The 5 most “beloved” desserts in Spain
There’s always room for dessert. And if you’re not sure, just ask a Spaniard with a sweet tooth: even if they’ve just had a big meal, they’ll never skip the last course, the sweet one, obviously. Even though they come last, desserts have always been the stars of any meal. Whether they’re just the last satisfaction, a surprise for guests or a complement to the main dishes, including a dessert in a menu is always a good bet. Eaten in moderation, desserts are clearly the best way to make life sweeter.
But of all the desserts sold, cooked or ordered in Spain, which are the most popular? From this long list, what are the top 5 desserts in Spain?
This is one of the top classics. Even though this dessert is not exclusive to Spanish cuisine, since it was exported to other South American countries through Spanish colonisation, it is one of the most traditional creamy desserts in Spain. It is made by slowly cooking rice in milk with sugar. It can be served cold or warm and usually comes with cinnamon, shaved vanilla or lemon.
Whether in a restaurant or at home, pastries are one of the most popular desserts and the one chosen the most often for celebrations, parties or as a dessert after a weekend meal. They come in a host of different versions, all prepared to dazzle all kinds of palates, from chocolate truffles, to the traditional tocinillos de cielo made of egg yolks and sugar, to coconut balls and assortments of mini tarts. At Pastry Factory, artisan pastries are one of our specialities.
Tarta de Santiago (St James cake) is a traditional dessert from Galician cuisine, but for years it has been served in cafés and restaurants all over Spain. It is made with ground almonds mixed with equal parts of eggs and sugar. One essential detail of this cake is its decoration. The last step in making it is covering the central part of the top with a stencil in the shape of the cross of the Order of Saint James (Santiago) and then sprinkling it with powdered sugar.
Even though there are several versions of the original, the Brazo de Gitano (Gypsy Arm) is actually a dessert with a long history as a traditional dessert from Huesca. It is a filled cake made with Genoise cake which is rolled into a cylindrical shape and can be decorated with different coverings. At Pastry Factory, we make up to 6 different varieties (egg yolk with whipped cream, egg yolk with chocolate truffle, egg yolk with pastry cream, chocolate with whipped cream, chocolate with chocolate truffle and almond brittle with whipped cream).
This is one of the most customary, traditional desserts in Catalan cuisine, where it is called crema catalana (Catalan cream). It is made with egg yolk, sugar, wheat or corn flour and milk scented with cinnamon and lemon peel. The most noteworthy feature of crème brûlée is the layer of caramelised sugar that covers it, bringing a crisp contrast after the upper part is burst with a specially made iron disk or a torch. At Pastry Factory, since 2017 we have been making crème brûlée tarts, the most popular version in both Catalonia and countries like Italy.