Autumn Desserts: Hispanic Edition

We all love the arrival of fall and everything that comes along with it: the weather, the aesthetically pleasing color palette, the change in our wardrobe and the mouth-watering pastries. Coming from a Hispanic background, I grew up with lots and lots of pastries. Here are my top nine Hispanic desserts.

1. Tembleque (shaky coconut pudding)

Tembleque, or coconut pudding, is a coconut-based pudding from Puerto Rico that acquired the name “tembleque” due to its shakiness and wobbly composition. Made under five minutes with coconut milk, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, and sugar, this dessert is a must have at any family dinner or fall/winter activity. If you’re a fan of coconut and cinnamon, you need to try this ASAP.

2. Flan (Custard)

Second in my list is flan, or custard. You can find cheese or vanilla-based flans, but my ultimate favorite is the pumpkin-based one. This sponge looking dessert is extremely sweet and savory, with a kick of the flavor you decide to make it with. 

3. Churros

Churros never disappoint. This Mexican/Spanish dessert has been popular for decades and can now be found in fast foods such as Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Jack in the Box, among others. You can eat these fried-dough desserts by themselves or stuffed with the filling of your choosing. Want to make them yourself? Don't be afraid!

4. Barriguitas de Vieja (Pumpkin Fritters)

These pumpkin fritters, or as I know them barriguitas de vieja (old ladies bellies) are to die for. They’re so crunchy and salty on the outside, but when you bite into them, they are tender and sweet, giving your taste buds an orgasm of a lifetime. These are one of the delicious treats that are only available this time of year and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. 

5. Quesitos (Cream Cheese Pastry)

If you have not tried a quesito by now, I truly don't know what's wrong with you. Quesitos, or cream cheese pastries, are a blessing handcrafted by the gods. They are cheese-filled pastry twists from Puerto Rico, but can be found in any cake shop. They are super easy to make and can be modified in so many ways. For example, you can add raspberry, pineapples, or my favorite, guava. 

6. Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)

Now, before the Hispanics call me out, yes, this is more of a winter/Christmas drink. But in my family, you start seeing bottles of coquito in September. Similar to eggnog, the coquito is made with different types of milk, cinnamon, vanilla and lots of white rum. Yes, you read correctly: rum. There's also a virgin version of it, but either way it's delicious and refreshing. 

7. Tres Leches (milk cake)

The milk cake receives its name from the ingredients used to make it: whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. As a kid, I would prefer to get a tres leches over any regular birthday cakes. To top it off, literally, whipped cream is added and it is truly an iconic dessert.

8. Pastelitos de Guayaba (Guava puff pastries)

I'm not lying when I say that you will find trays filled with these puff pastries at every Hispanic event. Made with water, dough, guava, and tons of sugar, these pastelitos are the key to perfect parties and activities. You better make sure you don't ruin your shirt because when you bite into it, sugar explodes and goes everywhere.

9. Brazo Gitano (Swiss Roll)

Last but not least is the Brazo Gitano, better known as the Swiss roll. This roll is my mother's favorite, made with buttercream, flour, eggs, sugar, and the jam or jelly of your choosing. I know the name hints to Switzerland or Austria, but many believe it was originated in Spain. Nonetheless, this fruity dessert is wildly popular in Hispanic culture and makes a great addition to the table at any event or gathering. 

Which is your favorite? Which are you dying to try? Let us know! Remember, one way to learn and explore other cultures is through food, and what better way than yummy flavorful desserts?

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