This Mexican dessert bar has a decadent dulce de leche layer that will have your friends and family reaching for another piece!

Growing up as a kid, my grandma (Ita), would often make us champurrado. What is champurrado? It is a warm chocolate-based Mexican beverage. The chocolate typically used for that recipe is Abuelita hot chocolate. This childhood beverage that would warm my belly and soul is the inspiration behind this slightly sticky and delicious Mexican dessert bar!

Ok, so let’s get into these layers! The crust is made from Maria cookies which are biscuit-like cookies. When my grandparents would babysit my siblings and I, they would let us have café con cookies. The coffee was always heavily diluted with milk. It was either Maria cookies or plain animal crackers that we would dunk in the coffee and milk. We’d let them get soggy and then spoon the broken, soaked bits out and enjoy!

Now onto the middle layer. The middle layer is made up of dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is caramelized milk. You can certainly make your own but I opted to use a store-bought one which is just as flavorful!

The third and top layer is the abuelita chocolate. Abuelita chocolate comes in the form of round tabs which are scored. You’ll want to cut along the scores and continue to cut the pieces into smaller chunks. This will make it easier to melt in the microwave when combined with the coconut oil.

Let me know in the comments if you give this Mexican dessert a shot. I would love to hear about it!

Looking for other dessert bar recipes to try? Check out Vegan-Friendly Magic Bars with a Pretzel Crust

Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper for Slicing, Shredding, Mincing, and Puree, 8 Cup, Black

Mexican dessert bars stacked on small white plates with a few bars scattered in the background.

Mexican 3-Layer Dessert Bar

This Mexican dessert bar has a decadent dulce de leche layer that will have your friends and family reaching for another piece! 
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chilling time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 54 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16


  • 8"x8" baking dish
  • food processor


  • 2 Abuelita hot chocolate rounds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, not melted
  • 1 can dulce de leche 13.4 oz
  • 1 cup Maria cookie crumbs about 25 cookies
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily remove bars from the dish to be able to cut into squares. Set aside.

Making Maria Cookie Crust

  • Place Maria cookies in your food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Pour crumbs into a medium sized bowl. Add in melted butter, granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine well with a spatula.
  • Pour crumb mixture into baking dish. Pat down crumbs into a nice even layer. I used the flat bottom of a measuring cup to do this. Bake crust in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Assembling Layers

  • Empty can of dulce de leche into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds. Do this in 20 second increments. Pour and gently spread over cooled crust. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While dulce de leche layer is chilling, chop 2 Abuelita's hot chocolate rounds into smaller pieces. Place into a microwave safe bowl along with tablespoon of unmelted coconut oil. Melt for 1 minute. Do this in 30 second increments. Pour and spread over dulce de leche layer. Top off with chopped walnuts.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before removing from dish. Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!


Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 
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