Aside from the cigars, dance styles, and infamous iconic figures, Cuba is most famously known for its rum made of sugar cane.
With such a commodity in sugar cane, it makes sense why Cuban cuisine is filled with a variety of sweet treats and desserts.
Cuban food is nothing short of delicious.
The combination of tropical flavors with a Spanish influence makes for a rich cuisine – particularly the sweet desserts.
So, if you love sweet treats and fruit, then you’ll love Cuban desserts.
Whether you want to delve into your Cuban ancestry or expand your culinary knowledge, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 23 most popular sweets of Cuba!
Flan is one of Cuba’s most popular desserts, and for good reason.
Flan is a creamy, smooth custard dessert, consisting of a sweet custard sponge base with a caramel and sugar topping.
The history of flan is interesting, as it first originated in Ancient Rome before traveling amongst Spanish cultures.
Nowadays, you can’t go to Cuba without trying the famous dessert.
Churros are a beloved sweet treat across Hispanic cultures, especially Cuba.
These are basically elongated pieces of fried dough rolled in sugar, typically served with a chocolate dipping sauce.
Churros are surprisingly easy to make, with the batter consisting of only flour, oil, water, and sugar.
Unlike some Spanish cultures where churros are consumed for breakfast, churros in Cuba are almost exclusively eaten as a dessert or sweet snack.
Arroz con leche is Cuba’s version of rice pudding, and it’s nothing short of delicious.
This is a popular dessert consisting of cooking rice in a mixture of condensed milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
It’s flavorful, creamy, and sweet – the perfect comfort dessert.
While rice pudding is believed to have originated in either China or India, the Cuban version is arguably the most delicious thanks to its inclusion of comforting spices.
Pastelitos de guayaba is a popular sweet breakfast pastry in Cuba.
These pastries can be made either sweet or savory, featuring a flaky pastry dough with a fluffy interior.
Inside, the pastries are typically filled with guava jelly, which is a mixture of cream cheese and guava paste.
It’s no surprise why these pastries are so popular.
Plus, you can get different varieties of filling, including pineapple or coconut.
Also known as torticas de moron, these cookies are truly mouth-watering.
Cuban sugar cookies have a similar consistency to shortbread, except somehow even more buttery and tender.
If you think you’ve mastered the art of cookie making, think again, because these will prove you wrong.
You can also top the cookies with dulce de leche, which is a caramel milk topping.
Also known as tamarind candy balls, bolitas de tamarindo are the epitome of Cuban candy.
In fact, these candy balls are bound to bring any Cuban beautiful memories of their childhood.
While you can buy them at a Cuban store, you can also make them!
They consist of sweetened tamarind rolled into balls with a sugar coating, making for the perfect mixture of sweet and sour.
Cuba is the home of guava, and there are a plethora of ways to implement guava into your favorite dessert.
Guava cheesecake is a popular way to use this tropical fruit, consisting of a regular cheesecake base and cream with a delicious guava marmalade topping.
The flavors of the guava and creamy cheesecake work beautifully together, which is why you’ll often find this dessert sold in Cuban-inspired restaurants.
When it comes to Cuban sweet street food, you don’t get better than coquito acaramelados.
These are caramel coconut balls covered in dulce de leche (or caramel sauce), making for a chewy and satisfyingly sweet treat.
You’re most likely to buy these on a skewer at a street vendor in Cuba, and they are eaten as a sweet candy snack.
Despite the name, capuchinos is not a coffee-based dessert.
Instead, these are cone-shaped cakes consisting of lots of egg yolks, cornflour, sugar, and soaked in a delicious syrup.
They’re certainly not for those without a sweet tooth, because they are seriously sugary.
Capuchinos are also found at street vendors in Cuba, served in cupcake casings and eaten as a snack.
Plátanos maduro, also known as fried plantains, are one of the most popular ways to eat plantains in Cuba.
This dessert consists of overly ripe bananas fried in oil, resulting in a crispy and caramelized exterior.
As they can be made in less than 10 minutes, these are the perfect sweet snack to eat throughout the day!
Plus, they’re technically a nutritious snack (if you ignore the oil).
Bravo gitano is a type of Swiss roll featuring a delicious guava filling.
This sponge cake is popular across the world, but the guava jelly filling adds that beautiful Cuban flare, providing a unique kick of sweetness and slight sourness.
So, as it’s not too sweet, this is great for those who don’t have a prominent sweet tooth.
Turrones are a traditional Cuban dessert most commonly served at the end of a Christmas Meal.
This dessert is a type of nougat which originally was imported from Spain, consisting of honey, sugar, egg whites, and nuts.
In Cuba, it’s common to find different varieties of this nougat, including peanut, chocolate, and fruit versions.
During the holiday season, you’ll find these in snack-size bars or large loaves to feed a family.
Translating to “light-as-air fritters”, buñuelos de viento are fluffy and super light fritters that are designed to melt in your mouth.
They’re quite similar to donuts, in that they are made of fried pastry, except the pastry is traditionally made of boiled cassava and arum.
Like the turrones, these fritters are most traditionally consumed as a Christmas treat.
You don’t get better than meringues.
Made of whisked eggs and sugar, these sweet treats are hardened to a crisp and either served on top of a lemon pie or consumed alone.
It’s most common to eat merenguitos as a sweet treat throughout the day.
If you want a Cuban dessert in fall, you have to make apple empanadas.
These empanadas consist of a flaky and buttery dough, which encases a sweet and spiced apple and syrup filling.
This syrup is spiced in cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, vanilla, and more, making for an infusion of delicious flavors.
Another way to use up beautiful Cuban guavas is with casquitos de guayaba, which are green guavas cooked in a sweet syrup.
While guavas might be naturally sweet anyway, there’s something about cooking them in a light syrup that adds to the tenderness and sweetness of the fruit.
Cubans sure know how to cook with tropical fruits, don’t they?
Pina asada are grilled pineapple slices, which are perfect for serving at a barbecue.
Before the grilling process, the pineapple slices are soaked in sugar and butter, making for a complex mixture of sweet and buttery flavors.
It’s not Cuba without a bottle of rum, especially when the rum is infused into a cake and served at Christmas.
This cake is soaked in a combination of light or dark rum with sugar, orange juice, butter, and vanilla extract, making for a decadent and super moist cake.
Dulce de leche is a traditional Cuban caramel-like sauce made of only condensed milk and sugar.
The smooth texture and buttery flavor makes this a delectable sauce that can be drizzled over any Cuban dessert – plus, it’s super easy to make.
It can even be a good dipping sauce for churros!
While translating to “bacon from heaven”, this dessert contains no bacon.
Instead, tocino de cielo is similar to flan, except it’s made of only a few ingredients and features an almond crumble.
This is a sweet and light dessert with a tender texture.
Ron crema tarta de plátano is a banana rum custard tart, and oh boy is it tasty.
The flavors of rum, banana, and vanilla encapsulate Cuban cuisine beautifully, allowing your taste buds to teleport straight to the Central American island.
Señoritas is a light dessert featuring layers of flaky pastry sandwiched between layers of a creamy custard or chocolate.
This is a traditional Cuban recipe, with virtually every Cuban family having their own spin on the classic dessert.
A popular Cuban candy-like treat is candied grapefruit.
This treat is made of the peel of grapefruit (a good way to use up this part of the fruit), candied in sugar and water.
These candies are chewy and sweet with a satisfying tang from the grapefruit peel.
So, there you have it!
Cuba is filled with delicious popular sweets and desserts, and hopefully, this guide has given you some new knowledge about the country’s cuisine.