Manjar Blanco (Caramelized Milk Candy)

by Alura Gonzales
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

Manjar blanco is called "manjablanco" in Santa Cruz. It resembles caramel but is thicker. If you cook it long enough, you can cut it into soft squares. If you cook a bit less, you can spread it. It is also slightly lighter in color than regular caramel. You’ll need the following ingredients:

½ cup rice
9 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon baking soda, so that milk is not cut
2 cups granulated sugar


Wash the rice very well, drain and let dry under the sun. Once it is dry, grind it finely using a mill or a blender. Sift using a sieve. Repeat the process until all the rice has been finely ground.

In a large pot pour the nine cups of milk, ground rice, baking soda, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Mix very well until the sugar dissolves.

Place the pot over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It is very important to stir frequently. Let it boil over medium heat until the mixture thickens.

The spread will be ready when the caramel separates from the bottom of the pot while stirring with the spoon.

Note: This milk candy or manjablanco (Manjar Blanco) can be eaten alone for dessert, on bread, or can be used to fill layer cakes.

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