Colombia is known for its delicious foods and drinks. And what could be more Colombian than desserts? Colombia has a lot to offer when it comes to desserts. There are traditional desserts like arequipe and tamal as well as modern desserts like cupcakes, chocolates, and ice cream. You can also find a variety of unique sweets in Colombia. From fruit-filled pastries to sweetbreads, Colombian desserts are worth trying when you are in Colombia. Here is a list of some of the best desserts you must try when you are in Colombia.
Refajo is a custard-like dessert that is made from yuca (also known as cassava root), sweet potato, plantain, quinoa, or corn. Refajo is often eaten during special occasions like births, baptisms, or first Communions.
Natilla Colombiana (Colombian Christmas Custard)
Natilla Colombiana is a traditional Colombian Christmas dessert. It is a typical Colombian bread that is fried. Natilla is a type of bread pudding that is made with eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. It is said to have been introduced to Colombia by way of Spain. Natilla is usually served as a dessert during Christmas and in some cases, Easter.
Colombian Pound Cake
This traditional Colombian dessert is a must-try when visiting Colombia, especially if you’re in the northern part of the country. The main ingredients are corn flour, cassava, and coconut milk. All three ingredients are super common in Colombian cooking, so there’s a good chance you’ll see this dessert pop up on some Colombian food menus that you come across.
Polvorosas (Colombian Butter and Sugar Cookies)
Polvorosas, also called Polvorilla or Pompolitos, is a traditional Colombian treat. They are made from corn flour, sugar, and butter. Polvorosas are shaped like little raindrops, hence their name. They are often served with hot milk or coffee during celebrations like Christmas and in Bogotá’s annual San Isidro Festival.
Obleas (Colombian Wafers)
This is a dessert that is usually sold on the street side and is a favorite among the locals. It consists of two wafers sandwiched with caramel or dulce de leche and topped with sprinkles or coconut flakes. This sugary delight is one of the most popular street snacks in Colombia and you must try it when there.
Colombian Merengón (Pavlova)
Merengón is a type of dessert that is made from the starchy stems of the coca plant. The leaves of the coca plant are often chewed by farmers and indigenous people to numb their saliva before eating. Merengón is made from starchy coca leaves and is said to be a national Colombian delicacy.
Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Rice pudding is a very common Colombian dessert. It is usually served during special occasions like weddings and baptisms. Colombian rice pudding is made from rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
Cocadas Blancas (Colombian-Style Coconut Candy)
Cocadas Blancas (Colombian-style coconut candy) is a very popular snack in Colombia. You can find it in different parts of South America, but what makes Colombian cocadas special is the addition of panela, the unrefined cane sugar that’s been around since ancient times. If you can’t find panela at your local Latin market or grocery store, simply substitute it with packed brown sugar and you’ll be set!
Arequipe (Dulce de Leche)
Arequipe is a syrup made from sugar that is often used in desserts. It is often served with arequipe fresca, arequipe natural or arequipe hecha con vinagre. Dulce de leche is a sweet milk product that comes from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay. It is very similar to what is called amaretto in other parts of the world.
Colombian Salpicón (Fruit Drink)
Salpicón is a fruit drink made from guavas, papaya, apples, and other fruits. Salpicón comes in many varieties, some of which contain caffeine.
These are just a few examples of the delicious treats you will find in Colombia. There are many, many more. If you like sweets, you will love Colombian food and desserts. If you are planning a trip to Colombia, be sure to check out this list of the best foods to try when you are in Colombia.
Guava Cream Cheese Mini-Hand Pie
Colombian guava pastries are one of the most famous Colombian desserts. The guava cream cheese mini-hand pie is a great way to enjoy this traditional dessert in a portable way. It’s a great sweet treat to enjoy with afternoon tea or coffee, or just as a tasty dessert.
Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)
A traditional Christmas cake in Colombia is Torta Negra Colombiana or Colombian Black Cake. This cake is dense and even a little dry, and it’s only sweetened by the molasses that gives it its dark color. The tradition behind this cake goes back to slavery times. Each family would take the leftovers from their holiday feast and mash them up into a batter that was baked into this dense and dark cake.
Black cakes are also popular in Barbados, Jamaica, and Guyana. In those countries though, there are no leftovers involved; the molasses is what gives it its color there as well.
These days in Colombia black cakes are made much like any other fruitcake: dried fruit soaked in alcohol for months before baking.
Torta De Tres Leches (3 Milks Cake)
This is by far the most popular Colombian dessert and one of the most popular desserts in Latin America. It is also a favorite in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. The name of this cake translates to “three glasses of milk cake”, which refers to the three kinds of milk that are used in this recipe: evaporated, condensed, and cream. In some cases, goat’s milk may be used instead of cream. I was very surprised to learn that this cake is not a very old recipe and that it actually only originated in the 1950s.
In fact, a story claims that it all started with a mistake when an employee at Nestlé added too much liquid to a cake mix and decided to sell it anyway. Since then, the company has been producing these types of cake mixes under the brand name “Tres Leches”.
Despite being considered a traditional Colombian dessert, it is very difficult to find this cake in Colombia (or anywhere else in Latin America). It seems that this type of cake is not often made at home but rather sold commercially. When it is made at home, it tastes much better than what you can buy in stores or bakeries.
Colombian Hot Chocolate with Cheese
If you love chocolate, and if you love cheese, you will LOVE this dessert. In Colombia, they use a kind of cheese called “cuajada” (kind of like cream cheese) to make this dessert. The result is a delicious hot chocolate with a unique texture. This is a typical dessert for breakfast or tea time.
Rosquillas (Colombian Rosettes)
Rosquillas is a type of doughnut that has been dipped in sugar syrup. There’s nothing more simple than sugar and flour, but in Colombia, we make the best out of simple ingredients. Rosquillas are made fresh every day and sold all over the country at street vendors and bakeries alike. They come in many flavors from strawberry to vanilla to the plain sugar-coated rosquilla.
Roscón de Bocadillo o Guayaba (Guava Paste Stuffed Bread)
Roscón de Bocadillo o Guayaba is one of the most popular Colombian desserts.
It is made of a round sweet bread stuffed with guava paste and sprinkled with coconut shavings.
It can have different shapes, sizes, and fillings, but the recipe remains the same throughout the country.
The Roscón de Bocadillo is similar to other Latin American desserts in that it is made with sweet bread, which can be filled with jam or cream cheese, although the favorite filling in Colombia is guava paste.
Discovering Colombian Desserts in Colombia
Although there’s no shortage of great desserts in Colombia, these were the best of the best. If you’ve ever visited Colombia or plan to in the future, here are a few desserts that you need to try. Luckily, they’re quite common and easy to find at any restaurant or market in Colombia. If you’re looking for something sweet while visiting this wonderful South American nation, give one of these desserts a try – you will not be disappointed!