Spanish Leche Frita Dessert

Spanish Leche Frita Dessert

The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Refrigeration: 3 hrs
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
513 Calories
29g Fat
54g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 513
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 170mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 297mg 23%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 361mg 8%
*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 frita is one of the most delicious and popular Spanish desserts. You can find it in both restaurants and pastry shops throughout Spain, but it's also fun to make at home. The translation of "leche frita" can be a bit puzzling because it means "fried milk." The "milk" here is actually a deliciously sweet, firm, cold milk-pudding that is encased in a warm and crunchy fried shell of flour and egg.

This traditional Spanish dessert is easy to prepare but needs time to chill so it hardens enough for frying. Plan for at least three hours in the refrigerator, though overnight is preferred. Leche frita can be enjoyed a few different ways. It's fantastic hot out of the fryer with a scoop of ice cream, but some people prefer to eat it at room temperature or cold from the fridge. Try it all three ways and decide which is your favorite.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour (divided)

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 quart whole milk (divided)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or amount needed for frying)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Garnish:

    Ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spanish Leche Frita Dessert ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 3 1/2 tablespoons of the flour, and the sugar.

    In a large bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, and sugar

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

  3. Add 1 cup of the milk and mix well with a whisk.

    add milk to the flour mixture in the bowl

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  4. Let stand until thickened, about 10 minutes.

    milk and flour mixture in a bowl

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  5. In a large saucepan, heat the rest of the milk along with the cinnamon stick over medium-low heat.

    milk and a cinnamon stick in a saucepan

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  6. When the milk begins to bubble, remove it from the heat.

    bubbling milk and a cinnamon stick in a saucepan

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  7. Place a mesh strainer over the bowl of the sugar and flour mixture, and pour the milk in little by little, stirring constantly.

    strain the flour and sugar mixture and pour in milk

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

  8. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring well for 10 minutes.

    milk and flour mixture cooking in a saucepan

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  9. Lightly oil a 9 by 9-inch ovenproof glass baking dish with olive oil.

    baking dish greased with olive oil

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  10. Pour in the leche frita mixture to a depth of 3/4-inch.

    milk and flour mixture in a baking dish

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  11. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you have time.

    chilled leche frita mixture

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  12. Run a knife around the edge of the leche frita to loosen.

    chilled leche frita mixture

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  13. Very quickly turn it out onto a cutting board.

    leche frita on a wood cutting board

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  14. Cut it into 16 squares (about 2 1/4 inches each).

    leche frita pieces on a wood cutting board

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  15. In a bowl, beat the eggs.

    eggs whisked in a bowl

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  16. Pour the olive oil into a frying pan to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat over medium heat. 

    frying pan with olive oil

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  17. Add the butter and allow to melt.

    frying pan with olive oil and butter

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  18. Place the remaining flour on a plate and dredge each of the squares.

    dredge the leche frita squares in flour

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  19. Then dip them in the beaten eggs.

    dip the leche frita squares in egg

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  20. Carefully place in the hot oil and fry for approximately 1 minute on each side, until lightly golden.

    leche frita in a frying pan

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  21. Transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain.

    leche frita on a paper towel lined plate

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

  22. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and serve immediately or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

    Spanish Leche Frita Dessert with cinnamon on top

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

Tip

It is important that the leche frita be at least 3/4-inch thick or it will be very difficult to fry and turn when the time comes. Keep this in mind as you choose which dish to use, especially if you decide to increase the recipe.