Flan, tres leches, churros, and Dominican cake (when the occasion calls for it) are Latino dessert staples. While delicious, there’s a whole world of desserts that often get overlooked by these bigger names.
Because the weekend is coming up and it’s time to treat yo self, we’re looking at eight desserts that locals may love, but the whole world needs to get acquainted with.
Brigadeiro is a bite-size Brazilian dessert. The round chocolate treats are filled with caramel and made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate sprinkles.
In El Salvador, quesadilla refers to a poundcake-like dessert, but it often gets its thunder stolen by its Mexican tocayo. Unexpectedly, the cake’s recipe calls for either parmesan or cotija cheese, and there are sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Some versions include sour cream instead of milk. The end result is fluffy, moist, and sweet, with an additional richness from the cheese.
Picarones, a Chilean and Peruvian dessert, are like donuts crossed with beignets. They have the traditional donut shape, but they are made of sweet potatoes and macre. Crispy on the outside with a pillowy, doughy inside, the rings are drenched in a syrupy, sugary chancaca sauce flavored with anise.
Like picarones, buñuelos are often compared to donuts. This dessert is made out of different ingredients depending on the Latin American country. In the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, buñuelos are made of yuca. In Colombia, they are made of different kinds of cheeses. Mexico’s version is one of the most recognizable in the United States.
Chicharrón de leche
Chicharrón de leche both sounds and looks a little scary at first – you may hear it and think: chunks of fried pork in milk? But the dessert, which comes from Higüey, Dominican Republic, is actually made of cheese curds in a light syrup. The dessert comes jarred and is delicious – sadly it’s hard to find good pictures of it, so don’t be put off by the creepy-looking jar above.
Mote con Huesillo
This popular Chilean non-alcoholic drink is made of peaches and wheat. Peaches are cooked in sugar, water, and cinnamon.
Yuca cake is a Garifuna, pudding-like dessert. The dense cake includes cane sugar, cinnamon, and coconut cream.
This Nicaraguan dessert goes by the same Spanish word as ricotta. The Nicaraguan version is made from curds, and is like a chunky dulce de leche.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Leave ’em in the comments.