40 Traditional Spanish Dessert Recipes

If you have a sweet tooth, you will be happy to hear that Spain has incredible traditional desserts and sweets – from cheesecakes and rice pudding to flaky cakes and meringues.

spanish dessert recipes + typical sweets

We have compiled 40 Spanish dessert recipes and typical sweets for you.

Table of Contents

Spanish Dessert Recipes + Typical Sweets

1. Crema Catalana – Spanish Créme Brûlée (Catalonia)

best Crema Catalana recipe by the mediterranean fork

Crema Catalana is a dessert that originated in the region of Catalonia, and it became a popular dessert quickly. Due to its popularity, you can enjoy this sweet dessert in many restaurants across Spain.

It is similar to the French Créme Brûlée, but it is different when it comes to preparation and taste.

Milk, egg yolks, sugar, corn flour, lemon, and orange zests are all the ingredients you need to prepare a crema catalana.

2. Leche frita – Fried Milk

Leche Frita in a bowl

One of the most traditional desserts in Spain is leche frita, which is literally translated as “fried milk.” It consists of a mixture of milk, flour, and sugar that is coated in eggs and flour and then fried.

Although you can find it in many bakeries, it’s an easy dessert to make at home too. You will need milk, eggs, cornflour, white sugar, cinnamon stick, and vanilla extract to make leche frita.

It is soft, sticky, sweet, and very delicious! It’s a favorite among adults and children.

3. Tarta de Santiago – Santiago’s Cake (Galicia)

Tarta de Santiago is a traditional cake from Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. This is a light but full-of-flavor cake which is a great addition to your cup of coffee or tea.

It is made with ground almonds, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and icing sugar to decorate.

This is an easy cake to make for any occasion; plus, it is gluten-free!

4. Panellets – (Catalonia)

Panellets are typical sweets from Catalonia, and although you can find them all year round, they are traditionally eaten during Día de Todos los Santos (All Saint’s Day) on the 1st of November.

They consist of small balls made of sweet potatoes, ground almonds, egg yolk, and sugar and are topped with pine nuts.

These bite-sized sweets are extremely delicious, and a great treat any time of the day.

5. Arroz con leche – Rice Pudding

When it is time for dessert, arroz con leche is among the most popular desserts in Spain. It is everywhere, but there is no better rice pudding than the one you can prepare at home.

This rice pudding is a dessert that does take a bit of time to make, but it is worth the effort because its creamy and cinnamon and lemon flavors are delightful.

The key ingredients to make arroz con leche are rice, milk, lemon, cinnamon, and sugar.

6. Flan – Spanish Crème Caramel

Another classic Spanish dessert is flan, which is similar to crème caramel.

Flan has the consistency of jelly, and it is made with humble ingredients like eggs, milk, and sugar. Then it is topped with a homemade caramel made of sugar and water.

This delicious dessert is often served with whipped cream.

Also, try our Strawberry Flan Recipe – Flan De Fresa. Imagine the delicate embrace of ripe strawberries, pureed to perfection and swirled into the flan. These ruby-red jewels add a subtle fruity note that not only enhances the creaminess but also imparts a touch of freshness to each bite.

7. Tocinillo de Cielo – (Cadiz)

close up view Tocinillo del cielo

Tocino de cielo is a Spanish traditional dessert that is not very popular abroad as crema catalana or arroz con leche.

It is said that this dessert originated in Jerez, Cadiz, in a nun convent, but it became successful, and you can find it now anywhere in Spain.

The dessert has the consistency of a flan, and it is made only with three ingredients: egg yolks, sugar, and water.

8. Natillas – Egg Custard

Natillas are one of the most liked desserts in Spain. This egg custard dessert is smooth, sweet, and creamy.

It is made with milk, egg yolks, cornflour, sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick, and it is topped with a biscuit (typically a Spanish biscuit called María). If you love cinnamon, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon for the perfect touch.

This is a dessert your family will love, so don’t be surprised if they disappear quickly from your fridge!

9. Buñuelos – Small Donuts

best spanish buñuelos recipe by the Mediterranean fork

When Christmas is around the corner, you will start seeing street trucks selling buñuelos, delicious, light, and small doughnuts.

They are made of milk, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, and cinnamon, and they are served with icing sugar.

You can enjoy them any time of the day – breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, or dessert! Although they already have icing sugar, they also go perfectly with a Spanish hot chocolate or custard.

10. Buñuelos de calabaza – Pumpkin Small Donuts (Valencia)

A small variation of the traditional buñuelos is these buñuelos de calabaza, small pumpkin donuts. These doughnuts are traditional from Valencia and are usually eaten during Las Fallas event in March.

The key ingredients to make these delicious small doughnuts are pumpkin puree, flour, fresh yeast, vegetable oil, and icing sugar.

Enjoy these doughnuts with your favorite hot drink.

11. Polvorón – Almond Shortbread (Andalusia)

best Spanish Polvorones recipe by the mediterranean fork

One of the most traditional Christmas sweets in Spain is polvorones which consist of a shortbread made of almond and lard. At the beginning of November, you will find them in supermarkets and pastry shops.

This type of shortbread originated somewhere in Andalusia, although many people think it was in Estepa (Seville) or Antequera (Malaga).

To make this Spanish shortbread, you will need pastry flour, ground almonds, pork lard, anisette, cinnamon, and icing sugar to decorate.

They are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack or dessert with a cup of coffee or tea.

12. Pestiños – Honey Fritters (Andalusia)

Photo by DAP

Pestiños are typical sweets of Andalusia. Although you can enjoy them all year round, they are especially popular during big celebrations like Christmas, Carnival, and Easter. 

Made with olive oil, flour, lemon zest, aniseed, white wine, honey, and sugar, these honey fritters are irresistible!

There are many discussions on whether you should top them with honey or sugar, either way, they are delicious.

Enjoy them for afternoon tea with your favorite hot drink and friends.

13. Técula mécula – Spanish Almond and Egg Tart (Extremadura)

A lesser-known but full-of-flavor cake is técula mécula, a traditional cake from the region of Extremadura.

Many people believe this cake dates back to the 16th century, and it was the favorite cake of Charles V.

This cake is made with puff pastry, pork lard, flour, ground almonds, egg yolks, lemon, and sugar, and it can be decorated with red berries and icing sugar.

14. Pantxineta – (Basque Country)

Panchineta or pantxineta is one of the favorite cakes in the Basque Country. It is an easy cake to make, and it goes perfectly with a cup of coffee, chocolate or tea.

This cake is made with puff pastry, eggs, flaked almonds, icing sugar, milk, cornflour, butter, lemon and orange zest, and cinnamon.

The flaky pastry filled with a creamy custard and topped with almonds is incredible.

15. Toriijas – Spanish French Toast

Torrijas in a white plate

An easy but delicious dessert is torrija, a Spanish-style French toast. They were eaten during Easter; however, you can find them on many restaurants’ menus all year round now, including new variations of toriijas.

To make torrijas you will need a loaf of bread, preferably from the day before, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and olive oil.

It won’t take you much time to prepare them. Soak the sliced bread in milk and egg, fry in a pan with olive oil, and cover in cinnamon and sugar.

16. Huesos de Santo – “Saint’s Bones,” a marzipan dessert

Huesos de Santo is a Spanish dessert that is typically eaten on the 1st of November when Spaniards celebrate el Día de Todos los Santos (All Saint’s Day). At the end of October, it is when you will find these marzipan sweets in many pastry shops.

They have a white color and a long and cylindrical shape that resembles a bone. The marzipan part is made with ground almonds, sugar, and water, whereas the filling is made with egg yolks, sugar, and water.

They aren’t the easiest sweets to prepare, but if you love marzipan, their flavors will amaze you.

17. Tarta de queso – Basque Cheesecake (Basque Country)

Photo by Recitinas

Who doesn’t love a good cheesecake? The Basque Country knows how to make the best cheesecake in Spain.

This Basque Cheesecake originated in Donostia, in San Sebastian, and it has become very popular. Many travelers just go to Donostia to try this cheesecake.

It is made with cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, flour, vanilla extract, and sugar.

18. Miguelitos – Pastry with Custard (Albacete)

If you love a sweet pastry, you must try Miguelitos, a puffy pastry with custard from Albacete. They are easy to make and a perfect addition to any afternoon tea.

Puff pastry, milk, cornflour, honey, eggs, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, water, and icing sugar make these irresistible custard pastries. 

In about an hour, you can put them together and enjoy them with friends and family.

19. Tortas locas – “Crazy Cakes” (Malaga)

Tortas locas, “Crazy Cakes,” is the literal translation to English, are one of the most popular pastry desserts in Malaga. They used to be a snack to kill hunger among workers such as builders.

It consists of two rounded puff pastries, which are put together by a layer of creamy custard and topped with orange icing sugar and a candied cherry.

You can find them anywhere across Malaga and its nearby towns.

20. Fartons – (Valencia)

When you go to Valencia, you can’t miss the opportunity to try fartons.

They are sweet buns made with flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, water, and sunflower oil and then are topped with a syrup made of icing sugar and water.

Fartons are best enjoyed with a glass of horchata (tiger nut milk), but you can also have them with a cup of coffee or tea.

21. Yemas de Santa Teresa – Egg Yolk Sweets (Avila)

Yemas de Santa Teresa is some of the most traditional sweets in Spain. These sweets originated in Avila, Castile, and Leon.

They are small bites made of egg yolks, lemon zest, sugar, and icing sugar. It is an easy recipe that you can put together in an hour, and you will love them.

22. Piononos – Granada’s Spongy Cakes (Granada)

If you visit Granada, you must try piononos, delicious spongy cakes which are the most popular in the city.

They consist of small, spongy cakes with a cylinder shape which are topped with a homemade pastry yolk.

They aren’t easy to make, but it is worth giving them a go because they are incredibly tasty.

23. Suspiros de Moya – Meringues (Canary Islands)

Photo by Cookpad

The name of this sweet comes from the town where it originated, Moya, in the Canary Islands. They quickly became so popular that they expanded to the rest of the islands.

Suspiros de Moya is meringues made with egg whites, sugar, and lemon. They are very easy to make at home and can be enjoyed with your favorite hot drink.

24. Ensaimadas – Majorca Sweet Pastries (Majorca)

Photo by DAP

Ensaimadas are synonym for Majorca. These traditional pastries are full of flavor and irresistible.

To make ensaimadas you will need flour, lard, eggs, yeast, sugar, and water. They take time to make, so this is a recipe to prepare on the weekend.

There is no better way to enjoy ensaimadas than with a Spanish hot chocolate.

25. Cortadillos – (Melilla)

The most famous cakes in Melilla are cortadillos, small rectangular two-layer cakes with a creamy filling.

Eggs, milk, flour, sugar, cinnamon, anisette, and sunflower oil are the key ingredients that make these delicious cakes.

The touch of icing sugar on top is the cherry on top of the cake!

26. Cuajada – (Navarra and Basque Country)

Photo by Bon Viveur

Cuajada is a typical Spanish dessert, and more specifically, from Navarra and Basque Country.   

It is prepared by putting together whole cow, goat, or sheep milk, rennet, and salt. These ingredients are boiled and then left set on the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Once they are set, top them with honey and nuts.

27. Cordiales murcianos – (Murcia)

Photo by Bon Viveur

When it is Christmas time, you will start seeing cordiales murcianos in many pastry shops across the region of Murcia were these yummy marzipan cakes originated.

Ground almonds, lemon zest, pumpkin jam, eggs, wafers, and icing sugar are the main ingredients to make cordiales murcianos.

They are perfect for enjoying during the festive season.

28. Quesada Pasiega – (Cantabria)

Quesada pasiega is a cheese dessert from the region of Cantabria, in the north of Spain.

This sort of cheesecake is made with eggs, fresh cream cheese, butter, flour, cinnamon, and lemon zest.

It is soft, creamy, and a must-try for anyone who loves cheese.

29. Flores de carnaval – (Castile and Leon)

Whether it is Carnival or Easter, Flores de carnaval is a typical sweet in places like Extremadura and Castile, and Leon. They are similar to doughnuts but with the shape of flowers. 

If you are ready to try them, you will need flour, milk, eggs, anisette, lemon zest, and sunflower oil.

Enjoy them with icing sugar and your favorite hot drink.

30. Gachas – (Andalusia)

Photo by Bon Viveur

Gachas dulces, also called poleá, is a typical dessert of Andalusia. It is served warm, and it is enjoyed during the cold months.

It is a very humble dessert made with flour, milk, sugar, lemon zest, olive oil, aniseeds, and cinnamon.

Gachas are easy to make and are often served with homemade croutons.

31. Flaó – Ibiza-style Cheesecake (Ibiza)

Photo by DAP

Flaó is a traditional dessert recipe from the island of Ibiza, and it is often eaten during All-Saint’s Day on the 1st of November.

It consists of a cheesecake that has a shortcrust pastry case. The main ingredients to make flaó are eggs, cream cheese, sheep cheese, and sugar.

It isn’t a quick recipe to make, but you can speed up the process by substituting the homemade pastry for a bought shortcrust pastry.

If you want a twist on the normal cheesecake, this recipe is for you.

32. Crespells – Majorcan Shortbread (Majorca)

If you are looking for a recipe to make biscuits, crespells won’t disappoint you.

These Majorcan shortbread-style biscuits are made with flour, egg yolks, sugar, lard, orange juice, olive oil, lemon zest, and cinnamon.

They are the perfect addition to an afternoon tea with friends or a cheeky snack during the day.

33. Paciencias – (Soria)

Photo by Bon Viveur

Paciencias are a type of biscuit and sweet from Soria, which are often enjoyed with a good cup of coffee.

They are very easy to make, and you will only need flour, egg whites, sugar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.

They are sweet, chewy, and loved by everyone.

34. Pan de Calatrava – Murcia Bread Pudding (Murcia)

A delicious dessert is Pan de Calatrava, a bread pudding-style dessert that originated in Murcia.

It is made by using stale bread or cupcakes, eggs, milk, sugar, caramel syrup, lemon zest, and cinnamon.

It is a dessert full of flavor and is perfect for serving at family or friends gatherings.

35. Brazo de gitano 

best Brazo de gitano recipe by the Mediterranean fork

Brazo gitano is a traditional cake that is served as dessert, but you can enjoy it at other times of the day.

This cake consists of a two-thin layer cake that is rolled and shaped into a cylinder, just like a Swiss roll. Inside it is filled with homemade creamy custard and is topped with whipped cream.

It is a cake that children and adults love.

36. Chuparquia – (Ceuta)

Photo by Cucina de Ceuta

Chuparquia is a typical dessert in Ceuta, which is very similar to the Andalusian pestiños (honey fritters).

These fritters are made with ingredients such as flour, aniseed, butter, olive oil, cinnamon, and honey.

The best way to enjoy chuparquias is with a cup of tea since these are very sweet.

37. Medias Lunas – Meringue Dessert (Almeria)

Photo by Recetas de Almeria Turistica

This meringue dessert from Almeria is always a hit. It is packed with flavors and will impress your guests at a house party.

To make medias lunas you will need white eggs, icing sugar, and salt for the meringue part and eggs, cornflour, milk, yeast, sugar, and salt for the bottom cake.

38. Pastel de Córdoba – Cordoba’s Cake (Cordoba)

As its name suggests, Pastel de Córdoba is a cake that was first invented in Cordoba.

It is a cake that consists of a shortcrust pastry and is topped with a filling made of flour, lard, butter, pumpkin jam, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon.

This delicious cake goes perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

39. Perrunillas – (Extremadura) 

Perrunillas are biscuits that originated in the region of Extremadura. They are the perfect biscuits to dunk in coffee or your favorite hot drink.

Flour, lard, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, cinnamon, salt, and sugar are the main ingredients to make perrunillas.

40. Mel i mató –  (Catalonia)

Photo by Petit Chef

If you love cheese desserts, you must try Mel i mató, a typical Catalan dessert. It consists of a cheese-type dessert that is topped with a drizzle of honey and nuts.

This dessert recipe uses simple ingredients, but the taste is incredible.

If you liked this article about Spanish Dessert recipes, consider checking out these other round-up recipes below —

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Cristina Reina is a freelance writer and translator, and owner of My Little World of Travelling, a travel blog that shares local tips for beautiful locations and hidden gems in Spain, her home country, and the rest of Europe, so travellers can have better and more meaningful experiences abroad. Apart from her passion for travel, she also loves cooking and trying new foods in her free time.