Crema Dulce Recipes

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Hello friends and welcome back to Part II of my crema dulce blog.  If you missed it yesterday, click here for Part I on the many uses of crema dulce in Costa Rica.

Now, for Part II – here are my crema dulce recipes for you!  Have fun, and let me know if you try any of them.  

Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches (no ice cream maker required)
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  1. 2 small boxes of crema dulce
  2. 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (1 cup)
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  4. 1/2 C butter, melted
  5. 1/2 C white sugar
  6. 1 egg (large)
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 C flour
  9. 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
For the ice-cream
  1. Have the crema dulce chilled in the refrigerator and your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer (about 30 minutes). Whip the 2 boxes of crema dulce in your cold bowl until stiff peaks form. Pour in condensed milk and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and gently FOLD into the whipped cream until well-combined. Pour into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer until the ice cream firms (may need to do over night!). [NOTE: I like to pour the ice cream into a pan the size of the ice cream sandwiches, lined with parchment paper - then you don't have to melt and spread, you can just peel off the paper and put on top of the bottom sandwich layer.]
For the sandwiches
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10 x 15 inch (or smaller) rimmed baking sheet with foil and then lightly butter the foil (I used parchment paper).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and stir until combined and smooth. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cake is just dry, but still soft to the touch and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  3. Then, using the edges of the foil/parchment paper, gently lift the cake out of the pan and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the cake in half crosswise. Place one half of the cake, top side down onto a baking sheet that has been lined with plastic wrap. Spread with your softened ice cream, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon. Top with the remaining half of cake, top side up. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and place into the freezer until firm, about 2-4 hours or even overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, remove the dessert from the freezer, unwrap, and with a knife cut into eight rectangles. You can serve the ice cream sandwiches right away or wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and place back into the freezer for up to one week.
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Costa Rica Chica
Bailey's Irish Cream Mini-Cheesecakes
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  1. 25 Oreo cookies (whole cookies) - processed in food processor
  2. 3.5 TB butter
  3. 16 oz cream cheese
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 1/3 cups sour cream (or natilla)
  7. 3 TB Bailey's Irish Cream
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (bit less than 1 cup of chips before melted)
  10. More semi-sweet chocolate (for glaze)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the ground Oreos and melted butter into a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 24 mini cheesecake cups. Press down with spice bottle in plastic baggie, so well compacted. Partially bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.
  3. In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sour cream, Bailey's, and vanilla.
  4. Pour or spoon about 1 TB of batter into cheesecake pan cups to fill to a little less than half of the cup.
  5. Then add the melted chocolate to the rest of the batter. Fill the cups to about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheesecake is cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  7. After cooled, melt more chocolate and drizzle or spread over the tops of the cheesecakes. Refrigerate. Before serving, you can "frost" with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Costa Rica Chica
Very Chocolate Ice Cream
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  1. 1 small box crema dulce
  2. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  4. 1 small box crema dulce
  5. 1 cup whole milk
  6. ¾ cup granulated sugar
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. 5 large egg yolks
  9. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Warm 1 box crema dulce with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 box cream dulce. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  5. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard into the chocolate mixture, stir until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
  6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then pour into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Afterwards I like to put into a Tupperware container and place in the freezer at least overnight to become firmer.
Costa Rica Chica
Alfredo Sauce
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  1. 1/2 stick butter
  2. minced garlic
  3. 1 small box crema dulce
  4. 4 TB parmesan cheese
  5. salt
  6. Italian seasoning
  7. pepper
  1. Melt butter and sauté the minced garlic for a bit in a small sauce pan. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Taste, and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Costa Rica Chica
Crème Brûlée
Serves 6
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  1. 2 small boxes crema dulce (or 2 cups heavy cream)
  2. 8 large egg yolks OR 3 large eggs
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  5. fine sugar (for top)
  1. Heat the cream in a medium sauce pan, almost to a simmer.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the eggs and sugar with a wooden spoon just until blended.
  3. Gradually and very slowly in a thin stream, pour the cream into the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly (if you pour in too fast the eggs can curdle). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup with a pouring lip. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour into six to eight 4 to 6 ounce custard cups or ramekins and place in a water bath (a larger pan). Prepare the water bath by carefully pouring enough hot or boiling water so that the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins (note: I like putting the ramekins in the pan, placing in oven, and then pouring the hot water into the pan).
  5. Set the pan in the oven and set the oven temperature at 250 degrees F. Bake until the custards are set but still slightly quivery in the center when the cups are gently shaken, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  6. Remove the custards from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Cover each one tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. Shortly before serving, gently blot any liquid that has formed on the surface with paper towels. Sprinkle an even, not too thick, layer (about 1 tablespoon) of superfine sugar over the custards. Using a hand held kitchen torch, or under a very hot preheated broiler, caramelize the sugar until it is golden brown and bubbly. If using a torch, place it about 2 inches (5 cm), at an angle, over the custard and move the torch around until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Let sit a few minutes so the sugar can harden then serve.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Costa Rica Chica
Easy Broccoli Quiche
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  1. 2 cups flour
  2. ½ cup oil
  3. 5 T water
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  6. 1 onion (minced)
  7. 1 tsp minced garlic
  8. 2 cups broccoli florets
  9. 5 eggs
  10. 1 small box crema dulce
  11. salt to taste
  12. pepper to taste
  13. 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (4 ounces)
For the crust
  1. Add oil and water to flour and salt to form a dough. Roll between wax paper, and place in a pie plate.
For the quiche
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Combine eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese. Oh go ahead, put a little extra cheese on top, with maybe some cracked pepper on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 50 minutes (45 minutes is perfect in my oven), or until center has set.
Costa Rica Chica


That’s all for now folks!  Que rico! — Jen


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21 Responses to Crema Dulce Recipes

  1. Oh Jen yer killin’ me!!!! So my vow of only having dairy once a month (in Capo’s quattro formaggio pizza) will have to be adjusted to incorporate some of these freakin’ awesome recipes! I’ve been doing just fine making meat dishes por mi esposo and not me — but there is no way I will not be sharing some of these! I agree with you about these adorable little boxes — I too was skeptical but now I’m a total convert. And I will have to start hiking SOON!!

    • Hahaha! I love it, your comments always crack me up. I don’t mean to be “killing you” over your diet, in fact I NEED TO GO ON THAT DIET TOO, but fear I wouldn’t be able to stay away from queso and cream dulce hahaha…

  2. My stomach just growled reading these recipes. I’m starving and it’s only 10:30 am. I’m going to make these! You are just having the time of your life Jen!

  3. Funny timing, Jen. Late this afternoon I was unexpectedly gifted some fresh leeks and portobellos, so had the idea to put them with a bit of salmon I have on hand and make quiche for dinner. Was sort-of whinge-ing to myself about making a pie crust and then thought — ah ha, Jen had an oil crust recipe on the blog this morning! So, you’ve just simplified my evening, probably planted the seed for the quiche itself, so thank you! Fun recipes, as yours always are.

    • Oh I loved hearing this! Perfect! I actually made the broccoli quiche today – we have for lunch and dinner, and it was awesome. 🙂

  4. Pingback: HOW COSTA RICA HAS MADE ME A BETTER COOK - Costa Rica ChicaCosta Rica Chica

  5. OMG ! Thank you for all those recipes. I am in Costa Rica form February 2016 and I am always looking for grocery items that I was so used to in US.

  6. I’m so excited to have found your blog!! My husband and I live in Nicaragua and completely understand being limited in access to a variety of foods. Most of the recipes I find I have to make substitutions or make something “close enough”.

    Thank you for having these simple recipes that I can actually find all the ingredients to! I’m so excited to try all of them!!!

  7. Hi Jen,

    I just tried to make the Crema Dulce ice cream. The 2 boxes of crema dulce never did form stiff peaks, it just turned into butter. I chilled the crema dulce, beaters, and bowl. Has this happened to you?

    • If it turned into butter, then you whipped it too long. You should whip it long enough for the liquid to turn into a whipped-cream consistency. Hope this helps!

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