History of Mantecadas Cake

Mantecadas Cake is a traditional Spanish pastry that has been enjoyed for centuries. This delectable treat is made with simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, yet it has a unique taste that is hard to resist.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating history of Mantecadas Cake, from its humble beginnings in Spain to its global popularity today.

  • Origins of Mantecadas Cake
  • Ingredients of Mantecadas Cake
  • Traditional Variations of Mantecadas Cake
  • Cultural Significance of Mantecadas Cake
  • Recipe for Mantecadas Cake
  • FAQs about Mantecadas Cake
  • Conclusion

Origins of Mantecadas Cake:

Mantecadas Cake originated in the northern region of Spain, specifically in the town of Astorga in the province of León. It is believed that the recipe for Mantecadas Cake was created by nuns in a convent in Astorga during the 16th century. The name “Mantecadas” comes from the Spanish word “manteca,” which means butter, a key ingredient in the recipe.

Ingredients of Mantecadas Cake:

The traditional recipe for Mantecadas Cake requires only a few simple ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Lemon zest (optional)

These ingredients are mixed together to form a smooth batter, which is then baked in small muffin tins. The result is a soft, buttery cake with a slightly crumbly texture.

Traditional Variations of Mantecadas Cake:

While the original recipe for Mantecadas Cake remains popular, there are several variations that have emerged over the years. Some variations include:

  • Chocolate Mantecadas Cake: This variation includes cocoa powder in the batter to give it a chocolatey flavor.
  • Almond Mantecadas Cake: Almond flour or ground almonds are added to the batter to give it a nutty flavor and texture.
  • Coconut Mantecadas Cake: Grated coconut is added to the batter to give it a tropical twist.

Cultural Significance of Mantecadas Cake:

Mantecadas Cake has become an integral part of Spanish culture and is enjoyed on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and religious festivals. In Astorga, there is even a festival dedicated to Mantecadas Cake called “La Fiesta de la Mantecada,” which is held every year in August.

Recipe for Mantecadas Cake:

If you want to try making Mantecadas Cake at home, here’s a simple recipe to follow:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix until well combined.
  6. Stir in the lemon zest (if using).
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cavity about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out


What is the texture of Mantecadas Cake?

Mantecadas Cake has a soft, crumbly texture with a slightly buttery and sweet taste.

How long does Mantecadas Cake last?

Mantecadas Cake can last for up to a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Is Mantecadas Cake gluten-free?

No, Mantecadas Cake is not gluten-free as it contains all-purpose flour.


The history of Mantecadas Cake is a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional desserts. From its humble beginnings in a Spanish convent to its global popularity today, this simple yet delicious pastry has won the hearts of people all over the world. Whether you prefer the original recipe or one of its many variations, there’s no denying the allure of Mantecadas Cake. So why not give it a try and experience the taste of Spain for yourself?

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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