Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite days of the year. It also happens to be my mom’s birthday – which is obviously the most important part of the day for me – but I also adore Mexican food and, in particular, Mexican desserts. It’s a day when I go all out with a big Mexican feast.
Many of these popular Mexican dessert recipes are authentic with a few thrown in with fun and delicious twists. For example, Sopapillas are a traditional Mexican dessert but we also included the recipe for Sopapilla cheesecake. The traditional Mexican dessert flavors are still present, but sometimes it’s fun to switch things up and try something new!
Full list of 21 Mexican Desserts
A sopapilla is puffed, fried dough that’s traditionally drizzled with honey. Powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar are also common, and they’re sometimes served with chocolate sauce.
This sopapilla recipe uses cinnamon and sugar plus a drizzle of honey. They’re fantastic with whatever you top them with, so make them your favorite way!
This sopapilla cheesecake recipe combines the dough and toppings from sopapilla with a plain cheesecake layer for an entirely new and addictive dessert. It’s more like Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars than a traditional cheesecake.
You can opt for a graham cracker crust and bake it in a springform pan if you want something more traditional. This recipe uses crescent roll dough, which is not only quick and easy, it’s a close texture to traditional fried sopapillas.
Oh, dulce de leche, where to begin?
Dulce de leche is thick, creamy, and similar to caramel but so much better! Karen, aka The Food Charlatan and creator of this recipe, says “dulce de leche is not caramel. Caramel is made by heating sugar. Dulce de leche is a combination of sugar and milk that is heated slowly until the Maillard reaction takes place, or in other words, browning. Is it a bit more mellow than caramel, and lacks any bitterness.”
Karen provides three ways to make your own dulce de leche at home: on the stovetop, slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot. The best part is that all you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk to make this luscious, delectable Mexican dessert!
If dulce de leche is one of my favorite Mexican desserts, the flan is just a step behind. Its silky custard and incredible yet somehow light flavor is irresistible. It’s also incredibly simple to make if you know the right technique.
Flan also needs just 5 ingredients: eggs, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. You can use either a 7-inch cake pan or a flanera. While both work just fine, with the flanera’s locking lid, you won’t have the need to cover your pan with foil.
Be sure to check out the recipe for tips as well as how to make different flavors like citrus or coffee-flavored flan.
5. Flan Cake
I first made a version of this flan cake years ago and can attest that it’s truly something magical. Flan cake has two layers: cake on the bottom and flan on the top. The layers separate while baking; the flan settles at the bottom of the pan and ends up on top after flipping once it’s baked!
You’ll need the following ingredients for this flan cake recipe: sugar, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla for the flan layer. The cake layer uses a boxed cake mix for a truly easy yet impressive Mexican dessert.
If chocolate’s your thing, try making a “Chocoflan“, which is a chocolate flan cake!
Growing up in the Midwest, fried ice cream was one of those Mexican treats that was only available when we were dining out. Once I learned how to make it at home, it became a Mexican sweet we’d have at least once a month. Frying ice cream is oddly satisfying, but not nearly as much as eating it!
You can make fried ice cream by frying it the traditional way (everyone should do this at least once!) or you can use this recipe to make it the easier – but just as delicious – way. By “frying” (read: sauteing) the coating and then using it to coat the balls of ice cream, you’ll save a lot of steps and mess!
If you want to make fried ice cream that’s even simpler, try making Fried Ice Cream Cake! It has all the flavors of traditional fried ice cream but the ease of preparing then serving it is much simpler. This version would be perfect for a summer barbecue!
Raise your hand if you only go to Costco for the churros! 🙋♀️
Okay, that’s not the only reason we hit up Costco on a regular basis, but churros on the way out the door has become something of a family tradition. After all, who can resist a crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside Mexican dessert that’s been coated in cinnamon and sugar?
Making churros at home is much simpler than you might think. To pipe the dough into the hot oil, you can use a pastry bag with a star tip, although I use this churro press to make it even easier. I’ve also had my eye on this Churro and Empanada Maker which looks interesting. (If anyone happens to own this or try it before I do, please share your experience in the comment section)!
9. Churro Bites
The process of making Churro Bites is essentially the same as regular churros, you’re just frying smaller bite-sized pieces of dough. Of course, this also makes it easier to eat the churros and with a bit less mess.
10. Churro Bars
This one is for you if you love the flavor of Churros but don’t want to mess with the mess of deep frying. These soft and sweet Churro Bars are everything you love about decadent churros in a totally doable recipe that is absolutely delicious.
These addictive little bites start with peanut butter Ritz Bits that are coated in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The crackers are then baked to caramelize the “sauce”, then it’s all coated with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and a small amount of salt. This recipe might be the furthest from an authentic Mexican dessert, but you have to admit that it sounds downright delicious!
If you have an air fryer and you’re itching to make some Mexican sweets with it, this one is for you! Air Fryer Churro Apple Pie Bombs are a sweet treat that can be made in about 20 minutes with only 5 ingredients.
All you need to make these delicious and impressive treats are canned biscuits, apple pie filling, butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Check out the recipe for step-by-step photos and instructions.
Churros meet cream puffs in this creative and delicious treat created by Barbara Schieving. The recipe comes straight from her cookbook, Simply Sweet Dream Puffs.
Cream puffs are a wonderful treat on their own, but they become something truly magical when the flavors of churros are added. This is one you’ll want to try when you really want to impress your family or guests!
This Mexican dessert combines American flavors of apple pie filling with the crispy texture and form of taquitos. They’re sweet, delicious, and simple to make. All the makings of a great apple pie in a fun taquito form!
You’ll need just five ingredients: apple pie filling, sugar, cinnamon, butter and tortillas. This would be a fun one to make with the kids!
15. Tres Leches Cake
There was a little ice cream shop near us that sadly closed down recently. I was devastated as they also sold a few homemade, authentic Mexican desserts that were just incredible. My very favorite was the Tres Leches Cake.
It’s called Tres Leches Cake because it’s soaked in a mixture of three types of milk: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, plus whole milk or heavy cream. It’s then topped with whipped cream and cinnamon for one of the most delightful Mexican desserts you’ll ever try!
It’s also as easy to make as, well, baking a cake. The hardest part is separating the eggs to beat the yolks and whites separately, which really isn’t hard at all. If there’s one recipe from this list you’ll want to try first, it’s definitely this one. Try adding some sliced strawberries as a topping, too!
16. Fresas con Crema (Mexican Strawberries and Cream)
Fresas con Crema is the easiest Mexican dessert you’ll ever make! Made with fresh strawberries mixed into a sweet and creamy sauce, this no-bake recipe is ready to eat in only 10 minutes.
You’ll need just five ingredients: strawberries, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. Don’t let the short ingredient list fool you; this easy Mexican dessert recipe rivals even the most complicated!
17. Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters)
Buñuelos are similar in flavor to sopapillas but the texture is thin and crispy instead of light and puffy. Dough is rolled out as you would a tortilla, then fried and coated in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. There’s not much better than a freshly-fried buñuelo – trust us on this one.
These little cookies will simply melt in your mouth! They have a nutty flavor due to the chopped pecans and they’re coated in powdered sugar for a wonderful holiday cookie or just because you want to treat yourself.
19. Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)
Arroz con Leche is similar to Tres Leches Cake in that it uses the same three types of milk. It’s a common recipe here in the US and one that my mom made often when I was growing up. I share a version of this recipe in my first cookbook, Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot. That one is served with fresh mango and you could do the same with this recipe (although that would make it a less authentic Mexican dessert recipe).
In any case, it’s absolutely delicious and one worth trying. Especially for how easy it is!
We finally get to a Mexican chocolate dessert! Instead of cooking one cup of hot chocolate you prepare a syrup-like chocolate base that you can then mix with whichever hot milk you like best. Try adding a pinch of chili powder for a little spicy-sweet!
The best part is that you can store the chocolate syrup in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, making it a perfect make-ahead dessert.
“Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made up of white rice soaked in water, it’s flavored with cinnamon and its sweetened with granulated sugar. Everything is minced up together in a blender and later strained to remove solids. Some versions are dairy free while others contain milk and some versions contain nuts or added flavor like vanilla or coconut”, says Jaclyn of Cooking Classy.
It might sound complicated but it’s actually very simple to make. It’s a great dessert drink to serve alongside or at the end of any Mexican meal.
Do you have any favorite Mexican desserts we might have missed? Be sure to share yours in the comment section below. We also have plenty of other easy desserts to check out, too!