Brigadeiros

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Ultra-chocolatey and fudgy Brigadeiros — a traditional Brazilian dessert made of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. This candy is simple to make and sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it!

Brigadeiros are simple to make, but require a bit of planning since they do need some chilling time. They’re a great make-ahead treat, transport well, and make a beautiful addition to any party or holiday spread.

Image of the ready-to-eat chocolate sprinkle-covered Brigadeiros.

My mom spent a few years of her childhood in Brazil and has returned to visit as an adult. She still speaks perfect Portuguese and has made us Brigadeiros and Limonada BrasileΓ±a (Brazilian limeade) ever since I can remember. Those were some of our two favorite treats growing up! 

We loved sitting over the stove stirring the Brigadeiro “dough” with her and then rolling the fudgy balls in chocolate sprinkles (stealing bites of the dough and handfuls of sprinkles, of course). So today I’m sharing my mom’s Brigadeiro recipe that came from her friends in Brazil. I’ve added a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness and enhance the flavors, but other than that, this is the recipe we’ve eaten and enjoyed for years. 

Brigadeiros history

It’s said that Brigadeiros were named after a Brigadier General who was popular in Brazil at the time of World War II. The reason they were created is that chocolate was scarce during the war, but cocoa powder was readily available.  

What are Brigadeiros

A Brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian dessert. It’s made of sweetened condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder, and sprinkles covering the outside layer. Brigadeiros are a staple in Brazil and can be eaten with a spoon straight from the pot, which is why they are often called “brigadier de colder” (spoon Brigadeiro). Trust me, you’re going to be stealing spoonfuls too!

QUICK TIP

Have you ever made fudge using chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk? That’s the same concept for Brigadeiros, too, but they don’t get as thick and firm.

Yes! They freeze well for up to 3 months. To freeze leftovers, make sure you have already rolled them in the sprinkles, then place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Freeze until solid and then carefully transfer to an airtight bag. Seal without air and freeze. Thaw in the fridge.

Image of the Brigadeiros with a bite out of one of them.

More no-bake treats

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Brigadeiros

5 from 3 votes
Ultra-chocolatey and fudgy Brigadeiros are a traditional Brazilian dessert made of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. This candy is simple to make and sure to be a hit with everyone who tries them!
Print Recipe

Brigadeiros

5 from 3 votes
Ultra-chocolatey and fudgy Brigadeiros are a traditional Brazilian dessert made of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. This candy is simple to make and sure to be a hit with everyone who tries them!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Brigadeiros
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 brigadeiros
Calories 137kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (do not use low-fat or fat-free)
  • 1/3 cup regular cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate sprinkles or additional cocoa powder, for decorating

Instructions

  • Soften 1 tablespoon butter and rub it over a large plate. Set aside.
  • In a nonstick 10-to-12-inch saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add the sweetened condensed milk. Add the cocoa powder and salt and reduce the heat slightly. Stir nonstop for 8-13 minutes or until the mixture begins to pull away from the edge of the pot; it should be very thick. To check if it's done, run a wooden spoon through the center and watch to make sure it takes a few seconds to melt back into the center again. Transfer the mixture to the prepared plate and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • When the mixture is set, butter your hands to prevent sticking, and pull off a portion of the mixture (about 1/2 to 1 full tablespoon). Roll the mixture between your hands to get a perfectly round ball. Repeat with the remainder of the mixture to get about 12 balls. Pour sprinkles (or cocoa powder) on a flat plate and roll the fudge balls into the sprinkles (or cocoa powder) to coat.
  • Best enjoyed the same day!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 176IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

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28 Comments

  1. These are gorgeous! I bet they are delicious, too. Your pictures definitely make me want to take a bite out of the screen πŸ˜‰

  2. That’s how traditional brigadeiros are supposed to be πŸ™‚ Thanks so much Taylor and thanks for the pin!

  3. They say you learn something new every day. I had no idea what a brigadeiros were. Thanks for enlightening me. πŸ™‚

  4. Chelsea, these look wonderful, and they are coated in sprinkles. Say no more πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing a special, unique recipe!

  5. I’ve never head of Brigadeiros! And also have no idea how to pronounce it πŸ™‚ They do, however, look insanely delicious!

    1. Hello there!

      I want to make these as they look like a fab treat to hand out as mini Christmas gifts. A clarification question on the recipe: the cocoa powder, is that like a Nesquick cocoa powder? So, something that’s sweetened too.

      Thanks so much and thanks for the recipe!

  6. What a fun recipe and so pretty too. My kids love anything round, chewy, sweet, and sprinkled so this would definitely make them happy. Pinned. Would love to share this on my weekly roundup.

    1. Thanks so much Erlene! And thanks for the pin! You can definitely share it on your round up πŸ™‚

  7. My Tia ( who was born and raised in Brazil) used to make Brigadeiros when she lived here in the U.S. She had given me her recipe but I miss placed it. My Tai now living in back in Brazil is hard to get a hold of, that is why I have been searching the web for a good Brigadeiro recipe. I must say she never made chocolate or any other flavored Brigadeiros, I remember making them with her, she simply used sweetened condensed milk and butter, after chilling the heated mixture in the freezer over night, we would roll and cover the candies with chocolate sprinkles. I am not sure why she didn’t use cocoa in the mixture but i’m ok with that. My family and friends all loved the simple little candies. I would love to try your version of the recipe thank you for sharing it!

  8. 5 stars
    I know brigadeiro all too well… I am from Brazil and have been making them for years! They are a staple in any celebration. My daughter loves them and always ask for them in her birthday parties. My American neighbors and her American friends always expect them whenever there is a gathering. Brigadeiros have become quite famous and are being made in a variety of flavors now, there are even some gourmet recipes that are to die for.

    1. So, so fun to hear that!! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      I hope you LOVE these for Valentine’s Day πŸ™‚

        1. Oh my gosh I’m OBSESSED!!! Your card couldn’t be any cuter πŸ™‚ I love it and thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Any idea how they would fair for a day or two in room temp on a Christmas cookie platter?? I see the fridge is suggested, probably to make that chewy, fudgey texture, but has anyone tried them on a cookie platter?

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