coconut-milk-fudge Recipes

coconut milk fudge

I’ve got a mad case of wanderlust. You’d think that after taking in vistas like this two weekends ago and this just yesterday, I’d be happy just to be here. But even New York City on the stunning brink between a snow-blanketed February and a shiny, breezy March aren’t enough to keep me from dreaming about South America. Northern Italy. India. China. Austria. Rome. Cuba. St. Louis, if it promises me more spun sugar cake. And now: Brazil.

rolling in chocolate vermicelli
rolling in pistachios

There was an article in the New York Times last week about how sweetened condensed milk is having a “moment” — apparently eschewed by food snobs, home cooks from Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean couldn’t care less as they know it’s the manna, the building block of many awesome things from Key Lime Pie to Vietnamese Coffee to Dulce De Leche. It’s okay, I’m drooling too.

rolling in toasted coconut

Also, milk fudge. Or milk caramels, as I’ve been call them and brigadeiros, as they’re properly named. They’re a ridiculously simple confection of canned sweetened condensed milk and a pat of butter, cooked into soft candies that are apparently all the rage at kids birthday parties in Brazil, which I think was a subtle suggestion that maybe I should be too grown up for them? I ignored it. Nevertheless, as the kind of person who gleefully licks the sweetened condensed milk off the spoon when cooking with it, these had my name all over them.

the counter

Still, I’m pretty sure I messed up somewhere. My cooking time was nearly triple what the recipe suggested it should be, rendering my candies a light beige caramel color (versus the pure white ones Google Image searching tells me are proper) but if you think I’m at all bummed that my milk fudge verged into milk dulce de leche caramel territory, you probably don’t know me at all. If this is wrong, I’m not sure I want to be right.

milk fudge

One year ago: Pita Bread
Two years ago: Almond Biscotti

Coconut Milk Fudge [Coconut Brigadeiros]
Adapted quite a bit from The Brazilian Kitchen, via the New York Times

A.k.a. Coconut Milk Caramels or Coconut Brigadeiros. Nervous about the gooey/sweet factor, I played around a little, using unsweetened coconut milk (the recipe didn’t specify, so I used what I thought would work) and then salted butter (honestly, by accident, but that pinch of salt really helped keep the treat on this side of treacly).

These candies are infinitely tweakable. Personally, I think they’d be fantastic with a pinch of cinnamon, Mexican or otherwise. My mother wanted to try them with a drop or two of almond extract. I think vanilla could work well in there, too. And you can roll them in the suggested toppings — coconut, pistachios and sprinkles — or use your own. Crushed cookie crumbs, anyone?

For classic, coconut-free brigadeiros, chocolate and other versions, check out recipe leads here.

Yield: 24 to 30 candies

1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter (salted will give the candy more contrast)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I lightly toasted mine, for crunch)
1/3 cup ground pistachios (see Note below)
1/3 cup chocolate sprinkles or “vermicelli” (see Note below)

In a medium-size heavy saucepan, combine condensed milk, coconut milk, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk constantly until fudgy. The recipe notes that when mixture is ready, it will pull together into one soft piece, leaving browned residue on bottom of pan and that this should take 8 to 10 minutes. This took me 20 to 25 minutes, and the candy began taking on a beige, caramelized color.

Slide mixture into a bowl. (Don’t scrape the pan; leave any residue behind.) Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until very firm, at least 4 hours. Or, you could realize that the nanny has to leave in an hour, chill it for only 30 and discover that nothing bad will happen if you don’t wait the whole cooling time. You’ll have to be more careful if you use “real” i.e. meltable chocolate sprinkles but otherwise it will have no ill-effect to speed the process up.)

Scoop out teaspoonfuls of the mixture (I used my one teaspoon measure) and use your hands to roll into balls, about 3/4-inch in diameter. I found having just a drop or two of water in my palms — not wet, just a little moist — helped form them. Set aside on a baking sheet.

Place toppings in wide bowls and roll brigadeiros through them, covering the surface completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or refrigerate for up to 1 month. Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate “vermicelli”: I got a little freaked out when I saw the ingredient list on the chocolate sprinkles I had brought home from the store. Look, I don’t need to pretend that chocolate sprinkles are health food, but I like to imagine I’m eating something with at least a minute smidgen of chocolate in it. I ended up spending way too much on a bottle of “chocolate vermicelli” (they look like chocolate sprinkles but are almost 100% pure chocolate, and delightfully, taste that way too) but I’d buy them next time from Amazon or King Arthur Flour’s Baker’s Catalog for much less.

Pistachios: Since toasted nuts always, always taste better than raw ones, I toasted and ground a batch to coat the candy only to find the brown/green shade… um, a little unpretty. Looks won out and I used ground raw pistachios in the end. I actually ended up preferring the softness of the coating.

Those tiny cups: I know someone is going to ask me where I bought those colorful little candy cups and I’m sorry, as my answer could not be more inconvenient: Vienna. A grocery store. I’m kind of obsessed with going to grocery stores in foreign countries and always walk out with random stuff like this. Anyway, Amazon sells #4 size cups (1-inch base) in brown and white; however, mine are actually #3 size (3/4 to 7/8-inch base) which I found online at a smaller store.

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249 comments on coconut milk fudge

  1. chavi

    Can’t wait to try this! And chocolate ‘vermicelli’ has a remarkably chic-er tang than plain ol’ ‘sprinkles.’ :)

  2. I am in love. A friend recently referred me to your site and I’m hooked. I find myself hanging on every word, anxiously awaiting your next post. I’ve tried four of your recipes in the last two weeks and have several more on my to-do list; this one included. Thanks, Deb, and keep up the great work!

  3. Emily

    Try for AWESOME baking cups, and other pretty goodies too! I love ordering from them, they will go out of their way to get you what you want. I have a birthday to prepare for, looks like a perfect idea.

  4. These look amazing! Does the coconut flavor come through when you roll them in the chocolate sprinkles? Coconut and chocolate are one of my favorite flavor combos.

    1. deb

      Jessie — It’s subtle, but you can taste it. The original recipe has you mix 1/2 cup of the dried coconut into the candy but I didn’t want to change the texture. You can try it to up the coconut punch, however.

  5. Ivana

    I made the Chocolate Brigadieros this weekend with Mexican vanilla and Mexican cinnamon-yum! This version sounds delish as well…love coconut!

  6. Condensed milk, how I love thee. When I lived in Thailand I had a serious addiction – we didn’t have a fridge and so we used it instead of milk and sugar and I used to just give it a little lick, you know, to clean it after pouring. I was on half a can a day at one point and then I had to go cold turkey.
    I’ve recovered enough so that I might let myself try these – I don’t want to toot my own horn but I have a no-bake lemon slice recipe which has lemon, coconut and condensed milk on my site, you might like it if you have a minute to check it out.

  7. Laura

    I lived in Brazil for a couple of years, and I loved these little treats. I always heard the white ones with coconut called “beijinhos” (i.e., little kisses), and “brigadeiro” were chocolate ones coated with chocolate sprinkles (I think chocolate powder is added to the condensed milk). (Incidentally, there’s also a delightful chocolate pudding/custard known as “brigadeirao,” which means roughly “really big briadeiro.”)

    Yes, these are traditional to birthday parties, but children’s parties in Brazil are big family affairs and include family and friends of the parents… of all ages. So feel free to enjoy with an adult appetite!

  8. Kate

    I’ve always found sleeves of white cups ones at craft stores like Michaels. not sure if they have colors outside of the holidays

  9. Amanda

    Yes, white brigadeiros are supposed to be whiter. It might have been darker because of the corn syrup, which isn’t in the original brigadeiro recipe (neither the white, nor the dark one)

    Sometimes, you can add an egg yolk or some extra regular milk, though, for white brigadeiros. It’s really that simple.

    If you cover the candy in sugar or white chocolate = white brigadeiros. If you roll them up in coconut = beijinhos (small kisses); cover the coconut version with a prune slice = olho de sogra (mother in law’s eyes. Literal, creepy and delicious translation!); mix the white brigadeiro with crushed peanut, shape it like a little cashew, and roll it in sugar = cajuzinho.

    But I must say: authentic or not, your coconut version seems absolutely delicious, I want to try it now!

  10. Sara

    I’m Brazilian, and I have to say this: you’re never too old for brigadeiros. They are fundamental in children’s parties, of course, but they also appear in other parties (including fancy weddings) and in everyday life. This weekend, I made some, to have as a dessert, after take–out pizza, while watching a movie with a friend. Very common in ‘girls’ nights.

    And as Laura said, brigadeiro (also called negrinho – little black – in the south of Brazil – stands for the chocolate stuff (basically, 1 can of condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoons of chocolate, which can or cannot have sugar, that’s up to you to decide) and the white stuff (which sometimes you see with coconut, sometimes without it) is called branquinho (little white)or beijinho.

    Nowadays, it’s kind of a trend to vary the recipe of brigadeiro and beijinho with different flavors. Lemon, lavender, cinnamom and the like. The ones I made on Friday were quite delicious, with 1 teaspoon grounded ginger, slightly fried in the butter (1 tbsp). After that, I added 1 can of condensed milk and 3 tbsp of powder chocolate.
    And I didn’t even make the little ‘balls’. We ate out of the saucepan, with spoons.

    Oh, and my guess as for the reason that you had to cook for more than the recipe said is that the texture (I think there might be a better word for what I want to say, but I have no idea what it is) of the American condensed milk is quite different from the Brazilian one. Brazilian condensed milk seems thicker, and therefore takes less time to cook and reach the expected consistency.
    When I lived in the USA, I always tried to make them, and would always get tired of cooking and stirring for so long.

    Love your blog, by the way.


  11. Jennifer

    My husband is Brazilian and these have always been a fixture at parties, family gatherings, etc. My first personal experience was for my son’s first birthday party. My mother-in-law said we had to serve (a lot) of them. That is when I also learned about the incredibly huge birthday parties thrown for the child turning one! It was very fun.

    I have used recipes from my Brazilian mother-in-law as well as my Brazilian grandmother-in-law and I always cook it much longer than the “recipes” indicate. And then I show my Brazilian in-laws, and they say they look right! So you are probably right. Just my thoughts.


  12. Jennifer

    Oh, and adding cocoa powder to the mix before cooling and then using the chocolate sprinkles is very yummy as well.

  13. Karen

    Um yeah. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they have all been wonderful (I make the tomato sauce with buttah weekly). This is the recipe that’s brought me out of the woodwork. Practically screaming “yes, yes, yes” as I was reading this. I can’t wait to try these!!!

    Coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

  14. oh gosh, these are adorable. but sadly, they immediately reminded me of the time i tried to microwave a caramel candy while my parents were out of the house. burned the s*&% outta my fingers. but i’m grown now, i would never do that! plus, these only look slightly similar, when i think about it….

  15. Anon_Cook

    Do you have any photos of what it looked like when you slid it out of the pan? I tried this last night and had it boiling for about 45 minutes before it “pulled together in one soft piece.” My arms still hurt from all the whisking and the fudge, once done, was only ok.

    1. deb

      Anon — Yes. See here. Very interested in what Sara, above, had to say about American condensed milk being thinner, which would explain it. I believe it took me 23 minutes exactly to get it to move as a “mass”. I began whisking “often” not “constantly” once I hit the 10 minute mark! And then constantly again at the end.

  16. Holy moly! Fudge has never appealed to me as much as it does right now. My partner is Thai and two of his favourite dessert ingredients are coconut and condensed milk. So I’m thinking I will bust out these bad boys to surprise him. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hi Deb,

    I am Brazilian and a reader from your blog. It was really nice to see a post talking about Brazil, condensed milk and Brazilian sweets. Thank you for the post and congratulations!

    What Laura said is perfectly right. “Beijinho”, meaning “little kiss”, is made with condensed milk, butter and dried coconut and when it’s ready, rolled in cristal sugar and a grove is putted to decorate on top, and “Brigadeiro” is made from condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder (I have an authentic Brigadeiro recipe in my blog. It is in Portuguese, but I can translate to English to you if you want).

    In Sao Paulo, from where I came from, we don’t use corn syrup neither coconut milk, but there are some variations and it’s quite possible that this come from other regions from the country and it is part of some variation.

    And about the variations you have mentioned you would like to do (cinnamon, vanilla), in Brazil now, there is a “moment” and around the Brazilian’s food blogs I’ve seen people doing lots of variations with tea, spices, etc. I tried another day a spicy one, with cinnamon and grove. It was delicious.

    Sorry about the long comment, but I liked very much this post. :)

    1. deb

      Thanks for all of the feedback. (I was secretly hoping someone would break it down for me.) I believe the corn syrup is only used because of the presence of coconut milk — to make it sweeter and “gooey” enough to candy.

  18. Hi Deb,

    You are welcome. :)

    I think so. Sometimes some variations call for milk or cream and then a bit of flour for the “gooey”. But the traditional one is condensed milk, butter and then the “flavor”.

  19. Sarah

    I lived in Brazil a few years ago, and the Brigadeiros were usually just chocolate all the way through (with cocoa added to the caramel part, then rolled in those sprinkles). These ones you made look really tasty! I’ve never had them with coconut milk, I have to try it.
    There are also “Beijinhos” (“little kisses”) which are totally white with sweetened condensed milk, shredded coconut, egg yolks, sugar crystals (to roll in), and whole cloves (to decorate the top).

  20. I am so excited that this recipe features coconut milk! I have had 2 cans in my pantry for forever (because I love all things coconut) and I haven’t found any recipes that sound good enough to try. These look/sound delicious! Do you know of any other good recipes that use coconut milk?

    Secondly, as someone who could eat spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk, it makes me smile to know that you will admit the same!

  21. beth

    I’m so glad you try out these NYTimes recipes. I’m always on the fence about them when I see them in the Times, but once I get your review I head straight to the kitchen! When I saw the original recipe for the ginger fried rice I thought, that might be interesting, and left it at that, but after seeing it here I gave it a shot and have been eating it constantly ever since as a quick dinner when my husband is working late. I saw these the other day and thought the same thing: hmm, interesting, we always have condensed and coconut milk in the pantry, but now it’s officially on my to do list!

  22. leftfoot

    I know this isn’t a vegan blog (I don’t follow any), but I’m putting in a request because since following you, your recipes, instructions and information have never ever let me down.

    I was all excited when I saw “coconut milk fudge”, because I’ve been looking for something that I can make and actually serve to my vegan friends that’s decadent. You see, for holidays I made large amount of different things (usually a few different jars) and send them to my family and friends. Last year was kimchi, duck sauce, pear ginger preserves and I ended up chucking the vegan cookies because my suspicions were right – vegan butter is terrible.

    I know it’s a huge request, but do you have any recipes that haven’t been modified with vegan alternatives that will work as something decadent and shippable? They will all eat dark chocolate for me, but no eggs, butter or milk. (sigh) The idea of all of the chemicals in the replacements just seems worse to me than eating animal byproducts. But to each his own.

    1. deb

      SaveMyPolarBear — You should really try them first. Between the unsweetened toppings (except the chocolate) unsweetened coconut milk and salted butter they were surprisingly un-sweet.

  23. Raquel Mountoulias

    Being brazilian I grow up eating these…All the birthday parties gotta have them…i usually make 500 at least…and believe me…no leftovers. The most commom its the chocolate brigadeiro…You use condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder…You should try, its like chocolate fudge…I eat them with spoon hot out of the pan…Yumiiii

  24. Sudhana

    Grocery shopping while traveling is amazing! My favorite is going into a grocery store in Switzerland and seeing an ENTIRE WALL of differently flavored chocolate, including dark chocolate with chili flakes. That was fun.

    Also, the fudge looks great :)

  25. Bri

    When I first read this, I thought that it was going to be chocolate, but no! Huzzah! I might have to make these, like, tonight.

    Also, sweetened condensed milk is the best thing ever. I remember getting shaved ice in Costa Rica where they would pour it all over the top. DIVINE.

  26. cb72

    This is a very strange coincidence- I had brigadeiros for the first time at a kid’s birthday party over the weekend! There was a caramel one and a coconut one. Made by a Brazilian too. They were great.

  27. Those look amazing, and I love caramel so I won’t complain if they are overcooked. I am going to have to try these when I visit my niece and nephew, I bet they will have a blast rolling them in the different flavors then eating them.

  28. Ram

    Your post put a smile on my face when I saw it. I’m from the Philippines and we have something very popular similar to this called Yema or Yema Balls. We don’t use coconut milk on ours and no corn syrup. After rolling it into balls we roll it on granulated sugar or another way is to insert a toothpick on each one then dip it on cooked sugar caramel which makes a crunchy coating after it dries then we wrap it in cellophane. I’d like to try your version.

  29. *smile* I can sooo tell you live in NY. LOL All the wonderful inspired by latin america treats you’ve posted lately have brought up great memories. Pretty soon we might have to name you an honorary latin lady which I’m sure will raise the rusky’s eyebrow eh? LOL

    These look great and you’re right – we latins love our leche condensada. We prefer it for flan (those french and their reinventing the wheel using cream and sugar when they could start off with condensed milk!), tres leches, dulce de leche and even a very sinful treat mixing Malta (like goya) with dulce de leche. You must try it. Oh and with your penchant for beans you’d love habichuelas con dulce (the sweet opposite of rice pudding).

  30. Claire

    For the chocolate sprinkles, try hagelslag–a Dutch sandwich topping (!). There are milk and dark chocolate varieties available. I can find it at specialty Dutch shops like littledutchgirl and the like.

  31. Wow – this brings back memories of my summer living in Brazil, when I was fifteen… I used to love to purchase these are the school snack bar. Every. Single. Day. Yum. Never had one with my beloved coconut, so off to try these tonight.
    I have the little papers too – though mine were bought in sao paulo. But I’ve had a cupboard filled with little grocery store finds from Europe before – hard to make myself use them up, but love the precious reminders of eating on the road!

  32. So happy to see a successful manifestation of that article – which also had me drooling! I’m going to have to try these, because the also-linked “Absurdly Easy Chocolate Fudge” was absurdly easy, but not absurdly successful. It ended up seized after cooling – not my best use of a pound of chocolate. Love your site.

  33. Kailee

    To the person who suggested using sweetened condensed milk for French toast, I think I love you! That sounds amazingly delicious! I’ve been in sort of a French toast love affair lately, and as soon as Lent is over (why do I torture myself!?) and we can have sweets again, that will be something I play around with.

    Speaking of self-induced torture, these little sweets look adorable and tasty. Just the sort of treat to take to my book club. Unlike a tart or cake, nobody will know if you sneaked a bite! Thanks, Deb!

  34. Brasileira

    Hey Deb – this is one of my favorite Brazilian desserts and is a childhood party essential! I’m very proud that you’ve featured it in your wonderful blog (which I follow pretty religiously). Question, though: why the corn syrup? We never used that… what does it do? I hadn’t thought of pistacchios or cookie crumbs but think that is a good idea. :)

    1. deb

      Brasileira — As I said in comment 35 my *guess* is that the corn syrup was added to make up for the lack of “gooey” or “candying” factor in the coconut milk that was added to the basic recipe. Thus, if one were to skip the coconut milk, they could skip the corn syrup too. Because it’s an invert sugar, just like the condensed milk, you don’t have to worry about it crystallizing as the candy comes together, thus it is easier than straight sure would be.

  35. As soon as I saw the top photo in my reader, I had to click over to see if you were making brigadeiros. As others have commented, brigadeiros are a permanent fixture at any party I’ve ever been to in Brasil or hosted by Brasilians here in the States. (My family is Brasilian.) My cousins made over 500 of them for my wedding in October, and I’m quite sure there were none left by the end of the night. I only ever make them with chocolate, and I stir it with a wooden spoon pretty much the entire time it cooks, so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan too much. When you can pull the spoon through the mass and have it stay separate, it’s ready. (And since I go by that, I have no idea how long it takes; but 15-20 minutes sounds more right than 8-10.) I usually let it cool a bit and then eat it straight out of the pan. But if you are going to roll them, a little bit of butter on your fingers and palms helps keep the stickiness at bay.

  36. Those small baking cups oddly I found at Michael’s. They recently started stocking a mixed pack of bright yellow, blue and red in cupcake size and mini (candy) sized. Cheap and probably right around the corner from most people.

  37. Sara

    Yum can’t wait to try this, they sound divine! And I am so glad to know I am not the only person that is obsessed (just a little) with grocery stores in other countries. I love to buy things just to find out what they are, bonus points if I can’t read the label due to a language barrier. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy, we have the strangest pantry items in Virginia I am sure!

  38. Adorable cups can also be found at Sur La Table, and for New Yorkers, Broadway Panhandler also has a whole wall devoted to different sizes and colors. And Deb, I agree with you – caramelized anything takes the cake each and every time!

  39. Megan

    Brigadeiro (the original and faithful chocolate kind) is one of my favorite recipes! The last time I was in Brazil visiting a friend in Sao Paulo, she poured the chocolate goodness onto a plate and gave us each a spoon. She said she doesn’t know anyone who rolls it into balls — unless they are being overly proper. (Think Martha Stewart.) I think that it tastes even better when it’s warm and slurped with a spoon….

    This kind looks amazing. I will have to try them the next time I have a decent excuse to cook tons of sweets.

  40. I once lived in Brazil and made chocolate brigadeiros all the time. It’s even better if you pour it over broken chocolate wafer cookies, chill it, and then cut and eat. It’s like the most luxurious fudge brownie you can imagine. The recipe I always used was 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 Tbsp. salted butter, and 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Cook and stir until mixture comes away from the bottom of the pot.

  41. I second the recommendation of using the Dutch sprinkles called hagleschlag (or sometimes Chocoladehagel, meaning chocolate hail). My mom is Dutch, so I grew up eating them. The traditional way to serve them is on buttered bread – sounds weird but is delicious! The most popular company that makes them is DeRuijter, and you can get them in Dutch specialty stores or at Dutch import companies online. They’re really good quality – and actually made from chocolate – and are a lot cheaper than the chocolate vermicelli.

  42. Sarah Wick

    Hooray for sweetened condensed milk. We love it in our morning coffee. In fact, in Spain (and perhaps elsewhere), you can buy it in a tube (akin to a toothpaste tube), which is perfect for sticking in your bag for that late-afternoon cuppa.

  43. Tanya

    I use condensed milk in my oatmeal (along with vanilla extract, nutmeg and cinnamon). This is the way my Mom has made it for me since I was a little girl, milk and brown sugar just isn’t the same.

  44. Olivia

    These reminded me of the white chocolate and saffron truffles i made for Christmas last year, with roasted pistachio crust, I’ve been meaning to mention them here only because they are amazing, beyond amazing, and i think everyone would love them. I was spoiled for saffron after my wedding last year, as the groom is from India, and his family bought it as gifts! best reason to get married…

  45. Emily

    I just made these from the NY times recipe over the weekend and… a) mine also took nearly triple the cooking time… and b) they basically tasted like the frosting on a german chocolate cake. I found the consistency to be a little offputting — I thought they would be more fudgy, and instead found them a little more chewy/stick-to-your-teethy…

  46. santadad

    Well, now I know the secret. Mom and I were the guinea pigs. Well, rest assured they were delicious … in case you wondered where they disappeared to!


  47. lacrema

    Hmmm. Second time I’ve read about brigadeiros lately. Another variation (with variations!) over at 17 and Baking. Now I don’t know which to try. I do love German Chocolate cake!!

  48. Deb – you beat me to the punch! I’ve been dying to try these confections ever since I read the NYT article. They look amazing – like fancy little truffles with a surprise interior. Now I’m even more determined to make them. :)

    @leftfoot – have you ever tried making dark chocolate truffles with coconut milk? They turn out really well. You basically make a thick ganache with coconut milk and dark chocolate, cool, scoop out balls, then coat them in whatever you like (cocoa, tempered chocolate, etc.). You can even flavor the ganache with lemon oil, or pomegranate syrup, or Maldon salt – yes really! – or coffee… lots of options. Good luck and have fun!

  49. A good cake store should have those sized cups. Not a craft store, but a place that specializes in cake baking and decorating. Ours has them in TONS of colors, and even carries them for holidays (I’m wishing now I had bought the st. patty’s day ones!)

  50. This was such an interesting post and I enjoyed reading the comments just as much. Will have to try this in class so that I can get one of my students to do all the whisking and I will just talk. The candies are beautiful!

  51. I just discovered your site. Wow, you have so much stuff on here!! I bet your husband is really happy. Anyway, I saw these sweet balls on the front page and they reminded me of rum balls – although I bet you already have a recipe for them somewhere. Rum balls are really popular in my country of birth, Slovakia, at Christmas. Following is a link to my recipe: They are super easy to make, no baking required.

  52. These would be too sweet for me (I’m a savory), but my husband would be in heaven if I made them for him! Love, love, love coconut. And yes, sweetened condensed milk is being mentioned more on the food channel these days.

  53. There’s so cool to see a post on brigadeiros here!!!!!!

    We call the coconut brigadeiros “beijinhos” in portuguese like little kiss and they are served with a clove on each one of them that the kids hate and there’s also “Cajuzinho” made with peanuts…

    When we’re grown ups we do it and it on the pan with a spoon while it’s still hot it’s SO good, the best thing for a broken heart.

  54. Loved this article and also made a batch last week! I’ve never had much luck with with coconut macaroons but the recipe worked well for me. I switched the corn syrup for a honey in the second batch and really liked the results.

  55. Jessie

    Oh…. so next time I’m needing a sweet and considering just eating a can of sweetened condensed milk with a spoon, I can make these and not feel so… um… sneaky and gross. Refined gobbling of sweetened condensed milk is just what I need in life.

  56. Jennifer

    Like Ariane said, brigadeiros are definitely not for kids only. Grown-ups eat quite a bit, straight out of the pot and still hot. They’re especially good when you have the blues or, like she said, a broken heart!

  57. Helen

    I’ve been following your blog for a while from Brazil, and it’s great to see an entry on brigadeiros. I’m from Brazil, and ever since I moved to the US a couple of years, I’ve become addicted to brigadeiros. If you’re ever in a brigadeiro mood, but don’t feel quite up to stirring a pot and then rolling the brigadeiros into little balls, you can always do a “to be eaten by the spoonful” version in the microwave (an old childhood favorite of mine. All you do is empty a can of condensed milk (La Lechera is the best US brand for that, since it resembles our local condensed milk the most), mix in 2 tbs or so of some seriously good cocoa powder, and stick in the microwave for 6-8 min on high. The dough starts to bubble, so you have to keep a close eye and stop the cooking process to stir quite frequently, but after a couple of minutes you have fabulous brigadeiro to be eaten by the spoonful (not very elegant, but delicious!). I think I’m going to go ahead and make me a batch tonight :)

  58. Hello!

    I love your blog and I was very happy when I saw the brigadeiros pictures today. I’m a Brazilian living in the US and I try to introduce brigadeiros to the most Americans I can :-)

    Sara is right, the American condensed milk has a different texture. I had the same problem. After trying various American brands, I found a simple solution: go to the Mexican food aisle (even my local Target has one) and get their condensed milk (Nestle is the most popular brand). It has the same consistency the ones we use in Brazil. You’ll see the difference.

  59. Jen-

    I think I’m going to do this with my kiddos tomorrow for our family night. We do a bit of family Bible study one night a week and then make something fun like milkshakes or homemade popcorn. This will be an awesome treat and I’ll let them pick out their favorite sprinkles or coatings. Thanks so much!

    PS: Jacob is only getting cuter by the min. Are you worried about girls yet? You should be! My eldest (David JACOB! Ha!) is getting eyed by girls and their mothers. Those wicked people!!! hehe.

  60. The Paris Food Blague@ Paris Food Blog

    ah sprinkles is one of those mysterious foods whose provenance should remain a mystery. seriously, i am all for label reading/conscious eating etc etc…..but i turn a blind eye to sprinkles. it’s childhood in sweet sparkly form! how can it be bad for you???

  61. Milk fudge is great!!! When I was a kid in Russia, we used to boil cans of condensed milk to make what is known in the US by its Spanish name, dulce de leche, but in Russia was simply called “boiled condensed milk.” It was a favorite childhood treat and a staple during camping trips, when people sat around the fire and talked while the milk was cooking. There are also candies called “Little cow” that are popular in Poland, Russia, and some former Soviet republics that are essentially milk fudge. Sometimes they are semi-crystallized and solid throughout, but sometimes the inside is semi-liquid and oozes out when you bite into the candy – those are the best kind!

  62. Karen

    I’m Brazilian too and I love seeing Brazilian foods (Acai, Guarana, etc) becoming popular in the US – even if it’s not the most authentic versions. These look really good though, so I’ll try them the way you made them. As other Brazilians have said here ‘Brigadeiro’ is the name for the chocolate ones which you absolutely MUST try! So good! Just sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder & butter, rolled in chocolate sprinkles. A classic!

  63. Polly Lucke

    I’d already bookmarked the mushroom salad to make last night for my birthday dinner, but when I saw this… i knew it would be a busy night in the kitchen! Both were delicious! Did not have any chocolate sprinkles, so I used cocoa nibs instead. So yummy! Thanks!

  64. Patty

    OOOOH! We call this yema in the Philippines. I love it when the outside’s a bit burnt but the inside’s pure awesome gooeyness (?). Great post!

  65. I’ve never even thought to look at the ingredients on chocolate sprinkles. But come to think of it, they do taste a little funky. Great idea to buy grade A qual. sprinkles. Why mess up a really great recipe with simple decor?

    I love those fudgey balls.

  66. bex

    If you have an Asian market or Japanese dollar store near you (I’m spoiled by living in the Bay Area, but I know there are others out there) there are all shapes and sizes of paper and foil cups available for bento in adorable designs. They’re usually coated to make them moisture-resistant, so they’re no good for baking, but they’re great for this sort of presentation!

  67. Sarah

    I am really excited to see these because we made coconut brigadeiros in my Latin cuisine class just a few weeks ago. They are delicious!

  68. nan

    Normally I click on every highlight – hoping to see the baby – but, since you were talking about the stuff in my veins, SCM, I just kept reading – straight though – and only now, now that I have visually digested the recipe and your pics, can I go back and click on your highlights in the hopes of adding a bit of dessert to your post. Thank you, a thousand times over, for saving me from a day of laundry and cleaning so that I may now make candy…followed by a coma. Amen.

  69. Melissa

    If you ever don’t have the energy to make these, on W 46th is a place called Emporium Brazil — they sell them (and lots of other Brazilian foods). I always buy a lot to take to my Brazilian stepmom (who hides them in the kitchen so everyone won’t get at them!) down south.

  70. Carla

    Hi, I read with interest your post on brigadeiros, as being Brazilian it was a staple of my childhood. Must make some soon:-) One couple of notes on your version of brigadeiro. I never saw corn syrup being used. As others mentioned white brigadeiros have condensed milk, vanilla extract, butter and sometimes an egg yolk which have been pricked and the outer membrane removed, black brigadeiros have added chocolate, and coconut ones grated fresh coconut. Cajuzinhos (little cashews) have ground cashews and are shaped as a cashew fruit roled in coarse granulated sugar and a cashew nut inserted in one end. Another great adult version of them is to coat the balls with a hard sugar caramel. That and its variations are a common sight at Weddings and other parties. Also as someone else mention American Condensed milk is very different from Brazilian, not only in color but also in taste. Here is the States I buy La Lechera which is the same brand of condensed milk and closer resembles the Brazilian kind.

  71. Another Brazilian – very fond of brigadeiros, and very “protective” of the traditional way of making those… :-)

    I make them often, actually, and agree with Carla – you need sweetened condensed milk, La Lechera being the only one that will work if you want to reproduce the real thing

    Not sure if Carla will read this – I hope she does – but we also have “bolinhas de queijo” – which are made with ricotta, I think – and I’ve been dying to get a recipe for those, I grew up attending birthday parties with those side by side with brigadeiros (imagine a huge table covered with these little wonders, and a cake in the center… :-)

  72. Aprille

    Oh man, these looked so good that I was near drooling on my desk at the sight of them. I bought all needed ingredients, went home and- I’m not kidding- whisked the mixture for an hour without much thickening or caramelizing before giving up. I’m not sure what I did wrong. How low is “low” when you reduce the heat? Would having the heat up too high cause the mixture to not pull together?
    However, the coconut condensed milk mixture is still SO GOOD in its saucey form that I put a dollop of it in in my coffee, and tonight I plan to use it as icing for some coconut cupcakes. Mmm…

  73. Jane

    My boyfriend is Brazilian, and his mother always makes it for his birthday (and we’re 24), or any birthdays for that matter. So you can never be too old. :)

    I got really excited about this post, and this is definitely one of my favorite treats, seeing that I love condensed milk. You should try the vietnamese condensed milk candies. Pure condense milk in a hard candy form. So delicous. But the brigadeiros I eat are about the same color as yours, light caramel brown! The coconut one looks lovely.

  74. Christine

    I saw that article and immediately thought of my grandmother…who just kept a can of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge. I mean, I might know someone related to her who does it also. What? It’s perfect for when you just need a bite of sweet!

  75. Sarah

    I am so excited about this recipe! I had a cooking class in high school and we had a Brazilian exchange student that made this for the class and gave us the recipe. I loved the little treat but I lost the recipe and couldn’t figure out how to make it. I think she made one type where she used the candy to cover a grape and then made a chocolate variation. Delicious!

  76. Ashley

    I didn’t read all the comments so someone may have said this, but Sara is right American condensed milk is different. We’re Brazilian/Irish and my family has recently found that generic brands of condensed milk are usually thicker and closer to Brazilian condensed milk.

  77. C jane

    This is by far my favorite blog. It makes my morning whenever there is a new recipe! I am an art student and am constantly inspired by your creations! I have never commented, but as soon as I saw my brigadeiros I just had too! I grew up in Rio and Sao Paulo. Every birthday party my sister brings the chocolate and the coconut ones. I have never seen the pistachio. You MUST MUST try Pao de Queijo. It is a Brazilian cheese bread. But, the title “cheese bread” does not give it justice. It is a small roll that has a firm crust on the outside, but ooey gooey on the inside. Also, pudim. Pudim is a rich caramel flan. The caramel flavor becomes SO strong during the process. Here is a link I found when I google image searched for a correct thick dark colored caramel sauce that develops around the flan.

  78. I had no idea there was snobbery about sweetened condensed milk. Then again, i’m originally from Latin America where they have been using that delicious liquid from heaven to make desserts forever.

    About those pistachios. You’re right – always use raw pistachios if you’re going to photograph them. The amazingly delicious toasted ones are just not cute.

  79. Deb, the latest take on brigadeiros here in Brazil are the gourmet versions, made with French butter, Belgian cocoa powder and sprinkles from Callebaut. The only Brazilian ingredient the “Brigadeiro boutiques” use is the sweetened condensed milk!

  80. I’ve seen cups like these both in specialty baking stores, and in odd places like Walgreens, but only during holidays. I try to stock up on any that can double duty for other holidays etc.

  81. Heidi

    Ohhh, the memories. I lived in Brazil as an exchange student right after high school. There were so many wonderful sweets that I (and my hips!) discovered while living there. Your recipe for brigadeiros and the readers’ comments and recipes brought me back to my time in Brazil. Thanks!

  82. That’s funny about the sweetened condensed milk – I was just kind of wrestling with the same thing – I was at a party this weekend where someone brought Coconut Macaroons made from Ina Garten’s recipe, which basically consists of two egg whites, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut. They were Divine. Processed foods be damned, I am going to make them as soon as I can get to the store to buy the coconut and canned milk.

  83. Natalie

    I was an exchange student to Brasil and brigadeiros were my favorite treats. My host family showed me how to make them – just a can of condensed milk, 2 spoons of cocoa, and 2 pats of butter, stirred constantly with a wooden spoon over moderate heat until the spoon uncovers the bottom of the pan as you stir across.

    When I got married, I made brigadeiros for the reception (12 cans of condensed milk – that was a lot of stirring and rolling!). My cousin, who was 10 at the time, ate at least 20 of them, got sick, and still begged my aunt to ask me for the recipe. He got married last summer, and I’m very surprised he didn’t ask me to make them for his reception. Anyway, we had a lot of the candies left over, and my mom wrapped them up and froze them, and they kept pretty well! There were a few left on our 1st anniversary, and they tasted better than the yr-old frozen pound cake.

    Brazilian food is really good – now that there are churrascarias opening up even in places you wouldn’t expect (like where I live), it’s just a matter of time before the foodies discover it.

  84. We are on sweetened condensed milk overload here because we have been traveling in Southeast Asia for the last three months and they put condensed milk in EVERYTHING. Red tea with sweetened condensed milk, coffee with sweetened condensed milk, mangos with sticky rice drizzled with sweetened condensed milk, and more. I can’t say that I hate it. I don’t know why we Americans don’t use more of it especially when it is so easy to make yummy dulce de leche and banoffi pie (you have made banoffi pie, right? It’s basically dulce de leche made from condensed milk, topped with bananas, and whipped cream. And it’s Irish-y (technically English but found everywhere in Ireland) so perfect for St. Paddy’s Day.)

    These look gorgeous. Really really gorgeous. And, I love the idea of coconut milk in the fudge (of course, again, I am on serious coconut overload, too.)

  85. Hannah Marie

    and this is why it sucks to be vegan.
    ninety percent of the time I enjoy it, and then I see recipes on your site that I really want to make, but can’t picture veganizing…sigh. Maybe someday.

  86. Meg

    omg these were AMAZING! and so easy! I only wish I had made more! the recipe didn’t yield that many for me (10 instead of 30!) but perhaps that was because I omitted the shredded coconut. I added a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, only had dark corn syrup so I had to use that and rolled them in the ground pistachios and then had to convince myself not to eat them all. Thank you for introducing me to these Deb!

  87. Emily

    Hi :)

    I know a couple of people have mentioned sweetened condensed milk in their coffee, but no one mentioned specifically the drink they serve in some parts of Spain called Cafe Bonbon — just put about a tablespoon of the milk in a shot glass, top with a shot of espresso, and enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of it before mixing it together and sipping to your heart’s delight.

    I hope you try it and enjoy.


  88. Amanda

    For part of 1987 (when I was just a weeee little three year old,) my family lived in Florianopolis, Brasil (south of Sao Paolo.) Besides the smell of garbage trucks, my preschool in the jungle, and our pumpkin-colored car, I have two other vivid memories: one is goiabada (guava paste/jelly,) eaten on water crackers with white cheese and accompanied by dulce de leche. For breakfast. The other is brigadeiros. I remember the ones with chocolate jimmies on the outside, and they are so rich, sweet and flavorful without being too much so. Go to Brasil!

  89. Those are so beautiful! I’d love to make them. I think I’m in post-truffle shock after trying to make some for friends on Valentine’s Day. They looked like mud! Chocolate mud though, so it was only slightly disappointed. :)


  90. These look delicious!

    Also, in Scotland, the little foil cups on that shops website are used for a sweet which you can by a quarter (quarter pound) of, called chocolate cups or icy cups. The are filled about 7/8th of the way full with either chocolate, chcolate with minty or orangey chocolate core, and sometimes, actual hardened chocolate icing. They are amazing!

  91. Charlotte K

    My family has always made its Christmas fudge with condensed milk. I think it makes the best fudge ever. You’ve inspired me though to try some different takes on it (besides deep dark chocolate).

  92. Melissa

    I`m brazilian, love your blog. Let me tell you something interesting. Here in Brazil, we all have a pressure pan in our kitchen. The most easy dessert and also a “tradicional” one is to put the hole can of condensed milk into the pressure pan, cover it with water (or along with the beans for lunch) and cook it for 45 min. You will end up with the most delicious sweet, like a milk caramel or dulce de leite. Fantastic! I don´t know if it works with american condensed milk. Very important warning: don´t open the can while it`s hot, because the boiling sweet will spread all over your face, a very serious accident!

  93. I was about to write this recipe off because I am not a chocolate lover, but I read the title wrong. These are such a yummy sounding treat! I can’t wait to make.

  94. Katia

    I am surprised about the number of Brazilians, like me, who follow your blog. Like they all said, brigadeiros are not only popular at kids birthday parties but the “spoon” version is almost a staple in Brazilian homes. So much that my little kids who were born and are growing up here in the US are always happy to get some “Brazilian chocolate candy”. Also as so many mentioned here, the Brazilian version of this “coconut brigadeiro” (beijinho) is made only with unsweetened coconut and not coconut milk or corn syrup, also the Brazilian version is rolled in granulated sugar and then a clove is inserted on the ball. But I still think this version, although more complicated, is worth a try. Now one of my favorites among all this sweets served at parties made with condensed milk is Camafeu (a Walnut Brigadeiro), I have been out of Brazil for long and don’t even know if they are still popular, but they are wonderful. I had never made them and just about a month ago I had a huge craving for them, searched for a recipe and they turned out amazing.
    And finally, just like you, I love going to grocery stores in foreign countries, I think you can learn a lot about the local culture that way!
    Ps: My kids also love when I make Doce de Leite (condensed milk in the pressure cooker) like Melissa said

  95. Jung

    My dear Brazilian nanny first made this for my daughter for her 1st birthday. Her version had multicolored sprinkles. I must admit I was a little freaked out by the sweetened condensed milk and colored sprinkles for my one year old (particularly as it reminded me of “fairy bread” a traditional birthday party food in Australia that is simply white bread smeared with butter/margarine and colored sprinkles, yuck!). But when I tasted it it was so yummy I relented and my daughter loved it (any idea where I can get all natural colored sprinkles?). It has become a tradition for her to make it for all of their birthdays. It makes her so happy to share this tradition with us. She will be tickled that it has appeared in the NY Times and now your site. With your modifications, I can now enjoy it guilt free sans artificial sprinkles.

    Btw, have you ever used coconut flour? It is basically finely milled unsweetened coconut. I use it in granola/bar recipes in place of flour. It might be fine enough not to change the texture too much. I will give it try and report back when I get our nanny to give my children and me a demonstration next time she is here.

  96. Lovely recipe, and the Coconut Milk makes a difference. I always use Thai Kitchen Premium Coconut Milk. It is unsweetened, and you can use the rest of the can to make a great Thai Curry. They make an Organic version too with no preservatives!

    Sweetened Condensed Milk is a must for any baker-snob or not!

  97. I’m tickled that Sweetened Condensed Milk is making a comeback, even though, I never left it. I can eat that stuff as is. With the aid of a spoon, of course. I’m not a compete savage.

    And those Coconut Brigadeiros look particularly enticing, giving me an excuse to open up another can of SCM.

  98. Mia

    A fantastic, versatile recipe! I tried these today. I used heavy cream instead of coconut milk, and honey instead of corn syrup. I added a 2″ piece of vanilla bean, spit and scraped, and let it simmer with the caramel. Also added a pinch of cinnamon and 2 pinches of sea salt. It did take every bit of 30 minutes before the mixture was done, and it did turn a rich caramel color. I divided the batch in two, and mixed dutch cocoa powder in with half. BOTH the vanilla flavor and the chocolate flavor are DIVINE!! Eating the mixture by the spoonful while warm is all too tempting, as I and my husband found out. We will roll them into balls after they’ve cooled. Love these!

  99. Oh, I’m excited about this one! I just made dulce de leche for the first time last night, inspiring a newfound love for sweetened condensed milk (I’d never done anything with it before), *and* I have about 1/2 cup of coconut milk leftover from the red curry I stuck in the crockpot this morning. I can’t wait to find more ways to play with sweetened condensed milk!

  100. mai truong

    Deb, I have only recently discovered your blog, and I am totally in LOVE. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photography, your amazing food, your poignant writing, and your incredibly inspiring appreciation for food and cooking. I am working my way backwards to try out recipes and delight in reading old posts. I randomly came across the Saveur Food Blog Awards and I wanted to point out that you are nominated for not one, but TWO categories!! Given that among the plethora of food blogs out there, only a handful are nominated in only a handful of categories, That is incredible!!Congratulations!! I am definitely excited to vote for you :).

  101. its all sugar

    went to ther bake it pretty web site… OMG so beautiful… thank yu everyone for sharing your great ideas and finds…Candy. ( yep my real name, not a nic-name and of course i make well… candy and baked yummys)

  102. Ha! This article totally got me, too, reminding me how great sweetened condensed milk is. I immediately made the “absurdly easy chocolate fudge” and last night i made homemade dulce de leche to, er, add to vietnamese coffee ice cream (made w/ sweetened condensed milk) that i’m making. obsessed much? and now i want to make these! such adorable little cuties!

  103. Tijana

    A friend of mine made these last year for a party and I think I must have eaten all of them. I’ve been meaning to make them for a while so this was a good reminder!

    I actually just used the regular recipe for Brigadeiros, condensed milk + butter + cocao, plus I added about half a cup of coconut cream (not milk). They’re cooling in the fridge right now but what I did scrape out of the pot after it cooled easily rolled into a ball. So maybe no corn syrup needed if you use coconut cream? I’ll find out in a few hours if they stay ball shapes or not!

    Deb thanks for pointing out that it takes a lot longer to cook them! I didn’t realize this the first time I made them and I was kind of annoyed that they wouldn’t keep their ball shape. Clearly I didn’t cook the mixture long enough.

    I love the recipes but I really only come by for the baby cheeks and the hair.

    1. deb

      Tijana — No corn syrup if you’re not using coconut milk — sounds like you did it right!

      Katia — Me too! I’m amazed — and flattered! — that there are so many Brazilians reading along at home. Can we come visit? Like, tomorrow?

      Emily — That sounds ridiculously delicious.

  104. I have a brazilian mother, but grew up in the suburbs, in the midwest, and was raised to be american. Very sadly, we often repressed our brazilian culture. However, I have very fond memories of making a very similar candy with my mother. She called them coconut kisses. It honestly NEVER occured to me that these were brazilian! I can’t wait to talk to her about this! :)

  105. Ashley

    My husband is Brazilian, but we met and married in Atlanta. My mother-in-law insisted that we give brigadeiros to our weddings guests as favors, and I’m so glad we did. She and I worked together to make them and put them in truffle boxes. Those little balls of fudge were all the rave amongst my southern family and friends.

  106. I made the chocolate version mentioned here by your readers yesterday, using butter, cocoa and the can of s.c. milk. Since I´d shut down the computer, I couldn´t read the instructions word-by-word and thought I´d memorized them well enough. Turns out, I waaay overcooked my brigadeiros to a hard candy stage. When I realized this after it cooled, I turned it into a fabulous brigadeiro toffee by re-melting the candy, spreading it on a silpat and topping with chocolate. Yum! Perfect for ice cream topping or just plain eating.

  107. Susan

    I am a sweets person and not usually a food snob, but I draw the line at sweetened condensed milk. I lived in the Philippines for several years (in the jungle) and all we could get was the long life milk that needed no refridgeration. It has a peculiar flavor, one that I detect in sweetend condensed milk, and I just can’t stomach it. I’ve been on a quest to find a recipe to make my own, but haven’t had any luck with a good one. Does the coconut flavor come forth stongly..I like having easy candy recipes, but I need that flavor masked well.

  108. That sounds fantastic! I’ve made plenty of fudge before but never with coconut milk, it’s always nice to find a new spin on things. Thanks for the recipe!

  109. Amy

    First off, thanks Deb for the gorgeous and yummy treats you always post. I do have to admit that my favorite treat has dimples and an awesome hairdo! Your kid is so cute its nuts!

    Secondly, it is because of you and your reader Emily that my quest for ruffled cupcake papers is over!!!!! I have been looking for a site like that for FOREVER. No joke. I saw the ruffled papers on a website for a bakery out of state and contacted the owner to find out where she got them. She wouldn’t share. :( I have just placed an order for 5 different kinds of cupcake papers, including the ruffled and also come cute cookie cutters. I am in debt to you and Emily for all time!!!!! You have made my week. Or even my month. I was salivating over all the beautiful papers, no lie. :)

    P.S. I just made my first fudge in class a few weeks ago, I am stoked to try these!

  110. I grew up in Brazil so as soon as that first photo popped up on my screen, I was like BRIGADEIROS!! So awesome that you posted this. :) As a little kid I could pop so many of these at a birthday party, and go home feeling sick but oh-so-Brazilian.

    love this. can’t wait to try it out in my kitchen. :) thanks.

  111. Another Brazilian staple you might want to investigate (don’t know if it’s already been suggested, couldn’t make it through all the comments!) is “mousse de maracuja” or basically passion fruit mousse. It sounds so bizarre, but, like brigadeiros, it’s such a staple. And so ridiculously divine. The only thing here that comes close to the flavor of it is the Passion Fruit Haagen-Dazs Five.

  112. Just Me

    Eu Amo Brigadeiros!!! I lived in Brazil for a couple years and imported my husband from there ;) We make Brigadeiros all the time my kids beg for them. I have to say I hate the waxy sprinkles that I have used, so I started just rolling them in Sugar. I will definately be getting a bottle of the Chocolate Vermecilli thank you so much for posting your version, although more complex than our simple (s.c. milk, butter and cocoa) it was great to see all the variations and I like your english translation. We call them Chocolate Carmel balls.
    Quick tip: We spread it out on a plate so it will cool faster.
    Bom Provecho!

  113. Sherri M

    Honestly, Deb, these sound amazing. I can’t wait to try them. I’ve also found another store on line as well. There are several, but I was surprized by the small number of places you can find chocolate cups.

  114. I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for another great recipe. I love anything made with condensed milk. Best of all, I live in Vienna and can buy the paper cups with ease!

  115. Mindy

    This post has made me sooo happy, I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who eats both sweet condensed milk and nutella with a spoon. I figured I couldn’t be the only one, but no one I know does (or, at least, the don’t fess up to it!)

  116. Oh my gosh! I am wishing right now I could just kind of grab one of the chocolate sprinkled ones from the screen. Chocolate and coconut is SOOO good.
    I’ll be trying these this weekend.

    Thanks so much for the recipe and also for the great pics!

  117. KB

    Hi there!

    I’m sorry I’m number 181 on this long list of comments, but I’m hoping to get some advice. I love your blog and have tried several recipes before, but this is the first time I utterly FAILED, hahaha! I’m not sure what the problem was, but my “fudge” turned out like a cross between maple sugar spread and marzipan (but coconut flavored, hehe): it tasted great, not burnt, but was very grainy and wouldn’t solidify.

    Reading the other comments above, it could be the fact that I used American sweetened condensed milk, but that would explain only the increased cooking time. I ended up cooking it for around 40 minutes when it started to take on a grainy texture, so I pulled it off the stove. It never pulled together and certainly didn’t look as wonderfully smooth as your photo here:

    Any ideas? Did I stir it too much? not enough? (although i find that hard to believe, i was on it like a hawk, haha). By the time I had pulled it from the stove it had condensed so much that I was only able to get 16 teaspoon balls from it (which I promptly threw in the freezer before they could ooze into puddles).

    I’ll try the imported milk in the future to see if that helps, but somehow I think my failure is cook’s error. :P

    1. deb

      KB — I used American condensed milk successfully. I think 40 minutes is too long. It only meant, for me, that I needed to cook mine for 20ish instead of 10.

  118. After chilling for around 4 hours in the fridge, mine came out LIKE A BRICK. Maybe this is another quirk of American condensed milk? I had to let it sit out for several hours before I was able to do any scooping.

  119. jan

    KB- the timing/tempature is important in recipes like these. Sorry I don’t know what temp it should be but if you purchase a candy thermometer the correct temps for each kind of candy is listed on the package in most cases.
    These do sound divine! I am just recovering from the trend of throwing a unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in boiling water (or the trusty crock pot!) and coming out with Dulce De Leche YUM!

  120. mrs.teapie

    I tried this recipe because Sweetened Ccondensed Milk and Coconut milk
    are two of my favorite ingredients.
    I did not have them on hand so trekked to the store and purchased them.
    I decided that I wanted to read the labels and get “good” coconut milk that
    had coconut as it primary ingredient and not to many other additives.
    So I made my purchases and came home and made the candy.
    After I opened my coconut milk it didn’t have much “thick stuff” in it
    as usual and then I reread the front of the can. UGGH! Low fat
    coconut milk. Although the ingredient list on the back side looked
    good, it did not taste coco-nutty/creamy like I was expecting.
    the fudge was only ok. If I had used a full fat version, it would have
    been much better. Lesson learned-Read both the front and back sides of the can. :-)

  121. Margle

    Sarah at number 183, mine was a total BRICK too. The kind that, if you were able to take a bite, would immediately rip out all of your fillings. Eep! But I brought it back down to room temp and it became more workable.

  122. KB

    Jan and Deb: thanks! A temperature issue makes sense. My tiny apartment has a very old electric stove (the handle on my oven actually FELL OFF during the initial inspection, haha, and I insisted it be fixed) and I have a hard time controlling temperature in a lot of my dishes. I’ve been meaning to purchase a candy thermometer for a while now and keep putting it off, but now I’ll have an excuse!

    Side note: I DID suspect at one point during the cooking process that the temp. was off and so I tried the ice water method – letting a blob of the mix fall into icy water and seeing how it congealed – but the little blob just sort of disintegrated, haha. I then thought perhaps the ice water method is used only for sugar-based candies?

  123. Lara

    i just made these and to say mine look nothing like yours would be an understatement. my fudge never turned the right color, even though i whisked it for 50 minutes, nor was anything blackened on the bottom of the pan when i took the fudge out. It seems like it was almost the right consistency, but when i made it into balls it was really really sticky. it tastes more like condensed milk than anything else…

    did i use the wrong pan (a non stick one)? the wrong condensed milk (carnation)?

    i’m not sure how i messed up such a simple recipe…

    love the blog, btw :-)

  124. Ella

    If anyone is going to Sweden you can pick get very similar tiny candy cups (“Knäckformar”) at any grocery store, we use them to make our sweet Christmas toffee-like candy “Knäck” in them.

  125. zel

    adults eat a lot of brigadeiros in brazil too, no reason to feel bad about it :) we even eat it directly from the pan, using a spoon… yummy :)

    brigadeiros are supposed to be dark (we use cocoa powder in prep), and there is also a red one called “bicho de pé”, prepared with strawberry jello powder. it’s also delicious and funny.


  126. Brad&Joe

    We just finished up making these.
    As with Deb, our mix didn’t “pull together” into a soft piece until about 30 minutes after boiling (!!!). Ours turned a sort of green/beige color. We’re not sure how or why this happened. When it was time to scoop out teaspoonfuls, the fudge was very hard so we needed to warm it back up slightly before proceeding.
    All in all, we’re not too sure about these…

  127. Meg

    I’ve tried making these twice. Both times the brown residue from the bottom of the pan got mixed up with the rest of the candy, no matter how lightly I whisk! Maybe it’s too soft? It was really unappetizing, obviously. Any idea why this might be happening?

  128. Nikki

    These were delicious. I used a mellon baller to scoop the hardened candy after the cooling period in the fridge then I shaped them into balls. Worked like a charm. I just used shaved chocolate as a covering. These were delicious! Thanks for the fun recipe!

  129. Ariel

    I’m thinking about sending my mother a batch of these for mother’s day, but I’m not sure how they will hold up for a 3-5 day trip. Any advice?

  130. Heather

    Nossa – adoro brigadeiro!! I also lived in Brazil and the family I lived with would whip some up and we would all eat it out of the pan with tiny coffee spoons – delicious! Que delicia!

  131. bhashini

    Hi Deb, i came across your blog yest while at work, and boy, i was bowled over by your recipes and writing style. And while going through the recipe index, somehow the ‘coconut’ caught my eye, and as its a staple ingredient in our everyday cooking (in South India) and available 24/7 at home, i thought i will surprise my hub with this. And it turned out to be a big hit , it just melted in our mouths. i didn’t have time to buy corn syrup, so i skipped it. the bottom of the pan did not darken, and it took about 20 mins to pull together and leave the sides of the pan. Then i greased a bowl with butter and transfered it in it for cooling, and while making the balls too, i smeared my fingers with a lil butter so it was real easy and didn’t stick at all. i tried some combinations for the topping like coconut+choc, almond+cocunut+choc etc, and it all tasted yum. My hub didn’t let me take any of it to my colleagues and wanted it all for himself, so will be making this again over the weekend, and will try to add in some honey and cream as one of them has suggested above.

    Deb, your blog is amazing, keep it up.. and thanks a ton for this recipe.


  132. Scott

    Hi Deb, Ive never been one to read blogs, or so much searching on the internet for recipes, however my sister posted a link for your tomato and sausage risotto which was heavenly on a chilly fall evening. After reading a few of your entries and completly enjoying your writing style I browsed for more. I came across these and knew I would be making them from the minute I saw sweetened condensed milk (such an addict). So I made these last night and doubled the recipe! Everyone here always wants to try somthing new and I figured 24-30 just wouldnt be sufficent. What I didnt think of was that it would increase the time to get this delicious goo to thicken properly. Im proud to say they came out perfect, held their shapes amazingly well. As for toppings we tried them with coconut, ground walnuts, and thenI remembered your cookie crumb idea. I opened a can of Chocolate Hazlenut Pirouline and proceeded to grind. I must say the last was the best for me. It gave a bit of crunch from the wafer, and that rich chocolate hazelnut indulgence I desire. These were an absolute hit today and, I have folks asking for them already as holiday gifts. Thanks for the Recipe. Scott

  133. Heyy! This is my first time reading this blog! I actually live in Brazil, and love brigadeiros!!!!! For traditional ones, though, cocoa powder is stirred into the condensed milk, as well as some suga, and none of the other ingredients are usedr. And if you were using a nonstick pot, or had sprayed cooking spray on the pot you used, the brigadeiros will not pull together correctly. Another typical brazillian recipe is cocada, which is coconut, condensed milk, and sugar cooked in the same way as brigadeiros, poured into a buttered pan, and cut into bars.

  134. aline

    Hi Deb,

    An easier (lazy) way of making brigadeiros is to use the microwave oven. My mum’s recipe is simple: 1 can of condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, cocoa powder to taste (approx 3 tablespoons), mix it all in a bowl and place it in the microwave for 7min, stirring it every couple of min. About half way through you need to keep a close eye on it, or it might boil over. You might need to adjust the time a couple of min longer depending on the type of condensed milk used.
    Another option is not to cook it too long and use it as a topping for cakes :)

  135. Another delicious post from you. Have tried making this kind at home but it’s not exactly the same as the one you’ve made. Mine is just pretty simple, I like the ideaw of those different colors. Thanks for this post again.

  136. Aki

    I love this post of yours. I have been seeing in Brazilian websites a lot of the Brigadeiros being rolled on Callebaut Chocolate Flakes. I don’t seem to find them anywhere online here in the US! Do you have any helpful source. They look really pretty! I wish I could add the photo on the post…

  137. Hello! I am Brazilian and I’m one of those small delights store! The Brazilian brigadier is in her prime. Appreciation of our tradition!
    I was overjoyed to find this adaptation of our candy here.
    Ariana Pazzini

  138. Hi!
    I´m brazilian and I must say you stumbled upon the best food we have around here! :) It´s almost impossible to find a kids b-day party without them and for us grownups that can´t take that hint most weddings and such also have them… the sprinkled chocolate is fancier. :D
    About the coconut version… you can make it even simpler (I´m an it-can´t-be-too-many-ingredients kind of girl, so, well…). Over low heat just mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons of butter and 100g dry coconut. You have to mix constantly or it sticks to the bottom and you get brown pieces on your candy, but that´s not really a problem.
    You know brigadeiros or beijinhos (that´s the name of the coconut version) are done when they loosen from the pan while you´re mixing. Just an easier version of your delicious post! :)

  139. Giulia

    I’ve been recently introduced to your website and have been having a great time trying things out. (The spicy squash lentil salad went down great at an American’s friend Thanksgiving ‘bring your own side dish’ meal) and I’ve got so many other recipes lined up to make. Thanks for all the wonderful work, and I, for one, will definitely be buying a cookbook when it does come out.

  140. Cammie

    these are called brigadeiros! i love them, my mum makes them for every Brazilian gathering. A true Brazilian tradition.

  141. Kim

    I live in Kathmandu Nepal and I just made these with coconut cream (instead of milk) and coconut milk with 2/3C sugar instead of condensed milk (not available here). I also had to substitute honey for corn syrup (available, but expensive/imported). It looked a little grey during cooking, but turned white when cooled. Delicious, Thanks!

  142. I made this last night, it did take about 25 minutes for it to pull together, I had trouble getting it out of my whisk so some of the fudge was lost to my sink. ( note: SOAK YOUR PAN AND UTENSILS IMMEDIATELY) After it cooled it was the stickiest and hard caramel consistency- very difficult to work with… it bent my teaspoon to pull it out. I also lost a couple balls to the floor because they are quite slippery once you get them rolled. I used toasted sweetened coconut flakes for1/2 and cocoa with cinnamon for the rest to roll them in. They are good- tastes like caramel, I preferred the toasted coconut with the crunch to add texture to these. Now what can I do with the rest of that coconut milk??

  143. These “docinhos” are a must in every children party in Brazil. I know only the traditional Brigadeiros (made with condensed milk, sweetened cocoa powder, and butter) but these with coconut sound very delicious (I love cocunut).

  144. A close friend of mine has a grandmother who used to make these and every once in a while when I was over his house when I was younger I’d eat with them and I remember thinking that they were absolutely delicious. Nice website by the way!

  145. Sarah

    I tried to make these and I was whisking for an hour before I just gave up. The mixture got thicker but it never got as thick as it needed to be. I tried chilling it anyway for a few hours, but it just didn’t work. I did everything the recipe said except for using a heavy bottomed pan because I don’t have one. Is that why it messed up? What did I do wrong? :(

  146. Dana

    This took me 45 mins on the stove. I thought it still had too strong of a sweetened condensed milk flavor, so I added cocoa. Then sea salt. Then toasted unsweetened coconut. Hmmm. Espresso powder. BINGO!!!!

  147. Megumi

    Hi ! As a brazilian I can say that brigadeiro is one of the ten of brazilian food. I come from a japanese family, however, brigadeiro is my passion ! You should try on with wasabi, it´s just the basic white brigadeiro recipe with wasabi (TO TASTE, usually 1/4 tea spoon is enought). I hope you try many other food of brazilian amazing gastronomy!!!!

  148. Deb:
    I have a recipe called “Grape Surprise” or Surpresa de Uva. This is one of our favs.The sour grapes balance well the sweetness of the candy and also make us not to feel that guilty. :) If you’d like to try it, I can send you the recipe. Although my 5-year-old daughter craves brigadeiros, as an adult I prefer the ones made with fruits – and believe me, there are hundreds of them made with fruits that people don’t even imagine that exist.

  149. Mari

    Hi! My name is Mariana and Im brazilian. I’ve been reading your blog like crazy this past months, there are so many recipes that I want to try. Congratulations for the amazing work.
    Anyway, I was surprised to see brigadeiros in here. They’re great, right? And even though I’ve been eating them all my life in children’s parties, I don’t think they are just for the young ones. I must confess that I often see myself turning to brigadeiros during PMS haha!
    The way I do it is the old basic one: a little bit of butter, 1 can of condensed milk, 2 spoons of chocolate powder. And thats it :)
    But Ill definately try your version, Im curious!

  150. yvonne

    while in belem, pa, brazil there was a candy that i never knew the name of. it was hand rolled chocolate balls with what i think was a deep yellow fruit inside. shop keepers would give them out in place of change. could it be that what i thought was fruit could have been the condensed milk? i have been searching for an answer to this candy for a few years…can any of you that are from brazil help me?

  151. I made these today and despite what were apparently my best efforts to mess them up they turned out fantastic. Definitely more like coconut dulce de leche than a white caramel, but since I can eat dulce de leche straight from the can, I found it to be a plus.

  152. Marcia

    Hi Yvonne, I’m sorry I’ve only found this site just now, but I couldn’t leave it without taking you out of your misery! :-) The chocolate balls you had in Belém are called “Bombons de Cupuaçú”. Cupuaçú being a fruit found in the Northern region of Brazil. I haven’t got a clue how to make them (I’m from Rio, not Pará), but they cook the fruit (quite bitter by itself) with lots of sugar until the desired consistency, roll it into small balls, then dip them in melted chocolate (and that’s what a bombom is, stuffed chocolate) – mystery solved!
    Deb, I loved the recipe for Pita bread – I’ve been looking for a good one for about a month! Now I have it. Thanks

  153. J

    Can anyone help me out? I’ve tried this twice and haven’t been able to get it “fudgy” either time. The first time I cooked it for 40 minutes and the second time 50, and it just never thickened to the point where it was a mass. It also wasn’t really cohesive, the texture was almost curdle-y no matter how hard I whisked. Any ideas? I really want to get it to work because the end result, while not as firm as it’s supposed to be, is DELISH.

  154. I make a recipe of my grandmother’s called Cream Candy which is similar to this one, and is supposed to be a pure snowy white. She always said you needed to make it on a cold dry day to get it right. For years I had trouble avoiding that lovely caramel color and flavor ( tasteted Amazing but the fresh cream flavor was run over by dulce de leche) I read that getting candy to solidify correctly is all about reducing the water content to the right level, which is what you are measuring when you use a candy thermometer, the temp goes higher as water leaves the mix. This happens more slowly on a damp day or if you try do make a double batch, and gives the mixture time to slowly caramelize. So, wondering if your recipe might be getting a little extra moisture somewhere – maybe the unsweetened rather than syrupy sweetened coconut milk?

  155. Eleni

    Hello from Greece :))))
    I was looking for an alternative Brigadeiro recipie to impress my family and friends and here it was!
    Even find small multicolored cups for the coconut version I did! People were enthused having 4 or 5 at a time! I even made some for my sister to take to her office. The only alteration I did after having red many of the comments was to skip both the coconut milk and the corn syrup. So I went to a more traditional was of making it with the butter, condensed milk and a touch of heavy cream, added fine shredded coconut powder to the mixture and then scrab my fingers with butter and roll tiny balls into coconut fine flakes! A pilgrimage!
    Thank you for the brazilian insight to your customes and habits!

  156. Sabrina

    I just read all the comments about your brigadeiros, and a lot of brazilians already said some really interesting things about the different versions and recipes. I’m from Brazil but living in Montreal (CA) for 8 months. I can totally relate to your comments since there is still snow and I started dreaming about beaches. Luckily I’ll return to my country soon : )
    But while here, my friends asked me to make some brazilian food for a few parties, and brigadeiro is a classic! Is one of those things you can found from north to south of Brazil. I was born in the south, but moved a lot, and after you lived in others regions of the same country you can really appreciate their unique cultural aspects. Brigadeiro also has a nice, not very known, history about his name. As someone said before, in the south we still call them negrinhos (little blacks), but in the southeast they started to be called brigadeiros’ treats after a version of them was used to promote the political campaign of brigadeiro (brigadier) Eduardo Gomes to presidency. History or rumors tells later they became popular as brigadeiros.
    But returning to where I’m living right now, it’s not easy to find all the ingredients we are used to find in Brazil. And sometimes, you think you found the right one but when you try it, it’s simply not the same. What I found closer to our ingredients are those products from asian and african shops. I bought a condensed milk I couldn’t even read the label (maybe in mandarin) and it was the best, comparing to the others. If you are missing some ingredients or some (exotic) fruits from north of Brazil, you will be amazed inside a good Thai market, don’t even try to understand their names, follow to your nose, mouth, eyes and intuition.

  157. delish

    these sound delicious–and your intuition is right, you do not want to use the regular sprinkles. they are pure sugar, practically no chocolate. i’ve never heard of this chocolate vermicelli (and you’ve peaked my interest), but if you want to try something authentic, try a brazilian foods vendor (there’s a few that will ship here to the US). usually called chocolate granulado or granulado crocante.

    while you’re there, also try using leite moca, which is our version of sweetened condensed milk. brazilians in the us will argue whether it’s the same thing as store-brands. the vendor might also carry perfectly-sized and fun “forminhas.” i just found this site and had a little explosion in my brain:

    as far as the tripled time goes, i’m not an expert because i’ve only made the chocolate kind, but try turning up the heat. if you hear a searing sound, that’s ok to a certain degree, as long as you keep stirring. and i would also try eliminating the corn syrup.

  158. delish

    actually, don’t turn up the heat. as long as they came out at the right consistency, they are fine. with the chocolate kind, turning up the heat made them stick to my teeth, which some people like, but some find it irritating.

    sorry, brazilians think they know everything :P

  159. I was on the look out for some treats to make that were enjoyable for my family, but gluten free for me…… Behold! I am SUPER excited that I found this recipe! I LOVE coconut milk and always have it on hand, as well as some Organic SC Milk! Going to try your cabbage roll recipe and mini meatball recipe! Quick, and simple:) I am a country girl from Washington State, so stories from the City life are intriguing☼

  160. John

    I just have a quick question for anyone that may be able to help me with this. How can I make this product and have it last a month without it crystallizing? It starts to taste like there is sand in them after about a few days. Should I add something in them like invert sugar etc?

    Thanks ahead of time!

  161. Arletta

    Alrighty, then! I shall have to stop reading. You are making me hungry, want to cook, and, waste time that I should be using for work. It’s been delightful and I shall bookmark your site, so that I can consider these delightful recipes some more.

    Most of them that I have seen, so far, I would have to figure out how to alter, to suit my dietary needs, but, that’s part of the fun of cooking.


  162. Gabi

    John – brigadeiros are not supposed to last that long. They’re meant to be eaten fresh. To everyone else: it’s quite easy to find decent condensed milk. Eagle brand or Nestle’s La Lechera are available at any target, whole foods or regular supermarket. The real deal, as exhaustively mentioned above, involves chocolate: 1 tbs butter/margarine, 4 tbs cocoa powder or ground/finely chopped chocolate to 1 can of sweet condensed milk. No corn syrup, no coconut milk. For the coconut version leave the cocoa out and add shredded coconut to taste, still no milk. Some people add an yolk for a creamier consistency. The ideal thing is to have a copper saucepan and use a wooden spoon, on high heat. It should take about 10 minutes for a fudgy consistency. Nice to see this post has new comments in 2013.

  163. Georgia

    Oh, you’re talking about brigadeiros! But the traditional brigadeiro is SO MUCH easier! Just 1 can of condensed milk+2 tbsp powdered chocolate (add some powder cocoa to make it less sweet)+1 tbsp of butter. Put everything in a saucepan and cook it, stirring all the time, until the mixture starts to stick out of the pan. Then, put it in the fridge, covered with plastic film. There is a enormous variety of brigadeiros, perhaps we can talk about it via e-mail!

  164. Theresa

    I made these last weekend. I 2.5’d the batch (2 cans of Eagle sweetened condensed milk, 1 whole can of coconut milk). It took a good hour of stirring before it was even close to “fudgy” but luckily I had helpers to help stir. I wouldn’t say it was a soft ball but I transferred it to a bowl and cooled and refrigerated as stated and it was awesome! I served them at a get together we had and they were a hit. Will definitely make again!

  165. I’m planning a big indian dinner party and thinking I’d make these to have with chai for dessert. Do you have any brilliant ideas about indian flavours that might work? I’m thinking cardamon, ginger, rose water, saffron….? thoughts? Not all in the same bit of course….!

  166. Flavia

    Hi there! I`m Brazilian and I just looove your blog!
    Can I make a suggestion? :)

    You can do the brigadeiros with one can of condensed milk, one tablespoon of unsalted butter and half a cup of milk or dark chocolate. I believe that even if your condensed milk is thinner, it will ticken really quickly. There are versions that use soy condensed milk for the lactose intolerants.

    You can also serve it mor soft, in tequila cups with a teaspoon. Its very common here!

  167. Madeleine

    Hi Deb!

    Link to ‘classic fudge’ on foodblogsearch is broken.

    I’ll add that I’m Such a fan of all things Smitten Kitchen! Thank you for doing to awesome work :)

  168. Juanita

    Do you think this recipe would work using maple syrup, instead of the corn syrup? Or, do you have a more “natural” substitution you could recommend?

  169. Juli

    What brand coconut milk do you like to use? I have used several brands in the past and I find that the thickest is the Chaokoh brand. Do you mix/shake up the can well or let it separate and cook the white part first (as in Thai food dishes)?

    1. deb

      Juli — I don’t have a favorite brand but yes, I shake it up. (Or it’s basically just coconut water in one half of the can and solidified coconut oil in the other.)