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24 Mexican Desserts to Make at Home

Celebrate every day with these Mexican desserts, including Mexican wedding cookies, fried ice cream and tres leches cake.

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If you’re having a night of authentic Mexican food, don’t just stop at a Mexican dinner! Try making one of these authentic Mexican desserts, like homemade churros, conchas or paletas. These desserts are guaranteed to expand your flavor palate and they’ll make you fall even more in love with the Mexican cuisines. They’re easy to make at home and guaranteed to satiate your sweet tooth after a night of eating savory Mexican food.

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Creamy Caramel Flan

Just a small slice of this impressively rich and creamy caramel flan goes a long way—and it couldn’t be simpler to make! The luscious vanilla custard comes together in a flash, and it’s baked in a water bath on top of a quick-and-easy caramel sauce. In fact, the hardest part about making this flan is waiting for it to be ready to eat.

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Check out these other desserts from around the world.

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Classic Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches means “three milks.” This cake gets its name because it uses three kinds of milk—cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk. This cake’s light and airy texture has made it a classic in Mexican kitchens for generations. For an extra-special adult spin, add a splash of dark rum or sweet liqueur to the milk mix before pouring it over the cake.
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Fresas con Crema

This refreshing fresas con crema recipe is wonderful with fresh strawberries, but it can be enjoyed with any type of fruit that’s in season. Look for media crema, a rich and unsweetened cream, in the baking aisle or ethnic food section of the grocery store. It’s similar to creme fraiche and sour cream, although sour cream is a bit tangier.
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Concha (Mexican sweet bread) is a breakfast or snack pastry found all over Mexico. It has a fluffy brioche-like dough with a crispy streusel topping, scored to resemble a shell. The pastry can come in a variety of colors and shapes. This recipe offers two different toppings—a plain brown sugar streusel, and a chocolate-tinged streusel—and we think you’ll find it impossible to choose a favorite!
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Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

Most of the cookie recipes you’re used to probably start with butter or shortening. These traditional cinnamon cookies, known in Mexico as reganadas, are made with lard, which gives them a crumbly texture. You can use butter if you have trouble finding lard in your local market, but for the most authentic Mexican desserts, using lard really does make all the difference.
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Homemade Churros

These fried cinnamon-sugar goodies are best when fresh and hot. Pair them with a cup of coffee or a luscious mug of hot chocolate. If (by some miracle) you have leftover churros, freeze them on a sheet pan like doughnuts, then pack in airtight freezer bags once solid. To reheat, pop them in the toaster oven or air fryer for a few minutes until hot and crispy.
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Strawberry Basil Honey PaletasERICKA SANCHEZ FOR TASTE OF HOME

Strawberry, Basil and Honey Paletas

South of the border, people beat the heat with cool, refreshing paletas. Think of them as Mexico’s answer to popsicles, but made with fresh fruit instead of juice or flavored water. Use this helpful guide to learn how to make paletas step by step.

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Mexican Wedding Cakes

These “cakes” are actually cookies! If you bake regularly, there’s an excellent chance you already have the five ingredients for this recipe in your pantry. If you don’t keep pecans on hand, replace them with other finely chopped nuts, like walnuts or almonds.
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Sopaipillas are crispy pillows of fried dough. They’re a sweet way to round out a spicy Mexican meal. To sweeten your sopaipillas, dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey when they’re hot out of the fryer. You can also sprinkle on your favorite dessert spices, like cinnamon, ginger or homemade pumpkin pie spice.
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Mexican Hot Chocolate

This delicious, not-too-sweet Mexican hot chocolate is richly flavored with cocoa and delicately seasoned with spices. The whole-stick cinnamon stirrers come in handy, as the old-fashioned chocolate mixture settles if not stirred before drinking. Real Mexican hot chocolate is beaten with a molinillo (wooden whisk) until it’s light and frothy; to replicate that authentic experience, hit your hot chocolate with a handheld milk frother for 15-30 seconds.
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Mayan Chocolate Biscotti

These biscotti use ground cinnamon, cacao dark baking chocolate and ground ancho chile pepper for a sweet and spicy flavor. They’re the perfect size to dunk into your morning coffee or hot chocolate.
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Margarita Tres Leches Cake

This drink is inspired by a favorite Mexican drink—margaritas. Adding key lime juice and tequila to the authentic dessert, this sponge cake is light and refreshing. It’s sure to be the talk of the party at your next summer cookout.
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Mole New Mexican Wedding Cookies

These traditional Mexican cookies get a flavor upgrade thanks to chili powder and chocolate chips. You’ll love the heat and sweet flavor combination and tender crumb.
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Pumpkin Sopapilla Cheesecake

Enjoy a Mexican dessert with warm fall spices with this take on traditional sopapillas. Made with canned pumpkin, cream cheese and pumpkin pie spice, these fall-themed sopapillas are made into a cheesecake with a crescent roll crust. It’s a perfect dessert to end a night full of Mexican-themed food.
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Dulce de Leche Banana Cream Pie

A Mexican twist on banana cream pie, this dessert uses sweetened condensed milk and half-and-half cream for a take on tres leches cake. Add in vanilla extract and bananas and you’ve combined two beloved desserts! Easily whip up this dessert by using a store-bought crust and dulce de leche product.
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Almond Coconut Flans

Create a unique and sweetened version of the traditional flan with these miniature ones. Slivered almonds, sweetened shredded coconuts and a chocolate drizzle top this creamy, custard Mexican dessert. The individual-sized servings make for a great dessert to pass out during special events.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Empanadas

Empanadas are a breaded turnover that are typically filled with meat or fish. This Mexican dessert version uses pumpkin pie mix, cream cheese and pecans for a sweet filling, turning the typical savory dish into a delicious treat.
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Easy Mexican Brownies

Transform normal brownies into a Mexican-inspired dessert by adding ground ancho chile pepper into a box of brownie mix. Ancho chile pepper is a mild spice and smoky flavor. They’re commonly used in Mexican dishes and make these brownies have a little added heat to them. You won’t be able to stop at just one!
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Cherry Biscochitos

Popular in New Mexico, this Mexican dessert is a crisp, buttery cookie that gets its flavor from anise extract, maraschino cherries and fresh cranberries. This fruit version is perfect to make during the warmer days and adjust as fruits come in-season.
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Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cakes

Take a yummy twist on the authentic Mexican dessert by adding a pinch of spice. This version adds baking cocoa for that added sweetness and ground cinnamon for a little kick. For chocolate lovers, add mini chocolate chips to the dough to satisfy that sweet tooth.
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Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican tea cookies are crispy, buttery rounds accented with a touch of cinnamon and finely chopped pecans. This recipe takes things up a notch, topping them with a simple buttercream frosting made with dulce de leche.
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Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

Can’t wait to dig into a craveable tres leches cake? We’ve all been there! Try this recipe, which uses yellow cake mix to bring this creamy cake to the table much faster. For something a little different, make tres leches cake with different flavors of cake mix, like chocolate, lemon or even Funfetti.
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Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Arroz con leche is a Spanish version of rice pudding. The milk and rice are sweetened, cooked and flavored, creating a thick dish. This simple five-ingredient Mexican dessert calls for raisins to be added to the mix, but if you’re not a fan, substitute another dried fruit or toasted nuts instead, or leave them out entirely.
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No-Fry Fried Ice Cream

Love the fried ice cream at your favorite Mexican restaurant but hate deep-frying at home? By using spiced, toasted corn flakes, this recipe replicates the flavor and texture of fried ice cream almost perfectly, without the need for hot oil.
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Sopaipilla Stars

Make classic sopaipillas more special by cutting the dough into star shapes before frying them. Because they’re bite-sized, these sopaipillas are wonderful served with an array of sweet dessert sauces for dipping. Set them out with small bowls of salted caramel, hot fudge, lemon curd or anything else your sweet tooth is in the mood for.
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Pastelitos De Boda

In Mexico, these rich cookies are called “Little Wedding Cakes” and usually are served with hot chocolate. Make sure you let the dough rest overnight, it makes all the difference.

Allison Robicelli
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food and recipe writer, humorist, and the author of four (quite good) books. Her writing credits include the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Food52, The Takeout, and other major publications. Before becoming a full-time writer, she spent over a decade as a working chef, and was the co-owner of the acclaimed Robicelli's Bakery in Brooklyn. In addition to food and comedy, she also writes about history, parenting, and cannabis. She lives in Baltimore with her two teenage sons and four patient cats.