Brazilian Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro brasileño. O Brigadeiro é uma delícia.

Hello! Today we have one more delicious A Dica do Dia for you all! What do you eat when you go to birthday parties in your country? Here in Brazil we have the Brazilian Brigadeiro! Let’s find out what is it! And of course we are going to give you the Brazilian fudge ball recipe!

What is a Brazilian Brigadeiro?

Brigadeiro is one of the most famous Brazilian desserts. It is so typical, traditional and related to Brazilian culture that we can’t translate it to another language. To describe it to foreigners, we usually say that it is a Brazilian fudge ball.

We can’t say exactly where and how this amazing sweet appeared for the first time. But according to popular belief the Brazilian fudge balls are related to a politician in the 40s. Before starting to tell you the story, you must know that the word brigadeiro in Portuguese also means brigadier, as in a general of a brigade in the army.

The story goes like this: a woman called Heloísa Nabuco was member of a traditional family in Rio de Janeiro, she and her family were supporting the candidate Brigadier Eduardo Gomes standing for President of the Republic in 1946. As a way of raising funds for the campaign she would sell these candies (that were a bit different from the ones we have today). Very quickly the news spread and people started to go there to eat the brigadeiro candy – making an association with the political candidate. Eduardo Gomes was defeated in the elections, but the Brazilian fudge balls became very famous. With time, people stopped associating it with Eduardo Gomes until, in its own right, this sweet become a national symbol and treasure.

When do Brazilians eat it?

To begin to answer this question, let me tell you something: whenever you want. You are free to eat as many brigadeiros as you wish and whenever you want. But, of course, there are special times when we eat these.

It’s very common to see Brazilian brigadeiro when we go to birthday parties. It’s something you are almost bound to have if you throw a birthday party in Brazil. Especially if it’s a kids party. But don’t worry, adults have brigadeiros at their parties too!  These sweets are the perfect accompaniment to the birthday cake.

Something very funny is that you can’t eat the cake or the brigadeiros before singing happy birthday, right? But if you pay attention, you’ll always find some thieves that steal one or too before the correct moment hahaha. And you can bet that I’m one of these!

Nowadays we have many variations of brigadeiros, so you can find them in different flavors like: coconut, pistachio, white chocolate, or fruits. These different brigadeiros are called brigadeiros gourmet – and of course, they are more expensive.

If you’ve already been to Brazil, probably you know that our candies are very sweet. Some tourists think that brigadeiro is too sweet. What can we do? Brazilians love sugar! It makes our life sweeter 😉 !

Besides being a typical birthday food, we also like to make brigadeiros in the comfort of our homes, to eat alone or share with friends. So if you have a Brazilian friend, they might invite you over some night to watch a movie and eat brigadeiro. It’s a great excuse to unite friends to gossip and chat about your lives. Basically… You need to try it.

Brazilian Fudge Balls Recipe

Brigadeiro is it’s an amazing and easy recipe to prepare! You only need 4 ingredients. Take a look at the video to see how to make them:

Don’t forget to check out our Youtube channel, we have other recipes there!


Brazilian Brigadeiro Ingredients

Check out the ingredients list here:

1 lata de leite condensado 1 can of condensed milk
1 colher de manteiga sem sal 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
7 colheres de sopa de chocolate em pó 7 tablespoons of chocolate powder
Um pacote de chocolate granulado One pack of chocolate sprinkles


In a saucepan on medium-low heat, melt the butter, add the condensed milk and the chocolate powder. Cook the mixture until it thickens and its consistency is firm enough to stick together.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Now, grease your hands with butter and make small balls with the mixture you just prepared. Roll the balls in the chocolate sprinkles and place them into small paper cups.

If you don’t want to make the balls, you can just eat it as it is. When we eat like this we call it brigadeiro de colher (brigadeiro spoon). You can eat directly from the pan, but it’s better if you put it on a plate. In this case, the sprinkles are optional.

If you can’t cook, you can buy them in the bakery, the lanchonete, or directly from the people who make them to sell. We have a lot of people – especially women – who make brigadeiros in their houses to sell to other people. In this case, they mostly sell dozens, so you can buy a lot for your party!

Easy, right?
I hope you liked this Dica. Want to learn more about Brazilian food? Talk to one of our teachers in an online Portuguese class!
A big kiss from the Rio & Learn team.

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Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Brazilian Street Food
Ordering food in Portuguese
Beach foods in Brazil
Lanche meaning in Portuguese


This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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