Top 15 Most Popular Dominican Desserts
Dominican food has an amazing reputation and their desserts are no exception. Known for being unique, Dominican desserts leave you craving for more, so there is no reason to hold back.
Whether you want to learn to put together a Dominican flan or delicious majarete, or are thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic to try them in their native land, here are 15 of the best and most popular Dominican deserts.
1. Majarete (Dominican Corn Pudding)
Who doesn’t love corn? Everyone loves the crunchy sweetness of cornflakes; now imagine a dessert made with corn.
This popular Dominican dessert is called majarete and it is made by blending whole corn kernels, sugar, coconut, and evaporated milk. It is blended until you get the desired consistency, strained, and then cooked until it thickens.
Finally, a sprinkle of cinnamon on the top for some extra flavor. This dessert is quick and easy to make and it is healthy. So why not serve it up to your guests?
2. Flan (Crème Caramel)
Flan, a dessert similar to creme caramel, is not just popular in Dominica; it can be found nearly everywhere in Latin America from Cuba to Chile. If you want an easy classic dessert to impress, this is the one. There are many variants of flan so it is bound to please everyone. Vegans should try the pumpkin flan or the non-traditional option coffee liqueur flan.
Delicious but simple, the ingredients are just eggs, sugar, vanilla, and milk. The eggs and sugar are whisked together, the condensed milk is slowly poured in, and then vanilla is added and the whole thing is mixed together. Lastly, the dessert is covered with aluminum foil and baked for 60 minutes.
This dessert is fluffy, smooth, and melts in your mouth. The next time you want to try something new, make a flan; it won’t disappoint!
3. Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)
Anyone who has tried Tres Leches will agree that this cake feels like heaven. It is a spongy, soft, and moist three-layer cake soaked in three types of milk – whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.
Finally, this dessert is generally topped with whipped cream and a cherry is popped on the top. It can also be topped with strawberries, kiwi, or peach, of course. The dessert is served cold for an unforgettable experience.
4. Maiz Caquiao (Cracked Corn Pudding)
This dessert is not so easy to make but it’s worth the effort. In case you hadn’t noticed yet, corn is used in many Dominican desserts, and this is due to its versatility and fresh taste. To make this dessert all you need is cracked corn, although you can also use hominy. Some people like to add rice for extra thickness and then top it with raisins to give it more flavor.
5. Dominican Arepa (Cornmeal Cake)
If you are not a fan of extremely sweet desserts then the Dominican arepa is the dessert for you. It’s a sweet but salty dessert that will leave you craving more. This dessert comes with Colombian and Venezuelan influence, but the Dominicans have given their very own spin.
Cornmeal, evaporated milk, coconut milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and unsalted butter – just think about those ingredients for a second, whisked up and cooked on a low heat until thick. The mixture is baked uncovered for 30 minutes until firm – and simply delicious.
Once cooled, you can dress it with whatever toppings you fancy. It goes particularly well with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
6. Habichuela con Dulce (Sweet Cream of Beans)
If this were a ranked list then this dessert would come it 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Habichuela con dulce is mostly made for Easter and every household makes it in very big quantities to share with family, friends, and neighbors. Now, the ingredients might not scream deliciousness, but trust me, it is!
It is made with beans, milk, coconut milk, raisins, and sweet potatoes. You see? But once you have made a creamy base with those ingredients and cooked it until thick, you wont be able to get enough. Habichuelas con dulce is generally served on its own – it is delicious enough – or with sweet crackers.
7. Paleta de Coco (Coconut Popsicles)
This is an easy-to-make, all-natural dessert that will only take 5 minutes of your time. All you need is coconut milk, condensed milk, coconut flakes, and heavy cream.
Mix the ingredients, put them in popsicle molds, and pop them in the freezer for 4-8 hours. Once completely frozen, take them out and enjoy!
8. Guava Empanadas
Empanadas aren’t just served savory. If that’s what you thought, then you are completely wrong. Guava Empanadas are a sweet dessert usually served up for holidays.
Their crunchy outside always satisfies and the guava filling hits just the right spot. Guava is abundant in the Dominican Republic and they have certainly made the most of this delicious fruit.
This dessert can be made in 30 minutes. You need flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, water, salt, and guava. Mix together the pastry ingredients, knead it, roll it out, and cut it into an empanadas shapes. Fill them with the guava mix and deep fry – or bake for a healthier option.
9. Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy)
This is yet another natural dessert with a great texture. To make this, grease a tray with vegetable oil. Mix together freshly grated coconut flakes, dark honey, and finely grated ginger.
Pour it into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, stir vigorously until the honey has turned a dark caramel color. Cool to room temperature, then roll into balls and they are ready to serve.
10. Dulce de Leche Cortada (Curdled Milk Dessert)
Now, don’t judge this dessert until you have tried it. Despite its name and ingredients, this dessert is exquisite, with tastes of lime, cinnamon, and caramel. It looks uniquely different because it is made with curdled or spoiled milk. Don’t worry; it is perfectly safe to eat.
If you only have fresh milk, add some lemon or vinegar and let it sit for 15 minutes. Take your spoiled milk and add cinnamon and lime peel and cook on a low heat. Add the sugar and let it cook until there is no more liquid.
11. Pudin de Pan (Spiced Bread Pudding)
This is a fantastic recipe, flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and is possibly the most popular in the Dominican Republic. Bread crumbs are soaked with spices in milk, eggs are added and it is baked until firm.
Bread pudding is easy and tastes amazing, you can add bananas to it to make it sweeter. Or you can experiment with any added flavors you fancy.
12. Mantecaditos (Butter Cookies)
If you are looking for something to serve with your coffee, you should give this dessert a try. You just need all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, lime zest, and unsalted butter.
This recipe is so easy. Put the ingredients in a food processor and mix until it forms lumps. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. After that, remove it from the plastic and scoop a tablespoon of the dough, make a ball and then press it down.
Put them all in the oven for 18 minutes at 350 °F, cool for 30 minutes, and your cookies are ready.
13. Jalea de Batata Dulce (Sweet Potato Pudding)
Sweet potato pudding is a warm and comforting dessert that never fails to satisfy. This sort of dessert is perfect for when don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Boiled sweet potatoes, coconut milk, salt, evaporated milk, cinnamon, raisins, and sugar – simple. The sweet potato is boiled and mashed then all the other ingredients are mixed in until it is smooth. Then it is gently cooked until it thickens and, once cooled down, is served with coconut flakes – even more delicious.
14. Dulce de Leche en Tabla (Milk Fudge Squares)
This is one of the more simple desserts to make. Just two ingredients, condensed milk and sugar, are cooked until it looks like peanut butter. Once cooled, it is ready to eat. How can you resist something so easy yet so moreish.
15. Dominican Buñuelo (Puffy Fried Balls)
These look scrumptious, don’t they? Buñuelos are easy to make and you just need flour, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs. Mix everything together and fry small balls of the mixture. Serve with a cup of coffee or warm milk.
Dominican Buñuelo’s are typically served with syrup or honey to make them even sweeter. They are a tradition in the Dominican Republic and are consumed on holidays such as Christmas or Holy week.
As you can see, Dominicans are experts at making desserts out of things you wouldn’t imagine suitable. They also make very exciting combinations of flavors and textures that will bring you back asking for more. These desserts are simple, fast to make, aren’t very elaborated, but are simply delicious.
Related: Most Popular Dominican Drinks
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