Cuban food is a great mingling of Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines. Thus, the scrumptious assortment of Cuban desserts has emerged as the very epitome of sugary versatility. From fried dough balls to moist cakes, from smooth custards to creamy puddings- Cuba has it all. So go ahead and have a look at these lip-smacking sweet dishes that will make you want to indulge your sweet tooth unapologetically.
1. Torticas de Moron- Traditional Cuban Dessert
What is it: Sugary cookies that originated in Morón in Central Cuba. It is traditionally made with lard or sometimes vegetable shortening.
What does it taste like: The combination of rum and lime endow it with a light, crunchy texture, while the vanilla adds to its tropical taste.
2. Dulce de Leche- A Delectable Dessert
What is it: A caramel sauce made by condensing milk and sugar, with cinnamon added for flavoring.
What does it taste like: With a rich, buttery flavor combined with its smooth texture, this exquisite dessert would surely melt in your mouth.
3. Arroz con Leche- Famous Cuban Rice Pudding
What is it: A delicacy made with rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon, it is the ultimate Cuban comfort food.
What does it taste like: A sweet and velvety marvel with a sprinkling of cinnamon that teases the taste buds.
4. Flan- An Authentic Cuban Sweet Dish
What is it: An egg custard, also having milk, vanilla extract, and sugar as its other ingredients. Condensed milk, cinnamon and caramel sauce are often added for taste.
What does it taste like: The blend of caramel, sugar, and vanilla teamed with its soft, spongy base makes it a smooth and fragrant dish that one can seemingly gorge on after a delightful meal.
5. Brazo de Gitano- A Mouth-Watering Cake Roll
What is it: Meaning Gypsey’s arm, it is a rolled sponge cake with a guava jelly filling.
What does it taste like: While the combination of the light cake and creamy filling make it incredibly satiating, the guava jelly gives it a nice kick.
6. Turrones – Traditional Cuban Nougats
What is it: A nougat made with nuts, honey, sugar and egg whites or chocolate.
What does it taste like: The sweet and nutty dessert bars genuinely make for a crunchy as well as a healthy snack to have on the go.
7. Capuchinos Cubanos- A Succulent Cappuccino Dessert
What is it: Spongy yellow cone- shaped cakes dipped in a sugary syrup.
What does it taste like: They have a tender, syrupy, melt-in-your-mouth texture alongside a pleasant sweet taste.
8. Pastelitos de Guayaba- Tempting Guava Pastries
What is it: Cuban pastries filled with a delicious guava stuffing.
What does it taste like: It gives you an overwhelming taste of guava with a crisp, puffy exterior.
9. Tocinillo del Cielo- A Typical Cuban Dessert
What is it: It is often erroneously called “Tocino del Cielo,” which translates to “Bacon from Heaven,” although there isn’t a trace of bacon in it. This “cousin” of flan has sugar, water, and egg yolks as its main ingredients.
What does it taste like: It has a sweet, eggy taste with a beautifully aerated and tender texture.
10. Churros- An Irresistible Snack
What is it: It comprises of a long stick of fried dough with a sugar dusting, which you can devour at any time of the day.
What does it taste like: This treat will flawlessly satiate your craving for sugar as well as for something fried when you’re feeling a little blue.
11. Merenguitos- Simple Cuban Merengues
What is it: These crunchy drops of biscuity heaven are made simply with well-beaten eggs and sugar, and sometimes cream of tartar to harden the mix. A few drops of lime or vanilla essence can enhance its taste.
What does it taste like: They have a plain taste with a light feel, making it a delight to nibble on whenever you desire.
12. Pastel de Queso de Guayaba- Authentic Guava Cheesecake
What is it: A cake made with cream cheese, guava paste, sugar and butter, topped with guava marmalade.
What does it taste like: The tangy taste of guava along with the cheesiness of the cake makes it a unique dessert to gorge on.
13. Cazuela de plátano- Delicious Banana Casserole
What is it: A dish made with banana, pecans, butter, brown sugar and raisins, that is perfect for those with an aversion to dairy.
What does it taste like: The sweet and buttery banana casserole with its crispy, syrupy and smooth texture makes it feel like a party in your mouth.
14. Buñuelos de Viento- Appetizing Cuban Fritters
What is it: Fried pastry balls made of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, often topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream or maple syrup.
What does it taste like: These spherical fritters are sweet little windy wonders that are extremely light and crispy, making for a quick teatime snack to ward off those hunger pangs.
15. Boniatillo – Cuban Sweet Potato Pudding
What is it: Yet another lovely pudding made with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla, perfect for the holidays.
What does it taste like: The velvety paste has an appealing sweet potato flavor and is supremely creamy.
16. Coquitos-Easy to Make Coconut Balls
What is it: Fried candy made with brown sugar, coconut, and vanilla essence.
What does it taste like: The sweet fusion of coconut and vanilla along with the syrupy goodness is heavenly.
17. Cafe Con Leche Custard- A Sinful Cuban Latte
What is it: A latte dessert made with coffee, condensed milk, flour, and egg yolks
What does it taste like: The sweet, whipped caffeinated dessert rolls in your mouth like a slice of paradise with an enticingly rich taste.
18. Casco de Guayaba- Nectarous Guava ‘Helmets’
What is it: An incredibly simple, fruity dish made with guavas, sugar, water and a little lime zest for a sharp tang.
What does it taste like: The extra-sweet guava masterpiece is dangerously luscious on the tongue.
19. Ron Crema Tarta de Plátano- Banana Rum Custard Tart
What is it: A traditional tart made with banana, rum, and cream.
What does it taste like: The combined flavors of the rum, banana, vanilla and cashew pastry will appease any and everyone with functional taste buds.
20. Cake de Ron- A Classic Cuban Christmas Dessert
What is it: A delicious cake made with banana liqueur, rum, and whipped cream in a Bundt or ring-shaped pan.
What does it taste like: The classic flavor combo of banana and rum in a cake tickling your gustatory perception transports you to the tropics with a single bite.
21. Tamarindo Pulpitas- A Flavorsome Tamarind Candy
What is it: Sweet-sour candies made with sugar and tamarind pulp and a dash of cayenne pepper.
What does it taste like: The sweetness along with the sour tang and the sharpness of cayenne makes it interesting to chomp on.
22. Senoritas- Creamy Custard-Filled Pastry
What is it: A flaky pastry made with milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, and chocolate or vanilla.
What does it taste like: The layers of smooth chocolate or creamy custard between the flaky pastries give it a nice, tasteful texture.
23. Dulce de Leche Cortada- A Sweet and Sour Milk Dessert
What is it: Caramel milk curd made with curdled milk and sugar.
What does it taste like: The fusion of the sour milk, sugar and cinnamon flavor transforms it into an unusual sweet dish.
24. Quesitos- Cheesy Puff Pastries
What is it: Puff pastry rolls with a cream cheese filling, glazed with a sugar syrup.
What does it taste like: The crispy dessert is delicious with a sweet, smooth cheesiness.
25. Piña Asada- A Fruity Cuban Dessert
What is it: Grilled pineapple slices made with sugar and butter, while lime juice or lemon zest adds to its flavor.
What does it taste like: The sweet and crunchy pineapple slices blended with the sour taste of lemon creates a great fusion in your mouth.
26. Natilla- A Tasty Cinnamon and Vanilla Custard
What is it: Vanilla custard made with milk and eggs, while a cinnamon dust serves as a wonderful garnish.
What does it taste like: The creaminess of the custard gels perfectly with the rich kick of the cinnamon.
27. Pastel de Mango- A Cuban Mango Dessert
What is it: A Cuban style mango cake with either cream cheese or coconut frosting which makes for a perfect birthday dessert.
What does it taste like: The spongy cake has a heavenly tropical flavor owing to the fresh, juicy mangoes.
28. Dulce de Toronja- Flavorful Candied Grapefruit Peel
What is it: Candied grapefruit peel made with the outer skin of a grapefruit, sugar, and water.
What does it taste like: The candies have a zesty, chewy sweetness and a nice tang.
29. Empanadas de Manzana- Traditional Cuban Apple Patty
What is it: A patty, having a sweet apple filling, made with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
What does it taste like: It is crunchy on the outside with buttery, apple goo on the inside, much like an apple pie.
This list of supremely salivation-worthy Cuban sweet dishes is bound to give you a sugar rush just by looking at it. Check your nearest Cuban bakery or make it yourself to debauch in some sugary goodness.
So Bon appetite ladies and gentleman! Or, as the Cubans say it, buen provecho!