10 Must-Try Argentinian Desserts
Desserts are, without a doubt, an integral of Argentinian cuisine. As descendants of sociable Italians and Spaniards, Argentines are great lovers of after-dinner talk, especially on Sundays when family gatherings abound.
If we look for a common denominator in Argentinian desserts, we discover that most of them have a star ingredient: dulce de leche. This is a luscious sweet cream made from milk and sugar that is added to many of my country’s desserts.
Here, I list ten of the most typical desserts that you must try if you visit Argentina!
1. Dulce de Leche Pancakes
Argentinian pancakes are an adaptation of American pancakes, known in Spain as tortitas. What sets them apart is the recipe.
These traditional Argentinian pancakes should be thinner than American ones but thicker than French crepes. In addition, the way they are served is also different: the pancakes are served rolled up as if they were cannelloni.
Of course, the most popular Argentinian pancake filling is the dulce de leche, and its recipes are many. It is a very popular dessert with children and adults love it too.
2. Balcarce Cake
The Balcarce cake is one of the most historical and typical Argentinian sweet treats. When it was created, it was known as “Imperial Dessert.”
Its creator was born in the city of Balcarce in the Buenos Aires province. For fans of car racing, it is the hometown of former Formula 1 World Number One, Juan Manuel Fangio.
The original recipe was sold to a baker from Mar de Plata, who generously renamed this popular dessert “Balcarce cake” in honor of its creator. It’s a gorgeous combination of sponge cake, meringue and—unsurprisingly—dulce de leche. This delicious cake is a must-try dessert when in Argentina.
It would be wrong not to include the renowned alfajores on this list. These consist of two cookies joined together by a dulce de leche filling.
Alfajores are eaten at all hours in Argentina and can be found in any store, from large supermarkets to newsstands. It is practically impossible to find a person who does not like alfajores, since these are available in an infinity of flavors.
One variant is the cornstarch alfajores, in which the cookies are not made with classic cookie ingredients, but made from cornstarch dough, which in turn usually contains dulce de leche and grated coconut.
4. Bread Pudding
This filling, economical dessert is made from stale hard bread, butter, eggs and sugar. After baking, the mixture gets firmer and turns a darker color. It has to be cooled for a few hours before serving.
Bread pudding is usually accompanied with dulce de leche or cream, and it is commonly eaten after a meal as dessert.
This dish was brought to Argentina by immigrants who came from starvation and war, which is why everything is used in the recipe and even stale bread is not allowed to go to waste.
5. Torta Rogel
Rogel is a classic Argentinian dessert, consisting of numerous thin layers of dough, topped with a creamy dulce de leche spread. The cake traditionally includes eight layers, and the top is usually decorated with Italian meringue.
Although not much is known about its origins, rogel is a staple at every special occasion in Argentina. It is also known as alfajor rogel, due to its similarity to alfajor cookies.
6. Pasta Frola
This quintessential Argentinian cake is enjoyed at celebrations, parties and birthdays.The pastry base is covered with quince jelly, sweet potato or dulce de leche.
Although its origins stem from the crosata, an Italian cake, the use of quince paste gives it its unique South American character.
Pasta Frola can be ordered as a dessert, but it is also very common to find it served with a round of mate (a traditional South American drink) and shared with friends.
7. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
As you might have guessed—in Argentina we adapt everything to the flavor of our favorite sweet, dulce de leche.
That is why in Argentina this dessert, generally combined with red fruits that impart a slightly acidic flavor, takes on a light-brown color and a sweeter taste than you might expect in a cheesecake.
We prepare it with a base of mascarpone cheese and dulce de leche. Instead of red fruits, we sometimes add chocolate flakes.
8. Cheese and Sweet or “Postre Vigilante”
Rarely missing from the fridge of any Argentine family, this is a dessert that helps us resist the temptation to eat something even sweeter, any time of day.
What is it? It’s very simple: just a slice of soft cheese and a slice of something sweet – this can be quince, sweet potato or sweet potato with chocolate.
On the menu of most restaurants you can find this dessert under the name “Postre vigilante.”
9. Don Pedro Cup
When we choose to end our meal with something cool and fresh, we think of ice cream, but in this case it has been given a more sophisticated touch.
The Don Pedro Cup is based on the best American-style ice cream, with a measure of whiskey and nuts to make it even more special.
It is a delicious dessert, but for obvious reasons, not suitable for children.
And we leave the best for last: chocotorta is practically our national cake. It’s also recognized beyond Argentina’s borders, having been named as the best dessert in the world in 2020 by Taste Atlas, which tracks and rewards the best in local ingredients, typical foods and specialized restaurants.
Argentina’s flagship cake took first place in the dessert category, beating pistachio ice cream from Italy and apple pie from Germany.
A well-known brand of cookies made it famous by describing the recipe step-by-step on packaging and, from there, it rose to fame. Layers of chocolate chip cookies, cream cheese, and, of course, dulce de leche, all finished off with any toppings imaginable. There are those who add strawberries or bananas, those who put ice cream on top, those who decorate it with whipped cream and those who put grated chocolate or meringue on top of the cake.
This most iconic of classic desserts, Chocotorta is adored by children and adults alike.
Definitely, when in Argentina, you should sample all the tasty treats on this list of Argentinian desserts!
Have we forgotten any yummy Argentinian desserts? Add a comment below and share your favorite with our community!
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