Mexican dessert recipes include some of the most popular names in sweet treats: Flan, tres leches cake, sopapillas.
But have you heard of authentic Mexican desserts like cajeta, capirotada, or mangonada? If not, you’ve come to the right place to discover some off-the-beaten-path Mexican desserts that you may want to try for your next taco night.
At the very least, explore some of the delicious history and culture that is behind every family recipe, every traditional menu that Mexico offers.
You just might be inspired to create one of your own, or to find your new favorite.
Add one or two (or three or four) of these scrumptious Mexican dessert ideas to a quinceanera, Taco Tuesday at your place, or any night when your finisher needs to add the last bit of Mexican flair and flavor to the meal.
A few of these links may cross over from Mexico tradition. We found that sometimes there is debate about where age-old, tried-and-true recipes came from.
Made in Mexico…or Costa Rica? Monterrey…or Cuba? Mayan…or Tex-mex?
We took some creative license when gathering these recipes because plenty of our favorites hail back a hundred years or more, and there’s no definitive way to determine a food’s origin.
So we give credit where it’s due when we can, and we absolutely realize that sometimes a hispanic or latin ingredient, dish, or recipe may have roots that go so deep, we may never know. Like sopapillas that arguably came from the United States!
Some of these popular Mexican dessert entries are complicated, taking hours for rising breads.
Some are simple, delicious candies that you can make at home. Some are easy and straightforward, quick to whip up and quick to the table.
Either way, you can count on our round-up of Mexican dessert recipes to inspire and elevate your next Mexican dinner, or on their own, satisfy your sweet tooth!
Whew. The photos of these little beauties get my heart racing.
As the author says over at Just A Taste: “It’s like a fried burrito meets cheesecake meets churro.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, and the combination sounds too good to be true. Crisp, tender, fried, cheesecake in an easy tortilla. I’m here for this one.
And want apple filling or blueberries instead of strawberries? Make this one your canvas for lots of delish fillings.
I remember exactly where I was the first time I was handed a plate with sopapilla cheesecake on it.
We won’t talk about how many more plates I had that day, but I found the original recipe, and you can go on ahead and thank the good folk at Pillsbury.
This recipe uses the crescent roll dough, a bunch of fresh cream cheese, and that famous sopapilla cinnamon-sugar combo.
Easy to make and makes an impression! Olé!
Ah, that crisp-tender snap of these delicate, powdered sugar-enrobed Mexican Wedding Cookies that are both light and rich.
I’ve eaten them at the holidays (Archway Wedding Cake Cookies) and made them myself and thought they were called Pfeffernusse. (I think I just liked to say FEFFER-NOOSE a lot.)
I’ve seen iterations as Pecan Snowballs, but ultimately, Mexican wedding cakes are the first on the (my) scene, and they are so good that it’s hard to keep my hands out of this cookie jar.
You can make these Apple Pie Enchiladas with canned filling or make your own.
It’s an easy recipe—peel and slice up some apples and create a nice fresh apple filling that I highly recommend that you start from scratch on the filling.
There’s something so tempting about these rolled up little lovelies that makes me feel like having people over and offering up some of these with hot coffee and a chat.
They’re just that delectable and cute. And easy. Two ideas I can get behind.
I admit the smell and texture of these Apple Pie Enchiladas reminds me of McDonald’s Apple Pies at a time when they were still fried and the aroma would waft out of the to-go bag.
Serious Eats reports that cajeta is a lot like dulce de leche but more layered and complex in flavor.
Their recipe is a short list of ingredients, but not necessarily easily acquired here in the ‘burbs: a quart of fresh goat’s milk? Mexican vanilla bean? Mm, well, this recipe is the real deal, so if we can get our hands on these, we’re in.
The goat’s milk adds a hint of tangy finish along with the deep caramel sweetness. It’s unique, and homemade must taste amazing.
That said, you can purchase a canned or jar variety of cajeta to get that authentic goat’s milk flavor without making it yourself.
This recipe for Conchas comes from a lovely site full of culture and heritage, and she just published a cookbook full of her grandmother’s recipes.
I’ve seen these pastries in many a latin bakery, some iced and some with colored sugar. This is a yeast dough that smells heavenly as it rises and bakes.
While sopapillas were thought to originate in New Mexico over 200 years ago, it is currently a solid part of Mexican cuisine.
This authentic recipe from Mely Martinez is a full-bore, dough-rising, roll-em-out sopaipilla recipe.
But this recipe from Mission basically says to butter a few of their flour tortillas, pop them in a hot oven until they puff up, then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. I’m not sure if it gets easier than that.
So do you want fast and easy or traditional and made from scratch? Or something in between that uses flour tortillas and a little oil?
Sopapillas may just be one of the most perfect Mexican-inspired desserts.
Created in a bundt pan and dusted with powdered sugar, the author emphasizes that this recipe is for the Sweet Mexican Corn Cake and not the more savory Cornbread.
She does recommend a spoonful of cajeta over each serving for added sweetness and rich flavor.
I love the aroma and flavor of cloves. I love it in potpourri and I love it in many of my savory foods as well as desserts.
This Sweet Potato Pudding from MexConnect says the purple yam makes for a colorful presentation but the orange sweet potato will do just as well.
It IS a pudding, and is very sweet, what with a whole cup of sugar in the recipe.
I might cut the sugar by half and possibly make this into a delectable side dish for poultry around the holidays.
Per Isabela Eats, this capirotada is traditionally eaten during Lent, and contains almonds, bananas, raisins, bolillo bread and CHEESE—all bathed in a cinnamon milk. WOW.
So it’s this dense, delicious treat. It doesn’t use any eggs in the recipe, which surprises me a little, but then, it’s not a french toast bread pudding.
What a wonderful change of pace this would be at your Christmas brunch!
For a long time I didn’t understand the idea of an icebox cake, and thought it was just a “normal” cake that you kept cold and served cold.
But as with most wrong ideas, it took personal experience for me to know how it really goes down.
At a charity event, I once bid on a Banana Cream Pie Icebox Cake that was HUGE. It was made in a giant foil pan, with layers of banana pudding, vanilla wafers, whipped cream, sliced bananas and a lot of love.
The light bulbs all went off when I realized after my second helping that the moisture from the cream and pudding basically sinks into the crisp cookies, so by the next dayyyy, those cookies swell and soften, and become a consistency of, you guessed it, CAKE.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. It’s an overnight trifle, but Icebox Cake sounds so much more vintage and fun. Could it be the perfect dessert?
And this Carlota de limon from Mexican Made Meatless is going to mix pucker with sweet together for a memorable Mexican dessert you won’t soon forget!
Go check out her luscious photos and tell me you don’t want some of that no-bake lime icebox cake YESTERDAY.
Just so we are clear, these are sweet treats for ADULTS 21+ because yes they have the real- deal-tequil in these.
But wow, they are cute and tasty and perfect for a pool party. Can margarita popsicles become one of my favorite Mexican desserts? I think yes.
Come on, Cinco de Mayo celebration!
This recipe from Azteca honestly looks too simple to be any good, but I’m realizing it may just be a good jumping off point for some really yummy and sweet ingredients.
Using their tortillas, yogurt (flavor of your choice), cut fresh fruit, and of course, cinnamon, you could add drizzles of caramel or fudge sauce, whipped cream, even our super sweet Hawaiian Fruit Salad would honestly make these simple baked tortilla wedges sing.
You can also use an air fryer or toaster oven to get these tortillas crisp, no conventional necessarily needed.
14. Easy Baked Churros
The authentic churro recipe is piped batter into a deep fryer, which of course is so good.
But in my house, the deepest that frying gets is really ½ of oil in a saute pan.
So I hunted for an option that might be a little less messy and baked in the oven—maybe easier on the arteries, too.
This one is from Mr. Food and uses canned biscuit dough, and I imagine these taste like cinnamon “cheater” doughnuts that my mom used to make on Sunday mornings.
This one from Sweet Life Bake uses puff pastry, which sounds like a lightly crisp-tender churro.
And this one is a made-from-scratch dough, courtesy of Baking Mad, but still uses the oven instead of deep frying. Bonus points for a chocolate dip!
15. Crepes de Cajeta con Nueces
I’ve always ALWAYS loved crepes, in whatever filling or form they take. And this recipe just looks so simple and delicious, I had to include it.
These crepes are smothered in what’s traditionally goat’s milk caramel sauce. But for the busy household, use a couple of their suggested cheats like pre-made crepes and a canned cajeta.
The con nueces are chopped pecans, which are sprinkled liberally on top of the crepes.
Pronounced “KY-OH-TAHS”, these pastries/cookies are made with piloncillo, which is sometimes called Mexican Brown Sugar by gringos like me, but it’s really not the same at all.
Brown sugar as we know it is just table sugar with some molasses added, but piloncillo is unprocessed cane or “solid sugar derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice.”
Coyotas use a lot of this rich, robust sugar in the recipe. And you can get it in “cones” at many latin grocers.
These deep chocolate cupcakes made me do a double-take when I saw how much spicy pepper is really in the recipe.
With a punch-up of ancho chile and cayenne, this recipe is also a triple threat of chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and unsweetened baking chocolate.
If you want a true “hot” chocolate cupcake experience that uses a moist chocolate cake, get ready for the sweet heat with this recipe.
This is a thick drink served hot or cold, yet always warm with cinnamon and vanilla, and especially a bite of dark, bitter chocolate with a kick of chili pepper!
Who needs Starbucks when you can make your own rich and decadent Mexican hot chocolate at home?
Here in Texas, we see these on a lot of drink menus that aren’t just at Mexican food holes-in-the-wall.
Because it’s hot nearly year round here, cold drinks, especially with a Tajin kick, are always welcome.
This mangonada recipe, also called a chamoyada, offers up the ingredients so you can make your own at home.
With mango pieces, tamarind paste, mango syrup, lime juice, shaved ice and Tajin, it’s like a fruity, spicy slushy that’s hecho en Mexico.
20. Mexican Pralines
You can barely walk into a sit-down Mexican restaurant and not see a basket of these pralines at checkout.
Buttery and crumbly with a caramel finish, the little discs can be yours made from scratch at home and wrapped up as gifts during any special occasion.
If you can stand to give them away, I mean.
21. Sweet Empanadas
While these can be savory or sweet, I remember making these with my daughter for her Spanish class party.
We filled them with apple pie filling and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar. We used a simple canned croissant dough and baked them in the oven. A huge hit!
But the more authentic empanadas are made from corn masa then deep fried.
A traditional “antojito” or Mexican street food, these can be filled with spicy meats or sweet fillings.
22. Buñuelos de Vienta
While Buñuelos are a fried sweet that uses the infamous cinnamon-sugar combo that is used in churros, sopapillas, and fried ice cream, this creates a flat, crisp sweet treat.
Marcy Inspired shares her family’s recipe for buñuelos that use a rosette iron (the de vienta part of the recipe, she says).
She describes her process here:
23. Leche Quemada
Reading this simple recipe, the words that came to mind are “milk fudge” or “milk caramel fudge.” The brown sugar and evaporated milk make this a super creamy candy!
It is poured/pressed into pans and cut into fudge-like squares.
But mmmm, as a huge caramel fan, reading this made my mouth water.
Who wants to make me some??
Pan de Muertos is a yeast bread scented with anise (yes, THAT licorice anise), topped with a slightly citrusy sweet glaze, this bread is eaten as part of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebration on November 2.
This Allrecipes entry is highly reviewed and readers are using the recipe in their bread machines with good results.
25. Flan de Queso
Here’s a new twist: A tasty Mexican dessert made with a recipe calls for cream cheese and vanilla extract! The reviews are screaming that it’s darn good this way!
This six-ingredient caramel flan has a gorgeous, amber caramel sauce top, and a more dense mouthfeel than many Mexican restaurant flans use gelatin to get that jiggle.
26. Tres Leches
Last but not least, the famous tres leches, which on its own, is not a dessert but a set of ingredients. You can make tres leches flan, cake or other desserts that have the famous flavor of “three milks”: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream combined.
Tres Leches Cake is a sponge cake famously soaked in these different kinds of milk to create a very moist dessert, and depending how much milk the baker is using, might be more the texture of thick pudding than cake by the time it reaches your eager palate. Isn’t part of the beauty of life is how varied and diverse everything is?
This Tres Leches Cake is from The Pioneer Woman, who includes great photos of every step.
This one from Natasha’s Kitchen has a gorg thick cream top, and I always love more of anything.
Where would we be if we couldn’t use a box cake mix sometimes?? This one from Taste of Home, bless them, has a shortcut. And Practically Homemade does, too.
And yes, there’s a Tres Leches Pie, and a Nutella Tres Leches Truffle Pie if you’re feeling fancy.
I had so much fun putting this list together for you, Cookie.
I went down Mexican food rabbit holes and read so much from authors who are sharing the treats and traditions of their ancestors with pride.
From the depths of online treasure troves of latin desserts, I hope that you found one or five of your new favorite Mexican dessert recipes to create at home and share with the people you love.
Looking for more Mexican recipes? Check out these sides for Mexican appetizers and other dishes.
Our recipe for Air Fryer Tortilla Chips is here.
And our Mexican Street Corn (on and off the cob) is easy and delicious.
Be well, friends! And if you liked our list, please share on your socials and in email too.
- Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas
- Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
- Mexican Wedding Cookies (Polvorones)
- Apple Pie Enchiladas
- Cajeta Casera
- Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)
- Mexican Sweet Corn Cake (Pastel de Elote)
- Sweet Potato Pudding (Budin de camote)
- Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)
- Carlota de lîmon (Lime Icebox Cake)
- Creamy Margarita Popsicles
- Easy Fruit Nachos
- Easy Baked Churros
- Crepes de Cajeta con Nueces
- Aztec Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes
- Aztec Hot Cocoa - Xocolatl
- Mexican Pralines
- Sweet Empanadas
- Buñuelos de Vienta
- Leche Quemada
- Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead)
- Flan de Queso
- Tres Leches
- Pick one or two of your favorite delicious Mexican desserts recipes.
- Shop for all the ingredients you will need to make a homemade treat.