If you have a sweet tooth, you are going to love the Dominican Republic. From classic flan and tres leches cake to the unique jalao, there are tons of delicious Dominican desserts on this island paradise. Our guide features only a handful of DR desserts worth tasting.
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The Top Ten Best Desserts To Try During Your Stay In The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has an excellent reputation regarding Dominican food, Dominican snacks, and Dominican desserts especially. There are so many choices and unique flavors that it can be hard to decide which ones to try first.
During our first trip to the Dominican, Amber and I was excited to get our hands on as many DR desserts as possible. Normally we don’t have a sweet tooth. That said, I have a weakness for flan and Amber can’t get enough bread putting. Two desserts the Dominican is famous for.
There are several very popular desserts with Dominican locals as well as tourists. While most tourists to the DR stay on their resorts, it’s worth venturing out to find these desserts. Dominican bakeries are everywhere and serve up a wide range of Dominican sweets. Like us, you can easily hire a taxi from your hotel to get to a nearby bakery.
We picked these desserts for two reasons. One, we loved them. And two, many of these Dominican sweets are easy to make at home. We love trying to make recipes from our travel at home. So if you would like the look of these Dominican desserts, give making them at home a try.
Here’s a look at some of the must-try Dominican Republic desserts we discovered in the DR.
8 Popular Desserts From The Dominican Republic That You Must Try
Habichuela Con Dulce
Let’s start with one of the best desserts in the Dominican Republic. The Habichuela Con Dulce. This famous Dominican dessert translates to sweet cream of beans. It’s a traditional dessert often served around Easter. It’s usually shared at family gatherings and has a surprising list of ingredients.
This dish is made by combining milk, coconut, beans, sweet potatoes, and raisins. The final result is a creamy dessert with a creamy soup-like texture. It has a sweet, smooth, silky taste, which has a velvety feel. Habichuela Con Dulce is s typically served either as a dessert on its own or with sweet biscuits.
Dulce de Leche Cortada
In the Dominican Republic, Dulce de Leche Cortada is a very popular dessert. It’s made using curdled milk, often flavored with cinnamon, caramel, and lime. Now, the idea of eating something made from curdled milk might seem appealing. However, it works. Oddly enough, this was my favorite dessert in the Dominican Republic. For Amber, not so much.
Dulce de Leche Cortada is often used to fill other sweet treats. You’ll find it in pastries, cookies, churros, and waffles. It can be eaten alone and is still just as satisfying. But I recommend finding it as a stuffing.
A dessert that tastes like creamed cornflakes? No, I’m not crazy. This is what you can expect to get out of a Majarete dessert in the Dominican Republic. This popular dessert uses whole corn kernels, evaporated milk, coconut, and sugar. It is blended, passed, and cooked until it reaches the desired consistency. It’s then topped with cinnamon to give that light hint of spice. It’s another popular one to make if you’re feeding a crowd because of its simplicity and affordability.
Maiz Caquiao – Cracked Corn Pudding
This is also known as the Maiz Caquiao, and if you’re new to making desserts, you may not want to take on the challenge of making one yourself, as it can be a little more tricky than other desserts. However, it will be well worth your time and effort if you can do so.
This kind of dish is classed as extremely humbling and a taste of home to DR locals. It is a comfort food that is so versatile that it can be served as breakfast, lunch, or dessert.
This pudding is traditionally made using dried corn, with the skins removed and then mixed with hot ashes; the mixture is ground together, often using a pestle and mortar, then the corn is washed and boiled for a few hours. Alternatively, it can be made using cracked corn from the grocery store.
You won’t come across this dish in some cafes and restaurants in the Dominican Republic, mainly because of the amount of time it takes to prepare, so if you do come across it, snap it up.
Tres Leches Cake
If you’re looking for a dessert in the Dominican Republic that is a little bit more luxurious and delectable, then the Tre Leches Cake is one to keep an eye out for.
This triple-layered cake is soaked in three different kinds of milk: evaporated, condensed, and whole.
It is often topped with whipped cream with a classic cherry on top, but sometimes it can be served with other fresh fruit such as kiwi, peaches, or strawberries. It’s a cold dessert, which is creamy and delicate at the same time. A definite crowd-pleaser.
One of the most popular flavors of Dominican Republic cakes, also known as Bizcocho, is the guava cake, it has similarities to a Victoria Sponge cake. It’s mainly known for being super moist and light, despite containing a lot of butter (around a third of the ingredients, to be precise). It’s a real treat and great for a special occasion.
It is one you are likely to see in the cafes and Dominican bakeries around the island, and it stands out from any cake you have tasted before.
What makes the Guava cake distinctive is the frosting, or “Suspirio,” which is a meringue type frosting usually from Italy.
Often referred to as creme caramel, caramel custard, or caramel pudding, this dessert from the Dominican Republic can be found in loads of other destinations across Latin America. However, the ones you’re likely to come across while visiting the DR are likely chocolate, vanilla, coconut, or pumpkin spice flavored.
It’s a super simple yet delightful dessert consisting of eggs, vanilla, condensed milk, and sugar, which is then baked into a delicious flan.
When done correctly, this dessert should be sweet but not too sweet, fluffy in texture, smooth and creamy, and melt in your mouth when eaten.
It is the perfect dessert to try yourself, too, especially if you want to impress your guests with Dominican Republic sweets but don’t have an extensive collection of ingredients in your cupboard.
Jalao is one of the famous Dominican desserts you must try. The Dominican Republic is where the Jalao candy is most commonly found: a sweetened coconut and honey candy.
Besides being super easy to make, jalao is also a great recipe to have on hand for those who love coconut and honey.
As the flavor and color of your candy will depend on the honey you use, it will differ slightly from one batch to the next, so it could be different each time you try it.
There is a lot of fun to be had with this recipe since it offers a way to highlight the taste of different types of honey.
Pudin De Pan
Or, as some like to call it, Spiced Bread Pudding is a diverse dessert that can be enjoyed hot, cold, sweet, savory, or loaded with chocolate. It is also often served with cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
To make this dish, the bread is often soaked, and cooked in the spices, so that it soaks up all of the flavors; the egg is then added before baking, and the outcome is a soft sponge-like Dominican cake that is packed full of zest.
These butter cookies can often be found in coffee shops around the Dominican Republic, mainly because they are fantastic served with coffee.
They are very classical biscuits that are made using sugar, vanilla, butter, flour, and baking soda. They are then baked to a soft crumbly consistency.
The texture of these cookies is similar to that of shortbread and they are often topped with sticky jam, such as strawberry or guava jam, which gives them a sweet texture and flavor.
Must-Try Desserts from the Dominican Republic
So as you have probably noticed, when you visit the Dominican Republic and go on the hunt for some of the best desserts on offer, you are likely to find them loaded with cream, caramel, and other rich and luxurious ingredients. They certainly don’t skimp on indulgence, and although none of them may be particularly elaborate or adventurous, they’re all satisfying and traditional and give you a true feeling of the culture.
There is such a wide range of flavor combinations and textures that it is sure to make you want to experiment more and more with them.
FAQs – Must Eat Dominican Desserts
There are plenty of delicious desserts in the Dominican Republic. In addition to some that we’ve already mentioned Bizcocho Dominicano, Dominican Arepa, and Paleta de Coco are popular Dominican desserts.
One of the most popular desserts in the DR, Dominican cake is made from only four main ingredients; flour, butter, eggs, and of course pineapple juice.