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Imagine the richest custard ever, so rich you can cut it with a knife. Flan is rich with eggs. It is poured into a pan with a coating of dark, caramelized sugar. Once baked in the oven, the caramel liquefies to create a delicious (but thin) syrup. Flan can be served warm or cold, but it's important to pour plenty of the syrup over the top. For a real treat, order it con coco rallado (with sweetened shredded coconut). Yum! You'll find flan on the menu at most Cuban/Latin restaurants. Or buy one "to go" at area bakeries.

Flan recipe here.


Tocinillo de Cielo is a distant cousin of flan. It is sometimes mistakenly called "Tocino del Cielo," which literally means "bacon from heaven." It doesn't look like bacon, it doesn't taste like bacon -- in fact, there's no bacon in it. So why people started calling it this, we'll never know. No matter what you call it, tocinillo del cielo is sweeter and lighter than flan, light on the tongue.

We've seen two types at bakeries and supermarkets. One has a slight lemon-citrus taste, the other tastes like almonds. Both are delicious - so experiment.

Tocino del Cielo recipe here.


Turrones are almond candies imported from Spain and a traditional holiday treat. They come in several flavors including chocolate, nougat, cream-walnut, honey, fruit and egg.


Capuchinos are those little yellow cones you see in the case at a Cuban bakery. They are a rich cake made with egg yolks and soaked in a very sweet sugar syrup. Capuchinos recipe here.

Yes, it literally means Gypsy's arm. We're not sure how it got that name. It is basically a jelly roll cake -- in this case it's filled with sweet guava filling and topped with candied fruits and shredded coconut.
Brazo Gitano
Turron de mani

This treat is made with ground peanuts and has a sweet and heavy peanut flavor. The bars are very dense and rich tasting.

Cuban Desserts Guide


Tocinillo del Cielo



Brazo Gitano

Turron de Mani

Three Guys From Miami Show You How to Make the Best Cuban, Spanish, and Latin American Food!


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Meringues are like the topping of a lemon pie, only drier and puffier. You'll see them in bags at stores all over Miami. You can also get a larger, fresher version at local bakeries. Some places add a touch of anise to give them a light licorice flavor. Meringues recipe here.

The bakery version is always a special treat. The best ones have a slightly soft gooey center.
These are flaky pastries filled with layers of creamy custard. You usually see them in two flavor: chocolate and vanilla. These are very similiar to a Napoleon. Señoritas recipe here.

Cubans love coconut and coquitos are deliciously sweet coconut candies. The come in several popular varieties:

Coquito blanco: white coconut
Coquitos quemados: toasted coconut
Coquitos melcochados: toasted coconut with a caramel flavor
Coquitos con leche: coconut with milk cream

This company makes several different bars, many with a coconut or fruit base. Some of the flavors include: coconut, pineapple/coconut, milk cream, orange cream, and guava.

La Cubanita Bar




La Cubanita Bars


How to Make the Best Cuban Desserts


Arroz con Coco  The classic rice pudding -- this one features the great tropical flavor of coconut.

Arroz con Leche  Delicious creamy rice pudding served warm and bursting with cinnamon aroma and flavor...

Boniatillo  The old Cuban holiday favorite, a unique sweet potato pudding.

Bunuelos  These light, fried pastries are a Cuban tradition served warm with a special syrup.

Cake Emborrachado  This cake gets drunk on rum, so you don't have to.

Cake de Guayaba  The sweet guava cake that will remind veteran Cubans of Masa Real

Cake de Mango  Ripe juicy mangoes baked in a sumptuous cake.

Cake de Ron  Rum gives this rich and moist cake a complex and interesting flavor.

Capuchinos  The little yellow cone-shaped cakes you see in just about every Cuban bakery.

Dulces (Pastas)  Thick fruity pastes that are sliced and served with soft cheeses on crackers.

Dulce de Leche Cortada  Sweet caramel milk curds make for an unusual dessert.

Dulce de Leche Salsa  This caramel sauce is delicious on several desserts, including ice cream.

Flan  A wonderfully rich dessert, creamy and full of egg flavor like a very rich custard.

Flan de Coco  Coconut is always a fantastic addition to flan!

Flan de Queso  The Cuban version of cheesecake.

Islas Flotantes  The classic dessert that was all the rage in America -- in the 1950's.

Jalea de Guayaba  Yes, you can make your own guava jelly at home!

Merengues  Meringues are like the topping of a lemon pie, only drier and puffier.

Mermeladas  Wonderful, eggy, pudding-like gems -- a great filling for pies and pastries.

Nata Cake  Cake squares stuffed with a pudding-like filling and topped with whipped cream.

Natilla  The simple, homespun pudding that brings you back to your mom's kitchen in Havana.

Pastelitos  Delicate puff pastries filled with tropical fruits, cream cheese, even meat!

Polvorones  A very typical cookie made with crushed almonds, they actually came to Cuba from Spain.

Pudín de Pan  Bread pudding with a touch of guava flavor.

Quesillo  Prepared like flan, tastes like cheesecake. A traditional homemade Cuban favorite!

Señoritas  Flaky pastries filled with layers of creamy chocolate or vanilla.custard.

Tocinillo del Cielo  Sweeter and lighter than flan, light on the tongue.

Torticas de Coco  Chewy coconut cookies with a corn flake crunch.

Torticas de Guayaba  Guava and Peanut Butter together at least -- in a cookie!

Torticas de Navidad  Straight from Havana, the most authentic Cuban Christmas cookie!

Torticas de Moron  Cuban sugar cookies with a hint of lime.

Tres Leches Cake  Three milks: sweetened condensed, evaporated, and heavy cream.

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