Reserve Order To-Go

St Patrick’s Day Treats

Brigadeiros With White Chocolate and Irish Cream

Brazilian St. Patrick's Day treats: green brigadeiros made with Irish creamjump to recipe button

March 17 is fast approaching. If you are celebrating at home, you will need plenty of St Patrick’s Day treats to keep your guests happy. We offer you this festive spin on a classic Brazilian party snack: brigadeiros made with white chocolate (colored green, of course!) and spiked with delicious Irish cream liqueur. 

What is Irish Cream?

Irish cream is actually an English invention, created in 1973 by Thomas Jago. Jago was a liquor executive from Cornwall. He marketed a drink that combined traditional Irish whiskey with heavy cream, sugar,  and subtle flavorings of vanilla and chocolate. The concoction was sold under the label “Baileys,” which has since become a household name. 

Interestingly, Jago was also the mastermind behind two other famous brands: Malibu flavored rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky. 

When Is St Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of St Patrick, occurs on the same day every year: March 17. This is historically considered the death date of Patrick, a 5th century bishop and missionary who is credited with converting Ireland’s predominantly pagan population to Christianity. 

Patrick’s efforts were later communicated allegorically: the heathen traditions of the pagans were symbolized as snakes, which were driven away from the Isle by St. Patrick. It is a good story, despite the fact that no snakes have ever been known to inhabit Ireland. 

The Feast of St Patrick was officially recognized by the Catholic Church in the 17th century. It is also observed by the Anglican Church, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox denominations.   

St. Patrick’s Day in Brazil

You may be curious to know if Brazilians celebrate St. Patrick’s day in the same way as Americans. In the US, we tend to splash out with parties, parades, greenery, lots of Guinness, and traditional Irish dishes, like corned beef with cabbage. 

While Brazil is not home to as many Irish descendants as the States, it is still a predominantly Catholic country whose citizens also happen to enjoy a good party. Brazilians are embracing St. Paddy’s Day traditions more and more, adopting familiar rituals like wearing green and listening to Irish music.

St. Patrick’s Day in Brazil has become so popular in recent years that, in Rio, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue is lit with a green light for the day! 

What Are Brazilian Brigadeiros?

Brigadeiros are a bite-sized Brazilian dessert made with chocolate and condensed milk. They are similar to American fudge, except they are rolled into balls and served in little candy cups. The traditional recipe originated in the 1940s and was named after Brigadier General Eduardo Gomes, a presidential candidate at the time. The general strong support from female voters, many of whom would prepare the treats for rallies and meetings.  

The traditional Brigadeiro recipe was made with cocoa powder, butter, and condensed milk. Since then, many, many variations have arisen, including today’s St Patrick’s Day treats. The one ingredient that remains constant is condensed milk. Condensed milk desserts have a long history in Brazil. As was the case with Brigadeiros, many home chefs developed recipes using condensed milk during and slightly after WWII, when items like fresh milk and sugar were still rationed.   

Can You Make The Brigadeiros Ahead of Time?

Certainly! You can store either the batter or pre-rolled brigadeiros in the fridge for up to seven days before you serve them. Just remove them fifteen minutes or so to let them soften before eating.

These St. Patrick’s Day  treats will also keep for several months in the freezer. Let them thaw for 60 minutes before rolling them in the sprinkles and placing them in their paper cups.

Kid Friendly St Patrick’s Day Treats

Because we are adding the Irish liqueur to our St Paddy’s day brigadeiros off the heat, they do retain some alcohol content. As such, these treats are not meant for children. You can leave the Bailey’s out entirely to make a kid-friendly version, or you can use an Irish cream-flavored syrup, like the kind they use at coffee shops. 

Brigadeiro Variations

You can have some fun customizing your St Patrick’s Day treats by using different toppings. We used plain, white sugar to dust ours (we wanted to be sure you could see the green color), but you can use almost anything as the finishing touch for yours. Common brigadeiro toppings include:

  • Chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate
  • Shredded coconut
  • Citrus zest
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chopped, dried fruit
  • Crushed M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces

Irish Cream Brigadeiro Recipe


1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3.5 oz white chocolate chips
¼ tsp salt
3-5 drops green food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/4 cup white sugar to coat your St Patrick’s Day treats
20 no. 3 paper candy cups (these ones come in green)


Step 1: Make the Batter

  • Grease a casserole dish or other shallow baking vessel with butter or nonstick spray. 
  • Heat a mid-sized saucepan over medium heat. Melt the tablespoon of butter and mix in the can of condensed milk and salt. 
  • Heat the mixture for a few minutes, stirring frequently. When it is warmed through, add the chocolate chips a little bit at a time. Whisk until all the chocolate has melted.

Step 2: Let the Mixture Thicken

  • Keep stirring the mixture for ten more minutes. This may seem like a long time, but it is necessary to achieve the desired texture. 
  • Do a thickness check: take a rubber spatula and draw it down the middle of the batter in your pan to make a line. If it takes the mixture a few seconds to pool back over the line, you are ready. 

Step 3: Chill the Dough

  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in your vanilla extract and Irish cream. Add a few drops of green food coloring until you reach your desired level of pigment.
  • Transfer your mixture to the greased baking dish and chill in the fridge for one hour.

Step 4: Prepare Your Rolling Station 

  • While the dough chills, prepare your rolling station by lining up your bonbon cups and filling a plate or bowl with your sprinkles. You should need about 20 no. 3 candy cups for this recipe. 

Step 5: Make the St. Patrick’s Day Treats

  • Now, you are ready to make your brigadeiro balls. Measure out about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Then, roll the ball into the dish of sugar, pressing lightly to coat it evenly. Put the finished ball into a candy cup and repeat the process until you are out of dough. 
  • If you wish, you can “stamp” the top of each of your St. Patrick’s Day treats with a little heart or shamrock. Plunger cutters for fondant work well and are available in lots of shapes and sizes. 
  • Serve your Irish cream brigadeiros immediately with hot coffee or a glass of good Irish whisky. 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Texas de Brazil

Want more sweet treats? Visit one of Texas de Brazil’s fine dining locations and be sure to save room for one (or two) of our delectable desserts: cheesecake, papaya cream, carrot cake, creme brulee and more. If you feel like staying in, we’ve got you covered: order catering for pickup to enjoy your favorite churrasco meats, sides, and sweets in the comfort of your own home or office. 

Pumpkin Fudge (Brigadeiros com Abobora)

pumpkin fudge balls (brigadeiros) with cinnamon sugar dusting

Brigadeiros are a popular sweet treat in Brazil similar to American fudge. With Halloween fast approaching, most of us here in the US are indulging in all things pumpkin spice, from lattes to donuts. But what about pumpkin fudge? It’s so easy to make and the creamy, indulgent sweet flavor is a perfect canvas for pumpkin. Skip the complicated pies and breads and make a batch of pumpkin fudge balls instead for your next Fallget-together.

Pumpkin Fudge vs Brigadeiros

We are technically making pumpkin brigadeiros today, not fudge. Both utilize condensed milk as the main sweetener and thickener. The main difference is the shape and texture. Brigadeiros are rolled into balls, as opposed to the cut squares of traditional American fudge. They are also softer than fudge, since they typically omit ingredients like chocolate chips in favor of cocoa powder or other non-hardening ingredients, like coconut milk and butter.

The cooking time is also different for brigadeiros vs pumpkin fudge. Fudge requires minimal heat, just enough to melt the ingredients together. For brigadeiros, the condensed milk and other ingredients must be cooked and stirred continuously for up to fifteen minutes to fully thicken the mixture. 

Do Brazilians Even Like Pumpkin Fudge?

You may be wondering about the authenticity of this recipe. After all, most Brazilians do not celebrate Halloween, which is the driving force behind many American Autumn traditions (including all things pumpkin spice).

Likewise, Brazilian Fall does not occur during October, but during our spring months (March-May). So the chilly temperatures we associate with the ever-divisive pumpkin spice latte are irrelevant during the same time period in Brazil. 

So the question is: do Brazilians even like pumpkin sweets, like fudge or brigadeiro? We would say, “yes!” Sweets and new flavors never go amiss in Brazil, and there are plenty of national savory dishes that already incorporate pumpkin. So it seems only natural that a sweet pumpkin dish would be appreciated.

Tips for Pumpkin Fudge Balls

There are a few things you can do to make assembling your round pumpkin fudge/brigadeiros easier:

  1. Don’t Over/undercook: the first step  is to make sure you do not undercook or overcook your mixture. If undercooked, the “dough” will be too soft to roll into balls; overcooked, and it will harden to the point that you can’t scoop any out to roll. 
  2. Grease your hands: coat your hands in a little softened butter as you roll your pumpkin fudge balls. This will keep them from sticking to your palms and fingers.
  3. Adequately chill: chill the dough just long enough to harden, but not so long it becomes impossible to scoop. One hour should be sufficient. 

Storing Pumpkin Fudge

You can make pumpkin fudge balls ahead of time. They will keep well for a week or so stored in a container with a lid. You can also freeze them, but it is better if you just freeze the mixture rather than the fully assembled brigadeiros. If you do want to freeze the individual balls, avoid the sugar dusting until ready to serve. It will absorb into the frozen balls, affecting their texture. 

Pumpkin Fudge Balls Recipe (Brigadeiros com Abóbora)


For the fudge:

One 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 oz pumpkin puree
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
20 mini cupcake liners

For the coating:

¼ cup raw sugar
tsp cinnamon


  1. Combine the condensed milk, butter, pumpkin puree, and spices in a saucepan and stir over medium heat. You will need to stir constantly to avoid the mixture burning. When the mixture begins to bubble lightly, keep stirring until you can drag the spoon along the bottom of the pan and see it clearly for a few seconds. This should take around fifteen minutes. 
  2. Transfer the mixture to a plate or bowl and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Mix your raw sugar and cinnamon together and put it in a shallow dish or tupperware for easy coating. 
  4. Remove the hardened pumpkin fudge from the refrigerator. Butter your clean hands and scoop a small amount of the fudge and roll into a bite-sized ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar, then place in a candy cup. Repeat until you have used up all of your mixture. 
  5. Serve immediately or chill for up to four days before guests arrive. 
  6. Serve with hot coffee or a mug of quentao de vinho

More Delicious Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Brazilian Coconut Cocktail (Batida de Coco)

Brazilian coconut cocktail with straw, mini umbrella, and lime wedges

Coconut features heavily in much of traditional Brazilian cuisine. This is especially true in the north and northeastern regions of the country, which account for more than 80 percent of the country’s entire crop. You can find coconut milk enriching soups and stews, added to desserts, and of course, blended into drinks. Today’s recipe is a refreshing coconut cocktail called a batida de coco. Creamy, frothy, and incredibly simple to make, we’re certain you’ll be adding this to your list of poolside cocktails. 

Shaken Drinks in Brazil

For many of us, fruity adult beverages mean blended beverages: pina coladas, blended margaritas, daiquiris, and even frozen wine cocktails are a favorite in America. But Brazilians tend to favor shaken and muddled drinks over blended ones. The word batida itself means “shaken” in Portuguese. 

While today’s coconut cocktail recipe does involve a blender, it is merely to incorporate the liquid ingredients and produce a frothy texture and appearance. The ice will remain separate. If you wish, however, you can blend the ice with the other ingredients to make a blended version. 

Cachaça Substitutes for Batida de Coco

Your Brazilian coconut cocktail wouldn’t truly be Brazilian without a key ingredient: cachaca. Cachaca is the national liquor of Brazil. It is strictly regulated and, like rum, can be produced in light or dark varieties. Unlike rum, however, cachaca is made from fresh sugarcane juice that has been fermented. Rum is also derived from sugar, but it is made from the by-products of boiling it (namely, molasses). 

Cachaca has become more popular outside of Brazil in the last few years, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it at a larger liquor store. If you simply cannot find it, though, you can substitute a spiced rum or vodka. It may not be authentic, but you will still be getting a taste of Brazil with the coconut and condensed milk flavors. 

How to Choose Cachaca?

Again, cachaca is gaining in popularity, so you may be able to find several varieties at your local bottle shop. Cachaca may be consumed young or aged, light or dark. So what makes a good cachaca? In general, you want to look for small batch cachaca that has been pot distilled. Column distilled cachaca is mass produced and will lack depth of flavor. 

In terms of age, this will be your preference. Younger cachaca will retain some of the grassy, bright flavors of the sugarcane, while older varieties will incorporate the flavor of the wooden barrels in which they were aged. This can lend a smoky layer that you may or may not like. 

When it comes to a coconut cocktail, we tend to find that a semi-aged, small batch cachaca adds both a level of brightness and sophistication to an otherwise heavy drink. But again, you can customize this ingredient to suit your own palette.

Related: How to Make a Caipirinha

Coconut Cocktail Recipe from Brazil (Batada de Coco)

Makes eight 8 oz cocktails


8 oz cachaca, rum, or vodka
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups coconut water
20 oz of sweetened condensed milk (more or less to taste)
Ice cubes


  1. Fill a large pitcher with ice and pre-chill serving glasses in the freezer.
  2. Put all ingredients except for the ice in the belly of a blender. Blend or pulse until the mixture is frothy and uniform.
  3. Pour the mixture over the ice in the pitcher. If any of the ice has melted during blending, replace it with fresh ice.
  4. Fill the chilled glasses to the brim and garnish with fresh grated coconut and lime rounds. Enjoy responsibly! 

More Great Brazilian Drinks  to Try:

Pineapple Cocktail

blended red wine and pineapple cocktail from Brazil

Brazilian Red Wine Cocktail with Pineapple and Condensed Milk

Wine is not drunk often in Brazil. Rather, the national drink of choice is cachaca, a strong drink harvested from sugar cane juice with a flavor similar to rum. Brazilians like to drink it with a little sugar and lime, or in a cocktail known as a caipirinha. This is not to say that wine is unheard of in the country. But Brazilians are famous for having a sweet tooth, so the libation is generally preferred as part of a sweet cocktail rather than on its own. For example, red wine features in a pineapple cocktail that incorporates another favorite Brazilian ingredient: condensed milk

Brazilian Pineapple Cocktail vs Sangria

The name of this pineapple cocktail in Brazil is Espanhola, which translates literally to “Spanish.” This is likely due to the loose resemblance the drink bears to a very famous Spanish drink: sangria. Like sangria, Espanhola incorporates red wine and fruit. But that’s about all the two drinks have in common. 

Traditional sangria incorporates a variety of whole, sliced fruits (oranges, apples, lemons) and gets its sweetness from simple syrup and/or some kind of carbonated soda. By contrast, the Brazilian pineapple cocktail is sweetened with condensed milk and blends the fruit into the drink, resulting in a kind of red wine smoothie. It is served over ice cubes and drunk through a straw. Fresh pineapple or the peel often serves as a garnish. 

Red Wine to Use for Cocktails

You can use any wine you like for this recipe, so long as it is dry, not sweet. Trust us, this drink is sweet enough on its own without the addition of sweet wine. We prefer a nice rioja or chianti, but a dry cabernet or malbec works as well. 

Pineapple Cocktail Fruit Variations

The traditional Espanhola cocktail incorporates only pineapple, but you are welcome to do a little alchemy and experiment with various fruits. Pulpy fruits are best suited to blending, so you might first try things like strawberries, bananas, or even passionfruit. A combination could also be lovely. 

You also have the option of blending your drink with ice, or serving it over whole ice cubes (think of a blended margarita versus on the rocks). Again, the traditional drink uses whole ice cubes, but a fully blended version wouldn’t go amiss, especially on a hot summer day. 

Brazilian Pineapple and Red Wine Cocktail (Espanhola) 


1 bottle of dry red wine

1 can sweetened, condensed milk (14 oz)

2 cups pineapple slices or chunks (If using canned, make sure it is unsweetened)

2-3 cups ice


  1. Add wine, pineapple, and condensed milk to the pitcher of a blender. Blend on high until smooth and thickened.
  2. If you want to blend your pineapple cocktail with ice, add it to the blender ½ cup at a time and blend again on high until fully incorporated and you are happy with the consistency.
  3. If not blending, add the ice to four glasses and pour the blended red wine, condensed milk, and pineapple over it. 
  4. Garnish the glasses with a fresh pineapple slice. 


More Great Brazilian Recipes to Enjoy:



Brazilian rabanada dessert stacked in a pyramid with Christmas ornaments

Brazilian French Toast

Rabanada is a deep fried version of French toast that is traditionally served at Christmas in Brazil. That being said, there is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying it year round! Crusty baguette is soaked in a sweet custard, deep fried in oil, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. Trust us, no syrup is necessary for this delectable treat. Rabanada can also be eaten any time of day. In Brazil, it is not necessarily a breakfast item, but more often acts as a dessert treat on special occasions. 

Rabanada from Portugal

Rabanada has its origins in medieval Portugal. The recipe was both a way to abstain from meat during lent and also to make use of stale bread. Portuguese colonists brought the recipe with them to Brazil, where it became a staple item on the Christmas table. Rabanada is traditionally eaten as a dessert, often paired with a small glass of port wine. 

The earliest versions of rabanada were likely made with fresh milk in place of sweetened, condensed milk. There are versions of rabanada from all over the world, with the oldest known reference dating back to 1 BCE. A Roman recipe for aliter dulcia (“another sweet dish”) instructs the cook to soak bread in milk and beaten eggs, fry in oil, and drizzle with honey.

The most famous version is, of course, French toast, which is known as pain perdu in France. This translates to “lost bread,” which is a nod to the usefulness of the recipe in preserving bread that would have otherwise been “lost” due to staleness. 

In many Balkan countries, prženice is a version of rabanada that can be sweet or savory. You can find the dish served with various meats and cheeses, as well as fruit preserves and ajvar, a condiment made from peppers and eggplant. 

Rabanada vs American French Toast

Rabanada has a few significant differences when compared to American French toast. The first is the type of bread used. American French toast favors thick sliced, soft white bread, such as challa, sourdough, or brioche. Most recipes agree it is best to use bread that is at least one day old. Rabanada uses crusty French bread or baguette that has also been out for no more than 24 hours. Using a baguette is preferable since the slices are smaller, making them more manageable for the fryer. 

The custard of rabanada is also different. American French toast uses a mixture of eggs, sugar/honey, cream or milk, and perhaps some cinnamon or nutmeg. Rabanada adds sweetened condensed milk to the custard for an even more decadent taste and creamier inner texture. The mixture is warmed over medium heat, and the eggs are kept separate, used only to briefly coat the bread before deep frying. 

American French toast is usually pan fried in butter or oil, then served with maple syrup or preserves. By contrast, rabanada is deep fried in oil, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar. You can drizzle honey on it if you desire, but it is plenty sweet on its own. 

Rabanada Recipe


1 loaf of day-old baguette (white, wheat, or sourdough), cut into one-inch slices
3 cups of milk or cream
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract or port wine
½ tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
Vegetable oil for frying

For the Rabanada Coating:

1 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk or cream, salt, condensed milk, and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium low heat until you reach a simmer. Then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. When it is cool, remove the cinnamon sticks and add the port or vanilla extract.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large pot to a temperature of 365 degrees fahrenheit.
  5. Prepare a plate or bowl with your mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Soak the slices of bread in the milk mixture for a few seconds on each side. Then coat each slice in the egg mixture.
  7. Fry the sliced rabanada bread in the hot oil until golden brown. Roll each piece in the cinnamon sugar, then transfer to a wire wrack or a tray lined with parchment. Serve immediately with hot coffee or a glass of port. 

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:


Cornstarch Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Cornstarch Cookies (Sequilhos)

Sequilhos are a popular cookie in Brazil made with cornstarch in lieu of wheat flour. Like many Brazilian desserts, they also incorporate condensed milk. The traditional recipe uses just four simple ingredients. We are going to have a little fun and add some shredded coconut and melted chocolate for flavors similar to a Belgian macaroon. These cornstarch cookies are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea or coffee; and, thanks to their omission of flour, they happen to be naturally gluten free!

What Does Cornstarch Do in a Cookie Recipe?

Wheat flour has gluten, which can become tough and chewy if over mixed. By contrast, the use of cornstarch results in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is crumbly, not chewy or snappy. The addition of condensed milk and butter adds to the silky mouthfeel. 

Can I Use Tapioca in Place of Cornstarch in a Recipe?

These days, many individuals are concerned about the use of genetically modified versions of popular foods like corn. If this is a concern of yours, you can look for cornstarch that is certified non-GMO, or substitute another vegan flour, such as tapioca. As a thickener, tapioca flour is more efficient than cornstarch. In other words, if you were using it in a sauce or soup, you would need to add about half as much as you would cornstarch. 

In the case of our sequilhos, however, you can substitute an equal amount of tapioca flour. We are merely using it as an absorbing agent to create a dough, so it is not necessary to calculate different amounts. 

Do Cornstarch Cookies Need to Be Flattened?

Yes. Traditional Sequilhos cornstarch cookies are pressed down once with the back of a fork. Since the dough is dense, this helps the cookies cook evenly and in a uniform, disc shape. If you want, you can press the dough down twice with the fork to mimic the look of American peanut butter cookies. 

Can I Use Sugar in Place of Condensed Milk?

Yes, but you may need to experiment with the amount of cornstarch you add. This will also affect the number of cookies you can make. Because you will be reducing the amount of liquid overall, you will likely need to either use less cornstarch or add a little more liquid in the form of water, milk, or cream. The ultimate consistency should be thick enough to roll with your bare hands. Experiment with various amounts to achieve the right texture. 

Recipe Cornstarch Cookies With Coconut and Chocolate (Sequilhos)


2.5 cups cornstarch
6 oz unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Mix together the softened butter and condensed milk.
  3. Add in the cornstarch a half a cup at a time, thoroughly combining each time. Keep in mind that you might not need to add all of the cornstarch. If the dough is thick but not crumbly, you have the right texture. If it is too sticky, add more corn starch. 
  4. Add in 2 tablespoons of the shredded coconut and mix.
  5. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in the shredded coconut, then place on a lined baking sheet a couple inches apart.
  7. Flatten each of the balls by pressing down with the back of a fork. They should be about ½ inch in height. 
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges just start to brown. 
  9. Cool cookies on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before you make your chocolate drizzle.
  10. In a microwave safe bowl, add the semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave on high for thirty second bursts, stirring after each round. Repeat until the chocolate is completely melted.
  11. Dip each of your cookies on one side into the melted chocolate. Return them to the wire rack to cool. Alternately, use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the top of the cornstarch cookies.  

More Delicious Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Brigadeiro Cake

brazilian brigadeiro cake with sprinkles

Traditional brigadeiros in Brazil are chocolate fudge balls served in little cupcake flutes and topped with chocolate sprinkles. Like many Brazilian desserts, condensed milk is used as a base. Brigadeiros are considered a “must” at parties, since the bite-sized treats are so delicious and easy to make. They are also highly customizable, since they require only a few simple ingredients. They can be found in various flavors and iterations, including today’s brigadeiro cake. 

Where Do Brigadeiros Come From?

The first Brigadeiros are attributed to Heloísa Nabuco de Oliveira, a confectioner from Rio de Janeiro. During the presidential elections of 1946, Heloisa was an ardent supporter of Eduardo Gomes. Gomes held the military rank of “Brigadier,” and it is thought that Heloisa developed and named the new dessert in his honor. The original name was “doce de brigadeiro,” but it was eventually shortened to just “brigadeiro.”

The classic Brigadeiro has a signature look: small, round balls topped with chocolate sprinkles and served in paper bonbon cups. However, you will find many variations on the theme throughout the country. Like French truffles, Brigadeiros lend themselves to all sorts of flavors and toppings. Coconut is quite popular, as is strawberry, lemon, and various nut mixtures. 

The Brigadeiro recipe can also be applied to larger confections, like pies and cakes. The creamy texture is a perfect frosting for a dense crumb cake or a filling for a silky chocolate pie. Today’s recipe is for a Brigadeiro cake: a moist, two-layer chocolate cake is filled and iced with brigadeiro frosting, then coated in plenty of chocolate sprinkles. 

Brigadeiros vs Truffles vs Fudge

Brigadeiros are quite similar to both truffles and American fudge. However, each of these confections has a slightly different texture due to their ingredients. 

Truffles are made with “ganache,” a mixture of chocolate and heavy cream. Their texture is soft and creamy, and they are often not as sweet as fudge or Brigadeiros. 

Like Brigadeiros, fudge is made with condensed milk and chocolate. However the ratio of chocolate to condensed milk is much higher, and the chocolate takes the form of chips or a chopped bar. The resulting texture is much harder than a truffle or a Brigadeiro.

Brigadeiros typically incorporate butter and powdered chocolate in addition to the condensed milk, which makes them softer than fudge and slightly chewier than truffles. 

Can I Use Cake Mix for Brigadeiro Cake?

Of course! Store-bought cake mixes will be perfectly fine for this recipe, especially if you are in a hurry or don’t want to deal with the extra ingredients. The star of the show is really the Brigadeiro frosting, so make sure you don’t cut corners for that!

Can I Make Brigadeiros Without Condensed Milk?

We have never tried to do this ourselves, but Pies and Tacos has a lovely recipe for a vegan and paleo option for Brigadeiros that incorporates coconut butter, cashew butter, and vegan chocolate chips. Certainly worth a try!

What is Table Cream?

Table cream is a dense, shelf-stable cream that is sold in can or jar form. You can often find it in the international section of the grocery store as Mexican crema or Media Crema. In the can, especially, you will notice a clear liquid above the cream, which tends to settle to the bottom. Before you use the cream, strain off this liquid.

If you do not have table cream, you can substitute heavy cream. You may need to adjust the amount of butter and cornstarch, however, to achieve the desired consistency.  

Brigadeiro Cake 


For the Brigadeiro Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting

2 14 oz cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup table cream with serum strained off (see above)
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp butter
1.5 cups cocoa powder
Lots of chocolate sprinkles (2-3 cups)


  1. Start the frosting. In a saucepan, whisk together your milk, cocoa powder, and cornstarch. Then add in the table cream, condensed milk, and butter.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. After about 10-15 minutes, you should have a thick consistency similar to mousse or pudding.
  3. Once you have achieved your pudding consistency, remove the brigadeiro cake frosting from the heat. Pour the mixture into a heat safe bowl and cover with cling film. 
  4. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature, then transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to cool for 1-2 hours. 
  5. While the brigadeiro frosting cools, bake your chocolate cake. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  6. Grease two 8×2” round cake pans. For easier removal, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. 
  7. In a stand mixer, blend flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  8. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and milk. 
  9. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter (don’t over mix!). 
  10. Divide the brigadeiro cake batter evenly between your two prepared pans.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. 
  12. Let the cakes cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan. 
  13. To frost the cake, place one of the rounds with the flat side up. Scoop a cup or so of your brigadeiro frosting and spread it evenly over the top of the cake.
  14. Place the second brigadeiro cake round on top of the frosted cake again with the flat side up. Spread the remainder of your chocolate frosting on the top and sides of the cake. It does not have to be perfect! You’ll be coating it all with sprinkles, anyway.
  15. Finally, cover your cake liberally with chocolate sprinkles. This can be a little tricky, and you can expect to get some frosting on your hands. If you don’t want to put sprinkles on the sides, just put a good layer over the top. 


Other recipes to enjoy:

Brazilian Sweet Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)

Corn Pudding from Brazil

Brazilian sweet corn pudding in red dish with cinnamon stick

The Festas Juninas are fast approaching, and no celebration would be complete without curau. Creamy, sweet, and refreshing, this corn pudding is both delicious and very simple to make. 

Like many festivals in Brazil, the Festas Juninas have their roots in Catholicism. Also known as the Festas de São João, the celebrations are meant to honor John the Baptist and thank him for the rainy season. The festas are likewise an homage to rural traditions and incorporate various costumes, food, and music. 

The Festas coincide with Brazil’s second harvest of sweet corn, so it is no surprise that corn-based dishes feature heavily during the celebrations. Popcorn, cornmeal cakes, and sweet corn pudding are especial favorites and pair beautifully with a warm glass of spiced quentao (Brazilian mulled wine). 

Corn in Brazil

Along with products like coffee, beef, rice, and sugar, corn is one of Brazil’s most important crops in terms of exports. In fact, after the US and China, it is the third largest producer of sweet corn in the world.

Most producers of corn, including the US, have one main crop per season. Brazil, however, is able to harvest three separate crops in different regions and at different times of the year. 

  • The first crop is planted in the Southern region of Brazil between September and October. It is harvested between February and May. This crop is the highest yielding of the three, producing about 100 bushels per acre on average. Once the corn of the first crop has been harvested, it is typically rotated with wheat. 
  • The second corn crop in Brazil is called safrinha, meaning “little harvest” in Portuguese. This is planted in the Midwest after the soybeans have been processed, usually between the months of January and April. It is harvested between June and August and constitutes Brazil’s largest crop in terms of exports, although overall yields are typically smaller than the first crop. 
  • The third Brazilian corn crop was not officially recognized until 2018. There is a smaller but appreciable yield in the North and Northeast region of the country, which is planted from April to September and harvested between October and December. 

Unsurprisingly, corn is a key ingredient in many traditional Brazilian dishes, from cornmeal cake at breakfast to savory pamonhas stuffed with sausage or beef. This corn pudding recipe also incorporates another favorite Brazilian ingredient: sweetened condensed milk

How to Make Brazilian Sweet Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)


12 oz fresh corn kernels* (about 8 medium-sized ears)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1.5 tablespoons butter
¼ tsp salt
Ground cinnamon


  1. Put the fresh corn kernels and whole milk in a blender and blend until well combined. 
  2. Pass the blended corn and milk mixture through a large sieve to remove any pulp.
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Put your corn and milk mixture into the pot, along with your butter, condensed milk, and salt. 
  4. Cook over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until the mixture is thickened, with a creamy, pudding-like consistency. This should take 20-30 minutes.
  5. Pour the corn pudding into serving cups and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Dust with ground cinnamon before serving. 

Celebrate with Texas de Brazil

Bring the Festas Juninas right to your door with one of Texas de Brazil’s hand-curated butcher boxes. Our online Grill Packages feature premium cuts of picanha, pork chops, rack of lamb, spicy Brazilian sausage, and more. Upgrade your barbecue game and visit our Butcher Shop to see what we have available for your next cookout. 

You´re headed off-site..

Would you like to checkout now?

You're switching shops with items in your cart. Our Gift Card products are sold from a seperate shop than our Butcher Shop & Merchandise products and require seperate checkouts.

If you wish to return to your Gift Card cart, simply navigate back to a Gift Card product page and click the cart icon - if you don't see your products please toggle between our different shopping carts.