Those with a sweet tooth will find much to enjoy in Madrid, where there are plenty of delectable treats to satisfy such cravings. With a mix of traditional pastries and trendier sweets, the city has a little bit of everything, no matter what your favourite type of sugary delight may be. From traditional to modern, here’s a list of Madrid’s most popular desserts and where to try them.
Similar to donuts but with a firmer texture and much tastier, Rosquillas are typically eaten in Madrid in honour of the Saint Isidor festival in Madrid each May. Around this time of year, you can find the fluffy donuts at any bakery in town or at the San Isidro Pradera festival grounds. Try them listas (with frosting) or tontas (without). These days, they’ve even expanded to include all sorts of flavour toppings like coffee, lemon, raspberry, mango and more.
Literally translating to ‘1000 leaves’, this pastry is named for the 1000 (okay, maybe not that many) layers of custard and cream it has sandwiched between two crusts. Typically, the filling is white cream, but it can also be filled with chocolate, vanilla or white chocolate. The best place to find them is at La Mallorquina, one of Madrid’s oldest and famous pastelerías dating back to 1894.
Similar to French toast, this dessert is typically eaten around Easter week. The best place to get a torrija would be at the home of a Spanish grandmother, who may even soak hers in wine before frying it up with egg and oil. However, if you can’t manage that, any bakery will do. Usually, this dessert is moist and garnished with honey, sugar or cinnamon.
Named for the shape, Palmeras are formed like a palm leaf and made from the same kind of a dough as a croissant but without yeast. They are created with flaky layers of dough covered in sugar and then rolled up to meet in the middle. In Madrid, you can find them topped with sugar and sometimes chocolate or vanilla frosting. Get one and pair it with a cup of coffee at La Duquesita, a tiny but charming pastry/chocolate shop and cafe.
Quite possibly one of Madrid’s most famous desserts, this fried stick of dough dipped in steaming hot chocolate is commonly eaten for breakfast or just as a snack. Find it at Valor, Madrid’s fanciest chocolate shop.
Tarta means cake in Spain, and while that’s a pretty broad term, Madrid has many wonderful types of cake to discover. The best way to sample several of them is at Mamá Framboise – a bakery and breakfast cafe with sweets so delicious, your only dilemma will be whether or not to Instagram your cake before you gobble it up.
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While this refreshing treat clearly didn’t originate in Madrid, it’s the up-and-coming dessert of the summer. With hip and cool popsicle shop Lolo Polos opening various locations around the city, you can get a healthy and homemade ice-cold treat all summer long, all made from real fruit. Fan favourites include the cheesecake option and chocolate banana.