Pumpkin ‘Brigadeiro’

Before we get to the pumpkin ‘brigadeiro’ recipe, I want to first explain what a brigadeiro is.

Brigadeiros are a delicious chocolate sweet from Brazil. They are basically this little chocolate fudgy balls covered in chocolate sprinkles. And before you even wonder if these are healthy, I will crush those thoughts right now. They are definitely one of those treats to have once in a while. Like birthdays and special occasions. Because the main ingredient that goes into the recipe is condensed milk. So yes, it’s pretty high in sugar.

Brigadeiros are very simple and inexpensive to make. Which is probably why they are so popular back home. Well, it doesn’t hurt that they are basically the best dessert in the world! In my opinion at least.

A traditional brigadeiro will have a can of condensed milk and about 3-4 spoons of cacao. Some people like to add a spoon of butter to tweak up the consistency and look. Others add milk in the same measurement as the condensed milk to make it less sweet and creamier in a way. As for the cooking part, all you have to do is add everything to pan, cook on high-medium heat (stirring) until the brigadeiro becomes thick and closer to a caramel consistency. Once it thickens up, allow for it to cool, make little balls and roll on some chocolate sprinkles. Voila!

There isn’t a single birthday party that you’ll attend in Brazil where you won’t find these. A party is not a party without brigadeiros. Americans learn to cook scrambled eggs. Brazilians learn to cook/make brigadeiros. And to my pure delight, you can find any flavor brigadeiro that you can imagine.

So the other day I had to figure out what to do with 1/2 a can of pumpkin puree that I had leftover in the fridge from my pumpkin bread recipe. How about exploring with a brigadeiro recipe? I haven’t seen pumpkin brigadeiros before and I’m always up for some experimenting. Especially when the chances of it going wrong are so low. Pumpkin and condensed milk, what’s not to love?

So I made my recipe and it came out so delicious! If you are a fan of pumpkin pies, this is for you. And it’s pretty inexpensive to make, which is a nice bonus.

The only PS that I have to add here is that the consistency of my pumpkin brigadeiro was different from a traditional brigadeiro. Which is why I put the name in quotes. But I guess this experiment just helped create something delicious on its own. Maybe next time I’ll cook it for longer to see what happens. Who knows, maybe we can get it there. For now, I’m signing off to enjoy some delicious pumpkin ‘brigadeiros’ covered in coconut shreds.

Pumpkin Brigadeiro
Pumpkin ‘Brigadeiro’ with Coconut Shreds

Pumpkin ‘Brigadeiro’ with Coconut Shreds Recipe


  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • Coconut shreds to cover


  1. Place all ingredients in a pan and cook in medium-high heat stirring frequently until it thickens. When you stir, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to see the bottom of the pan for longer when it’s getting thicker.
  2. Once sweet thickens up, transfer it to a big plate to allow it to cool. You can let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. Roll sweet into little balls and cover with coconut shreds.
  4. Enjoy! Try to consume within a week.

Carrie, my little sous-chef and essential part of The Nutrinut team.
She loves cooking and baking days too!
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