Want to explore some delightful Mexican treats? Look no further! From sweet and creamy flans to perfectly crisp churros, there’s something for every sweet tooth here. Keep reading for 16 of the most popular authentic Mexican desserts.
Flan is a creamy, caramel-topped custard that is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Flan is made by caramelizing sugar in a round dish, then pouring a mixture of eggs, milk, and vanilla over the caramel. Once baked, it is chilled and inverted onto a plate so the caramel sauce is on top. This dessert is perfect to finish a meal with its creamy texture and sweet taste.
Bunuelos are a fried dough pastry that is typically dusted with cinnamon and sugar. These round-shaped treats are crispy and sweet with a hint of cinnamon. The perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Buñuelos de Viento
Buñuelos de Viento are a traditional Mexican dessert made from a light and crispy dough that is deep-fried until golden and then dusted with powdered sugar. Unlike regular buñuelos, they have a delicate spiral shape that is made using iron molds. “Buñuelos de Viento” literally means “wind fritters,” which is a nod to how air can pass through the holes in the pastry. They can be eaten alone or served with a warm caramel sauce or honey.
Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches is a sponge cake that is soaked in a mixture of three milks (hence the name “tres leches” which means “three milks” in Spanish). Traditionally the three kinds of milk are: whole milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. After the cake is soaked, it is topped with a creamy whipped cream or meringue, and it’s a perfect combination of sweetness and creaminess.
Fresas Con Crema
Fresas con Crema is a traditional Mexican dessert that consists of fresh strawberries and cream. The strawberries are typically sliced and served in layers with a sweetened Mexican crema or even whipped cream. This dessert is perfect for a summer day, as it is light and refreshing. It’s a very easy dessert to prepare and can be garnished with fresh fruit, chopped nuts, a chocolate drizzle, or even salted caramel sauce.
Churros are long Mexican donuts doused in cinnamon sugar. They’re crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and have just the right amount of sweetness for dipping in chocolate! Churros are made by making a simple dough and then piping the mixture into hot oil to fry. Then the hot donuts are tossed in cinnamon sugar right before serving warm.
This is a sweet bread pudding that is typically made with cinnamon, nuts, and cheese. Capirotada is made by layering bread, syrup, cheese, and nuts. The dessert is then baked until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Capirotada is a comforting dessert that is perfect with a hot cup of cafe de olla or atole.
Usually when you think about empanadas you think about savory food, but did you know they can also be sweet? You can fill them with chocolate and even fruits like pineapple and cinnamon apples. Empanadas are made by folding a simple dough around a sweet filling, then the empanadas are fried or baked. They are sweet, flaky and delicious! These apple cinnamon empanadas are served with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Yum!
These are Mexican shortbread cookies often flavored with vanilla or cinnamon. They are crumbly and sweet with a hint of spice, making them a perfect addition to any dessert table. Also known as “Mexican Wedding Cookies” or “Polvorones de Nuez” they are one of the most popular Mexican desserts and are often dusted with powdered sugar. They are also a perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Pan de Muerto
Pan de Muerto, also known as “Bread of the Dead” is a traditional Mexican sweet bread that is typically made and consumed during the Day of the Dead celebrations in early November. The bread is made with flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, and butter and it is shaped into round loaves with a bone-like shape on top. The bread is typically decorated with sugar, sesame seeds, or orange zest. It is a sweet, rich and fragrant Mexican dessert that is perfect for sharing and is a sweet reminder of the loved ones who have passed.
Tamales are another Mexican recipe that you probably associate with savory meals, but they can be sweet or savory depending on the filling used. Sweet tamales are often filled with sweet ingredients such as sweet corn, pineapple, strawberries, chocolate, or sweet cream. The masa dough is filled with your sweet filling of choice, then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed to cook. Sweet tamales are typically smaller than savory ones and are one of those Mexican desserts often served on special occasions, such as Christmas and birthdays.
Pan dulce is one of the most popular Mexican desserts and there are many ways to make it. One variation is conchas, which are sweet rolls topped with a sugary crust that can come in a variety of colors. They have a unique and distinctive shape that resembles a seashell, thus the name “conchas” which means shells in Spanish. Conchas are a popular breakfast pastry often enjoyed with a morning coffee or as a sweet snack throughout the day.
Gelatina is a popular Mexican dessert that is made by mixing together gelatin, sugar, and fruit juice or cream. It is a perfect dessert for a hot summer day, with its cool and refreshing taste. Gelatina is often made in a variety of colors and flavors, such as strawberry, lime, or pineapple. In its simplest form a creamy milk jello is flavored with cinnamon, chilled in a mold and then served with lots of resh fruit like strawberries and blueberries.
Arroz con Leche
Arroz con Leche is a sweet rice pudding that is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. This classic Mexican dessert is made by cooking rice in milk, sugar and cinnamon, then sweetened condensed milk and vanilla are added. The end result is a creamy and comforting dessert that can be served warm or cold. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg on top!
Cajeta is a traditional Mexican caramel sauce that is made by simmering goat’s milk, sugar, and cinnamon together. It is a sweet and rich sauce that is perfect for drizzling over ice cream or pastries. The traditional way to make cajeta is by simmering the goat’s milk with sugar and flavorings, such as cinnamon or vanilla, until it thickens and turns a deep caramel color. It is also known as dulce de leche or Mexican milk caramel sauce.
Paletas are Mexican fruit popsicles that are especially popular during the hotter months of the year. They come in a wide variety of flavors like strawberry, pineapple, kiwi, and mango. Often if you buy these from street vendors they will dip the paletas in Tajin, which is a spicy Mexican seasoning made with chili peppers, lime and salt. Paletas are super easy to make at home – all you need is a popsicle mold and a few simple ingredients!
Hungry for even more dessert ideas? Be sure to check out our recipe finder to find the perfect treat. You also might like our post about popular Mexican drinks.