Amazing Desserts From South and Central America

This month’s edition of the best desserts to try around the world brings us to explore the flavors of South America!

Desserts from Argentina

Dulce de leche

From Erin of Sol Salute

sweets in Argentina

To say that Argentinian’s have a sweet tooth would be an understatement. Sugar is king, whether it’s ice cream, pastries, or cakes, it’s one of the best foods to try in Buenos Aires. The one unifying factor across this wide spectrum of desserts and treats is the one and only, Dulce de Leche. This rich, decadent caramel-like spread is omnipresent. No flan is complete without a spoonful of DDL slopped next to it on the plate.
Italian descendants dominate the Argentine population, which explains the countless ice cream parlors that dot the city. Each one has a menu with multiple dulce de leche flavors. Some are pure, some are double (with pure DDL blended in with the cream), others have chocolate chips or chunks of candy bars. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a rich treat. Dig in like a local and order everything with dulce de leche when in Argentina.

Desserts from Brazil


Contributed by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
best dessert in Brazil
Carolinas are a popular pastry in Brazil, especially in São Paulo. Similar to a profiterole, these small round pastries are topped with a chocolate ganache and filled inside with doce de leite (the Brazilian equivalent of dulce de leche in Argentina). The same dough can also be formed into a more elongated shape like a French éclair, but then it’s called a bomba rather than a carolina. You can find carolinas in bakeries throughout São Paulo. Vaca Ateliê Culinário, one of the most popular vegan restaurants in São Paulo, offers a delicious vegan version as part of their brunch. Note that in the state of Paraíba, the name “carolina” refers to a very different type of sweet made from toasted coconut and sugar.

Desserts from Chile


From Joanna of The world in my pocket

Kuchen in the German word for “cake”, so it is quite peculiar that it shares the same name with a traditional dessert from the cuisine of Chiloe Island, in Chile. Kuchen has been introduced in the Chilean cuisine around the 1850s, when the German immigrants settled in the South of the country. Whilst in Germany kuchen can be any type of cake, in Chiloe it refers to a type of fruit pie with a crumble, glaze or crust on top.

The most common fruit toppings for kuchen are apples, different berries or the local quince. The fun part is that no kuchen is the same, each family and each bakery having their own recipe. During my trip to the South of Chile I ate kuchen many times and it was always different. The fancier cafes are using more exotic fruits and even top it with cream. The berries crumble however remains my favorite.

Desserts from Colombia


By Daniel James of Layer Culture

A Cholado Canchas Panamericanas in Cali

If you find yourself in Colombia, there is one Dessert you must try. Found in the Cali situated in the Valle del Cauca region the Cholado is a mix between a frozen dessert, fruit cocktail, and a drink. Usually sold in 3 sizes a Cholado is made up of a unique blend of fresh exotic Colombian fruits, shaved or crushed ice, condensed milk, passion fruit and can be topped with shredded coconut. A Cholado makes the perfect dessert to sit and enjoy on a blazing hot afternoon. You can find some of the best Cholados down at the Canchas Panamericanas located within the city of Cali.


By Daniel James of Layer Culture

Whilst tasting the best desserts in South America you cannot afford to miss out on Natilla. A very sweet Colombian dessert usually served in a square block, that is consumed by many locals around Christmas time.

As a frequent traveler to Colombia, I see this dessert mostly on my trips to Medellin during December and the New Year. Natilla is sold mostly at street stalls and markets around the city, but many people also make it from home. Although the main ingredients remain the same, there are different variations of this popular Colombian dessert. Natilla is usually served with a buñuelo which is a deep-fried dough ball filled with cheese. Any trip to Colombia around the Christmas period is the perfect time to find Natilla, so what are you waiting for?

Desserts from Cuba

Guava Shells with Cheese

From Talek of Travel with Talek

the best desserts in Cuba

Cuban’s have a sweet tooth.  They also have tons of delicious tropical fruit. So what happens when you combine both of these?  You get delicious fruit-based desserts and pastries.
One example of this typical Cuban dessert is “casco de guayaba con queso crema” translated as guava shells with cream cheese. The guava fruit is cooked in its natural juices and sweeteners until it is almost a paste. It is served with cool cream cheese to counter and complement the sweetness of the fruit.
There are many variations on this dessert dish but they all contain the guava and the cheese. This dessert can also be found periodically in other areas of the Caribbean but in Cuba, and places outside of Cuba serving Cuban food, it is standard fare.

Desserts from Peru

Turrón de Doña Pepa

from Rai of A Rai of Light

desserts from Peru

The ideal dessert for the chocolate lover, Turrón de Doña Pepa is a nougat cake with a texture of a brownie and topped with quinoa and a homemade fudge sauce. This flavored pastry originates near the capital city of Lima, but is adored throughout Latin America and Mexico. Typically made of flour and honey, with a range of ingredients including anise, cinnamon, cloves, figs, and sprinkles that combine to create a unique flavour. Turrón itself can take on a variety of consistencies and appearances, but in Peruvian cuisine, it is generally soft and flavoured with anise. Traditionally prepared for the Señor de los Milagros religious procession in October it is however, enjoyed throughout the year.

Queso Helado

From Halef of The Round The World Guys

Ice cream in Peru

Queso Helado is one of the authentic Peruvian cuisine items that you must try! It is a frozen treat associated with the city of Arequipa in central Peru. Even though Queso Helado literally means “Cheese Ice Cream”, there is no actual cheese in the dessert.

Queso Helado’s origin can be traced back to the introduction of cattle by the Spanish in the Andes region. At that time, dairy milk became plentiful, which allowed for the invention of Queso Helado – a frozen combination of freshly boiled milk, chuno powder, cinnamo, vanilla, and other flavoring ingredients.

Everywhere you go in and around Arequipa, you can find several variations of the Queso Helado. Some use three types of milk, some add cinnamon sticks and coconut chunks in their recipe. Either way, enjoying Queso Helado in Arequipa is definitely a Peruvian pastime!

Which desserts from South America have you tried? Which is your favorite? Did we miss any? Please let me know in the comments.

Explore the best desserts to try in South America. #SouthAmerica #sweets #desserts

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