In honor of the holiday, today you will be learning about the best spanish easter desserts.
Easter week is known as “Semana santa” in Spain. The holidays are widely celebrated the last week of March – first week of April. This year in 2021, it falls on March 28-April 4th.
In Spain, food is very special, so If you have a sweet tooth or just want to learn how to make something Spanish, then you’ll love this post!
In this post you’ll find:
- the name & history of the dessert
- recipes to make them yourself
- local’s tip – where to find them if you are in Madrid
Let’s dive in! I hope you are hungry.
Spanish easter desserts
The following 7 spanish easter desserts are a sure way to satisfy your sweet tooth while trying something new.
Easter is a big deal in Spain. You have massive parades that occupy the streets with their festivities.
There’s parade floats, crosses, candles, and the sound of beating drums.
During each day of the holy week calls for a special procession. In addition to the parades, Easter is a very big traveling week for majority of families. Obviously, due to covid that’s not happening right now.
This post is a fun way to DIY and bring some culture into easter desserts. Don’t let covid limitations discourage you from bringing Spain to you!
Torrijas are undoubtedly the most common Spanish easter dessert. This juicy mouth watering treat is actually pretty simple.
Torrijas are made with stale bakery bread. The bread is then dipped in a mix of milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes honey or wine.
Torrijas started to gain popularity in the 16th century. Since it is highly caloric, this dessert was given to new mothers before and after birth labor for energy.
Fast forward to the middle ages, torrijas became popular to eat during lent before easter. Since you can not eat meat during lent, torrijas became a popular replacement.
There are more torrijas recipes than anyone can count but the main basis of all is using stale bread. On average, bread should be a couple days old. This is how torrijas gets that famous texture everyone knows and loves.
Many say that torrijas is like a spanish french toast or a different type of bread pudding. The main difference of other european bread puddings is torrijas is fried in olive oil, not butter.
Torrijas today is a classic dessert where many chefs now combine the classic recipe with their own modern flair. In Seville, it is common to find Seville torrijas that are made with wine, not milk.
Where to buy Torrijas in Madrid: El Riojano, the best of the best, located at Calle Mayor 10. This bakery has been around since 1855.
If you can’t get yourself to a Spanish bakery, here is a quality torrijas recipe. Happy eating Torrijas!
Roscos AKA Rosquillas
Roscos or rosquillas are a dessert like fried donut. These special treats are made in such a variety of ways. Here are the most common ones: rosquillas tontas, rosquillas listas, rosquillas de santa clara, rosquillas francesas, and the one for san isidro: rosquiillas de santo.
- Tontas – most basic donut, dont have any filling/icing.
- Listas – these get a special coating of a sugar, lemon, and egg mix.
- Santa clara – using the classic Santa Clara’s nuns recipe, they add a meringue on top
- Francesas – the coating has powdered sugara and almonds
- De Santo – celebrated during Madrid Saint day, “San Isidro”
From hard to soft texture to filling to no filling. The rosco you eat today is probably made a little bit different than tomorrow’s. They are fried in oil and are a big hit all over Spain.
Roscos are very popular in Andalusia (south of Spain) and are a big hit this time of year. It has arabic origins and like most spanish easter desserts on this list, this is an indulgent treat. It’s made with a large amount of oil and sugar.
To buy the best roscos in Madrid, make a stop at famous bakery, La Mallorquina located at Calle De Velazquez 39, Madrid. Here is a great recipe to make the most special rosquillas
Pan quemado translates to burnt bread in english. This classic dessert comes from Valencia and they love it, you’ll see this treat everywhere in the region.
The treat was created during Valencia’s muslim times. The Moorish king of Valencia had a daughter with a small appetite. To help fix this, he sent her to an Alberic farm.
At the farm, the king’s daughter was left with a lady named Mona who made this special bread. As a result, his daughter got her energy back. The bread was made of yeast, sugar, oil, eggs, and flour.
The king was so grateful, legend has it he left Mona and the town his estate. Tradition says the pan quemado should be eaten with a hard boiled egg, sausage, or lettuce.
The best pan quemado in Madrid is at El Horno de Babette, located at Cl. de Ayala 79, nice place for artesenal treats too. Here is a classic pan quemado recipe.
Bunelos look like dough balls and can be sweet or savory. The most common time to see bunelos is during easter or autumn. Like rosquillas, there are a ton of different ways to make bunelos.
It depends on the Spanish regions but fillings vary from: cream, figs, or sweet potato. There are also flavors, like cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon. Andalusia for example fries them and coats them with honey.
Bunelos are typically eaten with codfish during easter, this quickly switches them from salty to sweet.
If you are enjoying them as a sweet treat, bunelos are typically enjoyed with a side of hot chocolate.
The best bunelos in Madrid are Pasteleria Mallorca, located at Calle de Serrano 6. To make your own bunelos try this recipe.
Pestinos are another big Andalusian easter staple. It’s a square shape cookie that has folds and sometimes contains a strong kick.
Pestinos are usually crunchy and sweet. It commonly has a sugar coating, sometimes bakers put aniseed liquor in it.
Back in the day, there used to be an Easter tradition in small Andalusian towns, people would come together to make pestinos for the holiday.
Find the best pestinos at El riojano, located at Calle Mayor 10. While you are buying torrijas hehe. Make your own pestinos here.
Mona de Pascua
Mona de Pascua is made of eggs, sugar, raising agents, and flour. It looks like a round cake with an egg placed in the middle. It’s a typical dessert of Murcia, Catalonia, Valencia, Castille La Mancha and Aragon. Tradition has it that the boileg egg is supposed to broken on someones forehead.
This treat looks similar to the circular Spanish Roscon christmas treat. It is sweet, airy, and sometimes tender.
Mona de Pascua is a great option if you will be cooking a big easter lunch. With the hard boiled egg in the center, it’s an easy way to feed people.
The best place to find Mona de Pascua in madrid is at Pasteleria Villagarcia located at Calle de Valderribas, 27 and here’s a Mona de Pascua recipe.
The most classic of the Spanish easter desserts is the easter egg! Believe it or not, Spanish kids love looking for the eggs, especially the young ones.
It’s a big easter tradition in Spain and kids love looking forward to it. Whether you are going to be making your own eggs, or buying them, an easter egg hunt is a great way to end celebrating the holiday with family.
Conclusion about Spanish easter desserts
There you have the best 7 Spanish easter desserts. You learned about which ones are easter staples and what makes these treats so special. Something for all who want to indulge.
If you are in Madrid, you know where to find the best goods in the best bakeries. Not in Madrid? Make these recipes at home.
Which one of these recipes would you make first? Let me know in the comments.
Happy easter and happy holidays if you celebrate! Xx