Vocabulary List of Candies and Sweets in Spanish
This list of sweets in Spanish will make your mouth water. Have you ever seen a picture of Latin American candy markets? The colors, shapes, and forms are so visually appealing you might want to get your blood sugar tested.
Keep reading to discover 11 incredible sweets in Spanish.
¡Ten un dulce paseo!
Have a sweet ride!
11 Splendid Candies and Sweets in Spanish
1. Dulce de membrillo
This dulce (candy) is one of the most popular Spanish and Latin American treats. It’s also known as bocadillo or ate, which means quince cheese.
Frutos de membrillo (quince fruits) are rebanadas (sliced), cocidas (boiled), and molidas (ground) into a paste with sugar.
I recommend enjoying these sweets in Spanish with queso panela (panela cheese). You won’t regret it!
Where to find it? Peru, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Chile, and Puerto Rico.
2. Brevas con arequipe
Brevas (figs) are also called higos. These delicious fruits go well in cakes, pies, and with caramels. You’ll find brevas con arequipe in Colombia.
Arequipe, cajeta and dulce de leche are sweets in Spanish that are similar yet different.
Originating from Colombia, arequipe is made of leche de vaca (cow’s milk), sugar, and bicarbonato de sodio (baking soda). It’s called manjar (delicacy) in Peru.
Cajeta is from Mexico and contains cow milk, leche de cabra (goat milk), and azúcar (sugar).
Dulce de leche
This caramel sauce is an Argentinian sweet and it’s the result of a mix that includes leche de vaca, azúcar, vainilla (vanilla), and a pinch of bicarbonato de sodio.
3. Cocadas or Coquitos
Cocadas are traditional coco (coconut) and egg candies. Although they are horneados (baked), they are sold at temperatura ambiente (room temperature) as a tropical treat at the beach.
Where to find them? Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Dominican Republic.
Of all the sweets in Spanish, bueñuelos are the grandparents’ favorite. Who wouldn’t love fried flour dough with sugar sprinkled on top?
Try them with apple chunks In Argentina or with orange and cinnamon in Chile. Pair them with api, a Bolivian corn drink or with a mate in Uruguay.
The salty Colombian option is to eat buñuelos with cheese and cornstarch.
Come down to Mexico and buy a two-foot buñuelo. They are crujientes (crispy) and served with piloncillo (pure cane sugar) and canela (cinnamon). These sweets in Spanish are getting more and more interesting, aren’t they?
Where to find them? Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Spain, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Alfeñique is the Arab word for “weakling” that was given to these Spanish confections that made their way to Latin America. They have been used from colonial times until today for many celebrations, including Day of the Dead in Mexico.
They were originally made of agua (water), sugar, miel (honey), and aceite de almendras (almond oil).
Today, they’re prepared with chautle (natural adhesive), azúcar en polvo (powdered sugar), limón (lemon), claras de huevo (egg whites), colorantes vegetales (vegetable dyes), and sugar.
Toluca and Leon have regional fairs where this art form is celebrated. From handcrafts to the most sophisticated techniques, people can appreciate all the artwork that is made with this paste.
On the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) the most common shapes are calaveras (skulls), comida (food) and ataúdes (coffins). This is part of the ofrendas (offerings) to the dead but kids (and grown-ups) end up eating them.
Where to find them? Mexico and Spain.
Not to be confused with the music genre! Merengues are my favorite. The classic ones in Mexico are small, pink, crispy on the outside, and melted on the inside. They are sold on the street and in stores.
Merengues are also called suspiros or espumillas, and are made with azúcar glass (glass sugar), claras de huevo batida (beaten egg whites), and vainilla, avellanas (hazelnuts), or almendras (almonds).
Fun fact! The word merienda (night snack) comes from the word merengue.
Where to find them? Mexico, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia.
Any list of sweets in Spanish must include Glorias. They were born in Linares, Nuevo León, México, where locals mixed indigenous culinary traditions with Spanish and French cuisines.
This extraordinary treat is made of either goat or cow milk, nueces (nuts), piñones (pinions), cacahuates (peanuts), almendras, pepitas (seeds), cacao (cocoa), huevos (eggs), harina (flour), azucar, miel de abeja (honey bee), aguamiel (mead), coco, canela, and frutas (fruits).
Legend has it these candies were made by local Natalia Medina Núñez for private events. But eventually they became famous and people started saying, “Estos dulces saben a gloria” (these candies taste like glory).
Where to find them? Mexico.
8. Plátanos Fritos or Plátanos Calados
Abuelas latinas (Latin grandmothers) hate to see food go to waste. So they designed this easy recipe to use almost rotten bananas.
Peel, chop, and fry plantains with butter. Add water, panela, and cinnamon if you’re cooking the Colombian version. In Mexico, we also add sour cream and sugar.
Where to find them? Colombia and Mexico.
Churros may be thick or thin, hollow or not. These sweets in Spanish are fried dough delicacies with Spanish heritage. They’re often eaten in Latin America as breakfast, snack, or merienda.
You can pair churros with champurrado (chocolate and maize hot beverage), chocolate caliente (hot chocolate), or café con leche (coffee with milk). And you can fill them or dip them into dulce de leche, chocolate, hazelnut cocoa spread, jelly and pretty much anything you can imagine. Don’t forget to sprinkle them with azúcar and canela before eating!
Where to find them? Spain, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Mexico.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include piloncillo on these sweets in Spanish list.
Panela is a non-refined cane sugar that’s common in Latin America. It is also known as chancaca in Peru and Chile and piloncillo (“little loaf” or “little pylon”) in Mexico. It comes in many forms: granulated, liquid, solid blocks. We use panela in candy, as well as to make Mouth-Watering Spanish Desserts.
Where to find it? All Latin American countries.
Street food is the best. This cilindric and crispy fried dough made with yemas de huevo (egg yolks), harina (flour), ron (rum), and mantequilla (butter) is filled with a merengue or espuma (foam) made of claras de huevo (egg whites), sugar and sugar glass.
Gaznates are sold in Mexico on the street alongside pink merengues. To preserve them, add a few drops of lemon.
Vendors carry them on a wooden table with transparent cellophane paper on top. You’ll find them on busy street corners.
Where to find them? Mexico and Bolivia.
Did You Like this Lesson on Sweets in Spanish?
Have you ever tried any of these golosinas (treats)? Did you like them? If you were to plan an upcoming trip based on the origins of these candies, where would you go? Which sweets in Spanish are you most curious about? Leave a comment and let me know!
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