Home Desserts 24 Traditional Spanish Desserts

24 Traditional Spanish Desserts

by insanelygood
Bowl of Paneletts

Looking for new treats to satisfy your sweet tooth? Let me introduce you to the colorful world of Spanish desserts!

Food is a great way to learn about a country’s culture. Spanish desserts aren’t only drool-worthy, but they also represent beautiful stories about Spanish towns and cities.

From turron to yemas to polvoron, there’s a sweet food to suit your mood. They may all sound foreign, but once you have tried them, you will absolutely fall in love.

Don’t worry; there is no need to book a plane trip or leave your house to immerse yourself in these sweets.

Just sit back and relax as I take you on a gastronomic tour of Spanish desserts. 

1. Tarta De Santiago

Tarta de Santiago is a classic Spanish dessert dating back all the way to the 15th century. It originated from Galicia, Spain, at the time of the medieval pilgrimage. 

Made with almonds, orange zest, and almond zest, Tarta de Santiago is similar to Spanish almond cake.

It’s just as soft and moist and is packed with almond and orange flavors. The only difference is that a stencil of St. James Cross is featured at the center of the cake.

Tarta de Santiago is a perfect afternoon snack, especially when paired with cafe con leche, or coffee with milk. 

2. Panellets 

Panellets are bite-sized cookies made with almonds and sugar that are coated in pine nuts, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, or candied cherries. 

They’re soft and chewy, with a nice crunch from the nuts. As for the flavor, you’ll get a combination of sweet, nutty, and chocolatey in one bite. 

The dessert hails from Catalonia and is usually eaten during All Saints Day (Dia de Todos los Santos) with a glass of sparkling wine. 

3. Spanish Sponge Cake

Spanish sponge cake is a moist olive oil cake infused with lemon and almonds. It’s rich, flavorful, and super easy to make.

The cake is finished off with a simple dusting of powdered sugar. But you can also top it with fresh fruit, sugar glaze, or chopped nuts.

The cake may be simple, but the combination of citrus and almond makes it uniquely delicious.

It’s perfect for dessert, but since it has such a good balance of flavors, it’s also great for breakfast and merienda (afternoon snack).

4. Leche Frita (Fried Milk)

Fried milk. Wow, that phrase alone is making me all giddy!

Leche frita or fried milk is, well, fried milk. How on earth do you fry something liquid? 

Easy. You turn milk into a custardy pudding, coat it with breading, and fry! And the result? Oh my. I can munch on fried milk every day.

5. Turron 

Turron is a traditional Spanish dessert that’s popular during the Christmas season. It’s a combination of almonds, honey, sugar, and egg whites, which results in a sweet and nutty nougat.

There are two main kinds of turron. Both are delicious, but they are completely different in texture. Turron de Alicante is a crisp and brittle nougat, while Turron de Jijona is chewy and ooey-gooey.

Since it’s very easy to make, feel free to enjoy turron even when it’s not Christmas! 

6. Buñuelos

Bunuelos are sweet, tender, and fluffy fritters. They are filled with either pastry cream, custard, or marmalade, and dusted with powdered sugar.

Soft, sweet, and pillowy, they’re a lot like bite-sized donuts.

Bunuelos are normally served during Christmas and other holidays, but you can also snack on them on any day.

Made with just flour, eggs, sugar, and milk, they’re so easy to make.

7. Polvorón 

Polvoron is a unique and extraordinary cookie. The term is derived from the Spanish word “polvo,” meaning dust or powder.

It makes sense, because this treat is super powdery in the best way possible.

Polvoron is a crumbly cookie made with just 5 ingredients: flour, crushed almonds, butter, sugar, and cinnamon. These cookies are super rich and buttery!

When you bite into them, the cookies dissolve in your mouth into powdery crumbles. It really is an amazing experience! 

Polvoron are usually served during Christmas, but they’re so easy to make, you can have them today!

8. Tocino De Cielo 

Tocino de cielo, when translated, literally means heaven’s little pig. While I have no clue why it’s called a little pig, I definitely agree that it’s heaven.

Tocino de cielo looks like a replica of Spanish flan, but the taste and texture aren’t the same.

As opposed to flan, tocino de cielo is made only with egg yolks, resulting in a much richer, lighter, and sweeter custard.

This Spanish delight dates all the way back to the 14tch century in the city of Jerez de la Frontera.

Back then, wineries made use of egg whites to clarify their wine, giving them tons of leftover egg yolks. 

They would then donate the yolks to a nearby convent – the Convento de Espiritu Santo de Jerez de la Frontera. Thanks to the nuns’ ingenuity, the immaculate dessert was concocted.

9. Perrunillas 

Perrunillas are another traditional Christmas biscuit. They’re shortbread biscuits made with the basic ingredients of flour, water, sugar, and/or salt.

As simple as the recipe may be, perrunillas are extremely tender, and they melt in your mouth.

The term perrunillas comes from the words “perruna” which means “tender,” and the suffix “illa,” meaning small. They may be small, but they’re definitely big on flavor. 

10. Crema Catalana 

Crema Catalana is the Spanish version of the French crème brûlée. They say that the latter is superior, but I disagree! 

This sweet and velvety custard is simply divine. It melts in your mouth, enveloping your taste buds with its delicate milky flavor.

The torched sugar topping provides a crunchy contrast that takes the dessert to a whole other level.

11. Natillas De Leche (Spanish Custard)

Natillas de leche, or Spanish custard, is another smooth, thick and creamy flan. It is infused with cinnamon and vanilla, giving it its distinct flavor.

It’s also a very simple dessert to make, and only calls for milk, eggs, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla. You can also add lemon for a hint of zest.

12. Pestiños 

Pestinos are the pride of Andalucia, and for good reason. They’re deep-fried dough dipped in honey or topped with sugar. They’re wonderfully sweet, tender, and addictive.

What makes them stand out among other fritters is that the dough itself is full of flavor! Nope, it’s not just deep fried flour.

Rather, it’s flavored with anise, orange, cloves, and cinnamon. Plus, it’s also fried in olive oil, making it even more irresistible.

13. Técula Mécula 

Técula mécula is a sweet pie made with almonds and egg yolks. The traditional treat originated in Extremadura, in western Spain.

Interestingly, the term tecula mecula is actually an Arabic phrase that means, “for you, for me.” I’m not sure if I’m willing to share this pie with anyone, though!

It’s also called the imperial almond tart because it was the favorite dessert of Emperor Charles V.

This pie is ultra-rich and creamy. The ground almonds give it such a distinct nutty flavor.

14. Pantxineta 

Pantxineta is another custardy dessert, this time hailing from Basque. It’s made with layers of puff pastry, pastry cream, and roasted almonds. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

It may seem too complicated to whip up, too, but it really isn’t. In fact, it’s one of the easiest Spanish desserts to make! 

You basically just stuff two sheets of puff pastry with custard cream, coat them in chopped nuts and powdered sugar, and devour!

15. Frixuelos de Asturias 

Frixuelos de Asturias sounds like such an intimidating dish, but it’s actually just crepes! There are various ways to serve Spanish crepes, and each of them is amazing.

You can simply top your crepes with sugar, or fill them with apple compote, fresh fruit, custard, or pastry cream.

Sweet tooths go the extra mile by stuffing them with Nutella or dulce de leche. 

Just like regular crepes, you can also stuff Frixuelos de Asturias with savory fillings, such as cheese, or meats.

16. Leche Merengada

Leche Merengada is a thick, sweet, and creamy drink. It’s a lot like a milkshake, only better.

Made with milk, sugar, egg whites, cinnamon, and lemon zest, the flavors in this beverage are like no other. 

Served chilled, leche merengada is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

The best part about leche merengada is that it’s super easy to make. Since the ingredients are basic, you can make it at home any time. 

17. Churros 

Churros dipped in hot chocolate sauce. Need I say more?

Churros are such a fantastic snack that’s famous not only in Latin countries but worldwide. These deep-fried babies are golden crisp on the outside and super tender on the inside.

Dipped in hot chocolate or dulce de leche, they’re the ultimate afternoon treat.

18. Torrijas 

Torrijas is the Spanish version of French toast. It’s tasty, easy, and a wonderful way to start the day.

While they’re similar, Torrijas differs from French toast in that it is first dipped in flavored milk and then in egg. It’s deep-fried in olive oil, giving it a more umami flavor. 

Coated in cinnamon sugar, or topped with honey or syrup, torrijas makes a sinful and satisfying breakfast.

19. Spanish Apple Tart

Tarta de Manzana Casera is basically an apple pie, but with a special twist.

For starters, the crust isn’t your typical butter and flour mixture. Rather, it’s made with ground walnuts, pecans, dates, and cinnamon! Talk about flavor.

The filling is a combination of apples, apricot jam, and cinnamon. It’s then sealed with a second layer of irresistible crust and baked to perfection.

20. Pastissets 

Pastissets are powdered sugar cookies made with flour, butter, egg yolks, lard, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel.

The dough is formed into various shapes and dusted with powdered sugar after baking.

These cookies may look simple, but they’re truly extraordinary. They’re wonderfully sweet, zesty, and buttery!

What makes them extra special, though, is their consistency. They’re so ridiculously soft and tender, they melt in your mouth!

21. Huesos de Santo (Saint’s Bones)

“Saint’s bones.” They do not sound appetizing, but they sure are tasty.

Huesos de Santo is a popular dessert served during All Saints’ Day. It is called such for its strange yet charming presentation: white cylinders resembling hollow bones stuffed with yellow custard.

The bone is made with marzipan paste, which is a combination of ground almonds and sugar. The filling is made with egg yolk and sugar.

22. Fartons 

Farton is a fluffy bread paired exclusively with horchata de chufa. This sweet sponge bread is cigar-shaped, making it perfect for dunking!  

Horchata de chufa is a sweet and refreshing beverage made with tiger nuts, sugar, and water. It is not to be confused with the Mexican horchata, which is made from rice. 

Together with farton, horchata de chufa makes a tasty and satisfying breakfast or merienda. 

23. Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Burnt Basque cheesecake is an incredibly rich and creamy crustless cheesecake. Its charred, crusty exterior is achieved by baking the cake at super high heat. 

But don’t worry, it doesn’t taste burnt at all! Rather, the crust is slightly crisp and deliciously caramelized. 

If you’re too intimidated to bake traditional cheesecake, burnt Basque cheesecake is for you. It’s the most fool-proof cheesecake recipe you will ever find!

There’s no need to make a crust or prepare toppings because burnt Basque cheesecake is ridiculously amazing by itself. 

24. Yemas de Santa Teresa

Yemas de Santa Teresa are sweet and creamy bite-sized balls made with sugar and egg yolks, and flavored with lemon juice and cinnamon. They’re super soft, chewy, and impossible to resist!

This dessert is popular in the province of Avila, and is usually prepared in honor of their patron saint, Teresa of Avila, on her feast day, October 15th. But of course, feel free to make them any time you want!

24 Traditional Spanish Desserts

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Spanish Desserts

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