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Give Desserts Some Love this Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate with 9 sweet treats inspired by south of the border
desserts 2024 June May

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over French invaders in 1862, but here in the United States it’s more of an opportunity to indulge in Mexican-inspired food, drinks, and decor. While tacos and margaritas are the typical fare, we’re shining a spotlight on Mexican-inspired desserts. With flavors like chocolate, tropical fruits, and even a little chili heat, these fiesta-ready treats offer something for everyone.  


Creamy flan teams up with rich chocolate cake in this best-of-both-worlds dessert. Store-bought dulce de leche (or you can sub caramel sauce) and boxed baking mix jumpstart this two-tone cake that’s fudgy cake on the bottom and silky caramel custard on top. 

Air-fried Churros with Chocolate Sauce

You might want to make a double batch of this popular Mexican street snack because it disappears quickly. Fortunately, our take on churros is easy to make using the air fryer (no deep fry!) and store-bought chocolate-hazelnut sauce warmed in the microwave.

Citrus Tres Leches Cake

Jewel-toned wheels of orange and grapefruit add pops of color and tang to this riff on classic tres leches cake. The traditional trio of evaporated, condensed, and whole milks adds signature sweet creaminess to a yellow cake flecked with citrus zest. 

Chili-Lime Watermelon Wedges

This spicy-sweet treat served on a stick packs major flavor with minimal calories and no added sugar. The refreshing combo of watermelon with chili-lime seasoning, cotija cheese, and fresh mint also makes a guilt-free snack you can enjoy all summer long. 

Mexican-Spiced Chocolate Crinkles

The distinctive flavors of chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne sing in these rich, fudgy cookies. Devil’s food cake mix helps to get them to your Cinco de Mayo celebration in under 30 minutes.

Grilled Pineapple with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Creamy, crunchy, smoky, and sweet, this easy dessert delivers it all in less than 20 minutes. Rings of fresh pineapple get gently charred on the grill before a sweet finish of dulce de leche ice cream and crispy pizzelle cookies.

Piñata Cupcakes

It’s not a fiesta without a piñata, but this unexpected twist fits in the palm of your hand. Two-bite cupcakes hide a sweet surprise inside: mini chocolate chips, chocolate candies, and rainbow sprinkles. 

Arroz con Leche

This classic dessert tastes like it came from Abuela’s kitchen, and it’s speedy enough for weekday meals. Whole grain brown rice sneaks extra nutrients into this version of cinnamon-spiked arroz con leche, aka rice pudding. 

Guava Empanadas

These portable pastries are perfect for a Cinco de Mayo potluck or picnic in the park. Guava paste and queso fresco make the sweet-savory filling for empanadas that become golden and crisp in the air fryer or oven.

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