The brigadeiro, a dessert from Brazil
Alternative namesNegrinho (in Rio Grande do Sul)
Place of originBrazil
Serving temperatureCold, chilled, warm/hot when consumed with a spoon
Main ingredientsSweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder

The brigadeiro[1] (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾiɡaˈdejɾu]) is a traditional Brazilian dessert. The origin of the dessert is uncertain, but the most common theory is that it was created by a confectioner from Rio de Janeiro, Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira, to promote the presidential candidacy of Eduardo Gomes.[2][3] It is made of condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles covering the outside layer.

It is a popular confection throughout the country, especially for festive events. Brigadeiros are commonly made at home, and also found in bakeries and snack shops. A brigadeiro is generally shaped into small balls covered in chocolate sprinkles and placed in a small cupcake liner. The mixture may also be poured into a small container and eaten with a spoon; this is known as a brigadeiro de colher (literally, "spoon brigadeiro"). Brigadeiro can be found now in different countries as a result of Brazilian migration.

In recent years, flavor and coating variations on the traditional chocolate brigadeiros have become popular.[4] This variation of flavors and easy manipulation of the original dessert lead into a trend of different recipes, such as cakes, tarts, ice cream or even bread.[5]


The origin of the name "brigadeiro" is linked to the presidential campaign of Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, UDN candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in 1945.[6] Heloísa Nabuco de Oliveira, a member of a traditional carioca family who supported the brigadier's candidacy, created a new confection and named it after the candidate. The doce do brigadeiro (lit. brigadier's candy) became popular, and the name was eventually shortened to just "brigadeiro." Women at the time would sell brigadeiro in support of the presidential candidate, as it was the first national election in which women were able to vote.[7][8]

Despite the support received, Eduardo Gomes was defeated, and the election was won by then General Eurico Gaspar Dutra.

In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, brigadeiros are most commonly known as negrinhos (lit. little black one), and one researcher traced its origins back to the 1920s, when condensed milk by Nestlé started being sold in Brazil.[9]


See also


  1. ^ Viaro, Mário Eduardo (April 2012). "O doce enigma do brigadeiro" [The sweet enigma of the brigadeiro]. Revista Língua Portuguesa (in Brazilian Portuguese). Editora Segmento. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  2. ^ Motter, Juliana (2010). Livro do Brigadeiro. Panda Books.
  3. ^ Cardoso, Barbara (21 July 2016). "A 'brief' Brigadeiro History". Sweet Stone. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  4. ^ Rezende, Graziela (1 March 2018). "Jovem deixa duas faculdades para 'encontrar seu caminho' e vender doces gourmet em Campo Grande". G1 (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. ^ "25 receitas com brigadeiro que vão te deixar com água na boca". Guia da Semana.
  6. ^ "Muito bem organizadas as manifestações no Dia da Paz" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Diário de Cuiabá. 11 July 2000. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  7. ^ Mejia, Paula (27 August 2018). "The Political Lore of an Iconic Brazilian Sweet". Atlas Obscura.
  8. ^ "Brigadeiro: conheça a história política e curiosa do doce brasileiro". Revista Galileu (in Brazilian Portuguese). 7 September 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  9. ^ Meirelles, Pedro von Mengden (2019). ""O mais popular dos doces brasileiros": História crítica do brigadeiro" ["The most popular of Brazilian sweets": Critical history of brigadeiro.]. Revista Aedos (in Portuguese): 330–354. ISSN 1984-5634. Retrieved 28 August 2021.