23 Traditional Cuban Desserts

If you ever feel like improving your palate, then being a more adventurous eater is the way to go. Although how do you become an adventurous eater?

23 Traditional Cuban Desserts

Our favorite method is trying new cuisines. There are so many different cuisines that if you start with one, you might feel more comfortable exploring other cuisines. 

So if you are looking to improve your palate, then we have a suggestion for you. Why not try some Cuban food?

Cuban cuisine is usually considered as a blend of Spanish, African, and Caribbean. This is the perfect way to introduce yourself to multiple cuisines. 

One of our best tips for expanding your palate is to start with what you enjoy most. And who doesn’t love desserts?

Desserts are often a less intense way of introducing yourself to a new cuisine because most people enjoy sweet treats. 

To help you feel comfortable improving your palate and exploring new foods, we suggest trying Cuban desserts.

Traditional Cuban desserts are amazingly delicious. There are different textures and flavors for you to choose from.

So if you fancy trying a traditional Cuban dessert then we have put together a list of 23 options for you to choose from.

We have also included answers to some of your burning Cuban dessert-related questions so you feel confident about exploring some Cuban desserts. 

Dulce De Leche Cortada

Dulce de Leche Cortada is also known as a curdled milk dessert. We know that might not seem as appealing, but don’t knock it until you try it!

Yes, curdled milk might be known as milk that has spoiled or what you would use when making cheese but it makes this dessert so delicious.

In Dulce de Leche Cortada, it’s not made with regular milk, it is usually sweetened condensed milk.

Essentially, Dulce de Leche Cortada is a grainy spiced dessert with a hint of lime.

Arroz Con Leche

Arroz con Leche is one of the most popular desserts in Cuba. Arroz con Leche is also known as Cuban rice pudding.

It is a rich and creamy dessert that isn’t that hard to make. It also has one of the most popular spices in Cuba in it. Cinnamon.

The basic recipe for Arroz con Leche is made with milk, which is usually sweetened condensed milk, rice, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon.

This is a dessert that can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. It is especially nice to have it hot when the weather is miserable. 

Cuban Flan

Flan is a popular dessert all around the world. You might have seen it in countries like Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and the list goes on.

Well, Cuba has their own version of flan that some people think is the best. Cuban flan is different from other countries’ flans as it is made from condensed milk and evaporated milk, rather than milk.

There are a total of five ingredients in Cuban flan, making it a really accessible dessert to make.

A lot of Cuban flan recipes add cinnamon to them which is what makes it unique to Cuba.

This is the perfect dessert to make for those of you who are trying to expand your palate, as it is one you might have heard of before. 

Plátanos Maduros

Plátanos Maduros is a dish that is almost guaranteed to be on the menu of a Cuban restaurant. It is a simple but super tasty dessert.

All you have to do to make this dessert is deep fry some Plantains. Plantains are similar to bananas but they are milder in flavor.

The plantains become caramelized which gives them a sweet flavor.

Coquitos

Coquito Acaramelado is also known as sweet Cuban coconut balls with chocolate. You would usually see this dessert as part of the street food available in Cuba.

They are sweet chewy balls that taste like coconut. In Cuba, these coconut balls are dipped in sugar which is melted to be like caramel.

You can also dip them in melted chocolate, making them even more tantalizing. 

Cuban Coffee Ice Cream

Cuban coffee is famous all over the world. That is why it is no surprise that there is Cuban coffee ice cream being made.

Cuban coffee ice cream can be served with the famous Dulce de Leche which is essentially a caramel sauce.

If you want to start improving your palate, this is the perfect beginner-friendly dessert to start you off on this journey, without being scared. 

Cuban Churros

Churros are a big deal in Cuba. If we are being honest, churros are a big deal to us. You might be thinking that all churros are the same.

You couldn’t be more wrong. Cuban churros are straight, unlike those you might find in Spain.

Cuban churros are often filled with a fruit filling like guava. They are covered in cinnamon and sugar, the perfect pairing. 

Casquitos De Guayaba

Casquitos de Guayaba is also known as Guava shells in syrup. This dessert is light and so easy, perfect to go after a heavy meal if you are craving something sweet.

This dessert is the ideal dessert to have in summer after a meal. All you need is some ripe guavas and simple syrup.

There are variations to the recipe as some like to add spices to the simple syrup, like cloves and cinnamon. The choice is yours. 

Cuban Mojito Shortbread

Cuban shortbread is a popular biscuit dessert in Cuba. This recipe amplifies the standard Cuban shortbread recipe by adding in that taste of a mojito.

What makes these Cuban shortbread cookies great is the mojito-inspired custard that is put on top of them.

The rum extract in these shortbread cookies is what makes them truly a Cuban delicacy. 

Guava Caramel Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is something that can be found all over the world. What we love about this one is having that guava caramel completely changes the taste and makes it an even better dessert.

This dessert also has cinnamon in it, really creating that authentic Cuban traditional flavor. It is a boozy pudding that has candied pecans for that added crunch.

If you are a fan of bread pudding then you need to try this delicious Cuban dessert. 

Cuban Sugar Cookies

Since we added the Cuban shortbread, we needed to add the traditional Cuban sugar cookies to this list. Cuban sugar cookies are also known as Torticas de Moron.

What makes these sugar cookies Cuban is that they have traditional Cuban flavors added to them. These sugar cookies are essential, shortbread cookies with a twist.

There is the added citrus flavor of lime which is common in Cuban food. They are also topped with the famous Dulce de Leche. 

Pastelitos De Guayaba

There is nothing as tasty as a sweet pastry to satisfy those sweet cravings. That is exactly what Pastelitos de Guayaba is.

It is a flaky sweet puff pastry that has guava paste and sweetened cream cheese filling in it. This dessert only requires a few ingredients and is simple to make.

If you are someone who loves sweet pastries and wants to improve your palate then you need to give Pastelitos de Guayaba a try.

It is a scrumptious dessert, perfect for any time of the day. 

Cuban Sweet Potato Pudding

Cuban sweet potato pudding is also known as Cuban Boniatillo. You might see the food sweet potato and think having it as a dessert is just wrong.

Well, they always say don’t judge a book by its cover. The sweet potato is actually perfect for adding to desserts as it is sweet.

Also, this dessert is made from the Cuban sweet potato, which is called Boniatillo. This dessert is flavored with cinnamon, lime peels, and sugar.

These flavors are what give this dessert its traditional Cuban taste. You can also add either sherry or vanilla to this dessert.

The dessert is really simple to make. It is best served after a meal with a lot of garlic in it. 

Dulce De Mango

Dulce de Mango is very similar to other Cuban desserts. The way you make this recipe is similar to how you make Guavas in syrup. That is what dulce de mango is.

It is mangos in syrup. You can have it with simple syrup but most people add other ingredients to the syrup.

To make this dessert, you boil the mangos on their own first and at the same time start to prepare your syrup.

You add your boiled mangos to the warm syrup and keep over low heat. It really is that simple to make. 

Mojito 

Yes, we are aware that the mojito is a drink. But it is like a dessert wine or having coffee after a meal. It counts as a dessert. Mojitos originate from Cuba.

Cuban rum a long time ago didn’t taste that good when you drank it by itself. So the solution to that problem was to create a divine cocktail.

Most of us are familiar with a mojito, so to make it truly a Cuban mojito, you have to add Cuban rum. There is no other alternative.

A Cuban mojito consists of Cuban rum, sugar, lime, and mint. It is very refreshing which is what makes it a good dessert to drink after dinner. 

Cabezotes De Capuchino 

Cabezote de Capuchino which is also known as Cuban Capuchinos is a cake that is soaked in syrup. No, there isn’t any coffee in this cake.

I thought the same thing when I saw the word capuchino. Instead, this dessert has spiced syrup all over it. The syrup is spiced with cinnamon (of course), anise seeds, lime peel, lime juice, and vanilla.

All of the amazing flavors are frequently in other Cuban desserts. It is important that the syrup is allowed to cool before pouring it all over the capuchinos.

Another tip is that you need to leave the syrup on the capuchinos for at least 30 minutes before you can eat them.

This way the cakes absorb all that syrup and wonderful flavor. 

Bolitas De Tamarindo

Bolitas de Tamarindo is also known as tamarind candy balls. This might give you a bit of a clue as to what they are.

Bolitas de Tamarindo brings the perfect flavors of sweet and sour together in these tamarind candy balls.

The great thing about this recipe is that the tamarind balls are not too sour. Instead, the tamarind balls are sweetened so they only have the right amount of tang.

They are then rolled in sugar to get that sweet taste. 

Pina Asada

Pina Asada is a simple but scrumptious dessert. Pina Asada, which is also known as grilled pineapple, is basically caramelized pineapple.

The recipe is also so easy to follow. All you have to do is cut your pineapple and arrange it on a pan. You then have to mix together your sugar, lime zest, cinnamon, and butter.

Then rub this mixture on the pineapple. You could either broil the pineapple on a grill or place it on the barbeque. You want to turn the pineapple and glaze the other side.

This will leave you with sweet pineapple that has a lovely caramelized glaze to it. 

Guava Cheesecake

Guava is a very popular fruit in Cuba. So many people use it in their dessert creations. That is exactly where Guava cheesecake comes from.

It mixes the traditional Cuban flavors of guava fruit with a popular dessert. This is the dessert to try if you are unsure about improving your palate.

The guava cheesecake is a great place to start as you will be able to try flavors of Cuban cuisine in a dessert that you are possibly familiar with.

It might not be as traditional as other options on this list but it is a fantastic mix of different cuisines. 

Banana Casserole

When a lot of us think about casserole, it is usually a savory dish. Well, not the Cuban banana casserole. The Cuban banana casserole is a delightful dessert that is sweet and rich.

The dessert is made from bananas, raisins, pecans, brown sugar, butter, and brandy. All these ingredients go together wonderfully.

What we love about this dessert are the different textures. You have the softness from the bananas, the crunch from the pecans, the chewiness from the raisins, and the juiciness from the sauce/syrup.

The Cuban banana casserole is an amazing dessert but it can be served at any time of the day. 

Natilla Cubana

Natilla Cuban is the perfect dessert to show how Cuban desserts are a blend of other cuisines. Natilla is a custard (made with eggs) that originates from Spain.

However, Natilla Cubana is the Cuban version of this dish. What makes it different is that it is filled with traditional Cuban spices.

Natilla Cubana has the added flavor of cinnamon and orange zest, making it have flavors that are found in traditional Cuban food.

It is the perfect dessert to have during the warmer seasons. 

Cremitas De Leche

Cremitas de Leche might look like a cookie, but there is no flour in it. Instead, we would say that it is closer to a sweet.

It is made from four ingredients: milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla essence. Although, modern versions of this recipe use condensed milk and milk.

It is a perfect sweet treat to eat after a meal if you are looking for something light to enjoy. 

Cuban Coffee

The last dessert we have added to this list is Cuban coffee. Yes, we know it is a drink but Cuban coffee is so famous that it can be considered a dessert.

After all, you can drink it after dinner. This coffee is strong but sweet at the same time. Great for anyone who doesn’t like having chocolate for dessert!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cuba has a lot of famous desserts, but arguably the two most popular Cuban desserts are Cuban flan and Arroz con Leche. 

A lot of you might be familiar with flan as a Spanish dish or Mexican dish. As we stated before, Cuban cuisine takes inspiration from a few places such as the Caribbean, Africa, and Spain.

Traditional Cuban Flan is different from Spanish or Mexican flan as it is made from condensed milk and evaporated milk rather than just milk. 

Arroz con Leche is another extremely popular Cuban dessert. Arroz con Leche is also known as Cuban rice pudding.

It is rich and creamy and has a hint of cinnamon. 

What Are Cuban Flavors? 

There are lots of different spices, herbs, meats, and vegetables that can be considered Cuban flavors. 

When we look at Cuban desserts, there is one spice that stands out. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is present in a lot of Cuban traditional desserts such as Cuban flan and Arroz con Leche. 

There are also other flavors that make a frequent appearance in traditional Cuban desserts.

In terms of citrus flavors, there is lemon and lime. Brown and white sugar also appear in a lot of Cuban dessert recipes. 

In terms of other flavors, common spices found in Cuban foods are bay leaf, garlic, oregano, cumin, cilantro, salt, and pepper. 

Are Churros From Cuba?

Churros are found in a lot of countries as a traditional dessert. In terms of where churros originated from, most people agree that they originate from Spain and Portugal.

It is largely agreed that they became a big part of Mexican cuisine and other former Spanish colonies after they were introduced to them by the Spanish. 

So whilst churros may not have originated from Cuba, they do have their own variety of churros. In Cuba, most churros you will find are straight and are usually filled with fruit like guava. 

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of this list looking at 23 traditional Cuban desserts. We have such a sweet craving after looking at all these dessert options. 

Hopefully, we have helped you find a traditional Cuban dessert that tickles your taste buds.

There are so many traditional Cuban desserts to choose from, that we hope you feel more comfortable knowing this. 

Remember, that when trying new dishes, if you don’t feel completely comfortable, start with something similar to what you’ve already tried.

Then when you get used to the new flavors you might start to feel more adventurous. 

When trying new cuisines, you might not like everything you try, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, isolate the flavor you didn’t like and try something that doesn’t have that flavor in it. 

These traditional Cuban desserts would be the perfect desserts to bring to a dinner party to impress your family and friends and have them try something new.

Maybe these desserts will convince you to visit Cuba!

All that is left for you to do is try some of these fantastic traditional Cuban desserts and expand your palate.

Enjoy trying some new foods! 

23 Traditional Cuban Desserts

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Cuban desserts are a delicious way to end a meal. Learn how to make these 23 traditional Cuban desserts.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
Jess Smith
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