If you’ve never tried traditional Colombian desserts, you have no idea what you’re missing. While Colombian sweet dishes are perhaps not given a lot of credit internationally, they certainly deserve the attention of tourists and travellers in Colombia with a sweet tooth. If you’re one of these travellers, we recommend you seek out at least some of the following typical desserts and sweets during your tour to Colombia.
Brevas con arequipe:
Brevas con arequipe is a very popular Colombian dessert. You will find it everywhere you go: Restaurants, street markets, Colombian sweets shops, supermarkets, etc. It is made of Colombian figs stuffed with Colombian style toffee (arequipe).
Cocadas, as well as the brevas con arequipe, are very traditional and popular in Colombia. There are different variations of cocadas, but their main ingredient is always shredded coconut. You will find white cocadas made with coconut, milk and sugar, brown cocadas made with coconut and sugar cane or the most popular ones: cocadas de arequipe made with Colombian style toffee.
This is another dessert you will easily find on any market or street. Oblea is a thin, round, brown wafer spread with arequipe and other sweet toppings on top or between two wafers to create a delicious dessert-sandwich. You can also have it with grated cheese or marmalade.
Cuajada con melao:
Cuajada con melao is a very traditional dessert in the Andean region of Colombia. Cuajada is a Colombian-style fresh cheese usually served with sugar cane syrup (melao).
Torta de tres leches:
Torta de tres leches (three milks cake) is another masterpiece of dessert. This dessert is not only found in Colombia, but in many other Latin American countries. We wouldn’t be surprised if you’d heard of this one before. Torta de tres leches consists of a vanilla cake bathed in a delicious combination of condensed milk, table cream, and evaporated milk (these are the “three milks”). This magical creation is topped with a merengue-like icing and a token fruit—fig, cherry, strawberry, or mango. This cake literally melts in your mouth, and it is a must on your list of “dessert to try in Colombia.”
Torta de natas:
Torta de natas is a very unique dessert that is composed of a cake made from natas. Natas, as far we know, have no translation in English. Natas are formed by heating milk and letting it cool. They form like a film on top of the cooled milk and are easily separated from the remaining milk. They are creamy and provide a unique touch and taste to this cake. Torta de nata has a thick and creamy texture, and can be topped with a number of different fruit toppings and/or creams. The exact style of this Colombian dessert will depend on the chef who makes it!
Roscones are the Colombian equivalent to donuts, and they are wonderfully delicious. Roscones are made from white flour and are baked (or, sometimes, fried) in the shape of a donut; only, they are normally a bit bigger than your standard Western donut. Also, roscones are always filled with something delectable such as bocadillo (sweet guava) or arequipe. They are sold in all major and local bakeries, so it will be easy to buy one freshly made. We’re sure either version of the roscón will light up your taste buds!
Milhoja is a very creative dessert. At first glance, it appears to be a regular slice of cake. However, given a closer look it becomes clear it is not your ordinary “slice of cake.” Milhoja is made from many stacked layers of puff pastry—hence the name “mil hojas,” which translates to “a thousand leaves.” In between the layers of puff pastry, you will find arequipe, a creamy mix of condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla, or sometimes white chocolate. No matter what the filling consists of, though, miloja is a wonderful and scrumptious Colombian dessert. While you may not find milhoja on a swanky restaurant menu, it’s not difficult to find, and is definitely worth a try!
Arroz con leche
Arroz con leche (Colombian style-rice pudding) is a very traditional Colombian dessert likened to rice pudding. It consists of cooked white rice soaked for several hours in milk that is later brought to a boil with condensed milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Afterwards, the mixture is left to cool and thicken, and then served cold. While it may sound like a weird or strange combination, it’s actually quite delicious. Many Colombians eat this dessert at Christmas time.
The Uncover Colombia Team
- Cooking class in Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Colombian Food is Not “Mexican Food” (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Colombian Cuisine (Part II) (servewlove.wordpress.com)