Brigadeiros – pronounced bri-ga-DAY-ro

Need a sweet gift for a friend in need or for a special occasion for a special person in your life?  These little Brazilian treats fill up their love buckets and are super easy and relatively inexpensive to make. Condensed milk, first manufactured in Brazil in 1921, made it possible for Brazilians to create a chocolate sweet which was a favorite with Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, one of Brazil’s famous military men. When Eduardo Gomes was a candidate to Brazil presidency in 1945 – the first year Brazilian women could vote for president – ladies who supported him sold the chocolate sweet in fundraisers.  Evidently, he was a handsome dude and very modest about his appearance.  Check out his campaign slogan – “Vote no brigadeiro, que é bonito e é solteiro” (Vote for the brigadier, who’s good-looking and single) – didn’t grant him victory, but Brazil had a new name for an increasingly popular sweet.

Brigadeiros pic


  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate sprinkles for decoration


  1. Pour the condensed milk into your heaviest pot. Stir in the cocoa powder and the salt.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat. Keep the mixture barely at a boil to prevent burning and sticking.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until mixture becomes very thick and shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. With buttered hands, roll the mixture into 1 inch balls.
  6. Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place in a paper liner.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.

2 thoughts on “Brigadeiros – pronounced bri-ga-DAY-ro

    1. Super easy…I cooked mine for 20 minutes. I read that if you buy the cheaper sweetened condensed milk like Walmart brand that it works best. Something about the sugar content. Thanks for following along….

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