Natilla from Colombia

Natillas aus Kolumbien

Do you want to make a Colombian happy during the holidays? I have a very simple solution for you, just make him or her natilla, this is an easy milk custard, which doesn’t require you to turn on the oven. Natilla is, and this was confirmed by many Colombians, beside the deep-fried cheese balls buñuelos THE most Colombian Christmas snack. Yes, you read right, Colombians don’t necessarily have a main dish they associate with Christmas, instead it is the snacks, which are served beforehand which are dear to them. The most common ones being said milk custard named natilla or the buñuelos, which are deep-fried cheese balls. These are served throughout the season and on the 24th the very latest.

Natillas aus KolumbienI was amazed to learn that natilla is so popular during the holidays in Colombia. I can assure you that natilla is going to be made at least once, but probably more often than that. </span>It is a simple custard that is thickened with cornstarch and served as a snack in between.<span lang=”EN-US”>Regardless whether this is at the offical start of the season, which is December 7th or on Christmas itself, which is on December 24th. Natilla is an integral part of Colombian Christmas. By the way, natilla can be easily veganzied if you use plant milk instead.

Natillas aus Kolumbien

There are two types of natilla. The one you see presented here gets its brown color not only from the cinnamon used, but mainly from the raw cane sugar called panela. This is liquid sugar, which is pressed into squares and then chopped. I used panela chunks when I heated the milk, but if you can’t get your hands on panela, dark brown sugar will do as well. White natilla on the other hand is produced with sweetened condensed milk. I may introduce this variety at some other point. For the time being we will first have a look at brown natilla, which I personally prefer. Natilla is something many Colombians either love or hate, but regardless, it is much certain that it is going to be served during the season. You can also add some raisins to it, which is optional. My husband and me prefer the version without.

Natilla from Colombia

Serves: About 8 pieces, depending on size
Prep Time: 10min Cooking Time: 10min Total Time: 20min

Natilla from Colombia is a simple custard thickened with cornstarch and served throughout the season.


  • 400 grams + 100 grams of full-fat milk
  • 100g panela or whole cane or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 60 grams of cornstarch
  • 25 grams of butter
  • Optional: about 30 grams of raisins



Heat 400 grams of milk with the sugar (break up the panela a bit if using) and the cinnamon sticks and let simmer for about five minutes. Meanwhile stir 100 grams of cold milk in a mug with the cornstarch until you see no lumps. Then add to the mix and let come to a boil again while constantly stirring. Let cook for about one minute, remove the cinnamon sticks. Add the butter and if using, fold in the raisins. This will be a very thick custard, so be sure to use a whisk.


Either fill in single servings or a small casserole dish or tupperware (mine was 21x15cm) and let sit at room temperature for an hour before transfering to the fridge. Chill for a few hours or overnight. Slice and serve sprinkled with some additional cinnamon.

Natillas aus Kolumbien

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  • Reply
    Friday November 26th, 2021 at 03:41 PM

    Diese Natilla schmeckt definitiv super gut. Davon sind Lorena und ich persönlich überzeugt.

    • Reply
      Friday November 26th, 2021 at 04:57 PM

      Lieber Paul, danke für deine lieben Worte und dass ihr so oft meine Testesser seid, wenn ich kolumbianische Sachen ausprobiere.

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