World Cuisine: Brazilian Brigadeiro

By, Jessica Knutzon

There are many foods that taste like home to us and for those who come from multicultural or nomadic families, there are quite a variety of foods that transport us to nostalgia. Growing up in a Brazilian and American household with two parents who happen to be amazing cooks, I got spoiled with delicious international food on a regular basis.

In Brazil, at every bakery, café, coffee shop – essentially any place you can consume food – there is a delicious chocolate treat available called “brigadeiro.” At home we make brigadeiro for birthday parties and other special occasions. I remember being a child (and after waiting patiently for what felt like days for the brigadeiro to be served) furiously unwrapping it, savoring every bite before it could melt in my hands.

If you are able to keep yourself from eating it from the pan, brigadeiro is traditionally rolled into bite-size balls and covered in chocolate sprinkles. Sometimes it is baked into a dense mousse-like cake, but my favorite is brigadeiro de copinho (brigadeiro for cups). It is a creamier more pudding-like version of the dessert. If a craving for chocolate has hit you, the recipe for this famous Brazilian dessert is below – enjoy!


  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 can of heavy cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles


  1. In a medium saucepan combine the sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and butter over medium heat.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to constantly stir the ingredients until the brigadeiro stops sticking to the pan (approximately 10 minutes).
  3. Remove the brigadeiro from the heat and mix in the can of heavy cream.
  4. Pour the brigadeiro into small dessert cups and add the chocolate sprinkles to the top.
  5. Serve immediately or allow to cool in the fridge before serving.

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