Alfajores are two biscuits that are stuck together with manjar (a sweet spread made from boiled milk and sugar) and either coated with desiccated coconut or milk or white chocolate. As they are Chile’s most popular snack, you won’t struggle to find them.
Torta Tres Leches
This sponge cake can be translated as ‘three milks cake’, because it is soaked in three types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream, which combine to give it a sweetened and moist taste. Chileans like to add some manjar or fruit puree to give it an even richer flavour.
Although these aren’t really considered a dessert, more like snacks for any time of day, they still warrant attention. Made from flour and pumpkin and deep-fried, you can drizzle them with a hot sauce made from sugar, cinnamon and orange rind.
Made with sugar, egg whites, flour, butter and vanilla, these tube-shaped treats are usually filled with dulce de leche or manjar. They’re extremely popular in both Chile and Argentina and you can get them from bakeries as well as street vendors.
These are a little like doughnuts; the doughy goodness is left to rise before fried on each side for about two minutes, then injected either with cream, jam, hazelnut spread, manjar or custard.
These pastry swirls are truly scrumptious, with a harder layer of pastry on the outside and sweetness on the inside, usually manjar or dulce de leche.
These treats are great for those that avoid gluten, as they are made solely of eggs and desiccated coconut. They are soft and chewy, and are sometimes garnished with chopped almonds, although traditionally they’re just coconut.
Mote con Huesillo
This could be considered to be both a drink and a dessert. Made with dried peaches and mote, which is essentially wheat, they are cooked with sugar, water and cinnamon, making a sweet, sugary drink and particularly refreshing during the summer months.
Pan de Pascua
Pascua can be used in Chile to mean either Christmas or Easter, in addition to the word Navidad, meaning Christmas. This cake is usually eaten around Christmas time. Similar to a sweet fruity and nutty sponge cake, it is flavoured with ginger and honey as well as candied fruit.
When the Germans settled in the south of Chile, they brought Kuchen with them; good luck trying to avoid eating a slice! The most popular variation is cake with large chunks of fruit and topped with either a crust or a layer of crumble, although the ones to look out for are the ones with local fruits, such as mora (blackberries) and membrillo (quince); they really are divine.
If you treat yourself to lunch out, you may as well get the menu del dia, which is a cheap three-course meal. Chances are, the dessert will be flan, as this sweet, custardy dessert is on every menu in Chile!