12 Mexican Christmas Desserts – Come & Give It a Try!

by Ella

Christmas in Mexico is a time of rich traditions, vibrant celebrations, and, of course, delightful desserts. The season brings a variety of sweet treats that reflect the country’s diverse cultural heritage and culinary ingenuity. Here, we explore twelve traditional Mexican Christmas desserts that bring festive joy and warmth to the holiday table.

12 Mexican Christmas Desserts

1. Buñuelos: Crispy Festive Fritters

Origins and Tradition


Buñuelos are a beloved Mexican Christmas treat, traditionally served during Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration leading up to Christmas. These crispy, sweet fritters have their origins in Spanish cuisine, but they have been embraced and transformed by Mexican culinary traditions.


Preparation and Variations


Buñuelos are made by rolling out dough into thin circles, frying them until golden brown, and then sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar. Some variations include drizzling them with syrup made from piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) or serving them with a warm syrupy sauce. The texture is light and crunchy, making them an irresistible holiday snack.


2. Rosca de Reyes: A King’s Delight

Historical Significance

Rosca de Reyes, or King’s Cake, is a special dessert enjoyed on January 6th, the Day of the Epiphany. This tradition honors the visit of the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus. The cake is shaped like a crown and decorated with candied fruits to symbolize the jewels of the kings’ crowns.

The Tradition of Hidden Surprises

Baked inside the cake is a small figurine of baby Jesus. The person who finds the figurine in their slice is expected to host a party on February 2nd, Día de la Candelaria. Rosca de Reyes is typically enjoyed with a hot cup of Mexican chocolate or atole.

3. Polvorones: Crumbly Christmas Cookies

A Sweet Treat with a Melting Texture

Polvorones, also known as Mexican wedding cookies, are popular during the Christmas season. These crumbly cookies are made with flour, sugar, and ground nuts, often pecans or almonds. They have a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture and are dusted with powdered sugar.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

While traditional polvorones are plain, some variations include adding cinnamon or cocoa powder for additional flavor. These cookies are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot coffee or cocoa during the festive season.

4. Ponche Navideño: Warm Christmas Punch

A Festive Beverage

Ponche Navideño is a traditional Mexican Christmas punch made from a blend of fruits, spices, and piloncillo. This warm beverage is often served during Las Posadas and on Christmas Eve.

Ingredients and Preparation

Typical ingredients include tejocotes (a type of hawthorn fruit), guavas, apples, pears, prunes, and raisins. Spices like cinnamon, cloves, and tamarind add a warming flavor. The punch is simmered for hours, allowing the flavors to meld together. It is often enjoyed with a splash of rum or brandy for an extra festive touch.

5. Tamales Dulces: Sweet Tamales

A Unique Twist on a Classic Dish

Tamales are a staple in Mexican cuisine, and during Christmas, sweet variations known as tamales dulces are prepared. These tamales are made with sweetened masa (corn dough) and often filled with ingredients like raisins, cinnamon, or fruit preserves.

How to Enjoy Sweet Tamales

Wrapped in corn husks and steamed until cooked through, tamales dulces are a delightful treat for breakfast or dessert. They are commonly enjoyed with a hot beverage like champurrado, a thick chocolate drink made with masa.

6. Arroz con Leche: Creamy Rice Pudding

Comfort in a Bowl

Arroz con leche is a creamy, cinnamon-flavored rice pudding that is a favorite Christmas dessert in Mexico. It is made with rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and sometimes includes raisins or a touch of vanilla.

Recipe Variations

Some recipes call for condensed milk to enhance the sweetness and creaminess of the pudding. Arroz con leche can be served warm or cold, making it a versatile dessert for the holiday season.

7. Capirotada: Mexican Bread Pudding

A Symbolic Dessert

Capirotada is a traditional Mexican bread pudding often served during the Lenten season, but it also makes a special appearance at Christmas. This dessert has a deep symbolic meaning, with ingredients representing elements of the Passion of Christ.

Ingredients and Preparation

Capirotada is made with layers of bolillo (Mexican bread), cheese, raisins, and nuts, all soaked in a syrup made from piloncillo, cinnamon, and cloves. The result is a rich, flavorful pudding that is both sweet and savory.

8. Churros: Cinnamon-Sugar Dusted Treats

A Delightful Street Food

Churros are a popular street food in Mexico, and during Christmas, they become an extra special treat. These fried dough pastries are coated in cinnamon sugar and often served with a dipping sauce, such as chocolate or caramel.

Homemade Churros

Making churros at home involves piping dough into hot oil and frying until golden brown. The fresh, warm churros are then rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are best enjoyed fresh, with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

9. Cajeta: Caramelized Goat Milk Spread

A Sweet Mexican Specialty

Cajeta is a Mexican confection made from caramelized goat’s milk, similar to dulce de leche. It has a rich, deep flavor and a smooth, spreadable texture.

Versatile Uses

Cajeta can be used in a variety of desserts, including drizzling over churros, spreading on toast, or as a filling for pastries. It’s a luxurious treat that adds a touch of sweetness to any Christmas dessert.

10. Mazapán: Peanut Confection

A Simple Yet Delicious Treat

Mazapán is a Mexican confection made from ground peanuts and sugar, similar to marzipan but with peanuts instead of almonds. These sweet, crumbly candies are a staple during the Christmas season.

Homemade Mazapán

Making mazapán at home involves grinding peanuts into a fine powder and mixing them with powdered sugar. The mixture is then pressed into small molds or shaped into discs. Mazapán is a simple yet satisfying treat that is enjoyed by both children and adults.

11. Flan: Silky Caramel Custard

A Classic Dessert

Flan is a classic Mexican dessert enjoyed year-round, and it holds a special place on the Christmas table. This silky caramel custard is made with eggs, milk, and sugar, and is topped with a layer of rich caramel sauce.

Variations and Serving

While traditional flan is made with vanilla, variations include flavors like coconut, coffee, and orange. Flan is typically served chilled, making it a refreshing end to a festive meal.

12. Ensalada de Nochebuena: Christmas Eve Salad

A Festive Fruit Salad

Ensalada de Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve Salad, is a vibrant and refreshing fruit salad traditionally served on Christmas Eve. This colorful dish features a mix of fruits and vegetables, creating a festive and healthy dessert option.

Ingredients and Presentation

Common ingredients include beets, jicama, oranges, apples, and pomegranates, all arranged in a visually appealing manner. The salad is often dressed with a light vinaigrette or lime juice, enhancing the natural flavors of the fruits and vegetables.

See Also: 8 Essential Dishes of a Mexican Christmas Dinner


Mexican Christmas desserts are a delightful reflection of the country’s rich culinary traditions and festive spirit. From crispy buñuelos to creamy flan, these sweet treats bring joy and warmth to holiday celebrations. Incorporating these desserts into your Christmas festivities not only adds a touch of authenticity but also creates lasting memories with family and friends. Whether you’re enjoying a traditional treat like Rosca de Reyes or a comforting bowl of arroz con leche, these Mexican desserts are sure to make your holiday season extra special.




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