Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (2024)

Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (1)


5 / 5 votes

Comments 29 Comments

Adapted From Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Photographer Ben Fink


  • Brigadeiros | Brazilian Fudge Balls Recipe
  • Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Chewy, fudgy, addictive. These little chocolate fudge balls are as common and well-loved in Brazil as cookies and brownies are in the United States. Traditionally, brigadeiros are a simple mixture of condensed milk, sweetened cocoa powder, and butter, cooked to a fudge state then formed into little balls and rolled in chocolate sprinkles. I find this to be much too sweet, so I made a few changes to the original recipe, adding real chocolate, real cocoa powder, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Unless I know the chocolate sprinkles are made with real chocolate, like the ones from Guittard or Cocoa Barry, I prefer to use cocoa powder or grated chocolate for rolling—and the result is amazing. This is a perfect dessert to give as a gift for any occasion. Children will love it and so will adults.Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (2)

Brigadeiros | Brazilian Fudge Balls

5 / 5 votes

These chocolate brigadeiros, a favorite sweet in Brazil, are like little fudge balls that have been rolled in chocolate sprinkles. An excellent gift, dessert, or treat for the kids.

David Leite



Servings40 brigadeiros

Calories43 kcal

Prep Time40 minutes minutes

Total Time40 minutes minutes


  • Two cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles, preferably Guittard


  • Bring the condensed milk, butter, heavy cream, and corn syrup to a gentle boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.

  • When the mixture starts to bubble, dump in the chocolate and the cocoa powder. Whisk really well to prevent any pockets of cocoa powder that could ruin the brigadeiros.

  • Reduce the heat to low and cook the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly, until it is the consistency of a dense, fudgy batter, 8 to 10 minutes. You want it to bubble only toward the end of cooking, so it’s important to use low heat otherwise the chocolate will scorch. It’s done when you swirl the pan and the mixture slides as one soft piece, leaving a thick burnt residue on the bottom—that’s as it should be. If you undercook the chocolate mixture, the brigadeiros will be too soft; if you overcook them, they’ll be too chewy.

  • Slide the chocolate mixture into a bowl (without scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid a burnt flavor) and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the chocolate mixture for at least 4 hours.

  • Scoop the chocolate mixture by the teaspoonful and, using your hands, roll it into a little ball about 3/4 inch in diameter (roughly the size of a chocolate truffle). Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture.

  • Place the sprinkles in a bowl. Roll 4 to 6 brigadeiros in the sprinkles, making sure to cover the entire surface. Store them in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 1 month in the refrigerator. (Ha, as if they’ll last that long.)

Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (3)

Adapted From

The Brazilian Kitchen

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Serving: 1 brigadeiroCalories: 43 kcalCarbohydrates: 5 gProtein: 1 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 4 mgSodium: 1 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!

Recipe © 2010 Leticia Moreinos Schwartz. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Tamiko Lagerwaard

These candies were easy to make, but took much longer to cook than stated. I live at a high altitude, which might contribute to the longer cooking time. Instead of the 8 to 10-minute cooking time, they took 24 minutes. They’re delicious, though: very toffee-like, but a bit chocolatey. I used cocoa, but I think this would be spectacular with chocolate, as stated—specially with sprinkles, which would be so fun visually. Not too sweet and very rich. I really like them and would make them again

Show More Testers's Reviews

Categorized as:
Candy, Chocolate, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Vegetarian

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Read More About Me

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  1. Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (9)
    My mother always made brigadeiros, olho de sogra and cajuzinhos (can’t remember if that was the name, they were made with ground peanuts). Oh the memories!!!💕


    1. That’s wonderful, Valerie. I hope these are every bit as good as hers.


  2. Brigadeiros are quite simple to be made and are expected at every birthday party, even if you are the only guest 🙂

    We don’t use any syrup or cream. To assure that your consistency is perfect, you just need to add to your mixture of cocoa powder (8Ts), condensed milk (2 cans) and butter (4 Ts) 4 yolks. Everything is mixed before bringing to the stove. Please use low fire and don’t stop mixing with a wooden spoon. As soon as it starts bubbling, it takes more one minute and you will notice that the consistency will change and it will get completely out of the bottom. Take out of the fire and put the pan in a sink with cold water with ice to cool the bottom of the pan fast. If you leave it there with lots of ice in the water, after 20 minutes it will be ready to be “rolled ” using a small Teaspoon and hands covered in butter. Don’t forget to hide it covered in the fridge till you want to serve it. It tends to disappear if not well hidden 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Talita!


Brigadeiros ~ Brazilian Fudge Balls (2024)


What is Brazilian brigadeiros made of? ›

While the original brigadeiro recipe contained eggs, these days the basic brigadeiro is made up of 3 simple ingredients: condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder. The mixture is then rolled and then covered in sprinkles or another topping.

Why do Brazilians eat brigadeiros? ›

All Brazilians have a strong emotional attachment to the brigadeiro. Eating a brigadeiro is supposed to provide individuals with a familiar sense since it is a way to recall joyful moments spent with family and friends.

Why is my brigadeiro runny? ›

If your brigadeiro is still too soft or runny, next time cook it for longer. Fear not though, it's still perfectly edible. Just serve it piped onto individual spoons or in little glasses/cups with small spoons–known as “brigadeiro de colher,” it's perfectly acceptable and common in Brazil!

What is a fact about brigadeiro? ›

The brigadeiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾiɡaˈdejɾu]) is a traditional Brazilian dessert. The origin of the dessert is uncertain, but the most common theory is that it was created by a confectioner from Rio de Janeiro, Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira, to promote the presidential candidacy of Eduardo Gomes.

What does brigadeiro mean in English? ›

Translation of brigadeiro – Portuguese–English dictionary

brigadier [noun] in the army, the commander of a brigade.

What does brigadeiro mean in Brazil? ›

It is similar to a classic chocolate truffle, except it is made with sweetened condensed milk instead of cream and is a little more chewy and crumbly in texture. The word “brigadeiro” comes from Portuguese and refers to the military rank of brigadier.

How long do brigadeiros last? ›

While you can leave brigadeiros at room temperature, in a cool and dry place, for up to 3 days, I like refrigerating them as they last for up to a week in the fridge.

Is brigadeiro a candy? ›

What is BRIGADEIRO (BRE-GA-DE-RO)? This famous sweet is a type of Brazilian Chocolate Confectionery. It's a scrumptious bite-size (or two) chocolate sweet, very popular in Brazil. It is not a bonbon, it is not a truffle, fudge, caramel, brownie, or a cupcake... it's Brigadeiro!

Why is my brigadeiro lumpy? ›

*If you notice the brigadeiro becoming too bubbly and lumpy, turn off the heat. Stir vigorously for about two minutes, then resume cooking over low heat. My advice here is: it is of utmost importance to pay attention to heat management throughout the process.

When was brigadeiro invented? ›

Brigadeiro is the most popular sweet in Brazil, it started in 1945 with a political campaign….. Let me tell you how it began!

Is A brigadeiro a dessert? ›

Brigadeiros are a chocolate dessert, similar to truffles. Made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and coated in chocolate sprinkles, they are typically small spheres that are served in mini cupcake-like foil liners.

Do Brazilians eat chocolate? ›

Besides the holiday seasons, where it is a tradition among the people to give each other chocolates, 88% of the consumers buy high quality chocolate for their own consumption as well. With 2.2 kg of chocolate consumed per person per year, it is safe to say that chocolate is the favorite national food of Brazil.

What is the difference between a truffle and a brigadeiro? ›

What is the difference between a truffle and a brigadeiro? Brigadeiros are unique in that they are made with sweetened condensed milk. They also do not have a hard chocolate coating, unlike truffles. They are soft in and out, and rolled in toppings.

What is the national dessert of Brazil? ›

The typical Brazilian dessert, originating from the Pernambuco state is considered as the national dessert of this country by Brazilian law. What is Quindim made of? Quindim is of the popular desserts in Brazil that is a bright yellow custard made from egg yolks, coconut shreds, and sugar.

Why does Brazilian chocolate taste different? ›

Brazilian cocoa has been recognized for its post-harvest stages, such as fermentation and drying. These are essential stages, responsible for the formation of the taste and flavor precursors. Every step of the process plays its role in making a good chocolate bar, with the right acidity and quality indicators.

Is brigadeiro Portuguese or Brazilian? ›

Brigadeiros are a traditional Brazilian "docinhos," or little sweets. They are present as pretty much every birthday party or festive occasion! These are soft and chewy chocolate balls made with a few simple ingredients.

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