Brazilian Sequilhos: Corn Starch Cookies


If I had a nickel for every time a curated feed showed me a recipe I decided to make, which was both Brazilian and primarily made of sweetened condensed milk, I would only have two nickels. That’s not a lot of nickels, but you know, it’s kind of weird that it happened twice, right?

Unlike the Brigadeiros, these Sequilhos are almost entirely just corn starch and condensed milk, with a little bit of other stuff added in for flavoring. And that, friends, is where you can go wild customizing them. In Brazil, I’ve heard, they do all sorts of things with these cookies. Some add coconut for texture; some add citrus zest for a bit of tangy punch. Some I’ve seen dipped in chocolate or decorated with cocoa powder. I also figured they could be colored with a bit of food coloring, but that doesn’t actually seem to be common.

Either way, they’re a fantastically simple cookie to make, they don’t take long, and they’re very tasty as a simple, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie without butter. Make them as-is, or use them as the base for some kind of Sequilhos sandwich cookie, or even as a component in another dessert entirely.

Fair warning, though: since one of the main ingredients is corn starch, you need to either be very careful, or resigned to making a mess. I use corn starch all the time, but I hate the stuff. It gets everywhere and clings to everything! But, it’s too useful not to keep around. This recipe was almost a test just to see how much I could use before it coats the entire inner surface of my kitchen. I’ll let you know how it worked out when I’m done cleaning up, some time in 2054.

Pro tip: skip the cups and tablespoons and just weigh your corn starch. It’s more reliable and less messy.

Then, once you’re ready, here’s how to make the cookies.

One more note before I let you go. The recipe calls for just vanilla extract as a flavor. You can replace the vanilla with another extract, like almond or lemon/orange. You can also drizzle an icing on top (I used lemon in some of mine), top with powdered sugar, or really anything else you like. Sequilos are extremely flexible base cookie that can be flavored pretty much however you like.

Sequilhos Cookies

A simple Brazilian cookie made with corn starch, condensed milk, and a few other ingredients for flavor. They're smooth, melty, and light, excellent for a simple treat.
Servings 36 Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cooling Rack
  • Cookie Scoop
  • Stand Mixer Optional but recommended


  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter Softened
  • 200 Grams Condensed Milk
  • 280 Grams Corn Starch
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


  • In your stand mixer (or by hand if you're hardcore) beat the butter, condensed milk, and vanilla extract together until fully combined.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. By hand, add in about a ¼ cup of corn starch at a time, folding together with your spatula. Keep going until the dough is soft, smooth, and shiny, and is just barely moist. You may not use all the corn starch.
  • Use a cookie scoop or spoon to extract teaspoon sized balls of dough and roll them into smooth balls, spacing them apart on a cookie sheet.
  • Press a thumb into each dough ball like you're making thumbprint cookies, and finish flattening them with a fork (leaving decorative indentations if you like.)
  • Chill these cookies in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, minimum. This helps ensure even baking and a thicker cookie.
  • Preheat your oven to 350℉. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes; they'll start to brown on the bottoms and the tops will start to crack.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes before enjoying. Decorate them, drizzle with icing, dip in chocolate, or whatever you like.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: Cookies, Corn Starch

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