23 Puerto Rican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes) (2024)

Looking for some traditional Puerto Rican desserts that are easy to make?

From flan to rum cake to shaved ice, these sweet treats will give you a taste of the islands.

23 Puerto Rican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes) (1)


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When it comes to dessert, I love to find new and exciting recipes.

These Puerto Rican desserts are deliciously easy to make and offer a lovely change in pace to the usual cookies and cake we’re all used to.

So if you’re looking for something sweet with a tropical twist, this list of 23 Puerto Rican desserts has you covered.

23 Best Puerto Rican Desserts

1. Puerto Rican Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan)

You have to know by now: I’m slightly obsessed with cheesecake.

I also have a deep love for all things custard.

So a dessert that combines the two is pretty much perfect in my eyes!

For the silkiest texture, be sure to start with room-temperature ingredients.

And always strain the filling to catch any little lumps that may still be in the mix.

And the water bath is a must!

Since you’ll turn this upside down, you won’t be using a spring-form pan, so there’s no fear of any leaks!

2. Arroz Con Dulce: Puerto Rican Rice Pudding

I think I like rice pudding so much because it can be served hot or cold, and it’s totally acceptable to eat for breakfast.

For the best texture, go for short-grain rice, rather than long.

(Though I have even used brown rice in a pinch, and it came out great!)


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Infusing the water with spices is an excellent way to ensure you’ll get great flavor in every bite.

You could also throw in some orange zest for added freshness.

3. Mantecaditos (Puerto Rican Guava Thumbprint Cookies)

These thumbprint cookies are a lot like the ones you probably grew up eating.

They’re buttery and flavored with just a touch of almond.

Some recipes don’t use eggs, but I love the richness it offers, especially when using just the yolks.

And here’s where you’ll be using that guava!

If you can’t find guava jam in the store, you can make your own easily.

4. Guava Cheese Empanadas

There’s nothing like taking a big (careful) bite of a freshly baked empanada.

Whether you use puff pastry, shortcrust, or store-bought wontons, the crispy shell pairs perfectly with any filling.

Though this combination of cream cheese and guava is especially delicious.

If your guava jam is thick enough, you could use that instead of the paste.

And if you can’t find guava paste, it’s just as easy to make as the jam.

5. Tembleque de Coco (Coconut Pudding)

I bought these silicone bundt molds on a whim last year, but they have become my favorite little cake pans.

When I first made this creamy coconut dessert, I used boring ramekins.

They were still delicious! But then I tried them in the bundt pan and was delighted at how they came out.

Coconut is such a subtle flavor, and it’s easy to lose it when mixed with other ingredients.

But in this dish, it’s the star of the show.

If you’re a fan of pudding and custard desserts, you’ll love this smooth and simple treat.

6. Puerto Rican Flancocho (Flan Cake)

If you’re looking for an unbelievably moist cake, this recipe is for you.

You’ll make this flan recipe by adding caramel to the baking dish and covering it in the custard filling.

But then you’ll add a cake mix on top, or technically, the bottom!

As it bakes together (in a water bath), the cake will soak up most of the cream cheese custard.

When you turn this cake out, you’ll have two ultra-moist flan and cake layers with just the right amount of caramel on top.

This is so tender, you won’t need any frosting or glaze.

7. Pumpkin Flan

I know that making dry caramel might be a little intimidating, and it might be the reason you steer clear of flans.

But I know you can do it!

Here’s my top tip: only pour enough sugar to coat the bottom of your pan.

As it starts to melt and caramelize, gradually add in a cup or so at a time until it’s all in the pot.

Don’t stir!

Gently move the pan and use a wooden spoon to poke at any larger lumps of sugar.

Keep an eye on it and pull it off the heat when it’s nice a golden color.

The rest is a breeze! Just blend it all until smooth and pour over the caramel.

8. Puerto Rican Pineapple Rum Cake

This sweet little cake is a tropical dream.

Since I love pineapple so much, I like to chop it into chunks and fill the bottom of the pan, rather than just a layer of slices.

The cake comes together pretty fast, and the whole thing needs to bake for just over an hour.

Please don’t skip the glaze at the end. Since it cooks with the pineapples, it’ i’s such a sweet, fruity, and boozy treat that makes the whole thing pop.

9. Quesitos (Cream Cheese Pasties)

As much as I love a cinnamon pastry in the morning, these cheesecake-like treats are irresistible.

And with store-bought pastry, they can be ready in less than 10 minutes!

If you’re looking for something extra, try adding caramel, fruit compote, or chocolate to the mix.

10. Pan de Mallorca (Mallorca Bread)

This enriched sweet bread is tender, fluffy, and so light.

It’s lovely served along with a pad of butter or can be used as a beautiful base for something more extravagant.

Fill with guava paste, Nutella, or a fruit compote before baking for a sweet bread that’s to die for.

11. Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains)

Plantains make a fantastic vegetable alternative.

They can be served in place of potatoes or roasted veggies with lots of salt, pepper, and spice.

Or they can be cooked in cinnamon and brown sugar for an easy and healthy dessert.

Look for brown skins for maximum flavor.

12. Limber de Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Fudgesicle)

Just four ingredients and five minutes will give you a sweet, creamy, and decadent frozen treat.

Blend the evaporated milk with Nutella, condensed milk, and whole milk until smooth.

You can pour the mix into simple plastic cups or popsicle molds if you have them.

13. Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)

If you’ve ever made eggnog at home, you know it can be a bit of a pain.

There’s tempering involved, and if you want a big batch for a party, you’re looking at a lot of waste if those eggs overcook.

Puerto Rican eggnog couldn’t be easier.

Blitz everything until smooth and chill to serve.

The combination of milk and coconut with rum makes for a smooth, thick, creamy drink that everyone will go nuts for.

14. Budín de Pan (Bread Pudding)

Bread pudding might have started as a frugal dessert to use up stale bread, but this recipe is so much more than that.

The addition of flan-like caramel sauce to the top is an indulgence that will have you reaching for seconds… and thirds!

Throw in some rum-soaked raisins, and it’s one incredible dessert.

15. Polvorones: Puerto Rican Shortbread Cookies

Like a good Scottish shortbread, this recipe does not use eggs.

Instead, it incorporates the fat with the flour to create a wonderfully short, buttery, and crisp cookie that needs nothing but a cup of tea.

The use of lard is not only cheaper than all-butter but will help to keep the crumb crumbly.

16. Coquito Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches cake is a light and subtly flavored cake that is just as delicious served alone as with chocolate or caramel.

The addition of spices to the coquito topping makes for a wonderfully festive cake that is easy to make and will be a crowd-pleaser.

Be sure to poke the holes all over the cake to allow the topping to seep in, and let it sit overnight if possible.

17. Quesitos de Guayaba (Sweeten Cream Cheese and Guava Pastries)

Remember that guava jam you made? Here’s an excellent recipe to use some of it up!

I love the shape of these, letting the filling bubble up on the edges, though you could try any number of fun shapes!

You could also substitute the guava jam for whatever you have in the fridge.

18. Limbel/Limber (Puerto Rican Icee)

Like with the fudgsicles, this super-fast recipe just needs the ingredients combined until smooth.

You can pour it into the molds for an easy summer treat.

A really great option would be to pour the mix into ice cube trays and add them to your iced coffee, or for use in smoothies.

19. Guava Cheesecake

I know you’re not surprised to see a cheesecake on the list!

The great thing about cheesecake is that it goes with most toppings.

Making a creamy base and changing things up with sauces and drizzles is all part of the fun.

But I love to bake the topping right in, giving it a beautiful swirl or pattern.

The guava is so pretty against the white cheesecake, and the flavor is terrific.

20. Piragua de Crema (Cream Shaved Ice)

Shaved ice is one of those light, guilt-free desserts that’s beloved by grown-ups and kids alike.

Sure, the kids tend to go for the bright blue option or a messy mixture of everything, but I love this simple, creamy version so much more.

It might not be guilt-free since it’s full of cream, condensed milk, and evaporated milk, but it’s super tasty and worth every calorie.

21. Majarte (Rice Flour Custard)

Made with cornmeal and coconut milk, majarte, or rice flour custard, is similar to pudding.

It’s especially tasty with coconut flakes or cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Some might even say that this treat reminds them of flan. Serve it as the finale to your feast, and you won’t be disappointed!

22. Budin (Bread Pudding)

It really doesn’t matter what the culture happens to be. Somehow, bread pudding always has a place on the table.

Puerto Rican budin is often served during the holiday season.

It’s made with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, vanilla extract, butter, and raisins.

It’s a simple treat but it’s so divine!

23. Besitos de Coco (Coconut Macaroons)

These tasty coconut macaroons are light, not too sweet, and so delicious!

They’re also quite easy to make, as they only require three ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, shredded coconut flakes, and vanilla extract.

for additional flavor, you can also add in a dash of almond extract.

You might want to whip up an extra batch of these macaroons. They’ll disappear quickly!

23 Puerto Rican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes) (2)

23 Puerto Rican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

Looking for some traditional Puerto Rican desserts that are easy to make? From flan to rum cake to shaved ice, these sweet treats will give you a taste of the islands.



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23 Puerto Rican Desserts (+ Easy Recipes) (2024)


What is a popular dessert in Puerto Rico? ›

Quesitos are Puerto Rico's most popular treat and can be found almost everywhere – from bakeries to coffee shops and even supermarkets.

What is the most common dessert in Costa Rica? ›

Tres Leches

Considered by some to be the national dessert of Costa Rica, this dessert is by far the favorite of many. Tres leches, meaning three milks is moist, rich, creamy, and indulgent.

What are common side dishes in Puerto Rico? ›

  • Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican meat filled fritters) ...
  • Puerto Rican Bacalaitos (Codfish Fritters) ...
  • Bacalaitos Recipe. ...
  • Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas) ...
  • Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas) ...
  • Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad) ...
  • Guineítos en escabeche.

What is Puerto Rican flan made of? ›

Flan is a classic Puerto Rican dessert (also known as an egg custard to many) and is made with a milk and egg base. Traditionally, this custard is poured over a caramelized sugar base, baked and flipped upside down to reveal a beautiful caramel topping.

What is cake called in Puerto Rico? ›

Puerto Rico (U.S.)

Any type of cake, unless otherwise having a specific name (example: tres leches), is termed a bizcocho.

What are 3 popular Puerto Rican foods? ›

The vibrancy of Puerto Rican culture comes alive in its dishes, a celebration of flavors that visitors have the opportunity to indulge in. Some of the favorites are mofongo, tostones, pasteles, arroz con gandules, tembleque, and coquito.

What are 5 food dishes that are common in Costa Rica? ›

Traditional Costa Rican Foods to Know
  • Gallo pinto (rice and beans) ...
  • Chifrijo (fried pork with red beans) ...
  • Rondón (seafood and coconut stew) ...
  • Casado (combo plate) ...
  • Olla de carne (beef and vegetable stew) ...
  • Picadillo (vegetable hash) ...
  • Chorreadas (corn pancakes) ...
  • Ceviche.
Jan 29, 2024

What fruit is Costa Rica known for? ›

Bananas are Costa Rica's main export. The banana industry is a vital part of Costa Rica's economy and employs many people in rural areas of the country. Bananas are a popular fruit in the U.S. and other countries, but many people are used to imported bananas.

What is the number 1 dish in Puerto Rico? ›

For a traditional dish found across Puerto Rico, you can't go wrong with mofongo.

What is the signature dish of Puerto Rico? ›

Puerto Rico's national dish clearly has a Caribbean influence, like some of the other food made in the area, but the Puerto Ricans have made arroz con gandules their own with their incredibly delectable sofrito sauce.

What is the popular cold treat in Puerto Rico? ›

In Puerto Rico, the word piragua refers to a frozen treat made of shaved ice and covered with fruit-flavored syrup. Unlike the American snow cone which is round and resembles a snowball, the piragua is pointy and shaped like a pyramid.

Are there deserts in Puerto Rico? ›

Though the island is relatively small—just 110 miles from east to west, and 39 miles north to south—we moved seamlessly from limestone cliffs, sprawling wetlands, curving mountain roads, rainforests, desert, and everything in between.

What drinks is Puerto Rico known for? ›

We have to start, of course, with the national drink of Puerto Rico, the piña colada. The origins of this signature drink are hotly debated to this day. Most accounts agree on the fact that the drink was invented in San Juan.

Did Puerto Rico invent flan? ›

The flan's history is traced back to ancient Rome when egg surpluses were transformed into custards to produce both sweet and savory tastes. The Spaniards took it to America, where it became a delicacy.

Is Puerto Rico a food desert? ›

“The fact that Puerto Rico is a 'food desert' in the middle of a tropical Caribbean island has only been accentuated by Maria in 2017, the earthquakes in 2019, and now the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

What is the most popular dessert in Puerto Rico for Christmas? ›

Tembleque, which comes from the word “temblar” which means to shake or tremble, is a custard-like coconut dessert that will sweeten your festive feast. Although there are many variants of it across Latin America, this recipe originated in Puerto Rico and is now the crown jewel of the Island's holiday season.

What is ice cream called in Puerto Rico? ›

A limber is a frozen ice pop originating in Puerto Rico. It is made in different flavors. Limber is derived from the Spanish pronunciation of pilot Charles Lindbergh's last name.

What is the most popular chocolate in Puerto Rico? ›

Loiza Dark is Puerto Rico's premiere single-origin chocolate brand. It is an all natural gourmet chocolate crafted from the seeds of our own cacao trees. For many years our chocolate has obtained both local and international recognition from our delighted customers.

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