How to Make Brigadeiro, Brazil's Favorite Dessert

Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles.



Easy-to-Make Brigadeiro

I want to share with you one of the best things about Brazil. No, it isn't the beautiful beaches or the sunshine. It is the nation's favorite dessert: brigadeiro.

Here, this dessert is always prepared for birthday parties, and it's what the children wait for with excitement! Because of this, brigadeiro brings back fond memories of happy times for adults as well.

The recipe is very simple and only has three ingredients. The toppings can be as varied as you like and could include chopped nuts, colored sprinkles, cocoa powder, powdered sugar or grated coconut. So if you're ready, let's get started with the recipe.

By the way, if you aren't a fan of chocolate, I have also included a recipe below for bejinhos, which are made with coconut. These two treats are often served together, so that no one gets left out.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

20-25 servings



  • 3 tablespoons unsweetend cocoa powder (such as Hersheys or Cadbury's)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 can sweetend condensed milk
  • Toppings: colored sprinkles, chopped nuts, etc.


  1. Prepare a plate that you will be using for the cooling process. To do this, lightly grease a dinner plate with butter or margarine. I spread this on with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter or margarine in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and the sweetened condensed milk. Begin stirring and break up any lumps of cocoa powder. If you live in a humid area, this occurs more often. For stirring, use a spatula instead of a spoon, as you'll cover more surface area with it.
  4. You will need to continue stirring constantly as the mixture could burn. This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. The mixture will begin to thicken and boil. Keep stirring. You are wanting to get a consistency that will hold together. When the mixture allows you to see the bottom of the pan (as noted in the video) it is ready.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the prepared (lightly buttered) plate. Spread with a rubber spatula. Disregard the video about putting it into the refrigerator. You shouldn't put hot things into a fridge. Leave on the counter until cool enough to handle.
  7. Organise your toppings into bowls.
  8. Butter the palms of your hands. Pick up enough of the cooled mixture to make a 1" (2.5cm) ball. Roll between your palms to form a ball. Now place this into the topping and roll to coat. It may be a good idea to use a spoon for this. Otherwise you may get the topping on your hands and transfer it to mixture when you are rolling.
  9. Place on a plate or into a paper case. I prefer to use paper cases. Then if they melt, they don't stick together. Put in the refrigerator to chill fully.
  10. For serving, arrange neatly on a serving tray.
Brazil's traditional dessert, brigadeiro

Brazil's traditional dessert, brigadeiro

Brigadeiro Origin and Name

The origin of brigadeiros is an interesting story. During World War II, there were food shortages here in Brazil, as there were in other countries. As the story goes, women in Rio were looking for something to replace imported chocolate. Using the few ingredients they had, these ladies began making small chocolate treats with cocoa powder. Nestlé's Nescau™, which is similar to Nestlé Quik™, was initially used—and it is still used today in some households.

The candy was named after a brigadier in the Brazilian Air Force named Eduardo Gomes. He was tall, handsome, and single, and he ran (unsuccessfully) for the presidency. This combined with Nestlé's wish to get a stronger foothold in Brazil, propelled this simple sweet chocolate ball to every Brazilian's birthday table.

In some parts of southern Brazil, they are called negrinho ("little black one" or "blackies").




If you aren't a big fan of chocolate, that's okay, we have got you covered, as well. Bejinhos, which means "little kiss" in Portuguese, are often served side by side with brigadeiro. They are made the same way—except instead of using the chocolate powder, finely grated desiccated coconut (150 g) is added. Once this is rolled into a ball it can be covered in sugar or grated coconut. Traditionally a clove is placed on the top like a small flower.

Sometimes these are also called branquinhos (which means "little white ones").

© 2012 Mary Wickison


Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 21, 2018:

Yes, I have, although since it is just my husband and myself, I often don't bother with rolling them into balls. I will spread it out in a shallow Pyrex dish, and we each grab a spoon.

My husband isn't a big fan of chocolate in cooking so I tend to make more of the coconut ones. Plus we are on a coconut farm so access to the ingredients is easy.

Janisa from Earth on March 20, 2018:

Adoroooo brigadeiros!! Have you ever tried making coconut brigadeiros? Those are my favourites

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 08, 2014:

They are so easy, and almost everyone enjoys them. Give them a try, I think it will be one of those things you will make time and time again because it is so easy and the ingredients are readily available.

Thanks for reading and good luck with you Brigadeiros.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on October 08, 2014:

Brigadeiros couldn't be much simpler to make than that. I have the ingredients and really do want to try your recipe. Thank you!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 22, 2014:

I am glad they were a hit. Thanks for your continued support, the votes and sharing.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 22, 2014:

I made these both for our family Christmas party and they were such a hit, the task of making these has been assigned to me.

Thank you again, voted up UABI and shared.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 21, 2013:

That is fantastic news. I hope you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting me and other readers know that it worked. Have a wonderful Holiday season.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 20, 2013:

I just made them, used Carob instead of chocolate. Could not tell the difference and "No Migraine."

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 10, 2013:

They are very popular here year round. When you do make them, I am sure you will enjoy them.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 10, 2013:

Good luck, I know your guests will enjoy it.

CraftytotheCore on December 10, 2013:

These look amazing! They are so beautiful. I bookmarked this page for future reference. I am going to try to make these some day.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 10, 2013:

going to make this today.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 06, 2013:

Yes I printed the recipes. Chocolate is a migraine trigger for me, but I am anxious to make these, I think I had the coconut ones but did not know what they were.

Thank you for this.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 06, 2013:

I am sure there will be others who will finish them off. They are just the right size.

Also there is a coconut version at the end of the recipe you might like called bejinhos.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 06, 2013:

Hello Blond Logic, going to make for Christmas. I can't do chocolate, but everyone else can.

voted up, and shared!

Thank you and have a great day.


Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 28, 2013:

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for stopping by.

Adrian Walker from Magnolia, AR on August 28, 2013:

Wonderful stuff and I love to have the historical context. Thank You!

We are connected on Bubblews where I am RippingYarn.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 29, 2013:

Hi Gus,

Your secret is safe with me. Enjoy them.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 29, 2013:

Hi Au Fait,

Thanks for the vote. Do try them , you will enjoy them. They are very rich though.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on March 29, 2013:

Blond Logic -

Ah me - looks like you have given me some more stuff to play with here...

Don't squeal on me to my doc, OK?

Gus :-)))

C E Clark from North Texas on March 11, 2013:

These do look interesting and they do look fairly easy. I might be able to manage them . . . ;) They seem quite impressive in appearance as well. Just may have to try them. Gave you another 5 stars!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 09, 2013:

Hi Adity5,

They are yummy! I am sure you and your family will enjoy them. Thanks

adity5 from Incredible India !! on February 08, 2013:

They look yummy...Will definitely try them out :) Thanks for sharing !!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 15, 2013:

Hello ExpectGreatThings,

Yes, they are both of those things. I must say, they don't last long in our house.

I hope you give them a try, and thanks for the pin.

ExpectGreatThings from Illinois on January 15, 2013:

Pinning this! They look so yummy and simple. And I love that they're from Brazil.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 04, 2013:

Hello idigwebsites,

Thank you for sharing and the vote. They are very rich little candies. Yes, you can add anything you like to them. Perfect for experimentation.

Good luck, and thanks again.

idigwebsites from United States on January 04, 2013:

Wow, I thought they're cupcakes, but I discover they're actually candies! They seem so easy to make and you can add anything else you like. Thanks for sharing, I might try this recipe. Voted up and shared.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 02, 2013:

Hello Teaches12345,

I think you'll like them. Not only because they are chocolate, they are just so easy to make. Great to get the kids involved in this one.

Lovely to hear from you.

Dianna Mendez on January 01, 2013:

Oh, Wow, another treat to add to my list of favorites! I have never had one but they look really good. Chocolate is my vote on this -- lovely sweet taste in such a small dessert. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 31, 2012:

Hello Mywikistep,

I hope you enjoy it.

Happy New Year to you as well.

Thanks for visiting.

MYWIKISTEP on December 31, 2012:

Thanks ! I will try this myself.

Have a great 2013!!!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 25, 2012:

Hello btrbell,

Wonderful news! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Thanks for letting me know.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on December 25, 2012:

Just wanted to let you know I made these last night. They are great! Thank you! Finally a recipe that comes out exactly as explained! My family loved them! Merry Christmas!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 24, 2012:

Hello testq,

Is this a test or are you testing the recipe? Which ever it is, I hope it is successful. :-)

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 24, 2012:

Hello Nicole,

Thank you for the vote and pin. It is a perfect time to indulge a little.

Wonderful to hear from you. Happy holidays.

testq on December 23, 2012:


Nicole A. Winter from Chicago, IL on December 23, 2012:

Wow, this looks incredible! Voted up & awesome, I'll definitely be pinning these in hopes of making them soon!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 23, 2012:

Hello Moonlake,

I am so pleased you enjoyed it.

Thanks for letting me know.

Merry Christmas.

moonlake from America on December 23, 2012:

I had to come back and tell you we made this candy and it's very good.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 22, 2012:

Hello RTalloni,

I have been checking around for you. If you are using the vegan milk ie soya. I have read that may take 30-40 minutes boiling time. Remember to keep stirring. Or, as an alternative. I have also seen brigadeiro as a fondue! Using various sliced fruits such as kiwi, strawberries, bananas and mangoes, dip these in the mixture. This would take less cooking time as you don't want it as thick.

Here it is possible to see brigadeiro ice cream, cookies, and cakes. Brazilians love their brigadeiro.

I am so pleased you are experimenting with it.

Keep it up.

RTalloni on December 21, 2012:

So far, everyone who's tried them likes their taste though the consistency is curious :) , but I haven't talked to our Brazilian friends since giving the candy(?) to them. I forgot to tell you that I tried making the bejinhos, as well, (with the same result) so everyone in tonight's caroling party was also introduced to these desserts. Now if I can try again maybe they will know what brigadeiro and bejinhos are really supposed be like.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 21, 2012:

Hello RTalloni,

It sounds like it was an adventure. I didn't even know there was vegan sweetened condensed milk. I am pleased you enjoyed it even if it didn't turn out as expected.

I would love to know if the next batch is successful.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

RTalloni on December 20, 2012:

Okay, I did it, sort of. :) One of our new friends is vegan, and I am allergic to cow's milk so I made a vegan sweetened condensed milk. That worked very well.

Then I used it to make this recipe. I thought it would be thick enough, that cooling would make it even thicker. Wrong. However, all is not lost with this batch.

I put them in the little cups like a pudding and put the sprinkles on top. The important thing is that they taste fabulous. So rich and flavorful. I learned that the vegan sweetened condensed milk should be cooked longer to thicken more for this recipe, but these are not going to waste--just waist. Good thing a little is rich enough to go a long way!

Again, thanks much. I would never have known to look for this treat. If I make another batch and have success with the vegan sweetened condensed milk I try to leave a new comment so you'll know. Have a lovely Christmas.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 20, 2012:

Hello btrbell,

Christmas is often such a busy time with baking. These are a hit because they can be made and refrigerated and pulled out when needed. They are great for small buffets as well.

Thanks for the comment, I am sure you will enjoy them.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on December 20, 2012:

These look and sound great! I think I'll give them a try! I really enjoyed reading about the history, as well! Thank you!

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 20, 2012:

Hello Moonlake,

Thanks for the vote and the pin.

This is very easy. What I didn't write, was that often people, and I include myself and my Brazilian friends in this, don't bother with the rolling. We put the mixture onto the plate and grab spoons and dig in! Not as fancy but still yummy.

Thank you for stopping by.

moonlake from America on December 19, 2012:

This looks so easy. Keeping this recipe. Voted up and pinned.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 19, 2012:

Hello RTalloni,

Your friends will be surprised and pleased, glad to know you will be making it.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

RTalloni on December 19, 2012:

I'm so glad to see this easy recipe for brigadeiro for we have new friends from Brazil--thanks! They will be surprised at this from my southern kitchen. :) And thanks to the video I can say it!

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