An amalgamation of Spanish and native culinary influences, classic Peruvian desserts are all a must-try for all foodies, be it locals or tourists. So, skim through this list of 10 Peruvian desserts to let your taste buds secure a lasting impression, and also feel the country’s rich culinary culture.
1. Picarones ‑ A Unique Peruvian Dessert
What is it: Resembling a sticky doughnut, this confectionary is made by frying a mix of sweet potato and squash and thereafter toppling it with “chancaca”, a syrup prepared of raw unrefined sugar, and usually flavored with the essence of orange and cinnamon.
What does it taste like: The intriguingly spicy and yet sweet flavor makes for a great combination to be enjoyed after a hearty dinner.
2. Mazamorra Morada ‑ Purple Corn Pudding from Peru
What is it: This pudding has a thickened texture that is attained by mixing potato flour or cornstarch, purple corn, and fruits. Cinnamon and cloves are thereafter sprinkled to make it spicy.
What does it taste like: Though it is often accompanied by rice pudding, it’s yummy in itself by dint of its singular blend of sweet dried fruits and spicy cinnamon. Locals enjoy the dish extensively during Easter.
3. Alfajore ‑ A Peruvian Cookie
What is it: This sandwich cookie has fillings of manjar blanco (a sweet caramel cream) in between two soft cookie rounds and a topping of powdered sugar. Having originated as the Arabic confection, “alajú”, it traces its way to South America during the colonial times, and now hails as its most prominent cookie.
What does it taste like: Being dry and sweet, it goes great with a cup of steaming coffee or hot chocolate.
4. Cream Cheese and Apricot Empanadas- A Traditional Sweet Course
What is it: Typical empanadas with a fruit filling, often served with cinnamon and sugars sprinkled over it.
What does it taste like: These crumbling and light empanadas are essentially sweet, mainly due to the apricots.
5. Torta de Chocolate ‑ A Delectable Chocolate Cake
What is it: A perfectly moist cake rich with Peruvian cacao flavors and aromas, Torta de Chocolate is an amazing Peruvian variation of the regular chocolate cake.
What does it taste like: Neither too sweet nor too heavy, it’s great to have following a huge course of lunch or dinner.
6. Crema Volteada – A Peruvian Version of Crème Caramel
What is it: Literally meaning “upside down cream”, this is basically a caramel custard made from ingredients such as whole milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Though it is not an authentic Peruvian dessert, it now triumphs as one of the most coveted comfort foods in the country.
What does it taste like: The presence of condensed milk, as well as whole milk, helps it to be soft to the core and present a pleasant sweetness. The texture is something between that of a cheesecake and gelatin.
7. Suspiro de limeña ‑ Another Classic Peruvian Dessert
What is it: Translated as “Sigh of Lima Lady” this is a scrumptious sweet dish having manjar blanco (caramel), egg yolks, and meringue as the main ingredients. The poet, Jose Galvez, (whose wife, Amparo Ayarza invented the recipe) named it so for its light texture, which reminded him of the sigh of a woman.
What does it taste like: Be prepared to have your taste buds bombarded with the sweetness of this flavored dessert; but even so, it would only make you crave for more.
8. Bavarois De Guindones ‑ A Delicate Dessert from Peru
What is it: Also called “Merengón” this is a foamy pastry dotted with chopped prunes, along with a caramel layer on top.
What does it taste like: A light dessert, it feels something like a mix between a bread pudding and flan. It is best to have it with some custard on the side.
9. Turrón de Doña Pepa ‑ A Traditional Item
What is it: Colorful nougats having anise and sesame seeds as their main ingredients, and candy sprinkles for garnishing. The preparation is widely made at home during the holy month of October to honor “El Senor de Los Milagros” or the “Lord of miracles”.
What does it taste like: It is sticky and sweet especially due to the sugar syrup it is served with.
10. Panettone ‑ A Christmas Sweet Dish
What is it: This sweet bread stuffed with dried fruits is a common preparation during Christmas and is usually served with coffee or hot chocolate. Originally made popular by Italians during their settlement, presently Peru holds the third place in the world among the principal consumers of the dessert. It has become an essential item for all holidays, including the Peruvian independence day, when the cake is widely sold all over the country.
What does it taste like: By its fragrance and deliciousness, you are bound to get a slice of Peruvian tradition and culture. The flavor may vary depending on any variations in the dry fruits used.
11. King Kong de Manjor Blanco – A Cookie Dessert
What is it: Rectangular cookies with layers made of fruits, flour, and nuts, it originated in the Lambayeque region of the northern coast of Peru. Initially having a round shape, it was known as Alfajor de Trujillo. During 1933, when the movie King Kong was released, many found similarities between the imaginary animal and the shape of the sweet in terms of its shape, hence it got the name “King Kong”.
What does it taste like: The cookie is complemented by caramel custard, Peruvian blancmange, peanuts, and fruit marmalade.
12. Tarta Helada- A Colorful Jello Dessert
What is it: Vanilla cheesecake topped with strawberry jello.
What does it taste like: The gummy texture of the jello complements the creamy and spongy cake when put together. As a summer essential, this is one of the must-try traditional desserts.
13. Frozen Chocolate Turrón- A Frozen Dessert from Peru
What is it: Thin slices made of a mixture of chocolate, toasted walnuts, crackers, and cacao powder.
What does it taste like: The crunchy pieces have a strong nutty and chocolaty flavor and are often served with berries and whipped cream.
What is it: An ice cream preparation made of lúcuma (a tropical fruit) pulp, vanilla extract, and egg yolks.
What does it taste like: The attractive orange-colored ice cream contains the fruit’s original maple-like flavor. The sweetness level is mellow, but with an addition of whipped cream it becomes irresistible.
15. Coconut and Pineapple Quinoa Pudding – A Coconut Delicacy
What is it: A mixture of quinoa, pineapple, coconut milk and condensed milk.
What does it taste like: The creamy texture of the pudding, nicely accompanied with a sweet aroma of pineapple, cinnamon, and cloves – tastes heavenly when served cold.
Besides the above-mentioned ones, the fruity drink Champús, or the sweetened black bean dessert, Frejol Colorado are also extremely popular in the country, and around the world. However, you need to take a tour across Peru to get an authentic taste of each. So, pack your bags and embark upon a culinary tour without delay.