Polvorón is a Spanish shortbread made mainly in Spain, and specifically Andalusia, but also eaten across many other Spanish speaking countries.
Often, the treat is made from flour, sugar, milk and nuts, but there are many varieties of this recipe that can satisfy different palettes, themes, and ingredients.
While this may be a recipe we are not familiar with in the US, there are some similar varieties of this you may have heard of. In the south Texas region bordering Mexico sometimes these are sold as ‘Pan de Polvo’ which are often a sweet variety of the snack.
In Spain they are often eaten as a Christmas dessert. In Cuba they incorporate it into an ice cream flavor which has become favored among Cubans.
There are also Filipino varieties that incorporate different ingredients. Moreover, there is a variation of polvorón in Spain that uses different ingredients but is called ‘Mantecado’, often the terms are used interchangeably.
To make Polvorón you may need a Polvorón mould, you can buy one here!
In this listicle we have found some of our favorite v variations on the Polvrón recipe, hopefully you can find one to encourage you to make this easily homemade Spanish treat and bring a little European culture to your table or to an event.
Read on to find out more!
This is the fairly simple and original recipe for the traditional Spanish Polvorón.
The classic recipe combines flour, powdered sugar, lard, and raw almonds, along with some welcome spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon to make this a really pleasant treat.
It’s worth knowing and understanding this original recipe first so that the variations make more sense.
This recipe is a good example of what we may consider to be a ‘mantecado’ rather than polvorón. This is down to the fat being swapped out for pork lard which gives this a distinct flavor and potentially deviates from the classic polvorón recipe.
The icing sugar as well as the introduction of alcohol certainly makes this recipe one to consider for special occasions.
This recipe contains many of the ingredients that fundamentally change this recipe from Spanish to Filipino.
Namely, the introduction of powdered milk is the biggest give away as well as malted milk powder. This makes for a sweeter affair than the Spanish variety.
This recipe uses the common Filipino template but utilizes cashews instead of the traditional almonds. Cashews provide a more subtle and savory addition that is really helped by an addition of salt.
This recipe takes the Spanish tradition but incorporates some fo the Filipino ingredients. For instance, this recipe uses powdered milk which can often be indicative of the recipe’s eastern influence.
However, this recipe maker also chooses peanuts as well as brown sugar which are non-traditional. This makes for a unique toasty and sweet-savoury flavor that takes from multiple influences.
This is another Filipino style recipe that uses powdered milk.
However, one thing we love about this recipe is that it uses some lemon extract, which we think adds a lot to the shortbread.
This makes what is often a sweet and sugary affair into something that has an element to cut through the sweetness.
This recipe uses the traditional Filipino style recipe, but takes it a little further with the popular Filipino treat ‘Pinipig’.
Pinipig is a crushed rice treat from the Philippines, it is grains of glutinous rice that have been pounded and toasted, they made for a savory but toasty addition to the recipe.
This is a fun polvorón recipe that adds some color, which can be good for events like Mardi Gras or a Child’s Party.
This recipe uses the Filipino milk powder style, but also incorporates freeze dried strawberries as well as white sugar so it can be a welcome sweet flavor to the subtle traditional recipe.
These Polvorón combine the Spanish and Filipino recipes as well as some Western influence.
The addition of the Oreos as well as vanilla extract makes these a little more of a sweet affair. This is a great way to get American kids to eat these treats, they all love Oreos right?!
These Polvorones incorporate an orange flavor into the original Spanish recipe by adding orange juice and orange zest.
This is a more adult flavoring that is great for a tea party or adult occasion. The addition of eggs makes them a little richer and more orange and can be very Christmassy.
This is a more complicated recipe that includes many more Mexican style ingredients such as candied pineapple, mexican vanilla paste, coconut, lemon and orange.
The outcome is a rather complex taste that is definitely quite festive and occasional. A great recipe to try out if you want to make the polvorones special.
12. Polvorones Rosas
These are a Mexican recipe that takes a different approach to shaping the cookies but is fundamentally the same recipe as your traditional Spanish Polvorón.
Utilising Mexican vanilla and red food coloring teh cookies become red and have a celebratory vibe about them.
This polvoró recipe is focused as being a celebration of Easter, and there’s nothing better to stop your kids eating their easter eggs than this sugary and colorful treat.
This recipe uses a regular Spanish recipe but adds some fun examples of how to decorate these to be an Easter spectacle.
This polvorones recipe utilises the hazelnut to add some nutty flavor to the original Spanish recipe, These are great as a biscuit to have with your coffee in the morning. Top with some nutella to make them really special.
These are a very fanciful take on the original humble recipe.
This is the kind of recipe to look out for if you want to really impress someone, perhaps a nosey abuelita or hopeful husband, this recipe could be your showstopper.
The cookie mixture involves matcha tea powder, brandy, pistachios as well as a filling that has shite chocolate and green tea along with truffle to create an indulgent but subtle complex flavor.
This is a great recipe to consider for a tea party or cake sale. This takes the traditional Filipino template that uses powdered milk.
This recipe uses toasted flour to add some extra flavor. The addition of Earl Grey tea flavoring adds an adult aspect to this sugary cookie.
These are a mexican take on the traditional recipe. This recipe adds a lot of flavor and bitterness by using dark chocolate.
This adds a new element to the recipe as well as some oil for fat which gives a welcome chewy texture in addition to the pastry flour.
This recipe shows how to incorporate cinnamon into your polvorón. While many recipes use cinnamon as an auxiliary spice, this recipe makes it the main focus of the flavor.
The combination of cinnamon and vanilla is both sweet and spicy and is a really great recipe. This is common for Spanish people to eat during the festive period, so there’s nothing stopping you adopting this.
This is a recipe to make the very popular cuban mantecado (polvorón) ice cream flavor.
The flavor incorporates the common flavors of Spanish polvorón with the creaminess and cooling elements of ice cream.
We think this works great, it’s like oreo and pistachio ice cream in one which works really well to be honest.
This is a recipe that allows our celiac and gluten-sensitive fans to enjoy the classic Spanish treat, polvorón.
The recipe uses almond flour as well as some common flavorings such as lemon and almonds.
The Final Word
These Polvorón recipes are great and we hope one of them stands out to you as something you can do at home.
Polvorón are often sold commercially around the world but they are actually super easy to make – often people fear these baked goods as they can involve some crazy technique but this is a recipe that breaks the mould as they are all pretty easy, while some can cater to the more expert bakers.
In the west we may not recognise the treat so obviously but they are simply a sugary treat that any Westerner is able to enjoy.
Polvorón is also a great way to celebrate other cultures and is an interesting way to see other cuisines such as Filipino which can be hard to access otherwise.
We love Polvorónes and think they can make a great addition to any spread made for any occasion. The treat is often served at Spanish weddings as well as other celebrations.
They would look great at any Western occasion, but especially Mardi Grad, Dia de la Muertos and many others. Get cooking today!