Mexican sweets and candy are enjoyed by people of all ages. There are several types of Mexican candy in different areas of the country.
These are some of the most common types of Mexican sweets and candies!
Alegrías (Amaranth Joys)
An alegria is a classic Mexican candy. This candy is made with honey and amaranth. Amaranth is known to have nutritional properties, so this candy is both delicious and nutritious. Alegria sweets are easily found in shops and markets across Mexico.
Borrachitos are sweets containing alcohol. They have traditionally been made with cornstarch, sugar, fillings with a natural flavoring (such as strawberry, pineapple and coconut) and some liquor such as cognac, eggnog, tequila or champagne. They are sprinkled with sugar and cut into rectangles. They are known for their vibrant colors.
Borrachitos are very common and can be found in most traditional candy stores. They are available on the street and in markets. Borrachitos are sold on tables and baskets in festival stalls and pilgrimages.
Borrachitos are said to have been created in the convent of Santa Rosa in the state of Puebla, as most sweets from Puebla were made in convents. It is also said that they were created by the nuns as a form of gratitude to the benefactors of the church. They became so popular that they the nuns began to market them. Presently, they are typical sweets of this state.
Cajeta (Milk Candy)
In Mexico, cajeta is known as a delicious sweet traditionally made with goat’s milk, sugar, vanilla essence, and baking soda. The ingredients are brought to a simmer in a copper container for several hours, and constantly stirred with a large wooden spoon. Once a thick brown consistency is obtained it allowed to cool.
It is common in Mexican kitchens and consumed in a variety of ways. In northern Mexico, it is commonly made in combination with walnuts. In central Mexico, it is consumed by itself, or mixed with other sweets and fine desserts. The most common use is in fillings and toppings. It is also used as the main ingredient in the preparation of pastries.
Cajeta originates in the city of Celaya, in the state of Guanajuato. The name cajeta comes from the wooden container in which it is stored, originally called cajete. This word derives from the Nahuatl caxitl, meaning a plate or deep vessel. This led to the name of the cajeta stored in a box to become known as cajeta. Cajeta is also known as dulce de leche.
The cocada is a Mexican candy made of grated ripe coconut, fresh milk, cinnamon, and sugar. There are also versions with egg or brown sugar. The original recipe is unknown, but chronicles suggest that the cocada sweet comes from Spain. They are easily found in candy stalls, village fairs.
Photo credit: Agro-cultura.mx
Jamoncillo is a Mexican candy made from sugar and (burnt) milk. It is sold in the form of a bar. InGuanajuato the traditional recipe contains pecans and cinnamon.
In the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Coahuila, jamoncillo is made with piñón nuts and almonds.
Mexican Candies Made with Nuts
Another type of Mexican candy is candy made with nuts, common in different parts of Mexico. Cacahuate garapiñado (sweetened peanut), is a candy made of peanuts covered with a thick layer of butter with cooked sugar. It is packaged and sold in transparent plastic rolled film.
In Mexican candy shops and fairs, it is also common to find different sweets made with walnut. The various regions of Mexico host several versions of walnut sweets.
Dulce de Nuez (sweet nut) is a classic Mexican sweet, usually made with milk, vanilla, cornstarch, condensed milk, eggs, and walnuts. In the north, this candy is known as nogada, usually in the states of Nuevo León and Coahuila.
Other Mexican candy made with walnuts includes cajeta de nuez, glorias, marqueta, and nogate (walnut roll).
Gloria candies are well known. It is made of cow or goat’s milk, or a mixture of both. The milk is raw. The other ingredients include sugar, baking soda and abundant pieces of pecan nut or walnuts. The Gloria candy is wrapped in red cellophane. The Gloria candy originated in Linares, in the state of Nuevo León.
Mazapan is a baked sweet. Mexico has a large variety of Mazapan candy, in various shapes and colors. It is made with ground peanuts or almond paste, sugar, milk, soy, and eggs.
Palanquetas are also made of nuts joined by a sugar mixture. This candy is usually sold in the form of a rectangular or round block.
Fruit-based Mexican Candies
Other typical Mexican candy is made from fruit. There are various combinations. Figs, pears, pineapple and squash slices, and pears are commonly crystalized in sugar.
Another common Mexican fruit-based sweet is ate. Ate ismade in a great variety of fruits and forms. Ate de membrillo (quince) is very common throughout Mexico. The origin of Ate de membrillo is attributed to the Franciscan friars in the state of Michoacán, during colonial times.
Tamarind candy is one of the most consumed Mexican sweets. The tamarind candy has tamarind fruit that is sweet, chile powder, and packaged in transparent plastic.
Photo credit: cocinadelirante
The tamarind fruit is cultivated in tropical zones of Mexico; especially in Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and even Yucatan.
Mexican Candy made with flour
Mexican candy is also made from flour. Some that are easy to find are muéganos.
Muéganos are made with a mass of fried wheat flour covered with a caramel made with piloncillo and sugar. These candies originate in Huamantla and Tlaxcala.
Oblea (wafer) candy is very common in Mexico. An oblea is a thin, brittle wafer made with wheat flour, sugar, and water. Some obleas are made from amaranth flour. Some bakers add sugar, eggs, oil, and anise. Obleas can be found in Mexican markets, traditional candy stores, and city plazas. The size may vary. In central Mexico, obleas are made of different colors.
In the state of Colima, obleas are covered with honey, peanuts, and toasted pumpkin seeds. They are commonly sold at popular festivals and on the streets.
Obleas con cajeta
Obleas con cajeta are wafer sheets made with flour and joined with cajeta.
Mexican Sugar Candy
In Mexico you can find candies that are made from pure sugar.
Calaveritas are one type of Mexican candy made from sugar. These calaveritas are typical in the altars of Day of the Dead of Pre-Hispanic origin.
The merengue is a traditional Mexican sweet. It consists of beaten egg white with sugar, poured in swirl form, then baked in an oven. The most common colors are white, cream, and pink.
Photo credit: recetasgratis.net
Merengues are commonly sold in parks and malls. Various forms include duchesses, the suspiros (sighs), and gaznates.