26 Mar, 2024 @ 10:05
1 min read

What is ‘la torrija’? The delicious treat that’s traditionally eaten during Semana Santa in Spain

SEMANA Santa has taken over Spain this week and you may be seeing ‘torrijas’ everywhere, but what are these sweet treats? 

Torrijas are a popular Easter treat in Spain often compared to the English ‘eggy bread’

READ MORE: Why are Spain’s Semana Santa hats conical and are they linked to the KKK?

This Spanish take on ‘eggy bread’ soaks stale bread in milk or wine before dosing it in sugar and cinnamon and dipping it in honey. 

It first appeared in the fourth and fifth century in roman cuisine, although this version only used milk, foregoing the spongy egg layer. 

Soon, it became a popular easter treat, using the bread leftover during lent, when meat was not allowed. 

Today, the sweet treat is beloved all over Spain and there is even a Torrija competition held every year in Madrid. 

In some areas of the country, including Menorca, it is considered a great energy boost for pregnant women and the sick.

Torrijas are available in any good bakery or you can buy special slices of bread to make your own. 

READ MORE: Six typical Easter dishes to savour during Semana Santa in Spain

So, if you’re feeling a bit under the weather this easter or just fancy a sugary sweet bite, here’s our recipe for torrijas: 


250 mls milk
Zest of one lemon
¼ bar of French bread, in thick slices
1 egg, lightly beaten, in a shallow bowl
Good quality olive oil
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
1 tablespoon honey
Kitchen towels


Mix the milk and half of the sugar (1/8 cup) in a saucepan with the lemon zest and gently warm u p over medium heat. 

Turn off the heat just as as the milk comes to a boil and put aside to cool for a few minutes.

Soak thick slices of bread in the milk mixture allowing them to be soggy with the liquid, but not falling apart. 

Leave to rest for a minute so they soak up the moisture.

Then dip the bread slices in the lighten beaten egg, coating both sides of the bread.

Now to fry them. 

Cover the bottom of a shallow frying pan in olive oil and heat up before adding soaked bread slices and cooking on each side until they are crisp.

Remove from the pan and place bread slices on a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.

Mix the remaining sugar (1/8 cup) with the cinnamon and sprinkle liberally over the slices then use the remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture to make a syrup mixing it with ½ cup of water, the honey and heat lightly in a saucepan.

Let simmer until it thickens up into a runny syrup – usually about 20 minutes – then pour over the slices of bread, refrigerate for at least an hour.

READ MORE: Fascinating 1960s drawings of Sevilla’s ‘Semana Santa’ by famed British cartoonist William ‘Bill’ Papas

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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