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Top Spanish Desserts

Spanish Classics are Hard to Resist


Spanish "pastelerias" or pastry shops are fabulous. There are several on each block. As you walk by, you'll see a beautiful, mouth-watering, hand-made cakes and pastries. Combined with the aroma, it is hard not to take a step inside. In addition to fancy pastries, there are many classic or traditional Spanish desserts, so this list contains the most beloved by both Spaniards and visitors.

Turrón - Spanish Almond Candy

Saynototheoffice/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Turrón is a very old, traditional sweet of Moorish (Arabic) origin. This Spanish Almond Nougat is the traditional Christmas treat in Spain. The original turron is made primarily from almonds and honey, but today it comes in a huge variety of flavors.

Mantecados - Traditional Spanish Crumble Cakes

Mantecados - Traditional Spanish Crumble Cakes
Lisa Sierra
Say "mantecados" to a Spaniard and watch their eyes widen as they remember the rich crumbly cookies they eat at Christmas. They are truly a favorite. And, no wonder - they are so soft, they literally melt in your mouth. Light, with a delicate anise flavor, words do not do them justice. You just have to make them to see why they are a Spanish favorite, and why no Spanish home is without "mantecados" at Christmas!

Polvorones - Almond Cookies

Polvorones - Spanish Almond Cookies
Lisa Sierra
Ranking right up there with mantecados, rich and crumbly "polvorones" are a delicious cookie, especially popular during the Christmas season. The name comes from the word "polvo", meaning dust. You might think it odd, but they are so delicate that they appear to be dust, and must be handled carefully. They are very rich and practically melt in your mouth!

Flan - Custard with Caramel Sauce and More

Spanish Flan - Vanilla Custard with Caramel Sauce
Lisa Sierra
The classic flan is vanilla egg custard, topped with caramel sauce. It is one of the most popular desserts, served everywhere in Spain. Although vanilla is the classic or traditional flavor, we have recipes for Flan de Fresas - Strawberry Flan, Flan de Naranja - Orange Flan, Spanish Honey Flan with Dried Plum & Brandy Topping and Easy Coffee Flan - Flan de Cafe.

Catalan Cream - Crema Catalana in a Step-by-Step

Crema Catalana
Lisa Sierra
"Crema Catalana" or Catalan Cream is the Catalan version of the creamy and delicate "crème brulée." It is also called "Crema de Sant Josep," or St. Joseph's Cream, traditionally prepared on March 19th, St. Joseph's Feast Day. (St. Joseph's Day is Father's Day in Spain and other Catholic countries.) Once you tastethe burnt sugar crust and delicate creamy custard underneath, you may eat the batch all by yourself.

How to Make Churros - Spanish Fritters

Churros - Spanish Fritters
Lisa Sierra
"Churros" are fried dough fritters, which look almost like French fries. The best way to explain them is to say that they are the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts. Instead of a little ring like a doughnut, a "churro" is normally long and relatively straight, with ridges. After frying, they are cut into lengths and topped with sugar or honey. Served with thick hot chocolate, they are definitely a favorite late-night Spanish dessert or even breakfast!

Bunuelos de Viento Recipe - Light-as-Air Spanish Fritters

Bunuelos de Viento - Spanish Fritters
Lisa Sierra (c) 2009 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth, Spanish "bunuelos" or fritters are perfect for an afternoon snack or dessert. They are lightly fried, fluffy rounds of fritters, dusted with powdered sugar and/or filled with pastry cream, egg custard or marmalade.

Spanish Hazelnut Custard - Natillas de Avellanas

Spanish Hazelnut Custard - Natillas de Avellanas (c)
Lisa Sierra (c) 2009 Licensed to About.com
Spanish custard, called “natillas” is one of the comfort foods that make many Spanish adults recall their childhood. Our “natillas” version makes a smooth, rich custard, flavored with brandy and hazelnuts, which is wonderful eaten while still warm.
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