What is Brigadeiro?

June 5, 2024


Brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian dessert that has gained popularity worldwide in recent years. This sweet treat is a favorite among both locals and tourists, and its rich and creamy texture makes it a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. In this glossary, we will explore the origins of brigadeiro, its ingredients, and how it is made.

History of Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro was created in the 1940s in Brazil, during the presidential campaign of Brigadier Eduardo Gomes. His supporters would hold fundraising events where they would sell sweets to raise money for his campaign. One of the most popular sweets at these events was a chocolate truffle made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. This sweet treat was named brigadeiro in honor of Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, and it quickly became a staple in Brazilian cuisine.


The main ingredients in brigadeiro are condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. Condensed milk is the base of the dessert, giving it its creamy and sweet flavor. Cocoa powder adds a rich chocolatey taste, while butter helps to bind the ingredients together. Chocolate sprinkles are used to coat the brigadeiros, adding a crunchy texture and a touch of sweetness.

How to Make Brigadeiro

Making brigadeiro is a simple process that requires just a few ingredients and minimal cooking skills. To make brigadeiro, you will need condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. Start by combining the condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool before shaping it into small balls. Roll the balls in chocolate sprinkles and enjoy!

Variations of Brigadeiro

While the classic brigadeiro recipe is made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles, there are many variations of this popular dessert. Some people add different flavors, such as coconut or peanut butter, to the mixture to create unique and delicious brigadeiros. Others use different coatings, such as crushed nuts or shredded coconut, to add a twist to the traditional recipe.

Popular Ways to Serve Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro can be served in a variety of ways, making it a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger dish. Some popular ways to serve brigadeiro include topping cakes and cupcakes with brigadeiro balls, filling pastries with brigadeiro cream, or serving brigadeiro as a dip for fruit or cookies. Brigadeiro can also be enjoyed on its own as a sweet and satisfying treat.

Health Benefits of Brigadeiro

While brigadeiro is a delicious and indulgent dessert, it is not the healthiest option due to its high sugar and fat content. However, brigadeiro does contain some nutritional benefits, such as calcium from the condensed milk and antioxidants from the cocoa powder. It is best enjoyed in moderation as a special treat rather than as a regular part of a healthy diet.

Where to Find Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro can be found in many Brazilian bakeries and sweet shops, as well as in some specialty stores and online retailers. It is also popular at parties and events, where it is often served as a sweet treat for guests. Some restaurants and cafes also offer brigadeiro on their dessert menus, giving customers the opportunity to try this delicious Brazilian dessert.


Brigadeiro is a beloved Brazilian dessert that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with its sweet and chocolatey flavor, make it a favorite among both young and old. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger dish, brigadeiro is sure to satisfy any sweet craving. So next time you’re looking for a delicious and indulgent treat, be sure to try brigadeiro!

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.