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Melt-In-Your-Mouth South American Alfajores

4.91 from 21 votes
Super delicate, soft, and crumbly, my South American Alfajores recipe makes cookies that melt in your mouth!
A platter for my Alfajores recipe.

Hi Bold Bakers!

If you haven’t had alfajores before, I am so excited to introduce you to this popular South American cookie! This sandwich cookie’s flavors are absolutely delicious (you can never go wrong with dulce de leche), but you won’t believe how fantastic the texture is!

These homemade alfajores are tender; I’m talking super delicate, soft, and crumbly. On the inside, there is sweet, caramelly dulce de leche.

These alfajores are made the Argentinan way, which means the cookie batter is made with corn starch, and the sides are rolled in shredded coconut. That little hint of coconut does something magical to this cookie. Even if you’re not a big coconut fan, the added texture and flavor is out of this world!

South American Alfajores on a cooling rack next to some dulce de leche.

What Are Alfajores?

Alfajores are sandwich cookies that can be found all around South America, but they’re particularly popular in Argentina. This is a traditional alfajores recipe, which means we’re making them with cornstarch shortbread cookies, dulce de leche in the middle, and shredded coconut on the edges. 

What You Need To Make Alfajores

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Electric mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • 2-inch (5cm) cutter

A stack of dulce de leche sandwich cookies, also known as Alfajores.

How To Make Alfajores

These little cookies are really easy to make, but since the dough is so soft, you do need some time to let them chill in the fridge before rolling, cutting, and baking! Here is how you make alfajores (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Then, add in the egg yolks and vanilla, beating until fully combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Be sure not to overmix your batter!
  3. Form the dough into a flattened disc, wrap it, and refrigerate until chilled and firm. This usually takes about 2 hours. 
  4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness and cut rounds using a 2-inch (5cm) cutter. Place the rounds on the prepped baking sheets, and reroll any scraps. Refrigerate the cut cookies for about 15 minutes to keep them from overspreading.
  6. Bake the chilled cookies for 7-10 minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown at the edges. Allow them to cool completely on wire racks, then flip half of the cookies over. 
  7. Place the shredded coconut in a shallow bowl or plate and set aside.
  8. Spread about 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche on the flipped halves. Then, very gently sandwich with the top halves until the filling starts to ooze out a little. Roll the edges in the shredded coconut. 

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Alfajores

  • You can use store-bought or my homemade dulce de leche!
  • This dough is very soft, so be sure to thoroughly chill it before rolling. If it becomes too soft when you are rolling it, return it to the refrigerator to firm up again.
  • You can make this dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. If frozen, defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To make filling easier, put the dulce de leche in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip or in a plastic bag (like a Ziploc) with a small corner cut. 
  • It’s not traditional, but try to fill a few of these with homemade Nutella! I don’t think anyone would complain!

How Do I Store Alfajores?

You can store any leftover alfajores in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. As I mentioned in my tips, this dough also keeps super well in the freezer — make it ahead and store the raw dough for up to a month! 

The inside of alfajores cookies.

Make More Cookies!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

South American Alfajores Recipe

4.91 from 21 votes
Super delicate, soft, and crumbly, my South American Alfajores recipe makes cookies that melt in your mouth!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 30 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
chill for 2 hrs
Super delicate, soft, and crumbly, my South American Alfajores recipe makes cookies that melt in your mouth!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (7oz/200g) butter (softened)
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (7½oz/213g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10½oz/300g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (12oz/350g) dulce de leche
  • ½ cup (1½ oz/43g) shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Instructions

  • With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fully combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and then gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated, taking care not to overmix.
  • Form the dough into a flattened disc, wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 2 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness, cut rounds using a 2-inch (5cm) cutter, and place on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll any scraps. Refrigerate the cut cookies for 15 minutes to keep them from overspreading, then
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden brown at the edges. Let cool completely on wire racks, and then flip half of the cookies over.
  • Place the shredded coconut in a shallow bowl or plate. Set aside.
  • Spread about 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche on the flipped halves and then very gently sandwich with the top halves until the filling starts to ooze out. Roll the edges in the shredded coconut.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days

Submit your own photos of this recipe

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Mabel Whitby

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6 months ago

Mine are not high enough but very yummy

Elena
Elena
7 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!!
This little guys are insane delicious and very easy to make!!!
I grew up eating them, they were a special treat for me and my siblings every afternoon after school with a cup of cafe con leche. And without any doubt, they are a South American treat, very popular in Argentina as they also are in Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, even in the Philippines and the Middle East which is from where they comes from originally.

Last edited 7 months ago by Elena
Jamila
Jamila
7 months ago

These look good

Geeta
Geeta
7 months ago

What can I substitute egg yolks to

Celeste
Celeste
8 months ago

I’m afraid this isn’t south american. It’s an Argentina-recipe. And as an example it doesn’t exist in a country as close as brasil, but you can find then in any store in Argentina, many brands, many flavours, same product. ( alfajor de dulce de leche ) that one is alfajor de maicena :V

Estela
Estela
8 months ago

These are delicious Gemma!! They were a hit in my family. Great addition to my recipe collection ❤️

Fathima C P
8 months ago

My shortbread cookies were a little dry. Can you tell me what went wrong?

Nothing
Nothing
8 months ago

Happy you made this recipe. For years I had use the recipe similar to the one that Queen Maxima of the Netherlands use, the quantities are different and it has lemon zest and cognac. Most definitely I am going to try your recipe.

Fathima C P
8 months ago

If I am halving the recipe, how many egg yolks should i use?

Fathima C P
8 months ago

If I am halving the recipe, how many egg yolks should I use? Thanks

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!