Brigadeiros 101: The Brazilian Caramel You Need to Try

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What’s Up, Hungry People!

Trust me, you’re in for a real treat today. These brigadeiros are guaranteed to hit the spot. Think of them as Brazil’s answer to caramel candies—just a few ingredients come together to create a rich and chewy masterpiece.

The World of Toppings

Let’s talk toppings, shall we? When I made these, I had Brazil nuts, cashews, and some crystal sprinkles hanging out in my pantry. Don’t forget the chocolate chips; I used a cheese grater to turn them into a fine powder. Voilà! A semi-sweet chocolate coating for these awesome brigadeiros.

ingredients for brigadeiros

Here’s What You Need

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: The base of the brigadeiros, it provides both sweetness and a creamy texture.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Adds the chocolate flavor to the brigadeiros, balancing out the sweetness of the condensed milk.
  • Butter: Helps in binding the ingredients and adds a hint of richness and flavor to the mixture.

For Topping:

  • Chocolate Chips, Melted: Adds an extra layer of chocolate goodness and helps adhere other toppings to the brigadeiros.
  • Sprinkles: Provide color, texture, and a bit of extra sweetness to each brigadeiro.
  • Crushed Cashews: Add a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor, enhancing the complexity of the brigadeiros.
  • Brazil Nuts: Offers another nutty option for texture and flavor; they also pay homage to the Brazilian origin of the recipe.
melting butter and cocoa

Let’s Cook!

Grab a saucepan and toss in cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. At first, the stirring will make you wonder if this recipe will ever come together. Keep at it, folks! Your hard work will be worth the chewy, caramel-y payoff.

fudge base brigadeiros

The Perfect Consistency

We’re aiming for a smooth, fudgy texture. This will take around 15 to 20 minutes of stirring. You’ll know you’re golden when the batter starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Don’t let it burn, though—keep that spoon moving!

thickening brigadeiros base

The Cool-Down Period

Once you’ve reached the ideal texture, let the brigadeiro batter cool off. I gave mine about 20 minutes, but in hindsight, another 10 minutes wouldn’t have hurt. You want it thick enough to roll but not so stiff that it turns into a playdough disaster.

rolling brigadeiros

Time to Roll

When you’re good to go, roll the mixture into quarter-sized balls. I rolled mine in sprinkles, crushed cashews, and my specially grated chocolate. Then I took my Brazil nuts, dipped them in some melted chocolate, and placed one on top of each brigadeiro ball. Sweet, right?

brazilian brigadeiros dessert

Tips for Perfect Brigadeiros

  • Choose the Right Pan: Opt for a non-stick pan to make stirring and cleanup easier.
  • Constant Stirring: Keep stirring to avoid burning or uneven cooking. A silicone spatula works great for this.
  • Cooling Time: If the mixture is too sticky even after cooling, you may need to cook it a bit longer next time.
  • Check the Consistency: To test if the mixture is ready, drop a small amount in cold water. It should form a soft, non-sticky ball.
  • Toppings Galore: Feel free to experiment with other toppings like shredded coconut, dried fruit, or even mini marshmallows.
  • Chill Before Serving: If you prefer firmer brigadeiros, you can chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serving Suggestions: These brigadeiros make great gifts! Wrap them in small candy wrappers for a personal touch.
  • Storage Tips: Store in an airtight container to keep them fresh. They can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  • Prevent Sticking: Lightly grease your hands with butter when rolling the brigadeiros to prevent them from sticking to your palms.
  • Nut Allergies: If nuts are a concern, you can stick to using just sprinkles or chocolate chips as toppings.
easy brigadeiros

Alright, Hungry People, now you’re armed with all you need to create these delicious Brazilian caramels known as brigadeiros. From stirring up that fudgy batter to rolling them in all your favorite toppings, this is one recipe that promises fun in the making and joy in the tasting. Ready to impress your taste buds and maybe share with a friend or two? Enjoy!


Brazilian Caramels

The Starving Chef
Make your own brigadeiros, traditional Brazilian caramels, with this simple recipe featuring a variety of fun and flavorful toppings.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time (optional) 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert, International
Cuisine Quick & Easy
Servings 12 truffles




  • In a pan over medium heat, stir together the butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cocoa powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then return it to medium heat.
  • Stir the mixture constantly for about 15-20 minutes until it has thickened into a thick caramel-like consistency.
  • Pour the batter onto a smooth surface that has been greased or lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Allow it to cool until it can be handled and does not stick to your palms as you roll.
  • Roll each brigadeiro in your desired toppings—melted chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed cashews, or Brazil nuts.
  • Serve immediately or chilled. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
Keyword caramel, chocolate
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!