Traditional Brigadeiro Recipe (Brazilian Fudge Balls)

This Brigadeiro recipe is straightforward and tastes divine! The chewy truffle melts in your mouth and challenges you to eat only one. But, why would you?

Well, what can I say? Brigadeiro is a delicious Brazilian sweet that is very popular in the country. There’s not a single children’s party without it. Otherwise, it’s not a real party.

Brigadeiro Origins

Brigadeiro is a candy with an interesting story.

Right after WW2, while Rio de Janeiro was still Brazil’s capital, the country was busy with the reelection of the new president.

One of the candidates, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, besides being quite charming, was considered a handsome man by the female voters, who were finally allowed to vote in 1932.

To show their candidate support, these voters prepared sweets to serve in rallies and public meetings.

Mind you, brigadeiro was named after the candidate’s title, brigadier, but in Portuguese.

But because it was a post-war period, the country was still rationing many ingredients and products.

And instead of using milk and sugar, as in most desserts, Heloísa Nabuco de Olivera–the creator of brigadeiro–used sweetened condensed milk to prepare this delicious Brazilian sweet.

Little did Heloísa know her recipe would become Brazil’s most popular sweet for generations to come. Today, this little fudge truffle is part of our cusine.

Fun fact about Brazil: Despite the support of the female voters, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes didn’t win the elections. Eurico Gaspar Dutra did. The brigadier lost the election and Brazil won its favorite sweet.

Brigadeiro Recipe

This brigadeiro recipe is very easy to follow. Once you start rolling the truffles, I recommend you do it in batches for practical reasons.

First, the step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the whole cooking process of this divine brigadeiro recipe.

Brigadeiro Ingredients

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is the base for most Brazilian desserts, and what makes this Brigadeiro so sweet.
  • Unsalted Butter: Just so you can control the amount of salt in your brigadeiro recipe.
  • A Pinch Of Salt: To enhance the brigadeiro flavor.
  • Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder adds a sophisticated touch of real chocolate. Obviously, you could also use chocolate milk powder, but because it comes with lots of sugar, your brigadeiro might not taste so well.
  • Chocolate Sprinkles To Garnish: Personally, I use pure chocolate sprinkles simply because I love pure chocolate. However, you can use any sprinkles you like in your Brazilian fudge balls.

Your Step-By-Step Brigadeiro Recipe

As I said before, brigadeiro is an easy Brazilian dessert to prepare. There’s no secret. First, grease a plate with butter and set aside.

Then, mix the condensed milk, the butter, and the cocoa powder in a medium non-stick pan.

Be sure to continually stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula so the milk won’t burn at the bottom.

The secret of getting the brigadeiro to the right cooking point where it won’t stick to your hands when you roll the little balls is to let it cook a little more than most brigadeiro recipes say.

Most of them say to turn off the stove after the mixture seems more like a dough and it starts pulling away from the sides of the pan. But I say, continue stirring it for a minute after the dough starts acting like that.

When I cook it for a further minute, the brigadeiro never sticks to my hand. It is very easy to roll.

Remove it from the heat and transfer the mixture to the greased plate and spread. Let it cool in the freezer for 25 minutes.

Before you start molding your brigadeiros, put the chocolate sprinkles on a plate next to you, another plate filled with candy cups, and butter to grease your hands a little.

To mold the brigadeiro into balls, take a full teaspoon with the dough and roll it between your buttered hands. Put the little balls on the plate with sprinkles, but don’t coat it yet.

After you have no more space on the plate or there’s no more dough, roll the brigadeiros around the plate with sprinkles to coat all sides and transfer each ball to a candy cup. 

Did you like this brigadeiro recipe? We have all the ingredients for you to make this traditional Brazilian sweet at home. Choose your kit and have fun!


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