15 Traditional Mauritian Desserts And Cakes You Have To Try

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On the beautiful island of Mauritius, you will find that there are no shortages of traditional Mauritian desserts. Whether you visit bakeries, supermarkets, or street markets, there are a vast array of different desserts and cakes to choose from.

With the richly diverse cultural blend of particularly French, Indian, and African cuisines you can be sure to taste some amazing desserts on your travels. This is one of the exciting facts about Mauritius for foodies.

Mauritian Desserts Of Indian Origin



Ladoo is a very popular Mauritian dessert and is sometimes traditionally called ‘besan ladoo’. The dish itself originates from India from a dish called ‘Boondi Ladoos’.

Typically, besan ladoos are made during festivals or occasions such as Diwali or Janmashtami. It’s usually made in big batches where they can be given to friends and family as offerings. Ladoo is also a type of dessert that can be stored away for several weeks so you can enjoy them whenever you want!

Besan ladoo is predominantly made with lots of sugar, cardamom, ghee, and gram flour. It’s shaped into a round ball and a generous sugar syrup coats the whole ladoo. Ladoo is typically a very sweet dessert, so you can probably eat just one or two in a sitting!

Sweet Idli


You may have heard of the original dish from South India called ‘idli’ or ‘idli sambhar’. Typically, a savory dish where idli (cakes) are made from rice would be enjoyed as breakfast in South India with dhal and chutneys.

However, the Mauritian dessert of sweet idli is instead made with semolina, sugar, milk, and cardamom. The sweet idli cakes are usually garnished with raisins and coconut. It is typically eaten by Mauritians as a dish for their breakfast, but really it could be consumed at any time during the day.

Gulab Jamun


Gulab jamun is also sometimes referred to as the ‘bullet-shaped’ dessert. Traditionally it’s an Indian dessert dish where the gulab jamun is made into round balls. Gulab jamuns are probably one of the most famous desserts across both Indian and Mauritian cuisines.

It’s generally a hot favorite and served as an offering to friends and families on occasions like Diwali.

The gulab jamuns are made from flour, milk powder, condensed milk, and ghee. They are then deep-fried before getting coated with syrup made from sugar, water, and the remaining spices.

It’s an extremely sweet dessert; therefore locals normally pair it with vanilla ice cream to soften some of that overwhelming sweetness. This is a great melt-in-your-mouth combination!



Barfi is a square-shaped Indian dessert that is quite heavy and dense, made from milk. It comes in many different flavors, such as rose, vanilla, coconut, chocolate, or pistachio. 

As with many other Mauritian desserts, barfi is another sweet delicacy that’s shared around Diwali time between friends and families.

It is quite simple to prepare and make at home, but can also be readily found in a street market or the superstore.

Barfi isn’t as sweet as other Indian-influenced Mauritian desserts, so it’s generally eaten straight after dinner or with tea in the afternoon.

Mauritian Desserts Of French Origin

Puits D’amor


Puits d’amor is a Mauritius dessert translated from French, meaning ‘wells of love’. This dessert is not just superb in taste but also visually stunning. 

The French influence of the dish can be seen as the base is made with a short-crust pastry and topped with the crème and red glazed cherry. However, the French preparation of this dessert differs slightly from the Mauritian version as they use raspberry jam instead.

This Mauritian dessert isn’t too sweet. The short-crust pastry gives the dish a solid savory base and the sweetened custard crème with the glazed cherry. This is an extremely popular dessert in Mauritian cuisine, as you’ll find puits d’amor in almost all patisseries.

It’s also common for schools to give students a patisserie with juice on Mauritian Independence Day. Puits d’amor is a favorite that’s usually given out during celebrations.  

Poudine Du Pain


Bread pudding is originally a European dessert, first known as ‘bread and butter pudding’. It’s a dish that’s much loved in various cuisines internationally.

It would be impossible to go through all the variations of the dessert in different countries as there are just too many. But the Mauritian bread pudding is a dish made with leftover bread, milk, caster sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Optionally, the dish can be dressed in dried fruit such as raisins, or chocolate chips and nuts.

This dish is more commonly made at home, as it’s famous for using leftover or stale bread. It’s not typically one you’d find in bakeries or on the street markets.

Tarte Bannane


Tarte bannane is a French-influenced tarte dish that contains no chocolate but overripe mashed bananas inside a short-crust pastry case. The top of the pastry is dressed in signature pastry lattices.

The banana tarte is such a famous dish in Mauritius that pretty much any pastry shop or bakery you enter will have a stack ready!

The tart isn’t overwhelmingly sweet; it is more buttery from the flaky pastry with a hinge of sugary taste from the cooked banana in the center. The tart goes quite well with ice cream or hot vanilla custard. It’s quite versatile and could be eaten as a morning pastry, in the afternoon, or even as an after-dinner dessert.

Mauritian Desserts Of Mauritius Origin

Butter Cookies


Butter cookies will melt in your mouth, and they are sometimes called ‘champagne cookies’.

The Mauritian take on the dish features2 butter cookies sandwiched together with a layer of jam in the middle. This forms a dessert called Napolitaines. The sandwiched cookies are given a glaze of white or pink icing to complete the ultimate treat.

Whilst the shortbread is soft and buttery, the sweet jam and sugary icing all over actually make it very sweet. Napolitaines is a traditional Mauritian dessert that can be found widely across the island, from bakeries to supermarkets, online stores, and street markets.

Poudine Mais (Corn Pudding)


Corn pudding is a sweet, yellow-colored Mauritian dessert made from polenta, milk, and sugar with vanilla, coconut, and cinnamon. It’s generally served cold, and topped with pistachio nuts or coconut shavings. 

This is a dessert that’s relished as a teatime or afternoon snack, as it’s very light, fluffy, and creamy but flavored delicately. In Mauritius, the dish is referred to as ‘poudine mais’, but its origins are much more widespread.

For example, the other variations of the corn pudding are called ‘che bap’ or ‘che ngo’ in Vietnamese, ‘curau de milhoin’ in South America, and ‘akasa’ or ‘koko’ in West Africa. As you can see, corn pudding is a versatile dessert and is often made in so many ways.

Gato Piment


Gato piment is a savory Mauritian cake that translates to ‘chili cake’. They are sometimes even referred to as falafel, but perhaps even better! They are crispy and crunchy in texture from being deep-fried with just a few simple ingredients.

The chili cake is made from overnight soaked yellow split peas, coriander, garlic, and spring onion. Of course, the dish would not be complete without adding red-dried cashmere chilies. The gato piment is served with fresh chutney, made from green chilies.

Typically, it can be enjoyed as a snack or afternoon tea but can be paired with a buttered baguette for breakfast in Mauritius.

You would generally find gato piment all over the island since it is a very popular Mauritius street food. It’s also typical for them to be sold in big bags so you can take some home with you.

Coconut Cake


A showstopping Mauritian dessert is arguably coconut cake, referred to as ‘gato coco’. It is made with a vanilla sponge, doused with jelly, and of course, dressed in coconut over top.

Originating in the Southern United States, coconut cakes are a well-loved dish. Traditionally, it was served as an entire cake dressed in coconut. Whereas the Mauritian take on the dish would generally serve the coconut cake in small squares.

Gato coco is a popular dish found in almost all bakeries or patisseries. It’s also a dish that is baked at home a lot and great for afternoon tea or with guests around.

Gato Patat


The Gato Patat (a ‘half-moon’ shaped cake) is a deep-fried potato dessert dish. The cake or casing of the dish is made from sweet potato and flour, while the inside of the dessert contains coconut and sugar. 

The dish is sweet in taste with coconut and sweet potato. The stuffing is kept warm andmoist in the middle of the dough.

Gato patat is a popular sweet dish that the Hindu population in Mauritius would make for Diwali. It’s also a dish you will find in the street markets of Mauritius frequently. They are quite easy to prepare before getting launched into a big deep fryer.

Mauritian Desserts Of Chinese Origin

Gateau Zinzli


Gateau zinzli is a crunchy and fluffy Mauritian sesame rice ball.

They are often referred to or thought of as doughnuts. This dish originates from Chinese cuisine as a fried dumpling. It was introduced to Mauritius by Chinese migrants from the 18th Century (Sino-Mauritians).

As a result, they are typically eaten by natives on Chinese New Year. Fast forward to present day, these Mauritian snacks are popular and widely found in the markets.

They are crispy on the outside after getting deep fried like most Mauritian street food, but light and soft on the inside. The filling of the sesame rice ball is predominantly made with milk powder, flour, butter, and sugar.

This is a very sweet Mauritian dessert; the balls are great for snacking and often go well with a hot cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon! You’ll most likely find an abundant amount of sesame rice balls in the Chinatown of Mauritius where you can even buy a bag of these to take with you.

Almond Biscuit


Almond biscuit, like the Gateau Zinzli, was also introduced to Mauritius dessert cuisine by Sino-Mauritians. As such, they are usually made to celebrate Luna New Year. The idea was that the Chinese almond cookie would symbolize coins and wish you good fortune.

It’s traditional for Sino-Mauritians to offer these sweet treats to friends and families during the New Year.

You would find almond biscuits more specifically in the Chinatown of Mauritius or in superstores. The almond biscuit is made with almond flour, butter, sugar, and almond extract. They are usually shaped into round circles with an almond placed on top.

Traditionally, almond biscuits were not actually made with almonds. But in more modern recipes the ingredients have evolved and included almond butter and extracts to create a nutty flavor and texture.



The mooncake is a delicacy dessert of Chinese origin and is relished more so during the Mid-Autumn festival. The tradition of this dessert, being called a mooncake, is to appreciate the moon and moon watching. Mooncakes are usually offered as gifts between family and friends during festivals.

The mooncake is made with a mung bean or lotus paste filling and encased with pastry around the outside. They are usually baked into molds to form beautiful shapes and carvings on the pastry

The taste of the mooncake is quite diverse and can vary depending on what filling Is being used. But generally, across most mooncakes, the pastry is thick, and the filling is quite sweet. A common variation is to have egg yolks inside which gives a salty flavor to it. 

Discovering Mauritian Desserts And Cakes

You can always visit Mauritius whether you are looking for an influence of Indian, Chinese, or traditional Mauritian roots for desserts, cakes, or sweets. Mauritius food always has something to offer for every taste bud!

Desserts and cakes in Mauritius arguably showcase the fusion of cultures the best with traditional recipes being varied and developed further. So be sure to try out these while you are exploring everything Mauritius has to give!



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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