It’s almost that time of the year again when thousands of families pull out old recipes to make an extravagant Cinco de Mayo dessert table. Today, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite treats for this festive time.
Many of these are inspired by traditional Mexican dishes, but I still included some more authentic recipes as well. This way, you can mix and match different options to suit your dessert needs best.
And don’t forget to check out some savory Mexican treats you can also try. Tortitas De Papas Receta Mexicana is a recipe I make every year!
What Are Cinco De Mayo Desserts?
Cinco de Mayo is a famous yearly Mexican holiday that celebrates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory in battle over the Second French Empire in 1862.
While, admittedly, not many people know what this day is about, it is still one of the most famous and celebrated days in America. What makes it even more attractive to the masses is the opportunity to create elaborate feasts of delicious savory and sweet treats.
Traditional Mexican desserts for Cinco de Mayo always have a flavorful flare to them. And today, you don’t necessarily have to serve them in an authentic way.
Many households draw inspiration and create fusion desserts, like Churro Poppers for example.
As long as the desserts are traditional in some way, loaded with flavor and texture, and an extremely fun and unique addition to the table, they will work.
15 Sweet Treats To Have On Cinco De Mayo
Today, I’m not beating around the bush! Below I’ve assembled a list of my 15 favorite Cinco de Mayo dessert recipes.
Some of these are more complicated than others. But no one can argue that these aren’t all incredibly fun to make, loaded with flavor, and a creative new way to spice up your dessert table at the family gathering.
And, if you are still not satisfied with any of them, you can always use them as inspiration to create your own mish-mash of Cinco de Mayo treats.
Don’t forget to let me know how your recipe turns out!
1. Churros Poppers – One Of The Best Cinco De Mayo Dessert Recipes
Just the name itself already sounds delicious! And it’s truly one of my all-time favorite desserts, not only for Cinco de Mayo but any celebration!
Think of this as a fusion of Cinco de Mayo cake pops, churros, and fluffy donut balls. They are fun, easy, and relatively quick to make too.
To make these, first, you need to make a basic dough recipe. Then, you can roll the dough into smaller portions and fry them on a high flame for a few minutes. Once fried, drain off the excess oil and cover them with cinnamon sugar.
These balls are incredible with a caramel dipping sauce, a runny chocolate ganache, and vanilla ice cream. They are loaded with texture and caramel-cinnamon flavors, perfect for any Mexican potluck dessert table.
2. Instant Pot Caramel Flan
Next up, we have this incredibly creamy, rich, and super sweet caramel flan. What makes it unique is that you cook it inside an instant pot. This creates an arguably better flavor while saving you a ton of time.
Now, many people don’t consider flan as a Cinco de Mayo dessert idea. However, this refreshing and creamy treat makes a simple addition to the table for those who aren’t in love with complex and super-sweet desserts.
Furthermore, it makes a fantastic accompaniment for other desserts.
No Mexican holiday would be complete without these fluffy fried dough pillows. These aren’t usually stuffed but definitely can be if you’d like. And, like lots of traditional Mexican desserts, these are also rolled in cinnamon sugar.
Sopapillas aren’t as difficult to make as people claim. Plus, with a wonderful, in-depth tutorial like this one, you won’t have to spend hours slaving away!
4. Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate
Technically not a dessert, but it definitely still belongs on this list. As you may know, hot chocolate is actually a drink that was invented by the Mayans, from which Mexican cuisine has many similarities.
This beverage is perfect for rainy days and as an accompaniment to other dessert options on the table.
Another reason I always have it as part of my desserts for Cinco de Mayo is that you can adjust the sweetness. This contrasting flavor can help break up repetitiveness and cleanse your palate.
This recipe is incredibly easy, versatile, and can even be made in advance. Simply reheat it when you are ready!
These Mexican fritters are the perfect alternative for desserts like churros and sopapillas. While the dough recipes do differ in small ways, it’s mainly the shape that sets these apart.
The flat deep-fried fritters have a much crispier and less fluffy texture than other cinnamon-sugar fried desserts. They are also easier to use as serving vessels for accompaniments like ice cream, custard, and dipping sauces.
And, as I like to believe, they are easier to make because their shape doesn’t have to be perfect.
6. Tres Leches Cake
If you are specifically looking for Cinco de Mayo cake ideas, this is one of the first options to consider.
An authentic Mexican Tres Leches cake is incredibly rich, super sweet, and uber-creamy. It has a soft and fluffy texture that is simply irresistible.
It’s easy to make and one of the best Cinco de Mayo cake ideas out there.
7. Gluten-Free Snowball Cookies
Of course, I would include a gluten-free option! It’s always a good idea to have a recipe like this in your back pocket.
Snowball cookies are famous authentic Mexican treats that are served at weddings, birthday parties, and Cinco de Mayo.
They are shortbread biscuits filled with nuts. Once baked, they are dusted with icing sugar, giving them a snow-like appearance.
This recipe is easy, customizable, and can even be made vegan.
8. No-fry Fried Ice Cream Bars – The Perfect Cinco De Mayo Dessert For Summers
If you happen to be somewhere where it’s hot in May, you don’t want to be drinking hot chocolate or eating warm sopapillas.
Then instead, you can make these delicious no-fry ice cream bars. They have a super creamy center, topped with an uber-crunchy and flavorful corn-flake topping.
This dessert is incredibly fun and still incorporates traditional Mexican flavors too.
9. Dominican Rice Pudding
Most Latin American cuisines have their own version of bread pudding. And even though this recipe isn’t traditionally Mexican, it still works incredibly well as a dessert for Cinco de Mayo.
This delicious and easy pudding incorporates flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon to create a rich and creamy dessert. It’s perfect as a side and can be served warm or chilled.
10. Churro Cupcakes
Looking for fun Cinco de Mayo cupcakes? Then why not give these churro cupcakes a try?
The recipe is super easy and incorporates cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter itself. Then, the frosting is garnished with some cinnamon sugar to give it that signature churro look and feel.
As with most churro-inspired desserts, you can incorporate a caramel or dark chocolate sauce and even serve it with a custard filling.
11. Air Fryer Caramel Apple Empanadas
If you are already making savory empanadas, why not use some extra dough to make these sweet apple empanadas for dessert?
This is an incredibly rich dessert that is loaded with different fruity and caramel flavors. It’s also got that signature crunchy texture, enclosing a soft and juicy filling.
This recipe is also very customizable and can be changed to suit your flavor needs. And even better, you can make these in advance and freeze them for a couple of months!
12. Homemade Dulce de Leche – Cinco De Mayo Dessert Garnish
Dulce de Leche is a sweet caramelized condensed milk garnish that can be bought in cans or jars. However, those don’t come close to the incredibly sweet and rich flavors of a homemade alternative.
It is therefore always worth the effort to make this decadent dipping sauce. You can use it for sopapillas, churro poppers, or Portuguese rice pudding.
13. Orejas (Mexican Pan Dulce)
Orejas isn’t as well-known outside of Latin American communities. But it should be!
These cookies are similar to French palmiers. What makes them Mexican is the signature cinnamon sugar coating.
All you need for these treats are leftover strips of puff pastry, butter, and cinnamon sugar. It’s that easy! And you can make a ton ahead of time and store them at room temperature.
They make fantastic Cinco de Mayo treats and pair well with coffee or hot chocolate.
14. Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)
If you are looking for a hearty dessert that can be made in bulk, this Mexican bread and butter pudding should be a go-to option.
As always, you can use leftover bread for this pudding. What makes it authentically Mexican is the addition of cinnamon, banana, peanuts, cheese, raisins, and coconut.
Plus, if you are serving these for kids, you should definitely garnish them with some colorful hundreds and thousands!
15. Rumchata Pudding Shots
We are definitely ending this list with a bang! These uber-creamy Runchata pudding shots make fantastic Mexican desserts for Cinco de Mayo.
You can make these in advance and only need 5 ingredients. These shots are super fun adult treats and can be made alcohol-free as well.
For a more festive look, garnish each with a caramel drizzle, mint leaves, chocolate shavings, or colorful sprinkles.
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