Spain is very well known for its creamy and luscious main dishes such as the cold gazpacho soup or the shrimp and noodle combination in the Fideuà, however it also contains some incredibly delicious desserts that often go under the radar despite being so filled with unique flavors that instantly melt in the mouth.
Spanish desserts mix together a whole range of ingredients that make for an often creamy and smooth texture that is a joy to bite into after a filling meal and is guaranteed to satisfy any family members or guests who try some of these excellent traditional dishes that Spain has to offer.
So that you can include some of these incredibly underrated dishes after your next big meal, we have compiled 27 of the tastiest and most appetizing Spanish desserts that you can make right now.
1. Mantecados Spanish Crumble Cakes
With ‘Manteca’ meaning lard or butter in Spanish, these traditional Spanish cakes were created centuries ago due to a surplus of lard which makes them incredibly light, soft and crumbly.
With a few cups of flour, a dollop of dough, some cinnamon sugar and a few other ingredients to give the cakes a sweet and savory flavor, you can make these cakes in just a few minutes, and if you want to make them a little healthier even consider combining some veggies into the mix.
2. Spanish Flan
Also known as a ‘Vanilla egg’, this incredibly sweet dessert features a pure vanilla extract topped with some caramel sauce to make for a cute and light dessert which can easily be digested after a hefty meal.
Luckily, this popular dessert can be made incredibly easily just requiring some sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to make the base and then topped off with whipping caramel cream making for an easy dessert that won’t upset the stomach.
While most people have heard of churros, very few of us have actually tried this hot and crispy dessert which works perfectly as a tasteful treat and can be made with just a mixture of flour, baking powder, oil and boiling water to make the batter, and some cinnamon and sugar to make for a fluffy coating, making this a delicious dessert which is popular for all the right reasons.
4. S’mores Empanada
It’s hard to not find at least one ingredient in this puffy dessert that you love containing a mixture of pie dough, marshmallows, chocolate chips and some cinnamon that creates this beautifully delicious dessert that is a unique taste on the traditional Empanada.
If you’re a fan of the soft texture of marshmallows and the sweetness of cinnamon, this is the dessert for you.
These soft and succulent cookies are an excellent dessert for when you want something small in size but bursting with a sweet and nutty chocolate flavor.
The mixture of pine nuts, cocoa powder and coconut flakes coating the almond and sugar base makes this one of the easiest to eat desserts packed full of amazing tastes that can be whisked together and prepared in as little as 20 minutes, just make sure to make a few bowls worth as they will be gone like hot cakes once on the table.
6. Arroz con Leche
A very traditional dish which has been popular in Spain for centuries, this rice pudding dessert recipe infuses a sweet lemon flavor to create a delicately filling dish which can be served hot or cold.
Not to mention, it can be prepared incredibly quickly, simply add the rice and the other ingredients to a saucepan gradually on a medium heat and keep stirring until the luscious ingredients soak into the rice and create this incredibly sweet dish.
Maybe you want a smaller, slightly more delicate and lighter dessert that can easily be snacked on and enjoyed after a big meal, if so the traditional polvorones cookies that are a popular holiday serving in Spain are a great choice.
Made from some Spanish shortbread and with extra hints of vanilla extract and kosher salt, these crumbly cookies have an addictive taste that will leave you and your guests wanting more.
8. Coconut-Date Bars
An excellent source of fiber and potassium, this coconut based dessert simply requires three ingredients, 3 tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut, 1ls of very soft dates and 1/4 cups of walnut.
That really is all you need to whip up this small but satisfying dessert which is not only great to eat, but also a very healthy option to keep you feeling fresh and recharged after a heavy meal.
9. Crema Catalana
It’s hard to make a list about some of the tastiest and most popular traditional Spanish desserts and not mention the leisurely crema catalana which is a softer desert made from a mix of milk with lemon peels and cinnamon to give off an incredibly sweet flavor that is perfect for fans of that specific taste.
With some added fruit such as raspberries or cherries and a handful of cinnamon sticks to complement this taste, the smooth and delicate crema catalana is certainly not a dish which you should pass up on.
10. Natillas de Leche
There’s not many ingredients as popular in Spain as custard, and this creamy dessert gives you the perfect opportunity to try some custard mixed in with some milk, eggs and fresh lemon zest to make for a creamy and delicate dessert.
With some corn flour and cinnamon sticks to go along with it, this creamy traditional dessert is the perfect after treat for those guests who just can’t get enough of that smooth and silky custard taste.
Buñuelos are often eaten as a Christmas dessert in Spain, however this doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed all year round, and you definitely should since these deep-fried dough balls with a coating of powdered sugar are an incredible choice when you want to prepare a lot of food with not many ingredients.
To make these delicious Spanish desserts even more of a treat, consider adding a thick layer of melted chocolate or custard depending on what you like the taste of the most.
12. Basque Cheesecake
Originating in Spain in the early 1900’s, this cheesecake dessert has everything you could wish for in a cheesecake including being sweet, creamy and cheesy, but the real beauty of it is just how customizable this dessert is.
You can choose to make the cheesecake gluten free, add some citrus zest to the batter if you want a bit more of a sweeter taste or even replace the heavy cream in the recipe with some bourbon for another delicious addition.
A mixture of French toast with a bit of a creamy Spanish twist, this recipe uses leftover bread which is soaked in rich wine or milk, soaked in egg and finally fried in oil.
This dessert makes for a crunchy and delicious bread dessert with a soft center along with some honey and a splash of cinnamon at the end to really give this dessert the maximum flavor of sweetness.
14. Tres Leches Cake
This is one of the lighter desserts on the list that is perfect if you’re a fan of sponge cake or fluffier desserts that can certainly satisfy a sweet tooth.
The sweet milk mixture helps to give this miniature cake an incredibly fluffy sponge texture which when topped off with some fresh berries, cinnamon and some thick whipped cream spread over the top, becomes one of the most satisfying cake desserts you can make right now.
This Spanish sponge cake is known for two things, particularly how chewy and sweet the delicious flavor is, but also just how easy it is to prepare, requiring no more than 4 ingredients.
With just a few eggs, a few cups of sugar, all purpose flour and lemon grated rind, you can create the large thick batter coating which surrounds the inner zesty flavor and can be cooked up in just 45 minutes to satisfy multiple guests at a time.
16. Chocolate Almond Torte
An easy to make dessert which you need to try if you’re a lover of chocolate and fudge, thanks to the mixture of whipped eggs and almonds, this cake is dense but still retains a lot of that familiar soft texture that we know so well from chocolate fudge along with a slight crunch as you bite near the middle, making for one of the easiest to make Spanish desserts that no chocolate enthusiast can resist.
17. Vegan Spanish Almond Cake
This vegan friendly cake dessert uses a classic Spanish mixture of eggs, almond and sugar, however it exchanges the eggs for ground flax to bind the cake together.
The combination of some almond flour with flax and molasses makes this a filling but still gluten free dessert option which has a nice crunchy texture resting on the top.
Just the very description of this classical Spanish dessert makes it sound incredibly appetizing, being small thin airy pastries that are packed full of a potent punch of chocolate ganache to enjoy with every bite.
One of these just isn’t enough for one or a few people if you’re expecting guests, so be sure to make a few bowls of this recipe and share this beautiful mixture of pastry and creamy chocolate around the table.
19. Spanish Olive Oil Cakes
After a big filling meal, there’s nothing better than sitting back with a hot drink and snacking on a dessert that’s light and easy to digest, and these Spanish olive oil cakes are just that being incredibly moist and delicious thanks to the olive oil basing which is also much healthier than their regular butter equivalents.
20. Leche Frita
An extremely popular dish in Spain today, while the idea of fried milk may sound a bit strange, it is actually a delicious treat that you need to try simply by making a milky custard and then deep frying it inside a crispy cinnamon and sugar crust.
With some nougat ice cream to add a cold and cool addition to this fried dessert, this is certainly one not to ignore when you want to whip up something with an incredibly unique look and taste.
Oriringating from the North of Spain, these crepes are filled with pastry cream however you can also opt to use Nutella instead or even fruit compote for more of a sweetened taste.
Thin and easy to make, these Spanish crepes are perfect for when you want to prepare a lot with very little and don’t want a dessert you think might be a bit too big and filling.
22. Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
For fans of the soft and succulent texture of cheesecakes, there’s not much that sounds better than miniature cheesecake bars which you can eat easily in one go without having to take on an entire cake or big wedge slices.
This classic Spanish dessert does just that with its flavourful combination of cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and crescent rolls whipping up a few of these mixture spongey cheesecakes all at once, so be sure to make a few as they can easily be off the table in no time.
23. Tarta De Santiago
Being a regular Spanish custom as far back as the 15th century, this spongy soft recipe creates a cake that instantly melts in the mouth which is mixed in with some almond and orange flavors for an incredibly unique taste.
With an added sprinkle of icing sugar and a St James Cross on the cake as a nice traditional Spanish decoration, it’s hard to go wrong with this lovely and soft Spanish dessert.
24. Spanish Nut Cake
These desserts may look small from the outside, however the walnut coating that peeks out from the outside of these soft and tasty cakes gives them a nice crunch which is a pleasant appetizer after a meat based meal.
Finish this recipe off with either maple syrup or some brown sugar to give this walnut recipe a sweetened taste that can be both made and eaten incredibly easily.
25. Tocino De Cielo
While this dessert hailing from Andalusia in Southern Spain actually translates to ‘Bacon from heaven’ it actually does not contain any bacon at all and instead is very similar to the Spanish flan but uses eggs, yolks and sugar to create a small light custard-like texture which is topped off with some caramel sauce to make this dessert as soft and sweet as possible.
Membrillio has its origins in the Basque Country of Northern Spain and is a variant of thick jam made from quicken fruit which is an incredibly appetizing dessert to enjoy when you want something small which is bursting full of fruity flavors.
27. Mel i Mato
This dessert is native to Catalonia with the centerpiece of the dish being the inclusion of honey with rosemary, thyme and orange blossom often seen to work best.
A crumbly dessert that also makes use of whole milk cheese to add a soft and succulent texture to this delightful dish, it is definitely worth considering when you want something that’s easy to make and can satisfy those lovers of the sweet taste of honey.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Spanish Dessert?
A lot of these desserts are eaten in Spain depending on the time of year and seasonal holiday, however Flan has been known to be eaten at all times of the year and is by far the most popular dessert in the country that can be found on essentially every menu.
Leche Frita or ‘Fried milk’ is also an incredibly popular cuisine, especially in Northern Spain, specifically because of how easy the ingredients can be gathered in that region and how old the recipe is.
Churros on the other hand are still incredibly popular in Spain, but have also taken on a life of their own becoming a fan favorite in many other countries, each adding their own unique additions including chocolate and caramel sauce.
What Is The Healthiest Spanish Dessert?
Spanish desserts usually include lots of deep frying or massive sugar filled cheesecakes which does make them extremely delicious and fine to eat for the one off family meal, however this means they can be high in sugar or calories depending on the food.
Alongside being one of the most popular dessert dishes, Flan is actually also one of the healthiest containing a high amount of calcium and while it does contain a moderate level of sugar, the desert is so small that it’s nowhere near as bad as a can of soda for example.
Crema Catalana with its soup-like texture and inclusion of a mixture of different fruits also makes this one of the healthier desserts that can keep you feeling light and refreshed, even after a big and filling meal.
It’s hard to go wrong with the sweet and savory taste of most Spanish desserts.
While most of us will know Spain for its main dishes, and while they are certainly delicious, these desserts deserve their own spotlight for just how creative and unique each one is, all having their own distinct flavor made from a combination of ingredients that we would otherwise never think to even mix together in the first place.
Alongside the taste of the desert, always make sure to pick an option that is big or small enough for your intended audience as well so that everyone gets enough of their new favorite desserts.
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