Puerto Rico may only be a small island in the Caribbean, and yet it has such a vibrant culture that includes some of the finest cuisine in the world.
It is home to a large range of special dishes and desserts, so if you are a lover of cooking, then you have to try out some of Puerto Rico’s best recipes.
But when it comes to choosing which recipes to try, the huge amount of choice can sometimes be overwhelming and time consuming – especially when it comes to trying to find an easy recipe for each meal.
So to help you out, we have created this list of 20 different Puerto Rican desserts. Each entry has its own easy recipe so you don’t have to waste time searching the internet for the right one.
Now all you have to do is take a look below at our list and find the right Puerto Rican dessert for you to try!
This exotic pudding from Puerto Rico is an absolute joy to behold.
Not only is it deliciously sweet with notes of coconut and cinnamon, but it wiggles on the plate like a jell-o. This is why this pudding is called ‘tembleque’ which translates to ‘wiggly’.
Tembleque is a creamy coconut pudding that is very simple to make and yet it is a perfect light dessert.
Just add some tropical fruits on the side for some extra sweetness and variety of flavor, and you will have the perfect summer pudding!
For a rich and creamy Puerto Rican dessert, try following this recipe to make a delicious flan de queso!
Flan de queso is a cheesecake-like dessert that consists of baked custard with a caramel sauce.
Its texture is silk smooth and it makes for a dense dessert that is practically dripping in luxurious caramel.
It is perfect for those looking for a sophisticated Puerto Rican dessert to serve as an after-dinner treat as it is full of flavor and has an elegant creamy texture.
One of Puerto Rico’s most popular desserts is arroz con leche, otherwise known to English speakers as rice pudding.
However, this version of rice pudding is far more flavorful as Puerto Rico and other Spanish speaking countries have added their own personal touch to its recipe.
With warm notes of sweet cinnamon and zesty flavors of fresh lemon, arroz con leche is a creamy dessert that is perfect to serve up for dessert during any season.
Looking for a gooey yet exotically tasting dessert? Then try out this indulgent cake that is one of Puerto Rico’s finest desserts – pineapple rum cake!
Pineapple rum cake combines the tropical sweetness of pineapple with strong and dark notes of rum, bringing the two together to make a very rich cake with a gooey yet flavorful glaze.
The cake itself is very soft and light, pairing well with the glaze to treat your taste buds to a lot of different textures.
Definitely not for children, this Puerto Rican dessert contains quite a bit of alcohol but if you want to make a version that is more family friendly – then all you have to do is omit the rum and serve with ice cream instead!
One of the easiest Puerto Rico desserts to make, platanos maduros is basically fried plantains.
Plantains are incredibly sweet when ripe and because of this, they are an excellent dessert ingredient.
They are different from bananas as they are tougher, contain more starch, and taste better when cooked, so this recipe for platanos maduros means you will have a deliciously hot dessert in no time at all.
Because they are so quick to prepare and cook, platanos maduros is a great choice of dessert those who would rather concentrate on their main dish rather than work too much on just the dessert alone.
Sweet and slightly crispy to eat, platanos maduros are sometimes eaten as a sweet side dish but they are most enjoyed as a dessert in Puerto Rico.
Mallorca bread, sometimes known as pan de mallorca, is Puerto Rico’s answer to the sweet bread.
These cute little rolls are soft and sweet, and they can be found in bakeries all across Puerto Rico.
What makes them so sweet is the high amount of butter and white sugar included in this recipe, plus the generous helping of powdered sugar that is sprinkled over the top of the rolls when they are done.
These little bread rolls are best served with some kind of fruit jelly, but you can also enjoy them plain with a little bit of extra butter.
Whichever way you prefer to eat yours, Mallorca bread is a great option for an authentic Puerto Rican dessert.
If you are thinking of serving pastries for your after dinner dessert, then try out this recipe for Puerto Rico’s quesitos de guayaba.
They are small yet delicious guava pastries that are filled with fruity jelly and soft cream cheese, finished with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Quesitos de guayaba are very buttery and rich, even for pastries, because it contains thick cream cheese in its recipe.
This cream cheese also gives a more sophisticated and indulgent taste, going beyond any other pastry.
They are a great tea time snack, but also serve as a great Puerto Rican themed dessert.
Mantecaditos are basically small yet very sweet cookies that originate in Puerto Rico.
They are traditionally eaten during Christmas time and are easily recognizable. This is because they are famous for the way they are made.
Once you have rolled out your cookies, you create an indent in their center with your thumb, making a small bowl in the cookie itself to be filled with guava jelly or paste.
Therefore, mantecaditos are also known as the Puerto Rican thumb cookies!
As for taste, mantecaditos taste a lot like shortbread only added with a fruity taste of guava jelly and a slight nutty sweetness from the almond extract.
Overall, they are sweet and crumbly cookies that are perfectly paired with a small touch of jelly – making these an ideal after dinner treat.
Empanadas in Puerto Rico are often eaten with savory fillings including pork, chicken, potatoes, cheese or other vegetables.
However, they can also be filled with sweet fillings to make a delicious dessert!
Empanadas are fried or baked pastries, and the ones eaten as a sweet treat or as a dessert are usually filled with guava jelly and cream cheese.
This soft and creamy filling contrasts beautifully against the flaky warm pastry, making these empanadas ideal for dessert!
They are also fun and easy to make, especially if you follow this recommended recipe, so you can enjoy these Puerto Rican delights in no time at all!
Sprinkle your baked empanadas with some powdered sugar to finish, then you start eating!
Flancocho is a cake known by many names – chocoflan, torta imposible, and impossible cake. It is basically a combination of two chocolate cake and traditional flan, merging together two of the most popular desserts in the world!
Flancocho is basically a chocolate cake base that is light fluffy yet willed with strong flavors of chocolatey goodness, with a flan cake resting on top of it.
The flan contrasts against the more firm texture of the cake as the flan is still as silky smooth as ever!
But do not be put off by this cake’s title of ‘the impossible cake’ – it is still easy and simple to make yourself! Just follow through this very clear recipe and you will be able to blow minds with your amazing flancocho!
It can get very hot in Puerto Rico, so it should come as no surprise that a lot of desserts there contain ice or ice cream.
One of the most popular is limbel or limber, which is basically watered down coconut milk and cream that is frozen to become ice.
Although it does not sound like much, limbel is a delicious way to cool down on a hot day.
It is very sweet and flavored with strong notes of coconut and vanilla, so you can enjoy the tropical taste of Puerto Rico without suffering from the temperature!
Due to this, limbel is a great dessert to serve up on a hot summer’s day!
A traditional Puerto Rican dessert, budin de pan (or bread pudding as it is also known) is a filling dessert that is also really easy to make.
It is a great way to use up any stale bread that you have lying around as this recipe includes soaking the bread in milk and baking it.
This gives you a moist bread cake that is incredibly sweet and delicious to eat.
It makes for an amazing dessert after a light dinner, plus it mainly contains ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.
So, if you need a last minute dessert, then try this recipe to quickly whip one up that will satisfy bellies all around your table!
If you have had a filling dinner and you only want to taste something sweet afterwards, then perhaps you will want a dessert drink instead of something to eat.
Puerto Rico has its own version of eggnog called coquito. It is very sweet but strong in alcohol as it contains quite a bit of white rum.
However, this delicious dessert drink mutes the alcohol with the sweet flavors of coconut and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Milky and smooth, coquito is a great dessert to offer up if all your guests are too full for cake but still want something light and delicious.
Another traditional Christmas dessert in Puerto Rico, polvorones are another type of Christmas cookie that also makes for a light and delicious dessert.
These cookies are full of sugar so don’t be surprised at how overwhelmingly sweet they are. Polvorones are also made using almonds so they also taste slightly nutty.
Spiced with a little cinnamon, they are a great after dinner treat to go with some coffee for a light dessert.
Guava is a very popular ingredient in Puerto Rico as it is very sweet and juicy and easy to make into a delicious jelly.
And so, guava is often included in a lot of Puerto Rican dishes and desserts – including this recipe for a guava cheesecake!
This simple recipe will help you make a delicious guava cheesecake with a crumbly cracker base and silky smooth cream cheese body.
Bring together the juicy fruitiness of guava marmalade with a little zest of lemon juice that will really make your lips pucker.
Sweet and smooth, this guava cheesecake is a great, sophisticated Puerto Rican dessert for you to serve up after dinner.
Another cool dessert for you to serve up during hot days is piragua de crema.
Piragua de crema is basically shaved ice cream that is both sweet and cool – perfect for a summer’s day!
What is so great about piragua de crema is that you can flavor this dessert any way you like and serve it with a lot of different options.
You can enjoy cherry or summer fruit flavors, coconut, chocolate or just plain vanilla.
The possibilities are endless with this dessert so if you are struggling to find a dessert that everyone will enjoy, you can play it safe and go with piragua de crema!
For a coconut dessert that is delightful to eat and cook, try out this recipe for some dulce de coco!
Dulce de coco can come in all shapes and sizes – you can cut it into slices like a cake, or serve them like brownies.
No matter which way you choose, you are bound to enjoy a delicious dose of coconut flavor with every bite.
Crisp and crumbly, try out this recipe for dulce de coco for an easy to make Puerto Rican dessert!
Tresh Leches cake is an ultra light cake that mainly consists of milk, cream and cinnamon. It’s name literally translates to ‘three milks’, highlighting just how much light dairy goes into this single cake.
This makes it an incredibly sweet yet refreshing dessert to serve up, making each bite taste like a little bit of Heaven.
For some additional flavor, serve your tres leches alongside some fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries!
For something to drizzle over your cake, why not try out this Puerto Rican recipe for a corn pudding!
Similar to a custard, Puerto Rico’s majarete is a type of corn pudding that is silky smooth and creamy.
Flavored with some warm cinnamon, this dessert is easy to whip up in no time. You can either eat it solo or pour some over another dessert to enhance the flavor.
But whichever way you decide to eat this dessert, you are sure to enjoy it.
And finally, we have the last recipe on our list: besitos de coco!
These little beauties are a lot like coconut macaroons – they are crunchy and flaky and filled with sweetness.
Their name translates to ‘coconut kisses’ so this dessert tastes just as sweet and its name sounds!
Garnish them with a little chocolate, and you will have a small bite of delight that really hits the spot after a savory dinner.
So there are 20 different desserts from Puerto Rico for you to try!
As you can tell, each one is very unique yet easy to make so you won’t have any kitchen-related disasters as long as you follow each recipe carefully.
With so much choice available, you must have seen one or two recipes you liked – so pick them out and get cooking! Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Dessert In Puerto Rico?
It is difficult to say as everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but rice pudding is arguably the most eaten dessert in Puerto Rico.
It is very easy to make and can be enjoyed at any time of the day, eaten hot or cold, so it is understandable why many Puerto Ricans turn to this classic dessert as a sweet treat.
Although there has never been any survey to confirm this, we think that it is most likely that rice pudding (or arroz con leche as it is known natively) is the most popular dessert in Puerto Rico.
Are There More Varieties Of Flan De Queso?
There are! The recipe we included for flan de queso is often used as a base for more exciting variations.
If you want to mix things up and try a more adventurous version of flan de queso, then you can try out different recipes that include other flavors including coconut, and even a cheese flan de queso that is made using cream cheese!
Both are just as delicious as the original, but perhaps more suited to your tastes.
What Foods Are Grown In Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico is known for growing lots of food crops, and these foods are often found included in their cuisine.
So, for an authentic taste of Puerto Rico, include ingredients that grow on the island into your cooking.
Such ingredients include sugar cane, coffee, bananas, plantains, pineapples, avocados, spices, corn, beans, peppers and many more!