Leche Merengada Recipe

Traditional Leche Merengada is made with milk, sugar, egg whites, and cinnamon
Jodi Pudge Radius Images/ Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Freezing Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
328 Calories
6g Fat
60g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 328
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 128mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 60g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 227mg 17%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 305mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Leche Merengada is a classic dessert, a kind of variation of the milkshake, and is served in ice cream stores all over Spain. It is such a classic dessert that the famous children's song, entitled "Tengo una vaca lechera" ("I Have a Milk Cow") talks about a cow who gives sweet and tasty leche merengada.

It is made of milk that is heated and flavored with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Once strained and cooled, the milk is then mixed together with beaten egg whites. Finally, the mixture is frozen. The resulting texture is somewhere between a smoothie and ice cream.


  • 1 lemon

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 4 large egg whites

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse and dry the lemon with a paper towel to remove any dust. Grate the lemon peel onto a plate or into a small bowl. Be careful to remove only the yellow portion of the lemon peel, because the pith -- the white, fibrous membrane underneath -- is bitter.

  2. Pour the milk, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon stick, and the lemon zest into a medium-sized saucepan and heat on ​medium-high. As soon as the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  3. Once cooled, remove the cinnamon stick and strain the milk through cheesecloth to remove the grated lemon zest.

  4. Separate egg whites. Pour the egg whites and remaining sugar into a clean, dry glass bowl. Beat eggs whites to a stiff peak

  5. Pour the milk into a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, and carefully fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until the mixture is homogenous.

  6. Cover the bowl, sealing it tightly. Place into the freezer for at least 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the freezer and mix on low speed with an electric mixer before serving.

  7. Serve very cold in a tall glass with a long spoon or straw. Top with powdered cinnamon if desired. 

More Favorite Spanish Milk-Based Dessert Recipes: