Peruvian Maná

Maná is a sweet and popular confection invented by nuns in colonial Peru. It takes a lot of time and effort to make, but the milky flavor and delicate texture that results is exquisite. Eat within a few days to enjoy its freshness.

Makes: 50Hands-on: 1 hourTotal: 1 hour 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Makes: 50


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • Food coloring


  • Put milk, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and egg in a bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Strain and pour into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium-low. When the mixture curdles, takes a golden color, and the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes, start stirring constantly.
  • When the liquid evaporates and the mixture looks almost dry, after 20 minutes, transfer to the mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed, until it is cool and dry, about 10 minutes.
  • While beating, add confectioners' sugar until the dough is no longer sticky.
  • Using your hands, form little balls the size of walnuts. You can create fruit shapes, like bananas, strawberries, peaches, lemons, pears, etc. Have fun and form braids, half-moons, flowers, etc. Maná looks pretty if the fruits and flowers are painted with food coloring. Use a brush and a light hand to get the best results.