Dulce de Papaya (Candied Papaya)

Candied papaya, a traditional dessert from Puerto Rico, is a delicious and refreshing treat.  Sweet, and full of flavor, this is a great alternative to a baked dessert on a warm Spring or Summer night!  You can enjoy the papaya cold, at room temperature, served over ice cream or cheese, or by itself.  Either way, you’ll love this Spanish treat!

Note: Papaya is found at most grocery stores and organic stores (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.).  To make the dulce de papaya, look for a papaya that is completely green, and firm to the touch.


  • 1 whole papaya
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


Start by peeling the papaya with a vegetable peeler.  Scoop out the seeds, and cut the papaya into 1/2-inch thick wedges the length of the papaya.

In a large bowl, dissolve the baking powder in the water.  Let the papaya wedges soak in the water for about 10 minutes.

Remove the papaya from the water, and rinse under cold water for 1-2 minutes.

In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar and the papaya.  Cook, covered, under medium-high heat for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally, but do not add water.

After 20 minutes, stir in the vanilla and cinnamon, and cook the papaya over low heat, uncovered, for another 25-30 minutes.  The dulce de papaya is ready when a thick syrup forms.

Cool slightly before enjoying!

Makes 1 jar.

Adapted from a family recipe.

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