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3-Ingredient Brigadeiros

3-Ingredient Brigadeiros

3-Ingredient Brigadeiros

[pinit] I can still call these brigadeiros “3-ingredient” even though they have an optional 4th, right? Ah, the joys of being one’s own editor… I first made brigadeiros at home late one night during the week of the photo shoot for my next cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks. My youngest child (and my most frequent hand model, much to the irritation of my other 2 children) was in the final stages of a third grade country project for school, and it was time for my bit: making a traditional Brazilian food to share. It had to be typical, portable, and bite-sized. And for my purposes, it had to be dead simple!

3-Ingredient Brigadeiros

Despite having a crackerjack food stylist for the new book, I was doing all of the prep work (photo shoots are crazy expensive, and my publisher only pays a fraction; the rest comes out of my pocket—or my sweat equity!) and I was already overextended. Enter brigadeiros. If you search around the Internet for recipes, you’ll find plenty. But I needed it to be as simple as can be. Three ingredients were about as many as I could handle, so every ingredient other than chocolate and sweetened condensed milk was negotiable.

3-Ingredient Brigadeiros Steps

There are a couple tricks of the trade. First, keep the flame low low low. Second, keep stirring. The sugar in the sweetened condensed milk burns quite easily. And even if it doesn’t flat-out burn, if it scorches at all, it will clump and leave your candy with a rather unpleasant texture. Plus, take a good look at the texture of the mixture on the right in the above photo. That’s the fudge-like consistency you’re seeking. Just don’t rush it!

3-Ingredient Brigadeiros

As long as you keep stirring, and keep that heat low, you’ll be rewarded with a super simple taste of Brazil. And if your kid ever has a country project and she picks Brazil and works her little heart out and you need to send in a typical, bite-sized recipe, I’ve got you covered. :)

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 24 candies


1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) heavy whipping cream

3 ounces chocolate, chopped (or chips or disks) (any type of chocolate is fine—sometimes I use milk chocolate, sometimes dark chocolate)

Gluten free sprinkles or nonpareils, for coating (optional)


  • In a medium-size heavy-bottom saucepan, place the sweetened condensed milk and cream. Stirring frequently with a heat-safe spatula, bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat. If you cook over higher heat, the sugar burns easily. Add the chocolate and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a fudge-like consistency (about 12 minutes).

  • Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool briefly until no longer hot to the touch. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until firm.

  • Unwrap the candy and roll it into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Moisten each brigadeiro with damp hands and roll in sprinkles or nonpareils to coat. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.



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  • Jen

    These are delicious! I have a girlfriend who is from Brazil and makes these for every party. She makes other flavors in addition to the chocolate, but these chocolate ones are my favorite!!

    • I wish I had a Brazilian friend like that, Jen!

  • Lucy

    This looks great! I have never heard of Brigadeiros or tasted one. Looks so simple to make and no oven required! Next country project pick will have to be Brazil! I will insist…LOL!

  • Jennifer S.

    Delicoso! Well done, friend! :)

  • Liz

    My family is Brazilian and we make these all the time! We never add the heavy cream, though, and we actually use cocoa powder instead of chocolate pieces. Some of the *ahem* unhealthier family members use Nesquick for theirs. What does the heavy cream do to change it?
    Also, our tip to get it to not stick to your hands is to butter your hands. It helps give them a great flavor as well!

    • Hi, Liz, I found that adding heavy cream to the sweetened condensed milk made it easier to stir the mixture as it cooks without it seizing, since heavy cream doesn’t add any moisture, just fat. I also prefer chocolate to the traditional cocoa powder as it makes for a richer chocolate flavor. I’m not Brazilian, so I’m just saying what I like, not what’s traditional, obviously!

  • Sarah B

    I’ll bet these taste just like the fudge I make – with the same ingredients! The fudge is sweetened condensed milk, 3 cups chocolate chips, a little butter ( if desired – I don’t), and a sprinkle if vanilla (opt). What a great idea to make it into bite-size pieces! Definitely trying this recipe soon. Thanks!

  • Wendy Polisi

    These look fun and tasty! I’m sure my boys would love them! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Elizabeth_ink

    Rolled mine in salted peanuts! Delicious!

  • Maria Yearout

    They’re yummy with a fat pinch of Kosher salt added to the batch too!

  • Raquel

    These look AMAZING! Cant wait to try them :)

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