We all have a sweet tooth every now and then. Those moments when you just NEED a candy bar or a slice of cake. I grew up with primarily Hispanic desserts and sweets. While they may be comfort food for me, I've realized that there are plenty of people who may never have heard of them before. There are delectable Hispanic-based sweets that I myself, haven't even tried. So for anyone with a sweet tooth looking for something new, here are 17 Hispanic desserts to try before you die.

1. Dominican Cake

Melissa Paredes

I just had to start with the most common dessert at a Dominican gathering. From baby showers to birthday parties and anniversaries, Dominican cake is known for its moist, airy texture. Essentially following a traditional cake recipe, what sets Dominican cake apart is its suspiro (icing), made of egg whites and sugar, and its baked-in fillings. Some fillings are pineapple (which is the most popular), guava, dulce de leche (sweet of milk), and tres leches (three milks). I absolutely love Dominican cake, and it's actually one of the few cakes I will eat. 

2. Flan

Flan is common all throughout Latino countries, so there are various recipes/styles. It's basically made from milk, sugar, and eggs. The kind of milk will depend on the recipe, but the kind I grew up with is typically made with condensed and/or evaporated milk. You can also buy flan mix at the grocery store for easy cooking, but nothing beats homemade flan. With the simple recipe, you can even make it in your dorm kitchen.

3. Habichuelas con Dulce

Habichuelas con Dulce (sweet cream of beans) may sound a bit strange, but to Dominicans, it's a delicacy. Traditionally made with kidney beans (but some recipes vary with pinto beans or others) and evaporated milk, habichuelas con dulce are as sweet as they are filling. My favorite is the milk cookies (which can be substituted with animal crackers) often used as a garnish. This dessert in particular is nostalgic to me, as my mother and grandmothers would often make it.

4. Arroz con Leche

Arroz con leche (Spanish rice pudding) is one of my top favorite Hispanic desserts of all time. In middle school and high school, whenever we did some sort of culture appreciation, I would bring this dish for my classmates to enjoy. This is also a dish with many variations across Hispanic cultures (and even other countries altogether), but it will always consist of rice, milk, and cinnamon. Some garnishes include raisins, cinnamon sticks, cloves, or even cherries, but it all depends on personal preference.

5. Tres Leches Cake

If you haven't caught on, we Hispanics love our milk. Especially, in our sweets. So much so that we have the famous tres leches (three milks cake).  It is essentially a sponge cake soaked in three milks (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). It's absolutely delicious, but very sweet and high in calories, so be careful when reaching for that second slice. We're all guilty of falling into the tres leches trap every now and then.

6. Budin

A traditional Puerto Rican bread pudding, budin is a contraction word (bread and pudding). I grew up eating budin at church on Sundays after the service was over.  Made from bread, evaporated milk, and eggs, budin pairs well with a nice cup of coffee. The fact that I love budin is a testament to how good it is because it's usually filled with raisins, and I hate raisins, but I will never say no to fresh budin.

7. Churros

If you've never heard of a churro, you probably live under a rock. Churros are a common fried Mexican pastry, and versatile dessert. They pair great with chocolate sauce or ice cream. There was a woman who used to sell them outside my elementary school once class was dismissed. I looked forward to the sugar-coated sweetness, at least whenever I could convince my mom to buy me one.

People are getting really creative with churros these days. Boqueria in NYC has a dessert menu dedicated to churro dishes.

8. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is amazing, but have you ever had Spanish hot chocolate? It's rich, thick, and life-changing. What makes it so different from your average cup? I would say the inclusion of cornstarch and semisweet chocolate. Of course, there are many variations of Spanish hot chocolate. Many Dominican recipes tend to include ginger root to add some spice. No matter what recipe you follow, you're in for a delicious treat that will warm your soul.

Check out this recipe that comes with a bonus coconut churro recipe.

9. Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche (sweet of milk) is a confection made of condensed milk and sugar, and is essentially a fudge or jam. This a versatile sweet as it is used as cake filling and flavoring for other treats such as cupcakes, cookies, and candy. But there is also dulce de leche en tabla (milk fudge bars), which is pretty common in the Dominican Republic. Whenever my grandparents visit the US, they bring some of this super sweet treat, freshly made by caring hands.

10. Dulce de Coco

Like dulce de leche, dulce de coco is basically coconut and milk fudge. Another treat I would eat upon my grandparents' arrival from the motherland, it's one of the sweetest confections you'll ever have. If you're a fan of coconuts and have an insane sweet tooth, this is for you. 

11. Tembleque

Tembleque is a Puerto Rican coconut pudding. It's name comes from the word "trembling" because it's gel-like structure causes it to jiggle. I first discovered tembleque when I was in high school. A friend of mine would always talk about it and one day she brought some for me to try. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever tried! The right amount of sweetness, perfect texture, and delicious taste.

12. Raspados

A raspado is a Mexican shaved ice treat with syrup flavoring. Its name comes from the word raspar which means shave or scrape. Raspados bring me back to childhood summers when my mom would take me out and you could find people selling them on street corners all over the Bronx. I wasn't always a fan, but I could definitely go for one right about now. They're not too difficult too make either. Here's a simple recipe anyone can try.

13. Fried Ice Cream

If you've ever been to a Mexican restaurant and didn't order fried ice cream for dessert, you're missing out. It's deep fried ice cream. It shouldn't work, but it 100% does. It's even better when it's your birthday and you get a special song and candle with your deep fried treat. If you have experience deep frying things, try this recipe to make fried ice cream yourself.

14. Bunuelos

Bunuelos are common throughout Latin America, so there are recipes galore, but they essentially are fried dough in ball or fritter form topped with sugar and/or cinnamon. Think funnel cake or donut holes. You can't go wrong with deep fried dough in any form.

15. Conchas

Conchas are a traditional Mexican sweet bread, and probably the number one pan dulce (sweet bread) in any Mexican bakery. They are not only yummy but nice to look at with their seashell inspired patterns. I've always known about conchas but never had the pleasure of trying one until last year. They're great with a cup of coffee and work not just for after dinner, but even for breakfast on the go.

16. Empanadas de Leche

When you think of empanadas, you think of their classic meat or cheese stuffing. But have you ever heard of dessert empanadas? I certainly hadn't. I have yet to try empanadas de leche (sweet cream empanadas), but I'm looking forward to it. The dough is sweeter than your average empanada with vanilla, and is stuffed with cream made from milk (what a surprise), sugar, vanilla, and other ingredients like cinnamon and orange zest. This dessert is common in Central American countries, especially Guatemala. 

17. Morir Soñando

Morir Soñando literally translates to "die dreaming," and rightfully so. This isn't technically a dessert, but it's way too good to leave off of the list. Morir soñando consists of orange juice and evaporated milk, which may not sound like a big deal, but I promise it will change your life. It's best with freshly squeezed orange juice, so get your juicer ready for this one. It is my favorite drink of all time, I absolutely love it. I remember my mom making when I was growing up. 

There are tons of Hispanic sweet treats out there. I hope you've added some of these desserts to your food bucket list. Are there any Hispanic desserts you love that didn't make the list? I'm excited to relive my childhood with some these nostalgic dishes and broaden my flavor palette by trying some new ones.