An Easy Torrijas Recipe for Some Delicious Spanish French Toast!
Torrijas – also known as Spanish French toast – are a delicious traditional dessert typically eaten during Easter.
It is our version of French toast or pain perdu. It’s a humble dessert made with stale bread that is an absolute delicacy and should be eaten hot, right after it’s made (although it’s also delicious cold).
Torrijas are usually served for dessert or with coffee or a cup of hot chocolate.
When served for dessert, you can serve them with a scoop of ice cream on top of the hot torrija. Vanilla ice cream is the perfect flavor combination.
There are a few variations on how to make them, depending on what you use to soak the bread.
You can make them either with milk (which is the basic recipe), wine (usually with sweet wines – either white or red), a combination of the two, or other more modern versions made with vermouth or Spanish Horchata (made with tiger nuts).
Some serve torrijas soaked in syrup, or honey, some “dry” with a coating of sugar and cinnamon, as I’m going to share with you. This is my Grandma Ángeles’ recipe – the one I learned to make when I was little, and is by far is my favorite.
If you want to make this Spanish version of French toast, here are the ingredients that you will need. There are not too many, so the quality of each ingredient can make a difference!
- Loaf of baguette-like bread – Alternatively, use broiche bread. Day-old breaf preferred, but avoid very stale bread. See the Recipe tips section below for more tips.
- Large eggs – You’ll need 4 large eggs.
- Neutral-tasting oil – Sunflower or avocado oil are good options.
- Whole milk – Traditionally made with whole milk but you can use skim milk if preferred. Plant-based alternatives can be used, but they will change the final flavor of the torrijas.
- Granulated sugar – Some sugar to mix in with the milk, more for the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Lemon peel – Preferably peel from an organic lemon.
- Cinnamon stick – To infuse the milk.
- Ground cinnamon – For the cinnamon-sugar coating.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
This is a classic recipe that’s not difficult to make. However, before you tackle it, read through these recipe tricks and tips so that you know what to expect:
- Type of Bread: Use bread with a thick interior and crust that can withstand being soaked and fried. Choose a bread with few air pockets. Traditionally, “barra de pan” is used, which is a bit thicker than a baguette. Some use brioche bread or specific Torrijas bread. Baguette is a good option.
- Stale Bread: The degree of staleness is important. Making it with day-old bread that is slightly stale will ensure that it soaks up the infused milk better, resulting in a creamier torrija. You can also make it with fresh bread. Avoid very stale bread, as it would be difficult to slice without breaking it.
- Milk: Traditionally, torrijas are made with whole-fat cow’s milk, but skim milk will also work. Lactose-free will give equally good results, but plant-based milk will drastically change the final flavor.
- Aromas: Traditionally, the infused milk is aromatized with cinnamon and lemon peel, but others add orange peel, star anise, or even cardamom. Vanilla extract is another good option.
- Frying oil: Classic torrijas are fried with olive oil, but it has a strong flavor (and is also more expensive). You can also use any neutral-tasting seed oil like sunflower oil. I highly recommend using a good quality neutral-tasting seed oil.
- Using wine: If you want to add some wine for an adult kick, add it to the infused milk, or replace the infused milk entirely with sweet wine, either white or red. Spanish Sherry wine or Italian Marsala are excellent options.
- Frying: Traditionally, torrijas are deep fried, but I don’t think this is necessary. A little oil is more than enough to fry them and results in a lighter torrija. Don’t fry too many at once to avoid overcrowding the pan and to make sure you can keep up with them (so they don’t burn). Also, the oil should be hot to prevent the torrijas from soaking up too much oil.
- Alternative frying method: If you want a slightly healthier and lighter version, you can cook the torrijas in the air fryer with equally good results. Spray the soaked torrijas with either olive oil or neutral-tasting seed oil. Then air fry them for about 4 minutes total at 375F, flipping them halfway, until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer.
- Consistency: The consistency should be slightly crunchy on the outside and a super creamy on the inside, especially when eaten hot. If you eat them cold, they usually become soft on the outside as well.
How to Make Torrijas – Step by Step Instructions
In this section we’ll show you exactly how to make this recipe for Spanish-style French Toast.
We’ve included all the recipe process photos so that you can see what each step of the recipe should look like.
The recipe card – with measurements and cooking times – can be found at the bottom of this post!
Start with infusing the milk: Add the milk to a pot.
Also add the sugar, lemon peel (just peel the lemon with a knife, don’t grate the lemon peel into the milk), and cinnamon stick. Stir well to ensure the sugar dissolves.
Simmer the milk on low heat for around 10 minutes and remove from heat when it comes to a boil. Allow the milk to cook for 15 minutes until it reaches room temperature.
Cut the bread into thick slices.
Next, prepare the stations: Pour the infused milk to a bowl – make sure to remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick first.
In another bowl, mix the sugar with the ground cinnamon. Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the frying pan with oil and start heating it on medium heat. Also line a plate with paper towels.
Soak each slice of bread in the infused milk for about 1 minute or so, turning it to ensure even soaking. Gently squeeze out any excess.
Then dip the slices of bread in the beaten egg. Make sure to coat both sides.
Fry the bread slices on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, until each side is golden. Make sure the oil is hot enough so that the torrijas don’t soak up to much oil during cooking.
Also, don’t overcrowd the pan – this will also make it easier to keep an eye on them and keep them from burning.
Alternatively, you can air fry them. Once you have soaked the bread slices, spray them with a little oil and air fry them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 minutes total, flipping them halfway through. Make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer.
Remove the torrijas from the pan and let them sit on the plate lined with paper towels while you fry the rest.
They should be slightly crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside.
Finally, dip the torrijas in the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar, coating both sides.
Serve the torrijas for dessert coffee or with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. You can also serve them with a scoop of ice cream on top of the hot torrija. Vanilla ice cream works really well. Enjoy!
Torrijas taste best when they are hot and fresh.
However, f there are any leftovers (highly unlikely), let the torrijas cool and then store them in a sealed container in the fridge for a maximum 3-4 days. Keep in mind that this will make them softer due to the fridge humidity.
Here are some answers to question about torrijas:
Torrijas is the Spanish term for Spanish French toast. Popular as a dessert around Easter, these soaked and fried pieces of bread are coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture!
To make torrijas, heat the milk and infuse it with sugar and spices. Let is cool. Cut the bread into slices and dip into the infused milk and whisked eggs. Fry the bread in hot oil until crispy on the outside. Repeat for all slices and then coat in cinnamon-sugar.
For more tasty Spanish recipes which are on the sweeter side of life check out these delicious creations!
- Spanish Flan
- Polvorones (Spanish Shortbread)
- Leche Merengada
Torrijas (Spanish French Toast)
- 1 loaf baguette, or similar; preferably day-old bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup oil, neutral taste
For the infused milk
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- peel from 1 lemon, preferably organic (peel with a knife, don't grate)
- 1 cinnamon stick
For the final coating
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Start with infusing the milk: Add the milk to a pot with the sugar, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick. Stir well to ensure the sugar dissolves. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes and remove from heat when it comes to a boil. Let chill for 15 minutes until it reaches room temperature.4 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, peel from 1 lemon, 1 cinnamon stick
- Cut the bread into thick slices.1 loaf baguette
- Prep the stations: Pour the infused milk into a bowl (remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel first). Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the sugar with the ground cinnamon. Set aside. Prepare the frying pan with the oil and start heating it on medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels.4 large eggs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup oil
- Soak each slice of bread in the infused milk for about 1 minute or so, turning it to ensure even soaking. Gently squeeze out the excess. Dip them in the beaten egg, coating both sides.
- Fry the slices of bread in the pan on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, until each side is golden brown. Make sure the oil is hot enough so that the torrijas don’t soak up to much oil during cooking.
- Remove the torrijas from the pan and place on the plate lined with paper towels while you fry the rest. They should be slightly crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside.
- Dip the torrijas in the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar, coating both sides.
- Serve them for dessert or with a cup of coffee or chocolate. You can also serve them with a scoop of ice cream on top of the hot torrija. Vanilla ice cream is the perfect flavor combination. Enjoy!
- Traditionally made with barra de pan or Torrijas bread. You can use baguette, brioche bread or similar. Avoid using bread with large air pockets.
- For best results, use day-old bread that is slightly stale. You can also use fresh bread, but avoid using very stale bread.
- Typically made with whole milk, skim milk and lactose-free milk also work. Plant-based alternatives work as well but will change the final flavor.
- Traditionally, the infused milk is aromatized with cinnamon and lemon peel, but some people add orange peel, star anise, or even cardamom. Vanilla extract is also a good option.
- If you want to add some wine, add it to the infused milk or replace the infused milk with sweet wine, either white or red. Spanish Sherry wine or Italian Marsala are good options.
- Alternative frying method using the air fryer: Spray the soaked torrijas with oil spray, then air fry at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.