If you’ve ever been to Spain, you’ll know that their cuisine is all about combining lots of little things together to make something special. And if it is special things you are looking for, you are in for a real sweet treat. Today we’ve taken a good look and compiled a list of 25 Spanish desserts that you simply must try. The hardest part with all of these will be deciding which is your favorite. Read on to find out more.
Easy Spanish Desserts To Make At Home
Wondering what is a Spanish dessert with chocolate, apples or other classics from the region? I’m glad you asked, we’ve got 25 easy to make dessert recipes in store for you, so that you can work on recreating them in your own kitchen.
1. Tarta De Santiago
Santiago sits on the north coast of Spain and is buffeted by the waves of the Bay of Biscay. The only waves buffeting you here will be waves of flavor! This cake is pretty much Spain in a dessert. Sweet almonds and zesty Seville oranges are combined into a moist sponge that tastes divine. We like to serve a thick slice of this tart with a large cup of coffee.
Stop laughing. Yes, you were! This is the name given to cigar-shaped bread that is soft and a little similar to a croissant (yep, French again). It is normally served as a dipping accompaniment to horchata, which is a milky rice-based drink.
If you’ve ever had a sesame seed bar, then you’ll understand the concept behind this particular dessert. These pine nut cookies are sweet, chewy, and a little bit crunchy. There is so much going on within each little ball of flavor. Sweet sugar, cocoa powder, coconuts, and perhaps even a juicy chunk of cherry or two?
4. Spanish Sponge Cake
Want to know the secret to getting a cake that is really moist and tasty? Ok, we’ll share. The secret is to use plenty of oil. And if there is one thing that features heavily in Spanish cuisine, it’s olive oil! Once you throw some sweet almonds into the mix, alongside some zesty lemon, it Is pretty hard to get this recipe wrong. We like to top our cake with a little dusting of powder sugar (no, it isn’t to hide the burnt bits!)
5. Leche Frita (Fried Milk)
Yes, you read that right. Fried milk! No, you aren’t going to end up with a latte! We combine the milk with sweetened condensed milk and create a paste of cornstarch. This turns the milk into a sweet paste which can then be cooled, rolled into little sausages, and fried in golden breadcrumbs. This one is great to serve with a chocolate dipping sauce and can even be eaten cold. Give it a go. It’s amazing!
You may have seen different versions of turron. If you want to know what it tastes like, think about peanut brittle, and you are halfway there. Unlike brittle, this recipe uses almonds instead of peanuts. From there, it is just a case of adding a few store cupboard ingredients like honey, sugar, and egg whites. We cook the mixture until it forms a chewy dough before spreading it and baking until crisp.
These fritters are very similar to profiteroles, without the chocolate sauce (although you could include it, just saying). It’s the filling that makes this Spanish dessert really sublime. Take your pick, cream? Custard? Even a fruit-based preserve? All are fabulous to try. If you’ve got the time, why not make a range of different bunuelos all filled with different fillings? Every time you serve one, you’ll be in for a surprise!
Anything easy to make with minimum ingredients gets a pass in our book! Polvoron is a super crumbly cookie infused with the taste of crunchy almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. It is no regular biscuit, however. They literally melt in your mouth. If powdery, crumbly cookies aren’t your thing, this makes a great topping broken up and served on top of a large dollop of ice cream.
9. Tocino De Cielo
This is a simple dessert to make and doesn’t rely on presentation, so if you are a messy cook, this could be the one to go for. The basis of the dish is a round chunk of light and sweet custard. This is topped with a caramel sauce. It’s rich, pretty light, and great if you serve this Spanish dessert after a particularly large meal.
When it comes to Spanish desserts, you’ll find that the Spanish really know how to throw a party once it gets to Christmas time. This is another seasonal cookie traditionally baked in Spain in the wintertime. The good news about this particular dessert is that it is made using only four ingredients. Sugar, water, flour, and salt… That is about it. They take around half an hour to make and even less time to vanish from the baking tray!
11. Crema Catalana
Catalana is just across the border from France, and we’ve got the sneaking suspicion that the Spanish may have ‘borrowed’ this recipe from the French at some point in history. Why? Because it looks remarkably similar to crème Brulee. In fact, it has all the same elements. Creamy custard, a little zesty orange, all topped off with a lid of crispy caramel. Want a top tip? Get one of those little kitchen blow torches to set the crust. It stops the custard underneath from splitting.
12. Natillas De Leche (Spanish Custard)
If you felt bad that the Spanish pinched crème Brulee in the above, or you simply can’t be bothered to mess around burning sugar, then this could be the dessert for you. It is very similar to crème Brulee but without a crispy lid. We get our custard to set using a bain-marie. This is simply a dish of water placed around your ramekins to stop the heat from rising too quickly.
This is a variation of a traditional Spanish dessert theme. It goes something like this. Make dough. Deep fry dough. Dip it in sugar. There might be a little more to this recipe. Such as? The dough is full of tasty spices and flavors. This includes orange, cloves, cinnamon, and anise. To make sure that it is super tasty, they are normally deep-fried in olive oil. They are not waistline-friendly, but honestly, do you care?
14. Tecula Mecula
This is another Spanish dessert that features almonds as one of the stars of the show. The other key player is egg yolks, which is what gives this deliciously moist cake its vibrant yellow color. Almonds, when roasted, actually give out a subtle hint of sweetness. This works so well with the sugar in the cake batter. Be sure to top with a loose glaze of water and powder sugar which will crack when you dive in with your spoon.
15. Burnt Basque Cheesecake
This isn’t a typical cheesecake with a biscuity base. The filling forms the entirety of the cake. The only thing crusty here is the exterior. This is brought about by cooking the cake at a high temperature, which gives the exterior a slightly charred look.
Oh dear. This might just be our absolute favorite Spanish dessert on the list. Let us describe it and see if you agree? Crispy layers of tasty puff pastry, filled with sweetened cream with the occasional chunk of roast almond… What’s not to love? This is a Spanish dessert that looks really fancy but is an absolute breeze to make. We actually cheat when making ours and use store-bought puff pastry. If you are making your own, the key is to avoid handling the dough too much as it melts the butter that causes the pastry to be flaky.
17. Frixuelos de Asturias
Asturias is another area on the northern Spanish coast. We aren’t sure whether it is something in the water that allows chefs in the area to make great desserts, but whatever it is, it’s working! Don’t let the fancy title put you off. If you can make a crepe or a pancake, you are about 90% of the way there. The beauty of this Spanish dessert recipe is that the choice of filling is up to you. Don’t go boring, instead try and be Spanish inspired. We love to blend dolce leche (condensed milk caramel) with some orange zest and finely chopped almonds for a real Spanish-inspired treat.
18. Leche Merengada
Speaking of Leche. You might want to check this one out! This isn’t a Spanish dessert per se. It is more of a drink. That said, it ticks all of the boxes as it is sweet, creamy, and completely delicious. Think of it a little like a milkshake with a little extra. It contains quite a lot of sugar, along with beaten egg whites, cinnamon, and lemon. It is more of a summer dessert than winter. It is really great for cooling down on a hot Madrid day!
This might be the most iconic Spanish dessert in existence. We could eat a boxload of these and still keep coming back for more. Imagine a donut stretched into a long stick and fried. While it is still hot, it is given a liberal dusting in sugar. That’s pretty much what churros are all about. To make them as authentic as possible, we recommend a piping bag. For an easy chocolate sauce, mix equal parts of Nutella and cream in a small saucepan and heat gently while combining. Churros batter is really simple to make and is little more than butter, sugar, flour, and salt.
Those sneaky Spaniards have been at it again. Across the border into France. Back by lunchtime with a ‘Spanish’ dessert! What are we talking about? This is another that looks just a little French to us. This is the Spanish version of French toast. There are one or two differences, however. First, the bread is flavored using a milk dip. It is also fried in olive oil, giving it a distinctive taste. If we are Spanish, we serve ours with a few slices of morcilla ham and a slice or two of fresh oranges from Seville.
21. Spanish Apple Tart
If you think it is a standard apple pie, then it may be time to think again. Take a closer look at the crust (no touching or eating, mind you). Notice anything different? This isn’t any old Streusel mix. Far from it! Instead, the crust is made from a layer of crispy pecans, sweet almonds, some dried fruit, and even a dusting of cinnamon! The filling isn’t just boring old apple either. We like to add some fruit jam and a lot of cinnamon too.
No list of Spanish desserts would be complete without mentioning horchata. This is a sort of sweet, rice, and milk-based drink. It isn’t quite rice pudding, but it isn’t far off. We like to serve ours warm, but it is also equally delicious cold!
We can say one thing about Spain, they sure do love their cookies. These little shortbreads are super quick to make and an ideal rainy day recipe with the kids. We combine butter and eggs along with flour and sugar. We also include a little bit of lemon zest along with cinnamon. We prefer to use baking spread, but if you want to go all authentic, the Spanish also use animal fat. This definitely isn’t a vegan Spanish dessert recipe if you decide to go down this route!
24. Huesos de Santo
A lot of the dishes in our list of Spanish desserts focus on religious holidays. This one couldn’t sound any more holy. It literally translates as ‘the bones of saints’. A bit morbid? Possibly. A bit tasty? Most definitely! We aren’t sure that the saints’ bones were stuffed with custard, but these crispy little treats are! The ‘bone’ is so named as it is a hollow tube of crisp pastry, glazed with a powder sugar icing
25. Yemas de Santa Teresa
The best way to describe this dessert is like little Spanish macaroons, without the coconut! Instead, we use lemon, eggs, and a little cinnamon, oh and a fair helping of sugar too! Again this is one served on a religious festival. Can you guess the saint?
So there we have it. A list of traditional Spanish desserts (and a few ‘stolen’ French ones). Some you’ll know, and some you won’t. Which ones were your favorite? They are all super sweet and really delicious. Let us know in the comments below.
Churros. I had the best ever Churros in Sitges, Spain. Sold next to the beach. Filled with Custard. Whish I knew how to make them. Why did Covid stop us from flying….