Brazilian Chocolate Truffle (Brigadeiro)

I can’t express how excited I am about this recipe. Growing up in Brazil this is the one dessert I ate the most. It is served in every birthday party and special occasion. Originally, it is called Brigadeiro and it is made by mixing sweetened condensed milk, butter and powder chocolate. It is a kind of bonbon or chocolate truffle, soft in texture and usually rolled into balls and covered in granulated chocolate. It is also used as a topping or filling for cakes, brownies and other pastries.


I have always missed eating this treat and I honestly thought I would never eat it again. After giving it some thought I decided to make a paleo, low carb and refined sugar free version of these delicious brazilian treats.

I have to say I succeeded in my attempt and I came up with a healthy version of it, made with coconut milk, a little honey, grass fed butter and raw unsweetened cacao powder. I wish all my Brazilian friends were in my kitchen and could smell it while I was making it. It smelled exactly the same!

The secret to it was to make my own condensed milk. This is a lengthy step and took about 2 hours. The other thing important mentioning is that is it really hard to tell when the Brigadeiro is ready, especially this Paleo friendly version.

Here is a picture of my dairy free and sugar free condensed milk when I removed it from the stove, about 2 hours later. It had a thick consistency and the color was a little more yellowish.

dairy free brigadeiro 012

Here is my finished brigadeiro. I rolled it in cacao powder instead of granulated chocolate.

dairy free brigadeiro 010dairy free brigadeiro 009dairy free brigadeiro 011

So here are the ingredients you will need:

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5.0 from 5 reviews
Brazilian Chocolate Truffle (Brigadeiro)
Condensed Milk:
  • 1 can of good quality coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 tbs of raw honey
  • 4 tbs raw cacao powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Condensed milk:
  1. combine the coconut milk and honey in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it starts to boil
  2. lower the heat to low and cook mixture for about 2 hours. After 2 hours the coconut condensed milk should be thick enough so that it does not run off the spoon easily and is reduced to about half.
  1. raise the heat to medium and mix in the cacao powder, butter and vanilla
  2. stir the mixture frequently until it boils, then cook for another 12 minutes approximately, scrapping the sides of the pan. This time may vary and what you are looking for is a thick and creamy consistency.
  3. let it cool and place it in the fridge for about 2 hours. It is important to cool it before rolling it into balls.
  4. remove from fridge, line your hands with butter and start rolling the chocolate into balls. You might need to add more butter to your hands in between a few rolls.
  5. cover each ball in cacao powder, coconut or chopped nuts.

    If you feel the chocolate is not thick enough to roll into balls place it back in the stove at medium heat and let it cook longer, then cool it in the fridge again before attempting to roll it into balls.

    Makes about 25 balls.

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Love to hear from you & see your photo! Please comment below.


  1. Ute January 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply

    Hey there, thanks for submitting this recipe to I’m posting it right now, but I removed the dairy and sugar free part from the headline, as it actually does have butter in it. 🙂 And since FastPaleo is generally sugar free, it made sense to leave that part out. This looks absolutely fantastic, and I look forward to giving it a try!

    • adriana January 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply

      You are right…I was so excited about the fact that it does not contain milk that I forgot about the butter. I will remove from the title here also. Thank you for sharing!

      • Roxanne August 21, 2013 at 3:40 am Reply

        Use Ghee instead 🙂 Non-dairy because it has no milk fat…

        • Ana December 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm Reply

          ghee is dairy, made with milk, and it is pure dairy fat. What it doesn not have are the milk solids part, composed of the lactose (milk sugar), which are removed when clarifying the butter.

  2. Dawn V January 26, 2013 at 4:12 am Reply

    Do you think it would still work if the butter was replaced with coconut oil?

    • adriana January 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm Reply

      Hi Dawn, for sure if you replaced the butter with coconut oil it will not taste like the real Brigadeiro from Brazil, but besides the taste I think it would work just fine. If you try it please let me know how it turns out.

  3. Nicole February 8, 2013 at 2:10 am Reply

    Just found your site via pinterest! Anything with chocolate in the title is definitely going in my bookmarks. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aline February 8, 2013 at 5:42 am Reply

    amei! vou experimentar hoje mesmo!! mas será que não fica com gosto de côco? se ficar, tudo bem, é uma mistura de brigadeiro com docinho de côco 🙂 yum

    • adriana February 8, 2013 at 6:43 am Reply

      Aline, ficou muito parecido com o brigadeiro que agete esta acustumada, sem gosto de coco. Se eu tivesse enrolado no granulado de chocolate teria ficado igualzinho.

  5. Karolina May 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm Reply

    Hi Adriana, in step 1 you say: ‘add the butter and half the chocolate…’ Did you mean the cocoa powder? Thanks.

    • adriana May 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm Reply

      Karolina, yes, the cacao powder. I re-wrote the instructions and hopefully it is more clear now. Let me know if you have any questions.

  6. Gabe July 22, 2013 at 9:56 am Reply

    Oi Adriana, tudo bem? Quando vc diz ‘1 can’, seria a medida da lata comum de leite condensado, ou um vidro de leite de coco normal daqui, tipo sococo?

    • adriana July 22, 2013 at 10:15 am Reply

      o tamanho da lata de coco que eu uso e de 13.5 ounces.

  7. Gabe July 22, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

    Tks, Adriana!! Outra perguntinha, pode se usar adoçante ou açúcar mascavo pra o leite condensado?

    • adriana July 22, 2013 at 10:36 am Reply

      açúcar mascavo sim, mas o mel e mais doce, entao prova ate vc achar que esta doce suficiente. Desculpa meu português!

  8. Gabe July 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm Reply

    Sorry Adriana! I thought you were brazilian, that’s why i wrote in portuguese! But don’t worry, your portuguese is totally fine! =)
    Thank you a lot for the tips, i will try to make with the bottled coconut milk we have here in Brazil, which has water in it, and i’ll let you know how that turned out!

    • adriana July 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply

      nao Gabe, eu sou brasileira sim! O problema e que ja tem muito tempo que nao escrevo ou falo português e fica difícil

  9. Gabe July 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm Reply

    aah! hehe .. tudo bem, eu compreendo! por coincidência, a minha mãe se chama Adriana também e mora há 8 anos no canadá! =)

    • adriana July 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm Reply


  10. The Saffron Girl August 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm Reply

    Preciosa receta! I’m going to try it soon. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Roxanne August 21, 2013 at 3:39 am Reply

    If you replace the butter with Ghee, it would still be dairy free as Ghee technically has no milk fat…and you’d still have that rich buttery taste!!

  12. Lisa Rose August 21, 2013 at 4:06 am Reply

    I’m so excited about this recipe! I lived in Brazil as a young child and also thought I’d have to give up this high sugar treat! Did you find a decent source for the chocolate sprinkles?

    • adriana August 21, 2013 at 7:39 am Reply

      I have not found a good source of chocolate sprinkles. I suggest rolling your brigadeiro with cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut or shaved dark chocolate

  13. nathalia December 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm Reply

    Adriana, suas receitas são maravilhosas!!!!!! E muito difícil achar receitas que não levem leite e as suas vão me ajudar a lidar com minha intolerância a lactose. Parabéns!!!!!!

    • adriana December 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm Reply


  14. Lili December 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm Reply

    I made these last night, I used canned coconut cream, which is readily available here in Australia….omg!!! Divine!!! Rich and delicious! Thanks so much for developing this recipe 🙂

  15. amethystjean December 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm Reply

    To the poster that suggested ghee instead of butter: Ghee is not dairy free. Just like skim milk is still dairy even though it is fat free. I think vegan butter would work just fine though.

  16. Gloria July 16, 2014 at 10:03 am Reply

    Oi! Adoro esta receita e já fiz mutas vezes e convidei os meus amigos e tambem adoraram! Moro ná Suecia mas nací em Brasil mas só morei lá 4 anos, mas já comí brigadeiros “verdadeiros” varias vezes e estes são tão boms como os com leite condensado. Muito obrigada!

    • adriana July 17, 2014 at 9:50 am Reply

      Muito obrigada Gloria!!! Meu irmão também mora ai na Suecia!

  17. Priscila September 11, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

    Adri, o condensed milk vc mexe ininterruptamente por 2h?

    • adriana September 11, 2014 at 10:22 am Reply

      Nao precisa mexer o tempo todo. De meia em meia hora basta. O segredo e deixar o fogo bem baixo pra não queimar.

  18. Larissa January 6, 2015 at 5:17 am Reply

    Wowwww… Ive been trying to stay primal and/or low-carb for a few weeks now and its worked fine. But when my 4-year-old asks for Brigadeiro, I cant turn him down. Although I still use condensed milk, I traded the Nescau for pure Cocoa powder and added also two tablets of 85% chocolate Lindt bar. It tasted DELICIOUS. But, Im trying your recipe TODAY and if it tastes as delicious as it sounds, I will never buy condensed milk in my life!

    Thanks so much for posting this!!!

    Love, Larissa

    • adriana January 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm Reply

      🙂 I really hope you like this recipe Larissa! Condensed milk is loaded with sugar. Please let me know how it turns out and if your 4-year old like it. Regards.

  19. Marina March 5, 2015 at 11:34 am Reply

    Oii adriana!!
    No step 1 do brigadeiro, você mistura o cacau em pó e a manteiga junto com o leite condensado?

    • adriana March 5, 2015 at 11:37 am Reply

      Marina, sim, misture a mantega e o cacao junto quando o leite condensado ficar pronto.

  20. Marina March 5, 2015 at 11:57 am Reply

    Muitooo obrigada!! já to louca pra fazer!!! hehehe

  21. Larissa April 20, 2015 at 11:36 am Reply

    Hi, Adriana. I’m planning on making these tomorrow and I noticed that you mention vanilla extract in the ingredients, but not in the recipe. Is it a part of the recipe? If so, when should I use it?

    • adriana April 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Hi Larissa, thanks for pointing that out! I added the vanilla to the steps in the recipe ☺ Please let me know how it turns out and share your photo with me here.

  22. Larissa April 21, 2015 at 10:02 am Reply

    So, I just tried it. I think my stove is maybe a little too strong and I don’t really have a “low”. It’s always sort of a medium heat. So I think that made the mixture reduce to a little less than a third of the original. When it got thicker I added the cocoa powder and the mixture sort of separated into a solid creamy part and a lot of water. It’s still boiling. Have I done something wrong?

    • adriana April 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm Reply

      Larissa, sounds like you heated the milk too much like you said and maybe the oils from the coconut milk separated? I’m not really sure because this never happened to me. Maybe let the cooked coconut milk cool next time before you mix in the other ingredients. I think this will do the trick. Please let me know what happens if you try again. Oh, if your stove is too hot and you can’t lower the temperature, you could try doing this in a double boiler so that the milk sits away from direct heat.

  23. Carol Kerr October 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Just made these Brazilian Chocolate Truffles and they are amazing!!!!

    • adriana October 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm Reply

      Thank you for sharing your photo and feedback with me here Carol! 🙂

  24. Rr November 20, 2015 at 4:10 am Reply

    Can you use the condensed milk recipe as sub for other recipes that call for a can of condensed milk ?

    • adriana November 21, 2015 at 9:31 am Reply

      Rr, yes you can, but you may need to double to triple the recipe to get the same amount from a regular can of condensed milk.

  25. Ash November 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm Reply

    So, I followed the directions to a T, but when I added the cocoa, butter, vanilla, it started to separate. Is there any way I can still rescue it?

    • adriana November 23, 2015 at 9:31 am Reply

      Ash, the mixture should come together after mixing.

  26. Claire November 26, 2015 at 3:14 am Reply

    That’s what happened to mine. It separated when I added the cocoa and butter. I suspect I turned the heat up too much before it all got combined 🙁 It’s in fridge now. Doubt it can be rescued but my try to blend it with hand held blender.

    • adriana November 26, 2015 at 10:24 am Reply

      Claire, please let me know if you were able to rescue it. I will make a video showing the process. I am thinking you also might have overheated and overcooked the mixture and that’s why it separated. It’s so hard to tell because I never had that happen before. Please let me know.

      • Claire November 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm Reply

        yes I managed to rescue it 🙂
        I very gently re melted it and then blended it with a hand blender and it became silky smooth.

  27. Claire November 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm Reply

    Yes I rescued it! 🙂
    I re melted it gently (not fully but almost all was melted) then I used a hand blender to blend it. It combined and now tastes delicious

    • adriana November 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Yay, thanks Claire. Great to know!!

  28. Steph November 28, 2015 at 9:48 am Reply

    I made these truffles for dessert last night and they turned out amazing! I tried the real Brazilian Brigadeiros before and these taste just like it but so much healthier. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!!

    • adriana November 28, 2015 at 9:50 am Reply

      Thank you so much for your feedback and for sharing your photo Steph. They look delicious!!

  29. Ana December 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm Reply

    really cool idea Adriana!! btw I discovered your site recently and already love it!!
    I am also Brazilian, been living in the US for the past sixteen years! 🙂
    My son cannot have milk so this is a great alternative for me to try for him!
    Besides also being Brazilian I also love chocolate lol! No wonder I love yoir site right?!
    Thanks for sharing so many awesome recipes!

    • adriana December 16, 2015 at 8:57 am Reply

      Hi Ana, thank you for the message! It’s so nice to know that my recipes are a good alternative that your son can enjoy, especially the brigadeiro since it’s such a huge part of our culture. I hope you like this and many of my recipes! Beijos ?

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