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

Written by:
Claire Dean

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!


When you visit Peru, pastel de helado is a popular treat, especially during warmer months. Onthecoast región of Peru you can find this refreshing combination of cake and ice cream that is perfect for a hot sunny day!

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" cake is a popular Peruvian dessert that you should try on your Peru vacation packages. It is a light and airy sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped cream. The perfect sweet all over Peru!

Tres Leches



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 are a popular Peruvian dessert that is similar to doughnuts. Picarones are typically served hot in The highlands of Peru and are often accompanied by a sweet syrup made from "chancaca" (unrefined cane sugar). Try picarones on a cold evening on your Cusco tours!




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 are a popular sweet treat on your Peru vacation packages. They consist of two soft, crumbly cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche, a sweet caramel-like filling made from condensed milk. Check out the local "panaderías" on your custom Peru tour.



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 is a traditional Peruvian dessert with roots in both Indigenous and Spanish culinary traditions. It is a sweet, pudding-like dish made from purple corn, which gives it its distinctive color. It is then thickened with cornstarch. Often served with rice pudding, this warming dessert is best tried when you travel to Lima Peru.



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. 


Another traditional Peruvian dessert to try on your Lima Peru tours is Suspiro a La Limeña. Suspiro a la Limeña is known for its rich and creamy texture. The name translates to "Sigh of the Woman from Lima," suggesting that this dessert is so delicious that it elicits a sigh of pleasure.

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 is a creamy and comforting dish made by cooking rice with milk, sugar, and spices until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened - better known as rice pudding. The dish is often flavored with cinnamon and sometimes includes other ingredients such as condensed milk, evaporated milk, or vanilla extract. Try it on a chilly Andean evening on your Cusco tours.

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 is a traditional Peruvian dessert that is popular in the northern regions of the country, such as Trujillo and Chiclayo. On your Chiclayo tours,  make sure you sample this cake-like pastry filled with manjar blanco (dulce de leche), and other ingredients like nuts or fruit.

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.


Doña Pepa is a traditional Peruvian dessert that is particularly popular in Lima and the surrounding regions. You can sample it during the month of October when it is traditionally consumed to celebrate the Lord of Miracles (Señor de los Milagros) Peru festival.

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.


"Choco Tejas" are a traditional Peruvian sweet, especially popular along the Moche Route, Peru.   They are small, rectangular-shaped chocolates filled with caramel. Other ingredients include nuts, coconut,  raisins, or other dried fruits.

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 is a traditional Peruvian dessert made from quinoa, a nutritious grain-like seed that is native to the Andean region. On day trips from Cusco, you visit the highlands where quinua grows.  The quinoa is cooked with milk, sugar, and spices such as cinnamon and cloves to create a sweet and creamy dessert.

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 is a traditional dessert to be sampled on Arequipa tours. Despite its name, which translates to "cheesy ice cream," queso helado does not actually contain cheese. Instead, it is a sweet and creamy dessert made from milk, sugar, cinnamon, and coconut.

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" Literally translates to baby bread. It is a sweet bread from the South Valley of Cusco that is shaped like a child or a doll. It is traditionally made for special occasions and festivals, especially in the Andean regions when you travel to Cusco Peru.

Pan Wawa