20 Mexican Dessert Recipes to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Because classic treats like bunuelos, tres leches cake and chocoflan are the perfect way to end any meal.

April 12, 2011

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Something Sweet

Whether you’re cooking up some of your favorite Mexican dishes for dinner, hosting a happy hour that features Mexican drinks and cocktails or gathering your friends for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, you’re going to need a great dessert—and we’ve got plenty of ideas. Bunuelos are one of our favorites (who can say 'no' to fried dough?!) and Marcela’s recipe makes frying them up so easy. She uses pre-made tortillas which you can leave whole or cut into any shape you desire. After taking them out of the hot oil, toss in cinnamon-sugar and enjoy. They’re that simple!

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps ("Bunuelos")

Tres Leches Cake

This cake is super-moist thanks to sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream that soak through the cake overnight.

Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

Cajeta Gelatin

If you’re a fan of caramel, this dessert is for you. Cajeta is the Mexican equivalent of dulce de leche, except that cajeta is made with goat’s milk (instead of cow). If you can’t find cajeta at your local supermarket or specialty food store, you can easily substitute another caramel. You’ll still get wonderfully delicious results!

Get the Recipe: Cajeta Gelatin


Mostachon is a light and airy cake made by folding nuts and chopped Maria crackers into meringue. If you’ve never made one before, this recipe makes it easy. You only need a handful of ingredients — and you’ll have the cake baking in the oven after just 15 minutes of prep work.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Meringue Cake (Mostachon)


This irresistibly sweet and chewy coconut bark is made with just 2 simple ingredients — and we’re willing to bet you’ve got both of them in your pantry right now: shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk.

Get the Recipe: Cocada: Easy Coconut Bark


Chocoflan is one of Mexico's most-famous desserts, and it's easy to see why: You can enjoy moist chocolate cake and creamy flan all in one slice with Marcela's recipe.

Get the Recipe: Chocoflan

Arroz Con Leche

A comforting dessert for any time of year, you’ll have this rice pudding cooked to sweet-and-creamy perfection in a matter of minutes!

Get the Recipe: Mexican Rice Pudding ("Arroz Con Leche")


Marcela says, "Polvo means powder in Spanish, which is exactly what these crumbly and buttery cookies turn into in your mouth. These melt-in-your-mouth Mexican wedding cookies are very easy to prepare and are the perfect accompaniment for a warm cup of after-dinner coffee, or for dipping in hot chocolate as I did when I was a child".

Get the Recipe: Polvorones: Ground Walnut Cookies

Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit

Coconut cream (not to be confused with coconut milk) makes the perfect stand-in for cow’s milk cream in this rich and indulgent dessert. Fresh, tropical fruits are the perfect finish.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit


Sweet Mexican crullers are coated with cinnamon and sugar and served immediately for the best crispy finish.

Get the Recipe: Mexican Crullers (Churros)

Sopaipillas With Chocolate Sauce

Sopaipillas are fried pockets of dough, a specialty in New Mexico. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these are drizzled with a chocolate sauce.

Get the Recipe: Fried Tortillas With Chocolate Sauce

Coconut Flan

Make this easy-to-serve flan in a Bundt pan and top with toasted coconut before displaying on your dessert table.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Flan

Chocolate-Chile Cake

This 5-star take on flourless chocolate cake gets just a touch of heat from cayenne pepper.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Chile Cake


This sweet, fruity shaved ice is a breeze to make — no special equipment needed. After freezing the mixture overnight, simply scrape it with a fork to create the desired texture.

Get the Recipe: No Fuss Mexican Ice (Raspado)

Orange-Coffee Flan

Add orange zest and espresso powder to this flan recipe. Serve by inverting the flan onto a rimmed plate and letting the caramel drip out.

Get the Recipe: Orange-Coffee Flan

Double Feature Cupcakes with Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate cupcakes are topped with a cream cheese and chocolate frosting for a decadent hand-held treat.

Get the Recipe: Double Feature Cupcakes with Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting

Tres Leches Cake with Mango

Top traditional tres leches cake with homemade whipped cream, pureed mango and chunks of fresh mango for a fruity spin on the classic.

Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Cake with Mango

Rice Fritters with Sesame Caramel

A savory dish gets a sweet makeover with a caramel sauce that's flavored with sesame seeds and orange.

Get the Recipe: Rice Fritters With Sesame Caramel

Cheesecake Flan

Two dessert favorites, cheesecake and flan, come together for this individually portioned dessert. You'll want to dig your spoon deep to find the caramel at the bottom.

Get the Recipe: Cheesecake Flan

Mexican Brownies

Aaron's brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequen chili powder. If you can't find pequen, you can substitute cayenne pepper.

Get the Recipe: Aaron Sanchez's Mexican Brownies

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