Brigadeiros (Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Balls)


Ah, brigadeiro…What would my childhood — and adult life, too– have been without it?

How to explain it to other mortals that so far haven’t had the pleasure of trying brigadeiro (s)?

Well, I will try!

Brigadeiro (Portuguese for Brigadier) is more than just a chocolate fudge ball made of condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder.  It is the most popular and beloved ‘candy’ (docinho) of Brazil.  From north to south, it is a national passion.

It was created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, who once ran for president of Brazil.

brigadeiro, brigadeiros

This delicious fella — meaning the ‘candy’– is often served at birthday parties, but can also be found at almost any type of party.  It is typically rolled into balls which are covered in granulated chocolate; at least that is the way brigadeiros are usually served at children’s birthday parties.  However, it can also be consumed unrolled, with a spoon (Brazilian pregnant women are well aware of that!) or used as a topping or filling for cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and pastries.

The truth is, no Brazilian kid’s party is complete without these fudge balls — including my own children’s here in the U.S.  It is so ridiculously simple to make it, and yet so incredibly addictive, that it has been permanently imprinted into my psyche and into that of all the other Brazilian grownups whom I know too.

Why?  Because it is so good, and as unforgettable as a mother’s love…

Ah, dear reader, happiness is on the way…

Have a delightful weekend filled with these beloved fudge balls!

brigadeiro, brigadeiros


And here is the video on how to make brigadeiros:

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Brigadeiros -- Brazil's famous and most beloved chocolate fudge balls...They are to die for!
Recipe type: Sweets
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 28
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (softened) plus extra to grease plate and hands
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate vermicelli or good quality chocolate sprinkles
  1. Whisk the condensed milk and cocoa powder together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (without lumps of cocoa powder). Then, stir in the butter.
  2. Stove: Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium-low to medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). The chocolate fudge mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
  3. Microwave: Pour mixture into a deep microwaveable bowl. If 900 watts, let cook on full power for about 6 minutes -- removing and stirring at least every 2 minutes, or until thick enough to be rolled (remember that when it cools down, mixture will be thicker). While it is cooking, do not leave the microwave unattended because mixture will rise and possibly bubble over, making a mess. Every time it rises, pause until mixture settles back down. If 1100 watts, cook at 80 % power. Double batches take more time to cook.
  4. When chocolate fudge is ready, remove either from the stove top or microwave, mix in the vanilla extract and spread mixture onto a greased plate.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into balls with greased hands. Use a ½ ( or 1 ) Tablespoon as measurement. Then, dredge gently in the chocolate vermicellis until totally covered, and place into paper bonbon cups.
These chocolate fudge balls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. The mixture can be also stored, covered well, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, brought to room temperature, and rolled into balls.
If you don't get the right consistency and the cooked mixture is so soft that cannot be rolled into balls, the alternative is to serve brigadeiros pipped on spoons or into shot glasses/cups to be eaten with small spoons -- like we do in Brazil.



By the way, these are perfect for Easter.


They are perfect for Christmas as well:

I hope you try brigadeiro (s)!!! Brigadeiro is the bomb! Brigadeiro is quick and easy to make, and super decadent as well! Brigadeiro, brigadeiro, brigadeiro…I love you! 


Super delicious brigadeiro...

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88 Responses to Brigadeiros (Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Balls)

  1. Sofia Newton 17 March, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Ah, Denise! Reading your article about Brigadeiros made my mouth water and my mind travel in time as I remembered many birthdays parties and lots and lots of “docinhos” and especially Brigadeiros. You are so correct: it is not a birthday party if you do not have a lots of Brigadeiros present, ready make every mouth happy! Thank you for the thoughts.

    Sofia Newton

    • Denise Browning 17 March, 2012 at 2:22 am #

      Thanks so much, Sofia! I am happy to know that brought you good memories…

  2. Jessica 9 January, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    I love these!!!!

  3. Ana Paula 22 September, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Denise! Achei seu blog hoje e estou pinning como louca! Menina, quanta receita boa! Que saudade me da’!
    Sou do Ceara e moro na California faz onze anos. Seus brigadeiros de Natal sao lindos. Ontem mesmo estava falando que esse ano vou fazer brigadeiro para todo mundo no Natal.
    Parabens pelo maravilhoso blog. Um abraco

    • Denise Browning 23 September, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Obrigada por suas palavras e por compartilhar as minhas receitas, Ana Paula! Bem-vinda a FBTY!!!! Espero que você nos visite com frequência. Um abraço.

  4. denise 20 April, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Mine came out too soft, what did I do wrong?

    • Denise Browning 20 April, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi, Denise! I am so sorry. The brigadeiro ” dough” is ready (fully cooked) when it has thickened enough to see the bottom of the pan while pulled aside with a wood spoon and also is running slow. When it cools down it will be even thicker.
      But since yours is already soft, what you can do is using this trick: Let it cool down into a greased plate at room temperature and then, place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, grease your hands with unsalted butter, and try to shape into small balls, roll with sprinkles, and place into bonbon cups. You can serve them slightly chilled. In Brazil, we also serve brigadeiro in cups. I mean, we make soft brigadeiro and pour into mini to small cups/glasses, decorate with sprinkles on the top, and serve with spoons. We call “brigadeiro de copo” (brigadeiro in cups).
      So do not worry! In general, it takes about 2 to 3 times to get brigadeiro ‘ dough” right. I hope this helps!

      • Essa Adams 24 December, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

        Perfect – I do not have chocolate vermicellis. Will use hot chocolate powder, instant type. Or ground toasted nuts. But now I see the cups with a spoon, perfect. If they do not firm up, will be shamlessly perfect candy anyway. Love the flavor, very mild and creamy.

        • Denise Browning 24 December, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

          I am so glad you enjoy these brigadeiros, Essa! Absolutely!!! If you don’t have vermicelli, you can use chopped nuts, chopped candy cane, shredded coconut, another type of sprinkles, etc instead. If necessary, you can refrigerate the “dough” before rolling them. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

  5. Margie 19 August, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi, Denise! I love your recipes because they remind me of Brasil!

    I have a question. When I lived there, a special treat was bolo de brigadeiro (I think!). It was a delicious chocolate cake with brigadeiro frosting. Do you know what I’m remembering? I hope you can tell me what it was and how to make it. Abracos!

    • Denise Browning 20 August, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Hi, Margie! Thanks a lot. Yes!!! The brigadeiro cake is a simple two to three-layer chocolate cake with both brigadeiro filling and topping. Although I haven’t published a brigadeiro cake recipe on my blog, I have a recipe for brigadeiro cupcakes. Make a simple chocolate cake and use the homemade brigadeiro frosting that is in the post (link) below to fill and top your cake. Then, sprinkle chocolate sprinkles or vermicelli on top. If you will be making the cake using a cake mix, please double the amount of eggs stated in the box so your cake can be heavy enough to support the weight of the brigadeiro frosting without collapsing. I would also add more sugar (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to make it more similar to the traditional Brazilian cake. Of course, for a cake, you will have to double or triple the frosting recipe depending on the the amount of layers and size of the cake. Here is the link:

      Wishing you a great week! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ava 22 August, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    I’m so glad to see this recipe. A friend tried to teach me how to make them but it’s all wrong for me without measurements.

    • Denise Browning 22 August, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      My fave way to make brigadeiro is on the stove top because one can have better control of its cooking point. Follow the recipe and let it cool before rolling into balls. If necessary, refrigerate the “dough” for about 20 minutes before rolling into balls. Always grease your hands with unsalted butter before rolling. It helps a lot! You can use this same recipe to make brigadeiro served into mini cups or brigadeiro frosting to fill and top cakes and cupcakes.For this, you only have to add a bit of heavy cream after the brigadeiro dough has cooked to make it much softer. Enjoy!

  7. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking 1 September, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh my! Oh my! I think my heart just skipped a beat! I love everything about these fudge balls. I have never been to Brazil but I’m sure I could fly over just so I can stuff my face with a few dozens of these!
    they look amazing! Love the colorful sprinkles!
    Thanks for bringing them to this month’s #chocolateparty
    Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking recently posted…Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream recipeMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 1 September, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks, Roxana! The great think about these fudge balls is you can make them at home — not tickets necessary… They are ridiculously simple and quick.
      It is a pleasure to participate in your chocolate party. Congrats on its second anniversary and success!

  8. Sandra Moore 4 September, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    My mom and I used to make these together when I was a kid. I helped roll them, but we used granulated sugar. After decades, I had forgotten how to make them. Thanks so much for the recipe. It all came back to me just reading the ingredients.
    I was also looking for a sweet potato candy recipe – docs de batata. Do you have one? I’ll continue to look on your site. Is another candy mom and I used to make together. So you can see why I absolutely need it :)

    • Denise Browning 5 September, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Hi, Sandra! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to FBTY…
      I am glad that you found this brigadeiro recipe. I hope you make these and enjoy… This is the traditional recipe! Chocolate sprinkle are usually used to roll brigadeiros although colorful sprinkles, granulated sugar, and others can also be used to top them. It’s really up to one’ s taste.
      Unfortunately, I don’t have any recipe for sweet potato candy (docinho de batata). What I do have is a pumpkin candy recipe or pumpkin brigadeiro which you can use it to make the sweet potato candy. You only have to use peeled, boiled, and mashed sweet potatoes instead of mashed or canned pumpkin. It is an easy substitution. Here is the link:

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!

  9. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog 27 September, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    I made brigadeiro during the world cup… they’re SO addicting!
    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog recently posted…Sticky Asian Garlic Wings [+ $800 Cash Giveaway]My Profile

    • Denise Browning 27 September, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi, Sharon!!! I know… Every single time that I make them, my family and I eat them like there is no tomorrow. We love brigadeiros so much that we make not only the fudge balls (which many times we don’t even roll — we eat by spoonfuls), but also roll cake, frosting, mousses, etc. :)

  10. Carole from Carole's Chatter 3 October, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi Denise, great treat! How about adding it to the Food on Friday: Holiday Treats collection over at Carole’s Chatter? Cheers

    • Denise Browning 3 October, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      Sure, Carole! I’d love to… How can this recipe be added your Food on Friday? Do you submit its link or do I have to submit it? Please, let me know.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Farm House Academy 29 October, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    My daughters and I are currently studying South America in our homeschool studies. Our first stop was Brazil! Thank you so much for the delicious recipe and fun background!

    • Denise Browning 29 October, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Brazil and for trying this recipe. I am happy that you enjoyed brigadeiros, a real family favorite.

  12. Nancy 18 January, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    How many does this make?

    • Denise Browning 18 January, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

      Hi, Nancy!
      Yield can be seen right above the ingredients in the recipe. It makes about 28 brigadeiros or chocolate “truffles”.
      Have a great week!

      • nancy abrams 11 February, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

        I’m sorry, did not see that. I made my first batch and they are fabulous!

        Can I double the recipe without any problems or should I make two batches separately?

        (I am trying to make enough to share with everyone at work)

        • Denise Browning 11 February, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

          No problem, Nancy!
          Yes, you can double the recipe without problems. I do this all the time because it is a family favorite. :) They disappear pretty quick at my household. My eldest daughter and I don’t even wait to roll them into balls… We eat brigadeiro by spoonfuls! :)
          But by doubling the recipe, it will take a little longer to be cooked (NOT the double of the original time). Follow the recipe guidelines and everything will be fine. I hope your co-workers enjoy these brigadeiros. Have a great week!

  13. Donald 3 March, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    Que tal uma receita em espanhol então?

    Just kidding, this is one of the better blogs I have seen for Brigadeiros. How do you say, they are pra caramba.

    • Denise Browning 3 March, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      LOL… Thanks a lot, Donald!
      Wishing you a delicious week — as delicious as these brigadeiros!!! 😉

  14. Peggy 9 March, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    Hello! I saw a video of Facebook about making these. I thought I remembered it right, and tried it today. But I remembered that it said to use half a stick of butter, and no vanilla. Then I rolled them in more cocoa, sort of truffle-style even though I saw in the video to use white sugar. They are a little soft, but I think it’s the way they should be?

    THEN I experimented with another batch, and used flavored hot chocolate instead of cocoa. They are super-soft, and after I rolled them they turned into disks instead of balls! LOL Do you know if the rest of the ingredients in the hot chocolate messed it up, or maybe I just didn’t cook that batch long enough? I want to play with other hot chocolate flavors, but don’t want to keep making disks…

    • Denise Browning 10 March, 2015 at 5:28 am #

      Hi, Peggy!
      About 13 years ago when I got married and came to live in the US, I tried to make mine with hot cocoa mix. It was a disaster!!! Honestly, the texture was not the same as the brigadeiros from my home country. Hot cocoa mix simply does not work for brigadeiros because contains a lot of sugar changing their fudgy texture. You have to use cocoa powder which is made from ground chocolate solids. Too much butter also makes them too soft and flat. Follow my recipe, which it is the traditional recipe for brigadeiros, and will get them right. The vanilla extract is optional. I added it to the traditional recipe because it makes them more delicious without changing the texture. Brigadeiros are traditionally rolled in chocolate sprinkles but a few folks roll them in white granulated sugar when they don’t have chocolate sprinkles in their pantry. If you would like to play with flavors, you can use my recipe omitting the cocoa powder and vanilla, and adding flavoring extracts instead. This way you will have white brigadeiros with different flavors (e.g. almond flavor b/c almond extract). Another good way to play with flavors is flavored gelatins. In Brazil, there is a strawberry brigadeiro recipe. Instead of using cocoa powder, we use strawberry gelatin to give both color and flavor to the strawberry brigadeiros (in this case, if the recipe asks for 2-3 Tbsp of cocoa powder, you use 2-3 Tbsp strawberry gelatin instead). Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great week!

  15. stacy 8 April, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    They look amazing!!

  16. Kent Taylor 3 May, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    I was introduced to Brigadeiro the other day by my friend Átila (from North East Brazil) and fell in love immediately, I have just tried this recipe and it tastes fantastic! I think this is going to mean I have to step up the effort at the gym, but it’s well worth it!

    • Denise Browning 3 May, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi, Kent!
      I am so glad that you stopped by. I am also from Northeastern Brazil.
      Brigadeiro is the most popular and beloved “candy” in/from Brazil, present at every single birthday party and other celebrations… It is also one of the fave snacks down there. At my household, we love it so much that we don’t wait to have brigadeiros rolled into balls. We eat brigadeiro by spoonfuls. :)
      Since you learned how to make brigadeiros (and they can be very addictive as you already know), I wish you good luck. :)
      Have a great week — and exercise routine! :)

  17. Wendy 5 November, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    Hi Denise, can you freeze Brigadeiro?

    • Denise Browning 5 November, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      Hi, Wendy! Absolutely! But for this, you can make the brigadeiro “dough”, let cool at room temp, roll them, and freeze in a ziploc bag… but please only roll the brigadeiro balls in the sprinkles once thawed.

  18. Jordan 6 November, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi love the recipe but I keep getting bits in my brigadeiro, like some of the cocoa powder is clumping togeter into small bits. Any idea as to how to remedy this?

    • Denise Browning 6 November, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi, Jordan!
      I see. No worries! It’s pretty easy to solve this issue. What you have to do is to whisk well the sweetened condensed milk with the cocoa powder until obtaining a homogeneous mixture before cooking. It helps if you add the cocoa powder little by little while whisking. Then, add the butter and cook the mixture according to the instructions. Enjoy!

      • Jordan 6 November, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

        Thank you so much for responding Denise!! I will give it a try! They were still loved and with the sprinkles no one noticed the bits, but I sure am glad to have a solution!! These are so tasty and my husband loves that they are not as overly sweet and you would think they would be!

  19. Isaac Hartley 23 February, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    I just made these using your microwave version! The “dough” tended to rise up every 30 seconds, so what I did when that happened was take it out and stir before putting it back in. After it was done I melted 3 slivers of butter on a big plate, then poured a tiny bit of vanilla extract on that and spread the melted butter and vanilla around the whole plate with the round side of a spoon. After I rolled the truffles I dropped them in cocoa instead of sprinkles! They’re currently setting in the fridge, but they look and smell HEAVENLY!

    • Denise Browning 23 February, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi, Isaac! Thank you for the visit and nice feedback. I hope you enjoy this long-time fave of mine.

      • Isaac Hartley 26 February, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

        They were amazing! The cocoa, it was a bit much, so I dipped the truffles in milk chocolate and rolled them in powdered sugar. Delicious! I’ll be making more for my boyfriend and I tonight! Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!

        • Denise Browning 27 February, 2016 at 7:59 am #

          Thank you again, Isaac! It makes me happy seeing people trying and enjoying new recipes. Have an awesome weekend!

  20. Gabrielle 7 March, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    Hi denise, this brigadeiros look so delicous and unique i would love to try it!

    • Denise Browning 7 March, 2016 at 7:34 am #

      You won’t regret it, Gabrielle! But please, follow the recipe instructions. If you have a medium, non stick skillet, please use it to cook these brigadeiros because the “dough” cooks faster in wider pans.Please, also make sure the “dough” has thicken and runs slow. The cooking time varies from one stovetop to the other. Enjoy!!!

      • Gabrielle 30 March, 2016 at 5:55 am #

        Hi Denise!
        I tried rolling it in a ball after i had put it in the fridge for 3 hours but it was so hard to roll it.
        I now have put it in the fridge for a day.
        Will that work?

        • Denise Browning 30 March, 2016 at 8:00 am #

          Hi, Gabrielle. I have just seen your comment.
          If after all this time in the fridge you could not roll brigadeiros into balls, it’s because you did not cook the mixture enough to get the right consistency. This is a critical step for brigadeiros. When this happens, the alternative is to serve brigadeiros pipped on spoons or into shot glasses/cups to be eaten with small spoons– like we do in Brazil. Later today or tomorrow, I will be uploading a cooking video that I recorded about brigadeiros and you will have a better idea about the right consistency — better than the recipe direction pictures that you see here. I give all the tips how to get the right consistency every time and also how to achieve it quicker — so next time you make brigadeiros you will be able to roll them easily.
          Know that not getting the right consistency at first is not uncommon. Thank you for trying!

  21. cakespy 4 May, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    So good! I made a version of these and shared them on my blog (with credit of course!). Thanks for sharing!

    • Denise Browning 4 May, 2016 at 8:11 am #

      Thank you for trying brigadeiros and linking back to me. I am so glad that you enjoyed them!

  22. Denise Browning 6 October, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Thank you!


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  35. 160 Reasons to Visit Brazil - 25 March, 2016

    […] wait for your trip to Brazil to satisfy your curiosity, blogger From Brazil to You has a recipe for making them at […]

  36. IELP Culture Night | International & English Language Programs - 16 May, 2016

    […] and Requeson (a type of cheese found in Latin America). Check out the recipes for Brigadeiros here and learn more about Requeson […]

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