Canillitas de Leche
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Canillitas de Leche

Well, this should not be called Canillitas de Leche, since I shaped them into something else completely.  I have been searching for months, to the point of obsession, for this recipe.  This one is the best I could find.

The flavor is great, but I was disapointed to find that they turned out with a grainy texture, I don’t know if it’s because I stirred it the wrong way, you know how sugar can crystalize.  We will try this recipe again and update my post to let you know about the grainy issue.

Still, grainy or not, these didn’t last very long!  The flavor is great, but let’s call them Milk Candies.

The true Canillitas de Leche from Antigua (artisan Guatemalan candies), specifically the ones from Maria Gordillo…. they haunt me.  First of all, they are completely white.  Second of all, they melt in your mouth and you don’t get any grainy texture whatsoever.  I am starting to think that their recipe is made by mixing milk, powdered milk and confectioner’s sugar, without putting it through a cooking process.  There’s no way you’re going to get candy that color after adding so much sugar and stirring it for one hour.  How do they make it??!  Hoooooow?!! See this picture to the right?  It haunts me. This picture of White Canillitas de Leche is courtesy of Around Antigua. Make sure to check their blog is you are traveling to Antigua…

Anyway, I shall succeed!  We got a tip from a friend to try this recipe again using confectioner’s sugar instead of regular sugar. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this recipe which is the next best thing. Aren’t they cute though?

Honestly, I never did reach the 240 F, so I just stirred the mixture for 65 minutes.  The consistency resembled soft sugar cookie dough, which was easy for me to shape and emboss with the little molds I used to make our Easter Cookies. ( You can find those at cooking stores).



Canillitas de Leche

(Fine!…Milk Candies)
Makes about 50 candies, depending on the size you shape them

1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
½ cup whole milk
2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Mix evaporated milk, regular whole milk, sugar, vanilla and the cinnamon stick in a heavy medium sized pot.
  2. Let it boil on medium-low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it reaches a temperature  240° F. This will take about 45 to 65 minutes.
  3. Adjust the temperature as needed to the mixture doesn’t boil over.  As soon as it reaches the temperature, remove it from the stove.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick.  Stir vigorously in intervals until the mixture cools, thickens a bit more and you are able to handle it. I used my KitchenAid mixer for this part.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet or two, with wax paper. Take tablespoonsfulls of your mixture to form into shapes, or use a piping bag without a tip to form disks as shown. Press them down with your finger.
  6. If you will use your hands to shape your candy, coat them with flour so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Once you have finished forming your candies, let them dry.
  7. Keep in a tight lid container at room temperature.

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  • Reply
    Thursday September 8th, 2011 at 06:48 PM

    qué rico!!! yo estuve viendo recetas pq me recordaba q había visto hace tiempo una q se prepara con leche en polvo y no lleva cocimiento, pero no sé si serán las mismas canillitas de leche como las de la Antigua?
    aquí está la receta de

    1 lb. Azucar Glass – Confectioners sugar
    1 lb. leche en Polvo de buena marca – Powdered milk
    2 latas de leche condensada – cans of condensed milk
    1 cuch. esencia de vainilla clara – spoon clear vanilla extract
    Maicena – Corn starch* to dust the working surface and the molds*

    Agregar todos los ingredientes menos la Maicena a la batidora (preferible Kitchen aid con el mango de amasar), empezar a batir a velocidad baja para que se junten y luego batir a velocidad media, cuando cuesta que siga amasando sacarlo de la batidora y amasar a mano en un area con un poco de maicena.
    Formar las canillitas o la sfiguras de leche en los moldes cubiertos de un poco de maicena. Refrigerar y desmoldar.
    Se le puede agregar color a la mezcla o esencia de otro sabor.
    Add all the ingredients except the Cornstarch* to the beater (preferable Kitchen Aid with the handle to knead), beat at low speed to mix the ingredients and beat at average speed, when it gets harder to beat remove it from the beater and knead by hand in an area dust with little cornstarch. To form the canillitas or thes figures of milk fill in the molds covered with a little cornstarch.
    Cool and unmold.
    Add color to the mixture or essence of another flavor can be added.

  • Reply
    Thursday September 8th, 2011 at 06:58 PM

    Thanks for your comment Ilse! We will definitely try it and let you know! those white Canillitas are heaven in a bite!

  • Reply
    Christine Luttmann
    Saturday October 6th, 2012 at 03:03 PM

    Ilse, I tried your recipe and the canillitas came out great. I am Guatemalan and have been buying canillitas all my life. Not any more…. from now on I will have Canillitas Doña Christine´s style. Muchas gracias!!!

    • Reply
      Saturday October 6th, 2012 at 07:56 PM

      Thanks for your recipe Ilse and your comment (and great feedback) on Ilse’s the recipe!

      We have a Pinterest collection of Guatemalan Recipes if you want to check it out here.


  • Reply
    Monday July 15th, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I tried Ilse’s recipe and the canillitas came out ok BUT not the same as the ones i used to eat when i a was a kid :) I will try Kitty’s recipe next but i will use superfine sugar or confectioners sugar.

    • Reply
      Monday July 15th, 2013 at 08:24 PM

      Yes, we think confectioners/super fine sugar will do the trick! Let us know how it goes Ingrid!
      ~ Kitty

  • Reply
    Wednesday September 24th, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Soy de Guatemala les comparto otra receta que queda espectacular, un poquito mas espesa y consistente que esta que nos presentas, pero igual pruébenla salen maravillosas:


    1 litro de leche
    2 libras de azucar
    1 raja de canela
    1/2 vaina de vainilla (en su defecto 1 cda de vainilla clara)

    se coloca en una olla la azucar, la canela y la leche, la vaina de vainilla ,y aqui viene lo entretenido pues se debe cocinar a fuego moderado sin dejar de mover hasta que tenga la consistencia deseada que es aproximadamente unas dos horas y el secreto es que se debe de menear hacia el mismo lado no se debe menear hacia lados diferentes si se empieza hacia la derecha asi se debe seguir meneando todo el tiempo hasta terminar que es aproximadamente hora y media a dos horas y algunas veces puede durar hasta tres horas la verdad, meneando hacia el mismo lado, para que espese mas rapido y tenga mejor consistencia, sabor y color.

    cuando ya se logro la consistencia tomamos unas porciones de esta mezcla y las vamos a manipular (menear como si estamos batiendo) en una tablita de madera húmeda que la mezcla se ponga de un color blanco de nuevo, esto nosotros lo hacemos con una paleta de madera y por ultimo se le da la forma deseada, al final se deja enfriar y secar. Ultimamente para que salgan mas esteticas lo hacemos con una manga pastelera y una duya grande para darles una forma bien bonita, o las pueden hacer en forma de volcancitos, de besitos, de bolitas o incluso con cortadores de galletas para darle una forma especial..

    Espero les guste

    • Reply
      Wednesday September 24th, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Hola Mario!
      Gracias por la receta! Vamos a probarla! Hicimos una parecida, pero las canillitas nunca se secaron como se deberían de secar, sino quedaron aguaditas (luego de dos días)… Hay les contamos cómo nos sale!

  • Reply
    Saturday December 26th, 2015 at 04:21 PM

    Ilse’s recipe is great, Im a Guatemalanan and my teacher when I was little showed me the same recipe Ilse said :)

    • Reply
      Sunday December 27th, 2015 at 01:15 AM

      We love it too Anna! Thanks for your comment ?

  • Reply
    Jenny trigg
    Monday May 16th, 2016 at 03:52 PM

    Here is a link to what looks like an authentic seemed to enjoy it so much I thought I should try to find the recipe.
    It uses 1 lb powdered milk, 2 cans condensed milk, 1 lb powdered sugar and vanilla …no baking just mix and put in molds… I will try it!

    • Reply
      Monday May 16th, 2016 at 04:48 PM

      Hi Jenny! How sweet of you!! Thanks for posting back the recipe! We did have it in our radar and now its up on our “next recipes to prep!” 🙂

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