This recipe is reprinted from the Chicano Bakes: Recipes for Mexican Pan Dulce, Tamales, and My Favorite Desserts cookbook by Esteban Castillo with permission from the author.
Mantecadas are sweet muffins typically wrapped in a red liner that you are likely to stumble on at your local panadería, as mantecadas are a staple when it comes to pan dulce. I tested these more times than I can count, and although the name implies that they’re made with manteca (lard), I found that using a neutral oil produced a lighter crumb.
The fluffy dome is another indicator of a perfect mantecada, and the trick to achieving it? That’s a secret I’ll never tell. xoxo. Just kidding: It’s a slight rest and an extra-hot oven. Follow the instructions closely and you’ll get a perfect mantecada every time.
Prepare a muffin tin:
Line 12 cups of a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Line 6 cups of a second tin with paper liners. Set aside.
Make the muffin batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combined and no traces of flour remain.
Divide up the batter and preheat the oven:
Fill each lined muffin cup with about 3 tablespoons of batter and set aside uncovered for 30 minutes.
While the batter rests, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). The combo of the resting and high heat will help give the muffins that nice perfect top.
Slide the muffins into the oven to bake for 7 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake until they have puffed up, are slightly golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, 7 to 8 minutes longer.
Let the muffins cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully remove them and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the muffins at room temperature sealed or lightly wrapped with plastic wrap. They will keep up to 3 days.
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What are Mantecadas?
Mantecadas originated in Spain, with a flavor and texture similar to pound cake. The Spanish version is often prepared in a square or rectangular shape, either in individual muffin-sized portions or as a loaf.
This muffin version is a treat commonly found in panaderías, or Mexican bakeries. It’s one of the many pan dulce (sweet breads) pananderías frequently offer in their display case.
How to Serve Mantecadas
Like most pan dulce, these lightly sweet muffins are especially good with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Try serving with café con leche or Mexican hot chocolate.
More Muffin-y Goodness
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Zucchini Muffins
- Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins