ll adore Pave. The best thing about Pave is that it doesn’t require baking.

It’s like the Leaning Tower of Pisa – only with cookies, fruits, biscuits, and chocolates!

The difference between Pave and Tiramisu is that the former doesn’t often have coffee as an ingredient like the latter. This dessert has many twists, including Paves with subtle liquor notes.

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Condensed milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Small-sized cookies
  • Shredded coconut

Rabanada

The taste of Christmas! Rabanada is a fantastic Brazilian dessert eaten during the Yuletide season.

It looks like French toast but came to Brazil through Portugal and Spanish influences.

Rabanadas are quite the treat in Brazil. It isn’t uncommon to find shops selling pan de rabanada – a special bread for making this delicious toast.

Unlike the French toast you eat for breakfast, Rabanada is eaten as a treat at all times of the day. The hints of cinnamon, crispy exterior, and soft custard-like middle are a match made in heaven!

Ingredients

  • Bread (stale)
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil

Tapioca Pancakes

Tapioca Pancakes are an addictive street food that’s easy to make.

The tapioca starch is made from fermented cassava that is left to soak for days to break down the sugars. It’s a long process to turn the manioc or cassava root into starch.

Still, the result is a fine white powder I like to use for tapioca pancakes. These crepes are a fantastic treat because of the simplicity of the ingredients – salt, fresh coconut, and tapioca flour.

Manioc is naturally bland, and you can freestyle the flavors of the pancakes by adding cheese, shredded beef, banana, or condensed milk.

Ingredients

  • Coconut
  • Salt
  • Tapioca flour

Brazilian Desserts

  1. Brigadeiro
  2. Açai
  3. Quindim
  4. Beijinho
  5. Canjica
  6. Bolo de Rolo
  7. Cocada
  8. Mousse de Maracuja
  9. Pudim de Leite
  10. Curau de Milho
  11. Goiabada
  12. Maria Mole
  13. Pave
  14. Rabanada
  15. Tapioca Pancakes

Final Thoughts

Few countries worldwide offer the depth of culinary experience as Brazil. The nation is unmatched in natural wonders, vibrant biodiversity, and a kaleidoscope of culture and color.

I like to visit this giant of the Amazon because it’s like riding on a rollercoaster and hanging on for dear life! The Rio Carnival, wild nightlife, and an array of exotic cuisine excite the senses and captivates the soul.

Brazilians are masters of enjoying the good life, and the country’s range of culinary delights is on par with any you can find around the globe.

Along with other scintillating dishes, Brazilian desserts will take you on a decadent journey, immersing you in a world of flavors you can’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about food on our blog, like the best Mexican desserts to try!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.