Puerto Rican Desserts: 12 You’re Sure To Love

It is easy to see why dessert is often considered one of the best meals of the day. With all the great tastes and flavors to work with, it is easy to find something new to try every day. And when you add some great Puerto Rican desserts to your menu, you and your family can enjoy something tasty and new!

Some of the many traditional Puerto Rican desserts that your tastebuds will love include pineapple rum cake, mantecaditos, plátanos maduros, Guava Pastelitos, tembleque, and limber. Each of these desserts brings a little bit of Puerto Rico to your meal.

Puerto Rico has a lot of great dishes, including their incredible desserts. This article will look at a few of the best desserts you can try from Puerto Rico.

12. Pan de Mallorca

Mallorca Puerto Rican Breakfast Pastry
Mallorca Puerto Rican Breakfast Pastry

Often enjoyed for breakfast in Puerto Rico, Pan de Mallorca is a Puerto Rican treat. It is named after the Spanish island of Mallorca from where it originates.

Mallorca bread is a Puerto Rican sweet bread roll topped with plenty of powdered sugar.

It’s very similar to most pastries found in the United States, but surprisingly not quite as sweet.

11. Coquito

Coquito Puerto Rico Eggnog with cinnamon stick
Coquito Puerto Rico Eggnog

Technically not a dessert but a popular Puerto Rican cocktail, Coquito checks the dessert box with many of its core ingredients; coconut, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Oh yes, rum is crucial as well to make Puerto Rico’s version of eggnog. And please be sure it’s Puerto Rican rum.

Coquito is a traditional favorite during the holiday season in Puerto Rico and to not serve it at your holiday party is as disappointing as it is unpatriotic.

Coquito continues to gain a following in the United States. Depending on your location it can even be found pre-made and bottled in some grocery and specialty stores. 

10. Limber

This is a great Italian ice dessert with a nice fruity taste to it. You can compare it to a frozen fruit juice that can be made from any type of fruit you would like. For dessert, you can choose to have just the frozen fruit juice or add it together with some other ingredients, including sugar, maple, coconut milk, chocolate, and honey.

This iced dessert will taste great and can feel good on those warm vacation days. As it starts to melt, you will get all the wonderful tastes of limber, depending on what combinations of flavors and fruits you decided to use.

9. Arroz con Dulce

Puerto Rican Dessert Arroz con Dulce
Arroz con Dulce

This is a type of traditional rice dessert saved for the holidays. It is a really tasty sweet rice dessert that is cooked with milk and a few other spices. The scented rice can help release a pleasant aroma that will almost be as good as the taste. The combined flavors include nuts, different spices, and condensed milk to make this a true delight.

Arroz con Dulce sometimes takes a little bit of time to learn how to make. And you may need to experiment to find the right heat temperature to get things going, without scalding the milk too much. With the right recipe and some practice, you can make this tasty dessert in no time.

8. Tembleque

Another choice that you can make is known as Tembleque. This is a simple dessert that has the same texture as jelly. This dessert has gained so much popularity that you can walk into almost any restaurant in Puerto Rico and request this dish without any problems. It is tasty and delicious enough that you may want to make it at home!

Since the ingredients are limited, the steps for making this dessert on your own will be simple. It has a rich and creamy taste, allowing for both a salty and sweet flavor at the same time. The coconut milk is the most prominent flavor, but it is easy to add in more spices to give it a unique taste.

7. Flan de Queso

Spoon full of Spanish flan
Flan

This is the famous cake custard that is often reserved for Thanksgiving dinner, though you can choose to make this dessert at any time. This is a nice choice that falls between a custard and a cheesecake for something unique.

This dish is not too sweet, while still giving you a little something to enjoy after your meal. The aroma of cheese mixed with eggs, a bit of vanilla, and some sweetened condensed and evaporated milk help round off this great dessert.

6. Plátanos Maduros

side order of platanoss maduros with white background
Platanos Maduros

This is simply fried sweet plantains. Not really a dessert but more of a side dish. But it definitely can be eaten on its own.

This recipe takes only two ingredients, over-ripened plantains and vegetable oil. It tastes somewhat light and sweet unlike it’s crunchy and harder cousin the tostone.

This is a good way to get something sweet while keeping your dessert a little healthier.

This recipe only needs plantains and a few spices to make it the perfect snack to take on the go. Slice the plantain up into any size you need, add some spices, bake in the oven, and you are ready to go.

5. Guava Pastelitos

Puerto Rican Dessert Guava Pastry
Guava Pastelitos

These are tiny little pastries that are simple to make at home. They include a little bit of pastry stuffed with some guava paste and topped with a little powdered sugar to give you something sweet. They look hard to make, but it is easy to create from your home. It is possible to add in a bit of sweetened cream cheese to make this dessert more filling.

4. Panetela de Guayaba

This is a unique dessert that will combine a few different items that you would like all into one. Think of this as a mixture of tropical guava pastry and cream cheese coffee cake all rolled into one. The buttery crumb cake can surround the cream cheese filling and the guava. This tasty treat works well for breakfast, dessert, or snack at any time of the day.

This dessert is filling thanks to the cream cheese and guava taking up much of the pastry. Be ready to fill up quickly, so make sure you leave some extra room after dinner to fit this delicious treat.

3. Mantecaditos

Puerto Rican Dessert Mantecaditos
Mantecadito Cookies

We can’t get through this whole list without adding the best Puerto Rican cookies to our dessert menu. These cookies are crisp, tender, and buttery. They may have a few different names, but they are festive cookies that come with guava paste or sprinkles. They work well during all times of the year, but they are often brought out special for Christmas.

Many countries have a version of these cookies, so you have likely seen them before. They are technically known as shortbread cookies since they don’t have any leavening agents or eggs in the dough. You can leave it plain with a few sprinkles on top or add some jam to have a great treat at any time of the year.

2. Pineapple Rum Cake

Puerto Rican Dessert Pineapple Rum Cake
Puerto Rican Pineapple Rum Cake

This is a great choice because it adds in a bit of ice cream for those hot days, tropical fruits, and a little alcohol. Throughout the Caribbean, rum cakes are a common holiday dessert. It was traditionally made by soaking some dried fruit in rum for a few months before adding to a sugary dough.

The good news is that modern technology has helped speed this process up while still giving a good flavor to your dessert. Rum cake, also known locally as bizcocho de Ron, is a simple bread-based pineapple dessert with lots of vanilla ice cream.  

1. Mini Guava Cheesecakes

You will notice that guava is a very popular addition to many of the recipes that we discuss in this list. And we are introducing it again with these mini guava cheesecakes. Once they are done, you will find it is pretty much impossible to only eat one!

While guava is the most common fruit to add to these cheesecakes, you can substitute any other fruit that you would like. There are even a few different types of cheese that you can use for these though the traditional cream cheese is the likelier option. Add a little coconut on top for a festive flair, and enjoy these tiny cheesecakes any time.

Conclusion

Dessert is a favorite part of the meal, even for those in Puerto Rico. And they bring out their desserts in style on this small island country.

When you are ready to explore some of the tastes, culture, and flavor of Puerto Rico, then it is time to try a few of the recipes above.

Whether you want something rich and decadent, or something simple, Puerto Rico has a flavor that is sure to entice you. 

Are you familiar with Puerto Rico’s Bacalaitos? If not, you’ll want to read more about Bacalaitos, Delicious Puerto Rican Codfish Fritters.

And for the complete list of the best savory dishes in Puerto Rico, check out 21 Dishes To Get You Eating Like A Boricua.

Sources

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