Dulce de Brevas (Colombian-Style Figs with Syrup)

by Erica Dinho on December 18, 2011

This post is also available in Spanish

Brevas Caladas con Queso

Every year, when I start decorating my house for the holidays, I get homesick and miss being with my family, laughing, dancing, cooking and eating delicious Colombian food. That’s the disadvantage of living so far away from Colombia, but I am happy to be able to offer my family here in the United States and my readers all over the world some of my culture and cuisine.

My kids are half Colombian but are living a 100% American life. I do my best to show them some of my Colombian traditions, a bit of the passion I feel for my country, and our food. It is hard because I don’t have a lot of  Colombian people around me, but I do my best.

Today I want to share with you guys a popular and traditional Colombian dessert that my grandmother always had on her table during the holidays, “Dulce de Brevas” or “Brevas Caladas”. It is simply figs cooked in a sugarcane (panela) syrup and served with white fresh cheese on the side and it is absolutely delicious.

Buen provecho!



  • 24 fresh and firm figs
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 pound of panela
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Water


  1. Make a crosswise cut on the top side of each fig. Place the figs in a  large bowl.
  2. Add 4 cups of water, lime juice and let them soak overnight.
  3. The next day rinse the figs and set a side.
  4. Place the panela, cinnamon sticks and 7 cups of water in a large pot and cook over low heat until the panela is dissolved completely.
  5. Add the figs and cook over low heat until the panela has a syrupy consistency, for about 1 hour and 40 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve the brevas with queso fresco on the side or refrigerate in a  covered glass jar up to a week.
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa December 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

A sweet way to maintain tradition and culture. Mm – that looks 100% perfect. Happy holidays!


2 norma December 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM

If it is one thing a Colombian friend turned me onto is these brevas. Your are delicious y ese quesito…mmmmm


3 anh@anhsfoodblog.com December 18, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I love figs! Wish I had a plate of this wonderful dish in front of me


4 5 Star Foodie December 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM

I adore figs and would absolutely love to try this amazing looking dessert!


5 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 19, 2011 at 2:56 AM

That looks and sounds simply amazing!


6 Ivy December 19, 2011 at 7:20 AM

These look perfect. If I’d seen this recipe this morning I would have made them. It’s not fig season in Greece but I deep freezed some during the summer for my son who came to visit for Christmas. We didn’t like them when thawed but made them into a jam. The ingredients I used are almost the same.


7 Heather @girlichef December 19, 2011 at 8:22 AM

This looks SO good. I can just imagine the sweetness of the syrup with the seedy fig over the soft cheese. Oh. My!


8 Joanne December 20, 2011 at 7:40 AM

I’m a sucker for any dessert with fresh figs! this looks so tasty!


9 Erica December 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Thank you guys!


10 Diana February 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I am living in Bogota now and cannot find this type of fresh fig in the stores. When we lived in Lima, Peru, this was my FAVORITE midnight snack. I am dying to make them here. Do you know when/where I can find the fresh fig?? Thanks for the great recipes!!


11 Jaime barreto July 23, 2014 at 1:19 AM

Go to any plaza de mercado and you’ll find any type of fruit,and while you shop for brevas,try the crema de limon,O M G.let me Know how you like it,enjoy


12 carolina May 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

yummy!!!! i love this stuff, can you also post a recipe for dulce desamargado?


13 Mary August 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

This sounds fantastic! I love figs in syrup, so I’m excited to make this. Any suggestions for the cheese? Thanks!


14 Erica August 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Queso fresco, mozzarella or other white cheese.


15 sara July 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Gracias por la receta, me regalaron un arbolito de brevas y hoy pude recoger una docena maduritas y estoy haciendo el dulce. Suerte. Yo vivo en Miami y hago todos los postres y panes y bunuelos siempre. Es indo conservar la tradicion.


16 Tomara November 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I found your blog when I was looking for an explanation of what panela was (I bought some at my new/local produce market. I LOVE the recipes I’ve read so far in general and can’t wait to try the recipes you’ve shared. :)


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