Brigadeiro (bree-gah-day-ro) is possibly THE most known, most popular and most loved Brazilian party treat. I swear. Ask any Brazilian and they’ll confirm… Brigadeiros are like a Brazilian chocolaty treasure, so sweet and so gooey, it’s impossible not to love.
All you need are 3 simple ingredients, and this Brazilian candy goodness will be ready in no time to satisfy all your sweet cravings!
What is brigadeiro
Brigadeiro is one of the most classic Brazilian desserts. So classic and so Brazilian, it’s safe to say it’s part of the Brazilian DNA. True facts!
This simple dessert is made with just a handful of ingredients, mainly condensed milk and chocolate powder – you know, the kind you add to milk like Nesquik, or Nescau, widely used in Brazil. You can definitely make brigadeiro with cocoa powder too, but there’s a slightly different process and recipe for it, especially when we want to roll it into little balls. I’ll get to that on another post.
There are a few ways to enjoy a delicious brigadeiro.
Sometimes it’s left as a caramel-like ‘sauce’ that we just eat with a spoon, dip fruits in (hello brigadeiro dipped strawberries!!), make brigadeiro cake (with brigadeiro as a cake filling, or drizzled all over the top – OR BOTH!)…
And, of course, sometimes we roll it into these cute little bite size balls, that we cover in sprinkles. These little brigadeiro balls are essentially like Brazilian bonbons, and some people also call them Brazilian chocolate truffles, or Brazilian fudge balls.
We traditionally use chocolate sprinkles, but the beauty of these little festive treats is that you can dress them any which way you want – just add different color sprinkles, and candy cups to match!
They look super cute in pink, white, red for Valentines Day. Or red, white, green for Christmas. Pastel nonpareils for Easter. Your favorite team’s colors. Rainbow sprinkles for fun birthday… seriously, the possibilities are endless!
And if you put them in a pretty box, they make a perfect little gift too.
These are the 3 ingredients you’ll need for this easy brigadeiro recipe:
- Sweet condensed milk
- Chocolate powder – you know, the kind you add to milk like Nesquik, or Nescau, widely used in Brazil.
- Sprinkles – brigadeiro without sprinkles should be considered a crime!
This sweet treat is so easy to make, I’ve been making it since I was a kid.
The recipe is extremely simple, but there are a few little tricks you need to know to ensure your brigadeiro balls come out perfect every time. Check out the deets below!
How to make brigadeiro
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan
And cook over medium heat.
- Stir and scrape, stir and scrape, stir and scrape!!
Repeat after me… stir and scrape!!
This is likely the most important advice I can give you. Stirring and scraping during the cooking process, 10-15 mins, will ensure the brigadeiro doesn’t burn AND that no lumps form. The brigadeiro is ready when you scrape the bottom of the pan and it takes 2-3 seconds for all that gooey mixture to come back to its place. Please note that this mixture is SUPER hot!! So, be careful, amigos.
- Let it cool
Pour the hot brigadeiro in a plate or dish and let it cool until it’s cool to touch. At that point, you can cover the dish with kitchen wrap to refrigerate and roll later, or you can roll now.
- Roll into balls
Lightly butter your hands, and scoop 1/2 Tbsp to Tbsp size portions and roll little balls – like this!
If you feel the brigadeiro is too sticky, butter your hands a little more. If you think they’re too hard to roll, worry not! Just put it between your hands and keep it a few seconds. The heat of your hands will make the little balls malleable enough for you to be able to roll them nicely.
- Cover in sprinkles!!
Ta-da!! You’re so close. Just roll the little balls in your sprinkles or nonpareil colors of choice and pronto, you are done! You can serve them on a dish, or put them in small little candy cups like the ones below.
If brigadeiros weren’t already part of your life, prepare yourself. These little 3-ingredient fudgy chocolaty goodness are about to become your new favorite party sweet, like ever!
Seriously, your birthday parties, dinner parties, or any other party you can imagine will never be the same. And that’s a wonderful thing!
Try it, and let me know how you like them!
More brigadeiro recipes you’ll love:
Other Brazilian Desserts:
BRIGADEIRO | BRAZILIAN FUDGE BALLS
- 1 can sweet condensed milk
- 1/2 cup chocolate powder, such as Nescau or Nesquik
- 1 Tbsp margarine, or butter (plus more for hands)
- Add the condensed milk, the butter, and the chocolate powder to a medium sauce pan and stir.
- Cook over medium heat, for approximately 10-15 mins, stirring repeatedly, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan with a spatula to avoid burning.
- The brigadeiro is ready when you scrape the bottom of the pan, and the brigadeiro takes 2-3 seconds to come back to its place.
- Pour the hot brigadeiro into a a dish, or plate, and let it cool - about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, pour sprinkles in a deep plate or bowl.
- When the brigadeiro is cooled, butter your hands, and scoop 1/2 Tbsp to Tbsp portions and roll little balls.
- Roll the little balls in the sprinkles.
- Keep them in a cool place or in the refrigerator until serving time.