Brigadeiro: the delicious dessert recipe for making Brazilian chocolate truffles

Total time: 35 Min + Chilling Time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist
Sweetened Condensed Milk
200 g (1/2 cup)
Cocoa powder
15 g (1 tbsp)
Unsalted butter
15 g (1 tbsp)
sweet chocolate
30 g (2 tbsp)
chocolate sprinkles, for decorating

Brigadeiros are an easy Brazilian dessert recipe. These fudgy chocolate truffle balls were first created in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-20th century. The name means “commander of a brigade” and the truffles were named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes.

Traditionally, Brigadeiro is made with condensed milk, butter, eggs, and cocoa powder. It’s then covered in chocolate sprinkles. The truffles were made with condensed milk because it was created at a time when sugar and milk were scarce. These days, there are hardly any recipes that include eggs. For this recipe, you need only a few ingredients: condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate!

They are sweet, chewy and melts in your mouth. These chocolate truffles look beautiful too because they’re garnished with chocolate sprinkles.

What Is A Brigadeiro?

Brigadeiro (pronounced bree-gah-DAY-roh) is a classic fudgy Brazilian truffle. They’re made with condensed milk and cocoa powder, and you will find them at almost any Brazilian party.

Unlike regular truffles, they don’t have a hard shell. Instead, they’re softer and much, much fudgier!

Brigadeiro Origins

It’s not exactly clear where Brigadiero originated, but some say that a confectioner in Rio de Janeiro named Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira created it to promote the presidential candidacy of Eduardo Gomes.

Brigadeiro Ingredients

Condensed milk – use sweetened condensed milk

Cocoa powder – use high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder

Butter – use unsalted butter

Chocolate – because Brigadeiro only has a few ingredients, make sure to use high-quality chocolate (like Ghiradelli).

How To Make Brigadeiro

Grease a small baking dish with butter and set it aside. Use a sharp knife to chop the sweet chocolate. You can also grate it using the large holes on a box grater. Sift the cocoa powder on top of the condensed milk and stir until combined. Once the cocoa powder is fully incorporated, add the butter, and stir until the butter has melted completely.

Stir until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it thickens, add the grated chocolate, and stir until the chocolate mixture becomes shiny and thick. Transfer the chocolate mixture to the greased baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

The mixture is now ready to roll. Start by greasing your hands well with butter or oil. This will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Take about a teaspoon full of the chocolate mixture and roll it into a ball. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining mixture.


If you’d like them to be sweeter, use chocolate drinking powder instead.

The longer the mixture is refrigerated, the easier it will be to shape into balls.

Brigadeiro Variation Ideas

There are many variations to this recipe. Instead of cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles, while not roll the truffle balls in coconut sprinkles.

You can also try crushed nuts (toasted almonds or pistachios), and white or dark chocolate.

You can add other mix-ins to your Brigadeiro. Try chopped nuts, cranberries, or even caramel bits. The possibilities are endless!

How To Store Brigadeiro

The Brazilian Truffles can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Can You Freeze Brigadeiro?

Yes, you can! You can also freeze them in a Ziploc bag for up to 30 days.


Chop the sweet chocolate.

Add the condensed milk to a pan over low heat.

Sift the cocoa powder on top of the condensed milk and stir until combined.

Now add the butter over low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes down from the bottom of the pan.

When it thickens a bit, mix thoroughly and add the chocolate and mix well.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a greased baking dish. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours while holding the plastic wrap close together.

Grease your hand with butter or oil and roll truffles as desired (15 g recommended).

Sprinkle with chocolate.

Serve brigadeiros and enjoy!

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