Recipe: Brazilian Brigadeiros for Carnival

Brazilian Brigadieros

Brigadeiros are Brazil’s most popular sweet, so simple to make yet so colorful to display over carnival weekend.

Each dish has a story and these delightful pop-in-the-mouth bonbons are named after politician Brigadier Eduardo Gomes who ran for the Presidency in 1946. This was at the same time when Nestle introduced its cocoa powder and condensed milk into Brazil during a time of great shortages of imported foods.

Making these brightened up my day, they are fun! Loaded with calories but this is holiday weekend and time for a treat!


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (400 g)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Few drops good vanilla extract
  • Chocolate sprinkles for decoration


  1. Pour the condensed milk into your heaviest pot. Stir in the cocoa powder and the salt.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat. Keep the mixture barely at a boil to prevent burning and sticking.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until mixture becomes very thick and shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  6. Roll the mixture into 2.5 cm balls. I also made some mini ones, very tiny pop-in-melt-in-your-mouth treats, great for someone watching the calories or just to serve with coffee at the end of a meal.
  7. Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place in a paper liner.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.

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