13 best Mexican pastries (+ easy recipes)


France may be known for its desserts, but has nothing on these Mexican pastries.

These sweet treats are as varied and beautiful as Mexican culture. And they taste delicious!

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In my experience, Mexican desserts tend to be very light. Sorry, they’re not low calorie. But they ARE light in flavor and texture.

Sweet Palm Tree Cookies or Orejas with Powdered Sugar

Many of them have hints of cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, or all of the above.

You’ll also notice that some of them aren’t ridiculously sweet (some are, don’t worry).

Either way, each of these Mexican pastries is absolutely divine. Here are 13 of my favorites!

In Spanish, oreja means ear, and I think that’s a pretty apt description for these.

You might recognize this curly treat as palm trees. But I think “ears” are much more fun!

Every bite of these delicious treats will make your mouth water. They are crispy on the first bite but then they melt in your mouth.

And honestly, they’re super addicting.

The best part, though, is that they’re super easy to make!

They only need five ingredients and you don’t have to make your own puff pastry.

And you can make a bunch of them in less than 30 minutes.

If you’ve ever studied basic Spanish, you probably know that the secret ingredient is cheese!

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Well, cream cheese. And yes, they are as good as they look.

Quesitos are like the love child of a danish and a cannoli. And they taste like sweet, tart, cheesy heaven.

This is why they are so popular throughout Central and Latin America.

This recipe is for the basic quesito, which is just the sweet version of cream cheese.

However, you can add your favorite jams or jellies for a fruity twist!

These delicious cookies have a lot of history.

It’s a beautiful all-Mexican tradition that has become popular globally. And for good reason!

They are surprisingly simple to prepare and they are incredibly delicious.

The only hard part might be finding piloncillo sugar in your area.

If you don’t have a Hispanic store near you, it’s available on Amazon.

The traditional cookie features a soft cookie-like texture and a sweet piloncillo filling.

They are rich and flavorful, yet light. You will love them!

Try them with a Nutella filling for a fun twist on tradition.

Start your day off right with mantecadas, a Mexican muffin that will blow your mind.

But you can totally enjoy it at any time of the day!

These babies are light, fluffy and soft at Goldilocks level. You won’t need to see a dentist right after, but that’s not exactly a piece of cake either.

However, the best part is that every bite is orange flavored.

You won’t be overwhelmed by the orange flavor. On the contrary, you just get a delicate floral and citrus touch.

Buñuelos can be found in different cultures in South America and Central America.

While there are differences, they all have one thing in common: they’re high in carbs and delicious!

Typically, buñuelos are made from fried dough. They are kind of like a mix of donuts and funnel cakes.

But this easy recipe cuts your time and hassle in half.

Simply take tortillas and fry them until golden brown. Then sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. It’s so easy!

This delicious version ends up really puffy, crispy and totally tasty!

With crispy exteriors, chewy interiors, and lots of sugar and cinnamon, churros are one of the best treats around.

With the addition of Mexican vanilla, these Mexican churros are superb.

Did you know that cream puffs and churros start with the same dough? It’s choux pastry.

The difference is that churros are fried and sprinkled with sugar.

And while I love both, there’s something so delicious about fried dough fingers.

Dip them in melted chocolate and prepare to be delighted.

Is it Jell-O, is it a soufflé or is it a cheesecake? It’s flan! And if you’ve never experienced this creamy dessert, have you even experienced it?

The flan is a dessert cream made from pastry cream. It consists of a vanilla “cake” with a runny caramel sauce.

It is cooked in a bain-marie, so the texture is silky.

Flan is a dessert that feels classy and indulgent because it is. However, it is quite simple to do.

So you can impress your family and friends, with just a little effort.

I make a lot of pastries, especially cakes. I must say that tres leches are one of my five favorite cakes.

It’s incredibly moist, super light and not too sweet.

Tres leches is made with a simple and airy vanilla sponge cake.

It is dipped in a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream.

And if that’s not enough, it’s topped with homemade whipped cream. It’s a dairy lover’s dream.

I love to sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve it with strawberries.

If you’ve ever been to Taco John’s, you’ve probably heard of sopapillas.

You may even have been able to experience their awesomeness.

If you haven’t, I think they look like a French beignet. Basically, sopapillas are Mexican donuts. And you will love them!

They are warm and soft and fluffy. The texture is a *chef’s kiss.*

When they come out of the fryer, they are covered in powdered sugar, cinnamon and honey.

Conchas are probably one of the most recognizable Mexican pastries.

These are small balls of sweet bread, with a colorful filling of streusel.

They have designs etched into the trim that usually remind me of little turtles.

They have also been compared to seashells. And that’s where this treat got its name!

The bread is enriched, so it’s super moist and brioche-like.

It’s not a sweet dessert, but it definitely has a rich, slightly sweet quality to it. But the filling is soft and crispy.

This makes for a fantastic juxtaposition that your taste buds will love.

Like many of my jokes, this cake is super corny! You know what I mean?

But bad jokes aside, pastel de elote is actually made with corn.

In fact, corn is the star of this delicious cake.

If you like southern-style cornbread that’s served with honey, you’ll enjoy this. Like cornbread, this cake isn’t terribly sweet.

However, it is not made with cornmeal like cornbread. Instead, he uses white flour and a whole bunch of corn kernels.

It’s buttery, light and absolutely perfect.

Calling all caramel lovers because you have to try these empanadas.

Empanadas are a type of hand pie. They can be savory like a samosa or sweet like a Little Debbie.

They are found throughout South and Central America in many varieties.

And I love them all! However, there is a special place for this dulce de leche empanada in my heart.

It’s soft, it’s gooey, it’s flaky and it’s fabulously rich.

This is perhaps the heaviest dessert on this list and the sweetest too.

Have you noticed that the best treats are holiday-centric, or is that just me?

Maybe it’s because all cultures collectively want to save the best for special days.

And Rosca de Reyes, or Three Kings Bread, is one of those delicious pastries.

In theory, it’s a bit like a big ringed concha had a baby with fruitcake.

Rosca de Reyes is made with a slightly sweetened and enriched dough, like conchas.

It also has a sugar paste streusel type filling on parts of the bread. And it contains dried fruits.

It’s seriously delicious!

Mexican pastries

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