Brigadeiros are one of Brazil’s most iconic desserts. They’re a bite-sized mouthful of sweet creamy fudgy goodness that just melts in your mouth and are universally loved. You’ll routinely find them at parties and family picnics as they’re the perfect portable sweet treat to share with friends and families.
You can always buy ready-made brigadeiros (we have over 25 flavors in our online shop), however making your own milk chocolate brigadeiros is relatively straightforward. If you’re ready to give it a go, here is our founder Renata’s favorite brigadeiro recipe.
At a high level, first, you mix and gently cook condensed milk, unsalted butter, and real cocoa powder together until it forms a sticky consistency. Next, you chill the mixture until it has a fudgy consistency. Finally, you roll and decorate your brigadeiros with sprinkles and toppings.
Sounds simple, right?
It is. However, things can go wrong. You can burn the mixture, undercook it, and end up with a mix that’s too soft to roll. And while the brigadeiro is usually still edible, you'll miss out on some of that fudgy magic that makes brigadeiros so irresistible.
That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our insider brigadeiro tips to help elevate your brigadeiros from a runny, gooey mess to delicious light and fudgy balls of delight.
Brigadeiro Preparation Tips
Use the highest quality ingredients that you can afford. The quality of the ingredients makes a big difference in the final flavor and texture!
If making brigadeiros on a really warm day, halve the butter. That way the mixture won’t be too soft to roll
Use a wide, flat bottom non-stick pan. This will help your brigadeiro to cook evenly and more quickly (saving you time!)
For a creamier brigadeiro, use a whisk instead of a wooden spoon/spatula
Brigadeiro Cooking Tips
If using cocoa powder, whisk it into your condensed milk before adding the butter and heat (for a lump-free mixture)
Resist the temptation to raise the heat. Stir the mixture slowly but constantly over a low-medium heat until it is ready. Be sure to scrape all of the edges so it cooks evenly and does not burn
The mixture is ready when you drag your whisk through the middle of the pan and it stays parted for a few seconds or starts to resemble a dough
Brigadeiro Rolling Tips
Lightly butter or wet your hands so the brigadeiro doesn’t stick to your hands as you roll your brigadeiros
Roll a batch of brigadeiro balls before coating them with sprinkles
For uniform brigadeiros, cut the mixture into even squares or use a cookie scoop
While rolling a batch, keep the rest of the mixture in the fridge so it stays cold
If the mixture is too soft to roll into balls, try refrigerating it for 30 minutes. If your brigadeiro is still too soft or runny, next time cook it for longer. Fear not though, it’s still perfectly edible. Just serve it piped onto individual spoons or in little glasses/cups with small spoons–known as “brigadeiro de colher,” it’s perfectly acceptable and common in Brazil!
Brigadeiro Storage Tips
Once the brigadeiro is rolled into balls, it is best kept at room temperature and consumed within 7 days
Brigadeiros can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months
To freeze brigadeiros, place them in a single player in a sealed container. After they have frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag
Watch our step-by-step video on how to make perfect brigadeiros:
Made too much brigadeiro?
Remember, if you make too much brigadeiro, you can always add it to other baked goods. Check out some of our favorite baking with brigadeiro recipes: