Classic Alfajores from Uruguay

Klassische Alfajores aus Uruguay

Friends, it is time for a recipe from my birth country again: Alfajores from Uruguay! Alfajores are a very popular cookie in Uruguay and Argentina, consisting of a shortbread-type of sandwich cookie, creamy and delicious dulce de leche as filling, which in the end is covered in coconut flakes. If you want a slightly different cookie and feel like impressing your friends and family, look no further, alfajores are for you!

Klassische Alfajores aus UruguayWhat are the features of this cookie? Well, the base is a shortbread cookie, or let’s say, the Latin American version of shortbread. Because it contains a lot of cornstarch. You know, because corn and Latin America? One of the main ingredient found on this continent? In comparison to a regular shortbread cookie, the cornstarch makes the cookie softer, it has this melt-in-your-mouth kind of characteristic. I flavored it with some real vanilla.

Klassische Alfajores aus UruguayThe filling you see oozing out is not regular caramel, but again the caramel from Latin America called dulce de leche (well, in Uruguay it is called that). Dulce de leche literally translates as the sweetness from milk. Since dulce de leche is very hard to find in Germany, I made my own by simply boiling a can of sweetened condense milk in water for two and a half hours. That’s how simple that is!

Klassische Alfajores aus UruguayThe last step for this cookie to be perfect, is to roll it in coconut flakes and that’s about it for this classic cookie from Uruguay. You want to give it a try?

Credit: Clásicos e infaltables alfajores de maicena from cocineros argentinos, p 69 (in Spanish)

Classic Alfajores from Uruguay

Serves: About 15-18 alfajores
Cooking Time: 45min preparation + 8-10 min of baking


  • Filling
  • About 150 grams of dulce de leche, see here how to make your own
  • 50 grams of shredded coconut flakes

  • Sandwich Cookie
  • 100 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 100 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 full egg and one egg yolk
  • 200 grams of cornstarch
  • 100 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Inside of 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • A pinch of salt



If you can't get dulce de leche, boil one unopened can of sweetened evaporated milk for about 2 1/2 hours. Make sure the can is always covered in hot water. Cool before opening and using the cream as your dulce de leche. You will find further instructions here.


For the sandwich cookie cream the soft butter for about a minute, then add the sugar and cream for another two minutes. Incorporate the egg fully before mixing in the egg yolk. Once everything is nicely combined, add all remaining ingredients and mix one more time. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least half an hour or overnight.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


Divide dough in half, put one back in the fridge and roll out the other thickly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies with either the bottom of a glass or a cookie cutter around 6cm in diameter. Repeat with all the dough.


Bake for about 8-10min, the cookies will look very pale. Let cool off before filling half with each a teaspoon of dulce de leche. Place other half of cookies on top and roll the sides of each cookie in the coconut flakes (it helps if the dulce de leche was pressed down to the sides of the cookie). Enjoy.


No idea what to do with the leftover egg white? Check out see this blog post including how to freeze them properly.

Klassische Alfajores aus UruguayP.S.: If you are into chocolate as much as I am, how about trying the chocolate version of this cookie? You will find the recipe here.

Chocolate alfajores

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  • Reply
    Wednesday September 9th, 2020 at 01:46 PM

    Hallo Jenny,

    Alfajores sind meine Lieblingssüßigkeit, die ich mit meiner Kindheit verbinde. Meine Eltern und Schwester sind dort geboren, wir waren über die Weihnachtsferien oft dort. Und was nie fehlen durfte: Dulce de leche und die Vanillefläschen von Monte Cudine! Wenn mal jemand dort war, mussten natürlich Alfajores mitgebracht werden. Wir rationieren und genießen sie dann. Meine Lieblingssorte sind die Alfajores nieve. Danke für dein Rezept, ich werde es ausprobieren!
    Grüße aus Süddeutschland, Biberach an der Riß!

    • Reply
      Wednesday September 9th, 2020 at 01:50 PM

      Mariana, wie cool! Das gibt es selten, dass jemand seine Kindheit dort verbracht hat, wo denn, in Montevideo?
      Vanilleextrakt mache ich mittlerweile selbst, das geht einfach, du brauchst nur Vanilleschoten und Alkohl, siehe hier:
      Und alfajores de nieve hab ich natürlich auch auf dem Blog:
      Ganz liebe Grüße aus München! Jenny

      • Reply
        Tuesday October 27th, 2020 at 01:25 PM

        Ja cool, danke für das Vanillerezept! Also ich habe meine Kindheit nicht dort verbracht, aber als Kind war ich einige Male dort. Die Süßigkeiten sind aber ubtrennbar nur der Teit dort und Besuche von Oma bei uns in Deutschland verbunden. Wie auch immer, danke, dass du uruguayisch backs!
        Herbstliche Grüße nach München!

        • Reply
          Tuesday October 27th, 2020 at 01:55 PM

          Saludos und danke für deine Worte!

  • Reply
    Glenna Johnson
    Tuesday January 11th, 2022 at 06:51 AM

    Jenny, these look amazing! Are there any good, authentic alternatives to coconut flakes in which to roll the cookies? I’m not a coconut fan, but it seems like having the cookie rolled in something is, at minimum, texturally important. I’d like to make these without going too far off the mark as far as traditional ingredients. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Tuesday January 11th, 2022 at 09:07 AM

      Hi Glenna,
      First of all, I am not a huge fan of coconut myself. However, as it is only a minor component, I don’t mind it in these cookies. You can try simply leaving them plain or just lightly rolling them in the coconut flakes. Probably any other nut would work as well if finely processed.

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