This collection of Puerto Rican desserts is complete with a Salima’s Kitchen community favorite flan recipe, a traditional pan de Mallorca sweet bread, and two different rice puddings. Keep reading to get the rundown on all of my favorite desserts, packed with island flavors.

flan on a plate

If you’re familiar with Puerto Rican cuisine, you know how special the desserts are.

You will notice common ingredients and flavors in many of these recipes, like coconut milk, cinnamon, cream cheese, and evaporated milk.

Let’s dive in, starting with some of my favorite flan recipes:

Flan Recipes

A plate with a slice of flan

Puerto Rican Flan Recipe

Today we’re making my mom’s Puerto Rican flan recipe. This classic dessert consists of a lusciously creamy custard filling topped with homemade caramel.

chocoflan on a plate

ChocoFlan (The Impossible Layered Cake)

ChocoFlan is a Mexican twist on a classic Puerto Rican dessert, flan! Made with a layer of chocolate cake topped with a layer of flan and caramel, it’s a guaranteed show stopper dessert no matter the event. 

pumpkin flan on a plate

Pumpkin Flan (Flan de Calabaza)

This pumpkin flan (flan de calabaza) is a fun Fall twist on the traditional Puerto Rican dessert. It has that signature custard filling with creamy pumpkin and is topped with a classic caramel sauce.

Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan on small plates with raspberries.

Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan

Today we’re making Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan; a twist on my mom’s popular custard like dessert with a homemade caramel base.

Other Desserts

A sweet bun on a plate with a bite taken

Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican Sweet Bread)

Pan de Mallorca is a super fluffy and soft Puerto Rican sweet bread made with eggs. They have a truly addicting texture and make a wonderful side to just about any meal. 

a plate of quesitos

Authentic Puerto Rican Quesitos (in 30 minutes!)

Today we’re making a popular Puerto Rican dessert called Quesitos that are made with puff pastry and cream cheese. Quesitos come together in under 30 minutes and are perfect served hot with a cup of café con leche or tea as a treat for breakfast or dessert.

guava pastelillos on a plate

Pastelillos de Guayaba (Guava Pastries)

Pastelillos (also known as pastelitos) de guayaba are Puerto Rican pastries made with guava paste, cream cheese, and puff pastry. They are super easy to make and only take about 30 minutes! 

shaved ice in a glass

Piragua (Shaved Ice)

Shaved ice (also known as Piragua in Puerto Rico) is a classic dessert made with shaved ice and a sweet, usually fruity topping. The base of shaved ice can be made in a blender and the whole recipe requires just 20 minutes to make! 

A bowl of coconut rice pudding

Puerto Rican Coconut Rice Pudding (Arroz con Dulce)

This coconut rice pudding, or arroz con dulce recipe, is a comforting, traditional Puerto Rican dessert made with canned coconut milk, rice, and sweet spices. For best results, soak the short grain rice for 2 hours before cooking. This allows the rice to cook evenly in the liquid without becoming mushy.

a bowl of arroz con leche

Arroz con Leche

This Puerto Rican style Arroz con Leche is a comforting dessert made with long grain rice, whole milk, butter, brown sugar and spices. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home and comes together in under an hour!

a plate of piña colada cupcakes

Fluffy Piña Colada Cupcakes

Bake some sunshine into your life with these fluffy piña colada cupcakes! Made with a moist pineapple upside down cake inspired batter and a coconut cream cheese frosting, these sweet treats bring the tropical island to your kitchen.

a slice of pina colada cake

Pina Colada Cake

This Pina Colada Cake is inspired by the popular Puerto Rican cocktail; it’s baked with chunks of pineapple and topped with coconut whipped cream!

tembleque on a plate

Puerto Rican Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)

Tembleque (“wobbly” in spanish) is a classic Puerto Rican coconut pudding made with coconut milk, cornstarch, cinnamon and sugar. It’s appropriately named for its wiggly appearance and deliciously smooth texture. For best results, chill the dessert in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

a plate of sweet fried plantains

Sweet Fried Plantains (Maduros)

Sweet Fried Plantains (also known as Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dessert and snack, made with fried brown plantains.

A plate of chocolate dipped coconut macaroons.

Coconut Macaroons with a Chocolate Drizzle

These 5 ingredient coconut macaroons are sweet and salty with just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy your cravings. Make them today in under an hour and enjoy a gluten free dessert made with simple ingredients.

a glass of coquito on a counter

Puerto Rican Coquito (Vegan Substitutes Included)

This Puerto Rican Coquito is a classic cocktail made with seasonal spices, coconut and rum, giving it a taste similar to eggnog. It’s a creamy yet light, cinnamon & nutmeg infused cocktail. Please remember to always drink responsibly, 

guava cheese empanadas on a plate

5 Ingredient Guava Cheese Empanadas

This homemade guava cheese empanada recipe has that classic sweet & tangy flavor balance and requires just five ingredients. Made with flakey fried empanada dough, a cream cheese and guava paste filling and topped with powdered sugar, it’s a totally addicting sweet treat that’s perfect to enjoy as a dessert or snack.

I hope you found some inspiration in this list of plantain recipes! While this isn’t a complete list, I think it captures just how versatile the ingredient really is. If you make a recipe please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Buen provecho,

Salima

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Puerto Rican Desserts (13+ Recipes): Arroz con Dulce

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stewed
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This collection of Puerto Rican desserts is complete with a Salima’s Kitchen community favorite flan recipe, a traditional pan de Mallorca sweet bread, and this authentic coconut rice pudding.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup rice (short or medium grain is best)
  • 2 cups water (for soaking the rice) + 3 cups water (for cooking)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 34 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon to garnish
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

 


Instructions

  1. Soak the rice. In a large bowl combine 2 cups water and rice. Soak for at least 2 hours, if not overnight before straining and setting aside.
  2. Warm the spices. In a large saucepan combine 3 cups water, coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture begins to turn light brown and the spices start to infuse into the liquid.
  3. Remove whole spices and add rice, sugar, and raisins. Scoop out the solids (cinnamon sticks, ginger and cloves) before bringing to a boil and adding the soaked rice, brown sugar and raisins (if using).
  4. Simmer on low. Stir the mixture so the rice is evenly combined, turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. At this point, check the rice to make sure it’s not dry and adding a splash or two of water if needed.
  5. Serve. Allow the rice pudding to cool slightly before serving in small bowls with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to garnish. Enjoy!