Central America Desserts

  • 01 of 10

    Central America Desserts

    Galletas (Cookies)
    ••• Galletas (Cookies). Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/akane86/

    It's commonly said that dessert is the best part of any meal -- whether you're home, or abroad. Luckily, Central American desserts don't disappoint. Whether opting for something sweet after dinner, or stopping by a bakery, Central American desserts are diverse and super satisfying. Make sure to try as many of these dishes as you can during your travels.

    Pictured above: galletas, or cookies (always my favorite).


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  • 02 of 10

    Pastel de Tres Leches

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffk

    Pastel de Tres Leches (tres leches cake, or "cake of three milks") is a Central America dessert popular all over the isthmus. It's a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, whole milk and condensed milk.


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  • 03 of 10

    Banana Cake

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/shok

    Banana cake is primarily found on the Central America Caribbean coasts of countries like Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica. It's lighter and sweeter than banana bread, and occasionally served with frosting.


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  • 04 of 10


    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchofpants

    Flan is a golden-colored caramel custard enjoyed all over Latin America, including every country in Central America.


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  • 05 of 10

    Fresas con Crema (Strawberries and Cream)

    ••• Kirsten Hubbard

    Fresas con Crema (strawberries and cream)are particularly popular in the Boquete valley of Panama, which is famous for its delicious strawberries.


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  • 06 of 10

    Arroz con Leche

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenacaes

    Arroz con leche (rice with milk) is a Latin American sweet rice pudding, made by simmering rice in milk and spices.


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  • 07 of 10

    Dessert Empanadas

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/darling_clementine

    Like savory empanadas, dessert empanadas (sometimes called ampanaditas) are pastries filled with all kinds of goodies. Some Central America dessert empanadas fillings include chocolate, apple, or other fruits (as shown).


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  • 08 of 10

    Coconut Pie

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster

    Coconuts are plentiful in Central America, especially among the coasts. So are coconut desserts. Some favorites include coconut cake, coconut fudge, tabletas (chewy coconut candy), and coconut pie, pictured.


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  • 09 of 10


    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuan2003

    On a hot day, nothing beats a granizada. Like snow cones in the United States, granizadas feature shaved ice drizzled (or soaked) in sweet, colorful syrups. They're usually sold from street carts in Central America.

    Note: Always be wary of ice in Central America -- make sure to ask if that granizada you're craving is made with purified ice (hielo puro).


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  • 10 of 10

    Fruit Smoothies

    ••• Creative Commons photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannynic

    Refrescos, liquados, frescos -- fruit smoothies are delicious by any name. They can be made with water, milk, yogurt and/or ice, along with one or more of Central America's tropical fruits. Pineapple, mango, strawberry, papaya and watermelon are Central America favorites.