5 Ingredients or Fewer

Brigadeiro (The Favorite Brazilian Sweets)

December  1, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Makes approximately 25 to 30
Author Notes

Brigadeiro (bree-gah-day-ro) are Brazil's favorite and most traditional sweet. Deliciously made with condensed milk, cocoa, and butter, they have unique and velvet consistency—the best treat to make your day sweeter and perfect for every kind of celebration. —My Sweet Brigadeiro

What You'll Need
  • one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, plus more for shaping
  • Chocolate sprinkles, for sprinkling
  1. Add all the ingredients, including the butter, to a medium saucepan.
  2. Slowly cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until smooth and rich in consistency: It should take about 30 to 40 minutes over low heat, stirring the entire time (yes, it requires lots of patience and love).
  3. Transfer to a bowl and wait until the mixture cools down. (You can cover the bowl with a plastic cling and put in the fridge to accelerate the process.)
  4. Then spread a little butter in the palm of your hands and mold the Brigadeiro dough into little ball shapes (use a teaspoon to help you portion). We like to make bite-sized Brigadeiro, about 1 inch in diameter.
  5. Cover with chocolate sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or your favorite nut, and transfer to a small paper muffin tin. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • bhilz
  • CookingIsLikeLove
  • Fernanda Soares
    Fernanda Soares
  • Denise Ragozzino
    Denise Ragozzino
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux

19 Reviews

Rafael N. February 21, 2018
Hi, I was impressed with what you learn on your site and I already commented with
with my wife to stay reading your tips and learn more with you a lot
thank you friend .
Fergo February 18, 2018
Seemed to be fine and they rolled into balls quite nicely. Then they flattened into puddles. Salvaged half by scooping, rolling in some chopped almonds and placing in muffin patties in fridge. Kids loved the flavour but I obviously missed something in the process.
bhilz August 28, 2017
I ate brigadeiro all the time when I lived in Brazil and am so excited to try this recipe!
The consistency is meant to be like a soft truffle, even softer than a wrapped "soft caramel" that are commonly found in the US. It will set just enough to be handled, but won't be nearly as solid as fudge. Brigadeiro can also be used as frosting on cakes (super delicious on Brazilian Carrot Cake), filling between sandwich cookies, or slathered in tapioca pancakes alongside some melted cheese - I got this almost weekly from a roadside stand by my house. These are often just called tapioca, but were known as "beijú" where I lived. Muito gostoso!!
CookingIsLikeLove August 4, 2016
Kind of reminds me of rumballs! At least appearance-wise its what immediately comes to mind :D
Fernanda S. January 20, 2016
You should try to eat them right from the bowl. That's pure comfort food!
Light January 20, 2016
Actually one batch I made I left in the pot covered and stuck it in the frig and indulge every so often a small spoonful. Yummy.
Light January 16, 2016
I made this and it did turn into a dough consistency and smooth and rich. Delish. Also I made an adult version using bailey 's expresso cream and Chinese five spice for a different taste sensation. They're so cute.
Susang December 25, 2015
I made this recipe yesterday. It was creamy heaven last night and this morning it is gritty. Yikes! Can it be repaired? I was hoping to share.
Sky December 24, 2015
This was my first time making these, and I don't think I made them right. I wasn't sure how thick it was supposed to be while it was in the pan, but I stopped at 35 minutes when it was a little thicker than the consistency of cake batter. I thought it would harden (similar to fudge) after being in the fridge for a couple hours, but there's been no change in the consistency. Is it too late to salvage it and make it thicker somehow?
Denise R. December 20, 2015
It was the consistency of taffy or a tootsy roll, right? I tried to stand there 40 minutes but after 30 it was pulling away from the sides of the pan and was getting hard. So I figured it was done. Then the sprinkles did not stick :( So I used water on it instead of butter.
Smaug December 20, 2015
There was a recipe on this site yesterday for an Indian dessert that is very similar- don't remember the name, but the ingredients were just condensed milk and coconut and the procedure was the same; at any rate, the author suggested breaking off a piece and cooling it for a minute to test the progress, which sounded pretty sensible. You must have had a higher temperature or thinner pan than I; mine was still pretty soft and wasn't really balling after 40 min.
petalpusher August 7, 2016
for sky and Denise R - when I'm faced with a long stir session I listen to a story on cd. I go through a couple books every week with all the mindless chores I have. Lower your heat and listen away. The only thing I love better than to have someone who knows how to cook, cook for me - is to have someone tell me a good story.
Chef D. December 18, 2015
they look odd
Maria E. May 12, 2019
So do you
Smaug December 11, 2015
The time worked OK, but really, the stuff could well have been described as "smooth and rich" as soon as the cocoa dissolved. I did try to get a thermometer reading, but between the small amount and the thickness of the material I couldn't get an accurate reading (unless 170 is accurate, which doesn't seem likely)
Smaug December 6, 2015
These were pretty good; I expected them to be awfully sweet, but not so bad. The instructions could have been more precise; they really don't give any useful indication of when the caramel is done- I gave it 40 min., and that worked well, but I don't know that it needed that long. Don't think the chocolate sprinkles add much- I'd like them better with nuts, or maybe something like candied orange peel. They do keep them from sticking to things. I'd also like an explanation of the rather bizarre name- my Portuguese is pretty rusty, but if "brigadeiros" means anything but "brawlers" or "fighters" I can't imagine what. Made 18 the size I made them- smaller would probably have been better, but forming them is a minor pain- I left the-batter?- don't know what you'd call it- in the refrigerator overnight, probably would have been easier if it was a bit warmer.
krolap December 7, 2015
The sweet is named after Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes a brazillian militare and politician. The sweet was created for his presidencial campaign in 1945. You can also do it with coconut, just replace the cocoa pownder with coconut and you have beijinho.
My S. December 10, 2015
That sound about right.
My S. December 10, 2015
My Sweet is glad you tried the recipe and that you liked it. About the instructions being precise, there's no specific time nor heat to achieve the velvety consistency. 30-40 minutes is about what it takes for the Brigadeiro to get to a rich consistency. So it seems you got it right! The chocolate sprinkles are the traditional way of serving them in Brazil, but everyone should feel free to try different covers. We also like them with covered in nuts. We're glad you got to experiment. And yes, if definitely does keep them from sticking all over, things could get very messy. As it was explained below, we believe Brigadeiros were named after the political candidate and brigadier, Eduardo Gomes, who would have the treats for many of his presidential candidature celebrations. So then popularly people would later begin to call friends and family to come eat the “treat of the Brigadier.” I hope we could answer your questions and we would like to thank you for trying our recipe. We hope you have a Sweet Day!