Brigadeiros | Brazilian Sweets

These chocolate brigadeiros, a favorite sweet in Brazil, are like little fudge balls that have been rolled in chocolate sprinkles. An excellent gift, dessert, or treat for the kids.

Three golf-ball size chocolate Brazilian candies covered with chocolate sprinkles on a yellow plate

Chewy, fudgy, addictive. These little chocolate fudge balls are as common and well-loved in Brazil as cookies and brownies are in the United States. Traditionally, brigadeiros are a simple mixture of condensed milk, sweetened cocoa powder, and butter, cooked to a fudge state then formed into little balls and rolled in chocolate sprinkles. I find this to be much too sweet, so I made a few changes to the original recipe, adding real chocolate, real cocoa powder, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Unless I know the chocolate sprinkles are made with real chocolate, like the ones from Guittard or Cocoa Barry, I prefer to use cocoa powder or grated chocolate for rolling—and the result is amazing. This is a perfect dessert to give as a gift for any occasion. Children will love it and so will adults. Originally published February 25, 2010.Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Brigadeiros | Brazilian Sweets Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 40 brigadeiros

Ingredients

  • Two (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles, preferably Guittard

Directions

  • 1. Bring the condensed milk, butter, heavy cream, and corn syrup to a gentle boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  • 2. When the mixture starts to bubble, dump in the chocolate and the cocoa powder. Whisk really well to prevent any pockets of cocoa powder that could ruin the brigadeiros.
  • 3. Reduce the heat to low and cook the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly, until it is the consistency of a dense, fudgy batter, 8 to 10 minutes. You want it to bubble only toward the end of cooking, so it’s important to use low heat otherwise the chocolate will scorch. It’s done when you swirl the pan and the mixture slides as one soft piece, leaving a thick burnt residue on the bottom—that’s as it should be. If you undercook the chocolate mixture, the brigadeiros will be too soft; if you overcook them, they’ll be too chewy.
  • 4. Slide the chocolate mixture into a bowl (without scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid a burnt flavor) and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the chocolate mixture for at least 4 hours.
  • 5. Scoop the chocolate mixture by the teaspoonful and, using your hands, roll it into a little ball about 3/4 inch in diameter (roughly the size of a chocolate truffle). Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  • 6. Place the sprinkles in a bowl. Roll 4 to 6 brigadeiros in the sprinkles, making sure to cover the entire surface. Store them in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 1 month in the refrigerator. (Ha, as if they’ll last that long.)
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Recipe Testers Reviews

These candies were easy to make, but took much longer to cook than stated. I live at a high altitude, which might contribute to the longer cooking time. Instead of the 8 to 10-minute cooking time, they took 24 minutes. They’re delicious, though: very toffee-like, but a bit chocolatey. I used cocoa, but I think this would be spectacular with chocolate, as stated—specially with sprinkles, which would be so fun visually. Not too sweet and very rich. I really like them and would make them again

Comments

  1. As soon as I saw this blog post in my Google reader, I knew that I would be making this over the weekend. Can’t wait!

  2. Beautiful photo! I love rolling them in coconut (my favorite) or cocoa powder. My sister in law introduced these to me after moving back from Brazil. They’re delicious. They’re a staple dessert for birthdays and family get-togethers.

  3. Tamiko, thanks for the comments. Indeed, cooking time might vary for many reasons (the BTUs of your range, size of the pan, and altitude as well). What’s most important is that you were able to judge how far to cook. Hope you’ll do it over and over again! Best, Leticia.

  4. Hi,

    I want to make these, however, I don’t want to buy a jar of corn syrup. Would honey work instead?

    Thanks!

    1. Honey is fine ( is another form of inverted sugar so go for it). The purpose of adding it is to smooth the fudge a bit, but even if you use none, the recipe will still work. Let me know how you like it. Have fun! Leticia

    1. Hi Laura,

      If you would like to ship them, keep in mind they will stay fresh at room temperature for up to two days, but not much more than that. They do ship ok. As for the truffle reference, although they do look like truffles, they’re really fudge. Hope you have fun making them and wh ever you send them to, will enjoy.

      Best,

      Leticia

  5. The brigadeiros are simply sinful. I have made them on numerous occasions and they go over well with everyone.

    1. Monty, I’m with you. Not only have I made them myself, I’ve also had the good fortune of eating brigadeiros made by Leticia. And I have to say, hers were incomparable.

  6. One advantage to “fake” chocolate sprinkles is that they won’t melt on your fingers like real chocolate ones. I like the real thing better taste-wise for sure, but I think I might just go with the “fake” ones for these little treats.

  7. I make this for my Brazilian boyfriend and our friends including his mom who all love this recipe. It’s been requested as a Valentine day treat. :D

    1. What a great treat April for Valentine’s Day, glad to hear that they are such a hit with everyone.

  8. I have recommended your version of Brigadeiros to many! I was delighted when a neighbor friend brought me a copy of Saveur to show me that your recipe is rocking the magazine stands! Muito bem Leticia!

  9. Hi Michele, here are the ingredients from a typical “original” recipe (this one comes from an old cookbook by Maria Thereza Weiss)

    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    4 tablespoons Nescau
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon honey
    3 egg yolks

    Let me know how it comes out!

  10. Just when I thought my sweet tooth was on remission I made this recipe “for the kids” to celebrate the opening ceremony of FiFA’s world cup! Let me tell you, these little devils are adictive! They’re sweet, but they’re the perfect compliment to a nice cup of espresso macchiato ! Yummy!

  11. Can melted vanilla ice cream be substituted for the 2 Tbsp of heavy cream in this recipe, as I’ve heard it works great as substitute in hot fudge sauce recipes that also call for a small amount of heavy cream? Thank you.

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