Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada)

Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.comUnique and addictive Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) perfect for edible gifts this season!

Addictive Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |
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Not all my recipes have a back-story. Sometimes they are just things we come up with in our kitchen that we feel are worth sharing.

However, today’s recipe is connected to one of my very earliest food memories, and is therefore near and dear to my heart.

When I was a very little girl, my parents would sometimes take us to a family owned Mexican restaurant, after church on Sundays. We always looked forward to these Sunday lunches out. Growing up in a family with five kids, we didn’t eat out that often.

Honestly, I don’t remember what I ordered or even the quality of the food. What is permanently etched in my mind from these early family meals, is the candy the restaurant owners tucked in the bottom of the chip basket.

That’s right, under the tortilla chips (that were served before the meal with salsa) were little brown roughly cut pieces of heaven.

Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |

I never knew what they were called… These firm yet crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth, dark caramel squares, with a delightful slightly burnt flavor.

They weren’t fudge, exactly. The texture was too grainy (in a good way.)

They weren’t purely caramels, although they had a lovely caramel-like taste. They were too firm and crumbly to be caramels.

They weren’t quite pralines. Sometimes they had nuts, sometimes not.

They were entirely their own out of the ordinary thing.

Melt In your Mouth Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |

For years, I looked for these candies in the bottom of other Mexican restaurant chip baskets, and I have yet to find them again. I also hunted around for a recipe, or at the very least, a name for these strangely alluring candies.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, and was traveling in Mexico, that I discovered they were a variety of Mexican Milk Fudge, called Mexican Burnt Milk Candy or Leche Quemada.

Now let me state immediately… There are many forms of Mexican Burnt Milk Candy out there, and they range vastly in look and texture.

This recipe is as close to my original Mexican Burnt Milk Candy memories as I could possibly make them.

Amazing Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |

They are hard to the touch, yet crumbly, and immediately melt on your tongue. They taste of dark dark gently burnt caramel, yet don’t leave a harsh aftertaste.

Mexican Burnt Milk Candy is wonderful. Truly wonderful. In fact, they bring a tear to my eye every time I taste them.

If you are looking for a unique treat to give as gifts to friends and family this year, my vote goes to Mexican Burnt Milk Candy!

Must-Try Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |

Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) Recipe |
5 from 3 votes

Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada)

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Unique and addictive Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) perfect for edible gifts this season!
Servings: 144 pieces
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada)
Amount Per Serving (2 pieces)
Calories 50 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 27mg 1%
Potassium 36mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Sugars 8g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 2.7%
Iron 0.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



  1. Line a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Spray well with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and salt in a large 6-8 quart sauce pot and set over medium-high heat. Secure a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low. Stir continually until the candy thermometer reaches "soft ball" temperature, or 240 degrees F. It's okay if the bottom browns and little burnt sugar pieces are floating around the mixture. Just make sure to keep stirring!

  4. At 240 degrees F, remove from heat and immediately stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Once smooth, carefully pour the mixture into the prepared dish and allow the mixture to cool.
  5. When the Mexican Burnt Milk Candy is firm, but still warm, cut into small squares. Do not wait to cut the candy when it's all the way cool. It becomes hard to cut.

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27 comments on “Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada)

  1. Jamie Wurtsposted December 19, 2018 at 10:07 pm Reply

    I too, have been lucky enough to eat the delicious Monterrey House Leche Quemada candies. Our family used to go there every week as well, for years. Since then, I have lived in several different states and locations, and travelled the world but that candy taste has remained allusive to me. I can’t wait to try this recipe! It was serendipitous, looking up recipes that had the ingredients I remembered and to see your similar shared experiences, thrilled me. I have talked about those candies for decades now, because they were that good!  To find someone else sharing similar memories was a wonderful Christmas gift of nostalgia ! Thank You! Happy Holidays! 

    • Sommer Collierposted December 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm Reply

      Hi Jamie,

      LOL!! I love hearing I’m not the only one so affected by these little treats!

  2. Raney Fintoposted December 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm Reply

    Well, mine didn’t turn out as lovely as hoped. I have a nice batch of gooey caramel, any thoughts?

    • Sommer Collierposted December 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm Reply

      Hi Raney,

      Sorry about that. Did you use a candy thermometer?

    • Sharon Mullinposted February 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm Reply

      I am having the same problem 3 times ,yes I said 3 times and all 3 failed . I used a candy thermometer twice and used softball water method the third time. It’s like a very soft caramel tasting fail.I LOVE THIS CANDY and must figure it out.Please please help me figure this out. Its making making me nutso. .lol

      • Sommer Collierposted February 10, 2019 at 11:38 pm

        Hi Sharon,

        Sorry you’re having trouble. Honestly, it sound like you might need to buy a new candy thermometer. Are you sure yours is accurate?

  3. Ramon DeLunaposted August 6, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    Seems like this recipe is missing an ingredient. Like milk. 144 peices with just 3 14oz can of condensed milk?

  4. Carmenposted June 22, 2018 at 9:21 pm Reply

    YES.  i’m another monterrey house kid :))  i grew up in a southeast houston suburb called clear lake and monterrey house was peppered throughout south houston and galveston.  my family only took us once in a while, but the leech quemada made by this ONE person who supplied to several area restaurants is absolutely etched in my mind.  that man is still alive and his granddaughter now occasionally makes his recipe leche quemada and sells them in one houston farmer’s market.  however, since the last hurricane their operations were damaged and they haven’t picked up again.  unfortunately, i figured all this out AFTER they stopped operations and so i haven’t gotten my hands on that heavenly candy.  THANK YOU for your recipe.  i’ve tried a few without recreating that original magic, but i’ll give yours a shot.  i will say that the color of your candy looks quite a bit darker so i’ll try it with light brown sugar, as another poster commented.  i think it’s incredible that so many of us remember that candy and its unique placement at the bottom of the chip basket.  sometimes a very simple memory lasts for years :))

    • Sommer Collierposted June 26, 2018 at 12:30 am Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      Thanks so much for sharing your story! Please let me know how it turns out with light brown sugar. :)

  5. Melissaposted June 21, 2018 at 1:07 am Reply

    I have been trying recipes claiming to duplicate the Monterrey House candy for years, and none of them have come close. This is the stuff! It has that perfect grainy/sugary texture. I have to admit, though that in my house, it never even cooled completely before it was gone! I made mine with light brown sugar, and it had the same color as that from the restaurant. I wonder if the candy in your photos is made with the darker brown sugar? Either way, I will be making this again soon.

  6. Melissaposted June 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm Reply

    I have been looking for a recipe that compares with the Monterrey House candy for years. Yours sounds close as far as the texture description, but the picture makes it look a little too dark. Have you tried the recipe with white sugar? Also, some of the recent recipes I have come across call for baking soda. Have you tried that? I am wondering what effect it would have.

  7. sandiposted August 31, 2017 at 11:44 pm Reply

    How long do these keep do you think? Wondering how far in advance i could make them for a fiesta party.

    • Sommerposted September 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm Reply

      Hi Sandi!

      You could make them up to a week ahead with no issue. Just place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature.

  8. Diane Ganttposted August 13, 2017 at 11:04 pm Reply

    The Mexican candy I’ve been buying at every Mexican market or restaurant selling it has never matched that which I used to so look forward to whenever I visited Houston as a child. Today’s is always too smooth & shiny, more like our Louisiana pralines. Good but not the same. Your photo looks more like the type I used to so enjoy. When I read “grainy texture” and hard but crumbly I knew I had to try your recipe. I look forward to a trip down memory lane.

  9. Michelle Mathisposted July 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Ahhh, I remember the Monterey Mexican Food restaurant in Waco, Texas, where I discovered that sacred basket of chips containing little morsels of heavenly sweetness. In fact, reading this post was like reading my own personal experience. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Just in time for my birthday this week. Who needs cake????

  10. Jodyposted February 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm Reply

    I come from Northeast Texas and I could’ve written this! The restaurant we went to was called The Monterrey House. The taste of these candies make me remember being 5 with my hand plunged into a bowl of hot chips fishing for a little prize wrapped in wax paper. 

    • Michelle Mathisposted July 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm Reply

      Yes!!!! And we always hoped there was one extra piece, but alas, they only gave us one per person.

  11. Julie | Table for Twoposted December 21, 2016 at 11:26 pm Reply

    These look simply incredible! Definitely have to add this to my must try list!

  12. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted December 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply

    These look out of this world, Sommer! I would love to have some of these!

  13. Marla Meridithposted December 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm Reply

    This looks amazing!

  14. Aliciaposted December 21, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply

    Made these today. They are so good!

    • Sommerposted December 22, 2016 at 11:50 pm Reply

      Hi Alicia,

      YAY! Thanks so much for reporting back. You just made my day. :)

  15. Emily @ Life on Foodposted December 20, 2016 at 7:25 am Reply

    I haven’t heard of this before but boy does it sound delicious!

  16. 2pots2cookposted December 20, 2016 at 4:06 am Reply

    My kind of candies ! I’m so into condensed milk sweets !!! Happy holidays !

  17. Maria Lichtyposted December 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Caramels that melt in your mouth…sign me up!

  18. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted December 19, 2016 at 10:18 am Reply

    Love the sound of these!

  19. Jenny Flakeposted December 19, 2016 at 8:30 am Reply

    These look fantastic!!!