Home RecipesDesserts Peruvian “Encanelado” or Cinnamon Cake

Peruvian “Encanelado” or Cinnamon Cake

by Lorena

If you’re a fan of dulce de leche, you’ll love manjar blanco. And if you love manjar blanco then this recipe is totally for you. Layers of syrup-soaked cake and Peruvian “manjar blanco” makes this “encanelado” a complete downfall for the sweetest teeth. It’s a typical Peruvian desert and perfect to kick off this month dedicated to Peru’s cuisine.

The “encanelado” translates indirectly to something that has cinnamon. It’s one of those that when you eat a teaspoon you’re like “WOW! That’s sweet” but then immediately you take another teaspoon because you just can’t stop eating it hahaha. Has it ever happened to you?

You might have noticed that I really like cinnamon. To be honest until last year I had never met anyone who didn’t like cinnamon and out of nowhere I met like 4 people who hated it! I honestly couldn’t believe it!

The most important thing to consider when making this recipe is to be careful not to knock out the air that we added to the eggs while folding in the dry ingredients. It’s that air that makes the cake nice and fluffy.

Advises that seem crazy but are true:

  1. Use all of the syrup. I know it seems like a lot but it’s what gives soul to an otherwise dry and bland cake.
  2. Make time to make the manjar blanco. It takes 20-30min but it really is worth it. It’s so much better that anything store-bought that you can find and you feel the love in every bite.


Peruvian "Encanelado" or Cinnamon Cake

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 people, a 16x26cm mould
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the manjar blanco

  • 800 g condensed milk
  • 800 g evaporated milk

For the dough

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 80 g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil to grease the mould

For the syrup

  • 200 ml water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 100 ml Peruvian pisco (optional but recommended)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

To decorate

  • ground cinnamon


For the manjar blanco

  • Put the milks in a large pot and stir constantly on low heat until it thickens. Don't stop stirring or they will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • It should look think in the pot: if you run a spatula through it it should take about 5 seconds to cover the base back up again. Then out of the heat it will thicken further.
  • Let cool completely and put it in a piping bag.

For the dough

  • With an electric mixer whip the sugar, eggs and vanilla essence until it's really foamy and you can make a drawing on top with the dough and it takes about 6 seconds to go back into the rest of the mix (ribbon stage). Watch the video for further reference.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt on another bowl. Add them to the egg mix though a sieve.
  • Mix using a spatula with folding movements so as not to remove the air from the eggs. Be particularly careful to get the dry ingredients that tend to drop to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Grease a mould with a bit of vegetable oil and use a bit of kitchen paper to spread it around. On top of that put baking paper and grease as well.
  • Take to a preheated oven at 180C for 20min or until you can insert a knife or a probe inside and it comes out dry.
  • Let cool completely and unmould.
  • Divide the cake in half like a sandwich. Use a serrated knife to do this so it's easier. A trick you can use to cut it straight is to make small cuts on all 4 sides at the desired height and then when you go through it your knife will naturally follow those dents you made. Watch the video above for further reference ? **

For the syrup

  • Put everything in a pot and let boil for 10 minutes so the alcohol from the pisco evaporates and the sugar dissolves.

For the assembly

  • While the syrup is hot paint the base of the cake with half of the syrup. Use half of it! If it has cooled down reheat in the microwave or pot because that helps the cake absorb it.
  • Put half the manjar blanco on the base.
  • Put the other half of cake on top and paint with the other half of the syrup.
  • Cover with the other half of the manjar blanco.
  • Dust with powdered cinnamon using a sieve.
  • Cut the edges that are slightly drier (optional).


** If you don't have a serrated knife it's best to divide the recipe in two and make one recipe first and then the other and then you don't need to cut it. Make half the recipe first and bake it and then do the second half and bake it. Don't do a whole recipe and bake half first because the half that stays out of the oven will start to loose air.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!


Grace J April 17, 2024 - 7:07 pm

What type of Condensed milk? sweetened or plain?

Lorena April 22, 2024 - 9:15 pm

Hi Grace, where I live there’s no condensed milk that’s unsweetened!


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