7 Flavourful Mexican Dessert Recipes to Attempt

Mexican Dessert Recipes

Looking for a temporary distraction from lockdown? Well, look no further: these seven Mexican dessert recipes will kick your banana bread to the curb and have you traveling to Mexico without ever leaving the safety and comfort of your home!

Mexican Dessert Recipes

FLAN

One of the most popular Mexican desserts, flan is a physical manifestation of the country’s gastronomy culture. You’ve seen it before: it’s soft, circular, and usually drowned in caramel and rum. Flan only tastes delicious if it’s made the old-fashioned way. The flan became a Mexican staple after the Spanish conquistadors introduced the postre to Mexicans during the conquest and occupation after they copied the idea from the Romans. It’s popular in Mexico because the dish tends to be associated with home cooking, and the basic recipe of making flan remains the same as it has for centuries:

Ingredients

  • 118.29 ml sugar (for heat source)
  • 6 eggs
  • 709.77 ml milk
  • 118.29 ml sugar (for flan concoction)
  • 7.39 ml pure vanilla extract
  • Sliced strawberries (optional)
  • Rum (optional)

Recipe

  1. Heat sugar in a saucepan, stirring constantly until it melts and turns a dark golden colour
  2. Remove sugar from heat source and pour into a metal ring mold that has been sprayed in oil or fully buttered to ensure it is non-stick
  3. Preheat oven at 165 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat all 6 eggs
  5. Pour in milk and other 118.29 ml of sugar (for flan concoction) and vanilla extract
  6. Place the ring mold (with the saucepan-heated sugar) into a flat baking pan and place it on the oven rack
  7. Pour mixture into the ring mold and then pour the hottest tap water possible on the flat baking pan that holds the ring mold to the depth of 1 inch
  8. Bake for an hour or until knife comes out clean
  9. Cool flan on a wire rack
  10. Chill for three hours before loosening from mold
  11. Slice some strawberries and coat flan in rum, if wanted

ARROZ CON LECHE

Arroz con Leche comes from the Muslim world and was imported into Spain when the Muslims conquered the South of the Iberian Peninsula. When the Spanish colonized Mexico, Mexicans gave this sweet dessert their own twist introduced it to the masses, and forged the start of Mexico’s sweet gastronomy.

Ingredients

  • 1640 ml water
  • 240 ml white rice
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 360 ml evaporated milk
  • 420 ml condensed milk
  • 240 ml whole milk
  • Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Recipe

  1. Put the water, rice, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan set over medium-high heat
  2. Bring the concoction to a boil, leaving it uncovered and cooking until rice is tender
  3. Strain out the liquid, discard the cinnamon stick, and save the rice
  4. Return rice to saucepan, stirring in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk until the mixture comes to a boil over medium-high heat
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cooking the concoction uncovered and stirring it constantly until it becomes thick
  6. Transfer pudding to a serving bowl, dusting the top of the pudding with ground cinnamon

Mexican Dessert Recipes

CHURROS

Churros originate in Spain and Portugal, but made their way to Mexico and other former Spanish colonies. However, Spanish churros are coated in sugar and served with a cup of thick dipping chocolate, while Mexican churros are coated in cinnamon sugar mixture and filled with an array of delightful flavours, from cajeta and strawberry to tequila and mocha.

Ingredients

  • 950 ml vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 240 ml water
  • 120 ml salted butter
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 1.25 ml teaspoon salt
  • 240 ml flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 240 ml sugar

Recipe

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on high
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough by heating water, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large saucepan
  3. Once the butter is completely melted and the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and stir in the flour
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring and mashing the dough together until the egg is fully incorporated
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star-shaped tip
  6. Pipe the dough directly into the hot oil using scissors to trim to the desired length
  7. Cook until dough puffs and turns golden brown, turning halfway through so all sides evenly cook
  8. Carefully remove churro from oil using tongs and place on a paper towel-covered plate to drain
  9. Once the churros have cooled enough to handle, put the sugar and cinnamon into a resealable plastic bag
  10.  Put the churros in the bag one or two at a time and gently shake until the churro is coated

TRES LECHES CAKE

In the 19th century, there was a recipe floating around Mexico for a moist bread cake that was soaked in wine and topped with custard. This gastronomical innovation was thought to be a spin of the Italian tiramisu or the English trifle, both alcohol-soaked sponge cakes with heavy cream and sugar. Lo and behold, the Tres Leches came into existence! But, sadly, our family recipe is devoid of alcohol.

Ingredients

  • Cake
    • 240 ml flour
    • 12.5 ml baking powder
    • 1.25 ml salt
    • 5 eggs
    • 240 ml sugar
    • 5 ml pure vanilla extract
    • 80 ml whole milk
  • Syrup
    • 340.2 ml evaporated milk
    • 255.15 ml sweetened condensed milk
    • 78.86 ml heavy whipping cream
  • Frosting
    • 478.18 ml heavy whipping cream
    • 30 ml granulated sugar

Recipe

  • Cake
    1. Preheat oven at 165 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit)
    2. Butter a casserole dish
    3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
    4. Separate egg whites and yolks into the other two bowls
    5. Beat egg yolks with sugar with an electric mixer until yolks are a pale yellow, stirring in milk and vanilla
    6. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form
    7. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and combine gently with a spatula
    8. Gently fold in egg white mixture with the spatula until just combined 
    9. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface and bake until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Syrup
    1. In a large measuring cup, combine heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, and condensed milk
    2. When the cake is cool, pierce the surface all over with a fork, drizzling the milk mixture over the cake
  • Frosting
    1. Pour cold heavy whipping cream and sugar into a large chilled mixing bowl and beat until thick and spreadable
    2. Spread over the cake with a spatula

BUÑUELOS

Buñuelos, or Mexican fritters, are a cinnamon sugar-sprinkled dessert item best served with warm honey during the holidays. They were introduced in Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, and, during the Spanish inquisition, explorers brought the buñuelo tradition with them.

Ingredients

  • 475 ml flour
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 15 ml sugar
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 1 egg
  • 15 ml butter (melted and cool)
  • 180 ml warm water
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • Sugar for sprinkling

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt
  2. Form a well in the center of the mixture, adding in the egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract
  3. Mix until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and slowly add in water 15 ml at a time, mixing and kneading the dough until it is soft and smooth
  4. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel, letting it rest for 30 minutes
  5. Divide the dough into 12 small balls and cover
  6. Heat enough oil to fry the dough in a large saucepan
  7. Stretch dough balls with a rolling pin until it has the shape and consistency of a tortilla
  8. Fry the buñuels in very hot oil until they are golden and crispy
  9. Place them on a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil
  10. Serve warm and sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar

Mexican Dessert Recipes

FRESAS CON CREMA

Fresas con crema directly translates to “strawberries with cream.” Using two types of sweetened milk, the recipe glazes strawberries with a syrup so sweet it perfectly pairs with the contrasting nature of sour cream.

Ingredients

  • 475 ml sour cream
  • 120 ml evaporated milk
  • 180 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and pure vanilla extract until well-blended with no lumps remaining
  2. Remove tops from strawberries and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces
  3. Spoon strawberries into 5 cups, pouring sweet cream over berries and serving with a spoon

Mexican Dessert Recipes

PLÁTANOS FRITOS

Ripened plantains retain a sweet, creamy center and become caramelized around the edges when fried. They are served hot from the saucepan, and they make a good accompaniment to rice and beans. But, if you want the perfect dessert, pair the fried plantain slices with a delicious milk syrup that gives it the sweetest kick!

Ingredients

  • 2 plantains ripened
  • 2 plantains with brown spots
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • Condensed milk
  • Strawberries

Recipe

  1. Cut the tips of all the bananas with a sharp knife and make a slit alongside the plantain from top to bottom, removing the peel
  2. Slice plantains diagonally
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and then add the bananas, frying the small plantain slices until golden brown
  4. After they’ve been fried, remove and place on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess fat
  5. Serve plantains hot with a glaze of condensed milk and a handful of strawberry slices

I hope you learned a delightful amount of information about Mexico’s beloved culture, most specifically its cuisine of traditional Mexican desserts. So, jump at the chance to consider making these delicious Mexican dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth…and teach others a thing or two about Mexico’s gastronomy!

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About the author

Melanie Romero

Melanie Romero is a creative writer and college student based in Orange County, California. When she’s not overworking herself to meet a deadline, she can be found drinking an iced chai at her local organic café, making sufganiyot from scratch, or collecting paperbacks.

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