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Peruvian Desserts to Try on Your Visit

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 11-08-2022

 Peru is a melting pot of cultures, where each group that passed through the Peruvian lands left their mark on the culture and gastronomy. Peruvian food has been causing a stir for several years within the food scene.  Peruvian food is not the only delicious thing to try in this magical country. Its desserts are another significant strength that Peruvian gastronomy has to offer. Here is a list of Peruvian desserts to try on your trip! 






One of the best Peruvian desserts to try during your stay are Picarones. Picarones are the Peruvian equivalent of donuts. For this reason, they are also often considered Peruvian donuts and their origins go back to pre-Hispanic times when the Incas, elaborated a similar recipe with sweet potato and pumpkin. Years later, on the central coast of Peru, the recipe was combined with other ingredients that the Spanish conquerors introduced, such as wheat flour and sugar, resulting in the famous Picaron. Unlike donuts, Picarones are made from mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkins. After frying the pancakes, they are spread in Chancaca, a delicious honey-like syrup.




Mazamorra De Cañihua

 Cañihua is one of the many Andean cereals with a high nutritional value, native to Peru. They offer twice the protein of wheat, rice, and even oats. This cereal is cultivated in the north of Titicaca Lake and can resist extremely cold weather. To prepare Cañihua, the grain has to be boiled with cinnamon and cloves. This then mixed with egg yolks, flour, and carob juice. When the mixture thickens, you add sugar or honey to taste. 


Queso Helado 

Frozen cheese or “Queso Helado” doesn’t sound much like a dessert yet is one of the best-known Peruvian sweets originating from Arequipa. The unique texture and flavor of this dessert make this a Peruvian speciality.  According to history, the dessert was first prepared by the catholic nuns at the Santa Catalina Convent in the center of Arequipa. Contrary to belief, queso helado does not contain cheese and the main ingredient is actually fresh cow’s milk, which hints at the origins of its name.


Queso Helado


Humitas Dulces 

Humitas Dulces were named “The Incas bread” by the chronicler and historian Garcilaso de la Vega. The term Humita comes from the Quechua word “Huminta” which means cornbread. The Incas used to prepare them for main festivities and special occasions. Humitas Dulces are still available to this day in south Peruvian cities like Cusco, Arequipa and Puno. The fresh corn is blended with milk, this mix is added to the preparation of melted margarine, cinnamon, honey, and clove. After some minutes of cooking, the mixture is wrapped in corn leaves and boiled in water, inside large saucepans. 


Mazamorra Morada  


Another of the amazing Peruvian desserts to try is the Mazamorra Morada. This well-known dessert is made with purple corn as the main ingredient Api is the Quechua name of this type of Corn. The purple corn gives this dessert its iconic color and distinctive flavor. As well as corn, certain fruits such as pineapple, peaches, apple as well as cinnamon, and cloves are also usually added.  This dessert is consumed throughout the year, but it is often more popular in the long winters of the country. This delectable dessert is consumed all though Peru so a must-try in the Peru.


Mazamora Morada


Arroz Zambito  


Arroz Zambito is the local variant of Arroz con Leche or “rice pudding”. Even, their preparation is similar, with the only difference being that Chancaca (unrefined brown sugar) is used in the preparation, along with aniseed and coconut. The characteristic brown colouring comes from the chancaca itself. As an additional note, Zambito or Zambo was the name that Peruvians gave to the African slaves who came to Peru with the Spanish conquistors, who arrived in Chincha, during colonial times, due to its dark and rich colors. In the beginning, the recipe was cooked with boiled water, the late years the water was replaced with milk, to obtain more consistency and viscosity. The final delight used to be adorned with dried pecans or shredded coconut. Nowadays, Arroz Zambito is one of the most consumed Peruvian desserts in all regions of Peru. 


Suspiro De Limeña 


The Suspiro de Limeña is one of the oldest Peruvian Desserts; its origin dates back to Lima in the 19th century when Amparo Ayarza created the recipe of this delight and her husband, the poet Jose Galvez crowned the creation of his beloved with a name as romantic as Suspiro de Limeña. This delicious dessert consists of a base of manjar blanco or dulce de leche. It is followed by a layer of meringue dusted with cinnamon and other flavorings. This dessert is served in individual glasses or bowls with normal temperature or frozen. It is usually a classic in some of the best restaurants in Lima.


Suspiro Limeña




Tejas is the Peruvian version of truffles. This Peruvian dessert originates from the desert region of Ica. They are usually dipped in a white sugar fondant. However, the chocotejas are also a popular alternative, with a dark chocolate exterior. Inside, you can find a layer of walnuts and Manjar Blanco, among other things. These delicacies are often wrapped in paper and are an excellent gift for relatives back home.




 Doña Pepa’s Turrón is a well-known Peruvian dessert that is usually consumed more frequently during October. The tradition said that Josefa Maraminillo, an Afro-Peruvian female slave, was brought to Lima to assist the Lord of Miracles’ procession that occurs in October because she suffered paralysis in all her limbs. One of these nights in Lima, during dreams, Josefa saw the presence of saints who gave her the recipe for a special nougat to be consumed in the purple month. The next morning, Josefa was completely healed. A real miracle!  This exquisitely layered nougat is also sprayed with Chancaca, a delightful sugar syrup. And after the syrup coating, it is bedewed in a variety of multi-colored sprinkles, giving it a powerful visual appeal. Among souvenirs to buy in Peru, turron de Doña Pepa is the best gift that a visitor can bring from Peru! 




 Lucuma Ice Cream


 We all love ice cream and lucuma ice-cream is one of those classic desserts that you cannot miss. Among the most famous Peruvian desserts, lucuma Ice cream is a unique flavor known by the locals. Lucuma is a subtropical fruit that grows in the valleys of the Andes. In English, it is known as “eggfruit,” and its flavor is very similar to that of sweet potato. In Peru they use the fruit for juices, yoghurts and flavoring other desserts. A good lucuma ice cream is excellent after trying a Peruvian dish


King Kong 


Alfajor de Trujillo was the first name that received this traditional north Peruvian dessert. The non-official history says that a baker of Trujillo decided to prepare a traditional dessert, but much bigger. In 1933, the first King Kong movie was premiered. The northern Peruvians related both elements due to the enormity of them. The Alfajor of Trujillo was then re-named King Kong. This Peruvian dessert consists of cookies, layered one on top of the other. In the middle of them, blancmange, peanuts and strawberry jam are added. The result is a delight that all Peruvians consume whenever they can. 


King kong


Arroz Con Leche


This iconic and internationally known dish known as rice pudding, is one of the classic Peruvian desserts to enjoy. It is usually sold in the different carts of street vendors and is often accompanied by Mazamorra Morada. This dessert, with the consistency of pudding, is a classic for Peruvian palates and is typically a great companion on cold winter days. Without a doubt, the Arroz con Leche is a must. 


Lemon Pie  


Peruvian Lemon merengue pie called Pie de Limón is an international dessert recognized throughout the world. And that is why it cannot be absent from some Peruvian tables in the country. In the same way, Peruvians have a unique way of preparing this dessert, giving it a different and individual flavor.



Tres Leches 


 You cannot talk about Peruvian desserts without thinking about this magical dessert. Tres Leches is a cake that is usually soaked in milk syrup. Milk syrup is made by combining evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. Although heavy cream can also be an excellent substitute. The result is a cake with a consistency similar to that of pudding. It’s quite big and heavy, so make sure you’re hungry when trying it!




Did you know that Peru is the second country, besides Italy, in consume of panettone? The Peruvian Panettone is a delicious cross between cakes and bread. This is one of the most incredible and popular Peruvian desserts in Peru and generally consumed around festive times like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.