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Two Costa Rican-Inspired Childhood Dessert Recipes

My mother’s traditional chocolate cake, coconut paletas, guava-filled pastries, fried dough prestiños: I can’t keep track of my lovely dessert memories of childhood growing up in Costa Rica. With a mix of nostalgia and determination, I’ve been making a list (hello glazomania) of childhood dessert recipes I want to make within the next month. They’re easy to make, delicious, and extremely versatile.

These two are at the top of my list for my sweet dessert-centered month ahead: Astrid’s Arroz Con Leche and Cocoa & Condensed Milk Bites. I’m aware this is a brief introduction to my baking inspiration for the month ahead but stay tuned for more dulce-licious ideas to bake and taste.

Arroz Con Leche de Astrid

Print Recipe
What's not to love about creamy, homemade rice pudding? Although Arroz con Leche is quite popular across Latinamerica, here's an easy Costa Rican-inspired recipe guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Costa Rica
Keyword costa rica, dessert, dulce


  • 1 cup white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cinammon sticks
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 14 oz sweet condensed milk


  • Rinse the rice under cold water for 20-30 seconds. Then, in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  • Stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low. Add the cinnamon sticks and let it simmer gently for 20-30 minutes (make sure your water doesn't cook off faster than your rice does).
  • Once cooked, stir in the evaporated milk and condensed milk. Stir until the mix becomes thickened (it's important to stir constantly!).
  • Transfer the rice to a serving bowl and let it cool off. To finish, dust the top with ground cinnamon or any other topping of your choice (ginger, raisins, cocoa, etc.)

Super Easy Cocoa & Condensed Milk Bites

Print Recipe
Condensed milk bites are always popular amongst a crowd. They're easy to make and versatile, which allows you to explore with different add-ons and flavors (think toasted coconut flakes or rainbow sprinkles).
Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine Costa Rica
Keyword costa rica, dessert, dulce, postre


  • cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 14 oz condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 14 oz evaporated milk


  • In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter with the sugar, evaporated milk, and condensed milk.
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir for 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture onto a buttered bowl and let it cool off completely (you can also refrigerate it for up to 2 hours).
  • Once ready, roll the mixture into small balls (or bites) and coat with extra cocoa powder (optional!).
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