Few countries in the world offer a smorgasbord of experiences like Brazil, with its abundant natural wonders, unmatched biodiversity and vibrant colonial towns with their unique cultural landscape. Visiting the country is like riding a rollercoaster with dizzying adventures and travel experiences at every turn. On the one hand there are pristine white sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, the Amazonian rainforest and breathtaking red-rock canyons, while on the other there’s the fascinating Rio Carnaval, scintillating nightlife and exotic cuisine to overwhelm your senses. Brazilians have mastered the art of living the good life, and the country’s range of gastronomic delights goes to prove that their food is just as exciting. Along with other delectable dishes, Brazilian desserts immerse you into a world of sweet delights and flavours like no other.
10 Top Brazilian Desserts
Brazilians love all things sweet and eat a candy or two with every meal. Most Brazilian sweets make innovative use of nuts, condensed milk and local fruits (acai, papaya, passion fruit and guava) to bring you a melange of flavours. So when in Brazil, it’s time to give in to your sweet tooth and dig into these delicious Brazilian desserts with gusto.
Undeniably the most popular amongst traditional Brazilian desserts, Brigadeiro lives up to its name of being the national truffle of the country. You can’t miss out sampling this gooey chocolate delight on your next trip to Brazil, since this savoury dessert is present at all important celebrations and feasts. This scrumptious Brazilian sweet has been a huge hit since 1940, when it was first made and has been rolled into many modern day variants like the one with a fresh strawberry inside. The standard recipe includes condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter simmered over a low flame and rolled into balls. Generous amount of chocolate sprinkles as the outer layer turn this into the creamy, decadent and irresistible chocolate truffle which melts in your mouth and leaves you asking for more!
It is one of those Brazilian desserts which look so attractive that you can’t resist trying them out the moment you set your eyes on them. Essentially bright yellow custard made from egg yolk, sugar and ground coconut, Quindim has its origins in Portugal. Usually presented as an upturned half sphere with a glossy surface, this extremely popular dish is intensely sweet, dense-textured and very addictive. The mould is lined with glucose syrup or melted butter for extra smoothness and rich taste, making it a household favourite in Brazil. It is sometimes presented in a large donut mould called ‘quindao’ and served as slices.
3. Bolo de Rolo
Simply put, this is a Brazilian roll cake painstakingly prepared with numerous fine layers of cake alternated with delicious fruit filling. This exquisite sweet delicacy from the north-eastern coast of Pernambuco in Brazil is traditionally prepared with rich guava paste between the thin sheets of cake. Counted amongst the most delightful Brazilian desserts, making this one needs a lot of skill and patience to ensure the layers are thin and clearly distinguishable. Alternatively, layers of marmalade or dulche de leche are also used instead of the guava paste. Bolo de Rolo is readily available and makes for a great choice to take back home for friends and family.
We must give it to the Brazilians for their innovative ways to turn local fruits and cereals into interesting and exotic sweet dishes with a few simple ingredients. Counted amongst the best Brazilian desserts, this delicious porridge is made with whole maize kernels (canjica) cooked with milk, sugar and cinnamon. Other ingredients like peanuts and sweetened condensed milk are sometimes added to enhance the flavour. Also called mugunza in northern Brazil, this yummy concoction is closely associated with winter festivals like Festa Junina. Canjica is a must-try for its unique flavour and consistency.
Made with eggs and shredded coconut, Cocada is a hugely popular street food sold all over Brazil. Though this favoured confectionery is amongst those Brazilian desserts which have many variants, the traditional ones are oven baked golden brown goodies with a chewy and soft texture. Other variants include the cocada cremosa with a pudding-like creamy texture as well as cocada de corte that uses condensed milk instead of water. Other fruits or colours are added to lend variety and colour to this delectable coconut dessert. Whole or chopped almonds are often used for garnishing.
6. Tapioca Pancakes
With their high health quotient and gluten-free status, this crispy Brazilian tapioca dessert has gained a lot of popularity both in and outside the country in recent years. Prepared from tapioca flour extracted from cassava root, the light crepe-like pancakes are part of standard street food scene in many coastal Brazilian cities. The pancakes trace their origin to the north-eastern coast of the country and are available in both sweet and savoury versions at most places. You can choose from an interesting range of fillings like chocolate, condensed milk, guava and strawberries as per your preference and taste.
7. Beijinho de Coco
Literally meaning ‘little kiss of coconut’ this is another Brazilian truffle that’ll steal your heart with its divine taste and texture. Made with condensed milk, sugar and coconut flakes, the aptly christened balls are also rolled in sugar or coconut flakes for that crunchy finish. With the goodness of coconut in every bite, perfectly complemented by the sweetened condensed milk, beijinhos are the stars of every birthday party in Brazil. These fairer cousins of the chocolatey brigadeiros are popular with kids and adults alike, and also make for perfect Christmas treats. Pop in a few after your hearty meal for the lingering taste of one of the most sought-after Brazilian desserts.
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8. Mousse de Maracuja
This lip-smacking passion fruit mousse is counted amongst easy Brazilian desserts as it uses just three simple ingredients and needs no baking or complicated procedures for its preparation. The delicate dessert is a burst of flavours in your mouth with its fresh, sweet and tangy taste in every bite. This super easy and delicious dessert with a taste of summer is often served in shot glasses at parties and restaurants. The delicate, creamy and decadent mousse de maracuja is prepared by blending and refrigerating sweetened condensed milk, fresh cream and passion fruit. Dig into one on your Brazil sojourn and we assure you’ll fall in love with it at first bite!
This popular sweet dish is the perfect example of another indigenous fruit innovatively turned to a wonderful dessert popular all over the country, though easier to find on the north-eastern coast. This Amazonian berry hailed as a super food world over, was traditionally eaten by the indigenous tribes for energy. Acai berry is now served as a sweet and sticky sorbet-like dessert in its frozen avatar, or as a thick smoothie bowl. Acai bowl is one of the few Brazilian desserts that you can devour guilt-free as it’s high on energy and health benefits. The yummy delight is often topped with banana slices and granola to make it crunchier.
Coconuts hold a special place in Brazilian cooking and are used generously in a lot of traditional Brazilian desserts to add flavour and crunch. Brought to Brazil in the colonial period, Queijadinhas are one of the most delicious Brazilian sweets prepared with the least fuss. Made with four simple ingredients, this cross between flan and cake is available at most bakeries in the country. This moist & delicious coconut dessert with a gooey centre is one treat you can’t refuse when in Brazil. Though not part of the original recipe, cheese is sometimes added to a queijadinha for a slight kick and an interesting change of flavour.
With the country’s obsession with sweets the list of Brazilian desserts can go on endlessly with many more delicious treats to choose from, each with its distinct flavour, texture and unique ingredients. Amongst the essential Christmas desserts in Brazil is the humble rabanada which we know as French toast in common food parlance, with generous sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon powder.
Further Read: 6 Romantic Places In Brazil For Falling In Love Again!
This list wouldn’t be complete without the sweet and refreshing Pave Brazilian dessert made with layers of cookies filled with chocolate & fruits, as well as the classic crème de Papaya. Don’t forget to sample, savor, and relish at least some of these delectable treats on your next international trip with TravelTriangle to the land of many surprises, Brazil!
Frequently Asked Questions About Brazilian Desserts
A. Brigadeiro is the most popular traditional Brazillian dessert which lives up to the name of the national truffle of the country.
A. Brigadeiro is a traditional dessert that was created by a confectioner located in Rio De Janeiro. Made out of condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles, this dessert looks delicious to taste.
A. This dessert is famous as it was named after the Brazilian hero, Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes. He was a Brigadier general who was famous for putting an end to a communist coup in the 1920s.
A. Coxinhas, Pastels, Farofa, Feijoada are some of the famous food delicacies in Brazil which one must definitely try.
A. Some of the most famous desserts that are eaten in Brazil are Brigadeiro, Quindim, Bolo de Rolo, Canjica, Cocada, Tapioca Pancakes, and many more.
A. One of the traditional and most authentic desserts of Brazil, Bolo de Rolo is something similar to the Swiss roll, just with thinner layers of cake. The true Bolo de Rolo consists of the cake or dough that is rolled with a layer of melted guava.
A. The typical Brazilian dessert, originating from the Pernambuco state is considered as the national dessert of this country by Brazilian law.
A. Quindim is of the popular desserts in Brazil that is a bright yellow custard made from egg yolks, coconut shreds, and sugar.
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