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A Sweet Journey Through Peru-  A Guide to Traditional Peruvian Desserts

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Published: 18-07-2023

Peru is known for its rich culinary heritage, and its desserts are no exception. These Peruvian desserts are a testament to the rich cultural fusion that defines Peruvian cuisine. Influenced by indigenous ingredients, Spanish traditions, and even hints of Asian and African influences, Peruvian desserts offer a delightful blend of flavors and techniques. The creative use of local ingredients such as purple corn, sweet potatoes, and quinoa adds a distinct touch to these sweet creations. Here are eleven delicious, traditional, Peruvian desserts you should definitely try on your next Peru vacation!

 

Pastel de Helado

 

Tres Leches Cake


Tres leches is a light sponge cake soaked in three types of milk (condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk) and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. This dessert is popular throughout Peru and can be found in most restaurants and cafes. 

 

Tres Leches

 

Picarones

Picarones are sweet potato and squash doughnuts, often served with a syrup made from chancaca (unrefined sugar) and flavored with cloves, cinnamon, and orange peel. These are traditionally from the Andean region and are perfect on a cold Cusco evening!

 

Picarones

 

Alfajores


Originally from Argentina, these biscuits are also a popular treat in Peru. Alfajores are delicate sandwiches made of biscuit-like cookies made with two shortbread layers and filled with dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk) and sometimes rolled in coconut flakes. These delectable sweets are perfect with a coffee!

 

Alfajores

 

Mazamorra Morada


Mazamorra is a sweet purple corn pudding thickened with starch and flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and fruit such as pineapple, apple, and dried fruits. It is typically served chilled and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Mazamorra is the solid version of the popular Chicha Morada drink which is popular throughout Peru and you will often find it alongside an Arroz con Leche or "warm rice pudding". (See below).

 

Mazamorra

 

Suspiro de La Limeña

Literally translated to "Sigh of a Lady from Lima," this indulgent dessert consists of a creamy and velvety caramel base called manjar blanco (similar to dulce de leche) topped with a fluffy meringue and often dusted with cinnamon. 

 

Suspiro de la Limeña

 

Arroz con Leche


A comforting rice pudding made with rice, milk, cinnamon, and sweetened condensed milk. It is often garnished with raisins and dusted with cinnamon. As previously mentioned arroz con leche is often served with a dollop of mazamorra on the side.

 

Arroz con Leche

 

King Kong

King Kongs come from the North of Peru, around the Chiclayo region. It is a large cookie-like dessert made with flour, butter, and sugar, and filled with manjar blanco, nuts, and sometimes dried fruits. It is often shaped into a rectangle or round and topped with powdered sugar, making it the perfect sugar hit!

 

King Kong

 

Turron de Doña Pepa

This is a unique dessert made during the month of October to celebrate the Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) festival, especially along the coast and in Lima. It consists of layers of buttery shortbread cookies held together by a sticky syrup made from molasses, anise, and fruit flavors.

 

Turron de Doña Pepa

 

Choco Tejas

These are almond-shaped chocolates filled with manjar blanco and filled with pecans, peanuts, or other nuts. They are typically coated in powdered sugar and can be found along the coast and especially in the Arequipa region.

 

Making Choco Tejas

 

Mazamorra de Quinua


A variation of the traditional mazamorra, this dessert is made with quinoa, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. It is cooked until the quinoa is tender and has a creamy consistency. This is a delicacy of the highland region of Peru and can be enjoyed throughout the Cusco region.

 

Mazamorra de Quinua

 

Queso Helado

Translated to "frozen cheese", the taste is definitely far-removed from its namesake. This dessert is a refreshing sweet made with milk, cinnamon, cloves, and coconut. It has a creamy texture similar to ice cream and is often served in small cups or cones. You can enjoy queso helado throughout the Cusco region and is especially delicious on a warm sunny day.

 

Queso Helado

 

Peruvian desserts offer a delectable journey into the vibrant and diverse culinary heritage of Peru. From the coastal regions to the Andean highlands, each dessert showcases unique flavors, textures, and ingredients that have been passed down through generations. Whether it's the indulgent Tres Leches Cake or the delicate Alfajores, Peruvian desserts captivate the taste buds and leave a lasting impression. Embark on a journey through Peru's sweet delights and experience the warmth, tradition, and irresistible sweetness that these desserts have to offer. Let them transport you to the vibrant streets, bustling markets, and enchanting flavors that define Peruvian cuisine. In the world of desserts, Peruvian treats truly stand out, leaving a lasting impression on all those fortunate enough to taste them. Find out where you can try these delicious delights here!

 

Pan Wawa

 

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