Spanish dessert recipe: Leche Frita

Golden, Fried Milk

Leche Frita is a delicious Spanish dessert, made by whisking flour, milk and sugar together, before golden frying small proportions of the mixture, and serving it up with a sugary glaze and drizzle of cinnamon powder. Literally meaning “fried milk” in Spanish, Leche Frita is simmered up for festivals and holidays in many parts of Spain, with each region naturally claiming to be the birthplace of this home-made dessert.

Some say Leche Frita originated in San Sebastian, while others point toward Castilla Y Leon, and still others swear that the golden-fried pudding was first made in Palencia. While the origins have still to be ascertained, one thing is sure that almost everyone in Spain has their own favorite Leche Frita recipe, with each region making it a bit differently to suit its tastes.

What is common though across recipes is that Leche Frita is a cold, sweetened milk-pudding with a warm, crunchy, and golden-fried outer casing. Like most homemade desserts, it was first made to ensure good and wholesome use of all the milk, and the many common everyday ingredients, in the house. Also, like most exotic-sounding desserts, fried-milk Leche Frita may seem decievingly difficult to dish up for most, but is actually surprisingly simple to simmer up in any home kitchen the world over.

Dessert Oasis

Serves: Four

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Refrigeration: 2 hours


  1. 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour (with 4 tablespoons to coat the Leche Frita before frying)
  2. 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 quart whole milk (about 1 liter)
  5. 1 cinnamon stick
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 2 tablespoons butter
  9. Powdered cinnamon

Directions to make

1. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour together in a bowl. Add 1 cup of milk and whisk well, before allowing the mixture to stand for about 10 minutes.

2. In a cooking pan, heat the rest of the milk along with the cinnamon stick. Remove from heat when the milk begins to bubble. Add the hot milk slowly to the sugar-and-flour mixture, all the while stirring well.

3. Pour the mixture back into the cooking pan, simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring well again. Transfer to a lightly-oiled baking dish to a depth of about three-fourth inches, refidgerate for about two hours, and cut into small sqares.

Frying time

Milk Pudding in the Pan

1. Add oil and butter to a depth of about a quarter-inch in a frying pan, and simmer over medium-heat.

2. In separate bowls add the remaining flour, and beat the two eggs. Dredge each square in the flour, dip into the beaten eggs, and fry in hot oil for about a minute on each side, till lightly golden in color.

3. Glaze with sugar, sprinkle over with cinnamon powder, and serve hot.


1. Add the hot milk slowly to the sugar-and-flour mixture, and stir it well to ensure that the mixture is lump-free.

2. The Leche Frita should be at least three-quarter inches thick before frying, else it may be unmangeable in the frying pan.

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