There are estimated to be more than two thousand varieties of Mexican sweet bread, many of which are familiar to most people internationally. There are many that are local to Mexico and not common anywhere else, but one thing is true of all of them, they are all delicious.
There are hundreds of Mexican sweet bread varieties, including concha, elote, picon dan dulce, moño, ojo de buey, beso, perquito, rebandas de mantequilla, Rosca de Reyes, and Pan de Muerto. Every Mexican sweet bread is unique and delicious, and some have cultural and spiritual significance.
The large number of sweet breads made in Mexico makes it almost impossible to keep track of them all, but if you ever have the privilege to try them, explore as many as you can. Mexica sweet bread never disappoints, and there is a type of this bread to suit every palate. With that in mind, let’s explore the most popular of these sweet bread varieties.
Types Of Mexican Sweet Bread
Mexica sweet bread has been made in Mexico for hundreds of years. This type of bread, called Pan Dulce in Spanish, has many varieties and is a favorite sweet treat for many people internationally.
Mexican culture is vibrant, colorful, and lively, which is reflected in the sweet bread made by the people of this nation. There are said to be between 500 and 2000 sweet bread varieties traditionally made in Mexico, which means that there are too many to cover here.
It is impossible to list all of the Mexican sweet bread varieties, as there are simply too many to fit into a list here. Every family in Mexico has their favorite varieties, and some sweet bread types are more popular than others in specific regions.
Some sweet breads hold religious significance, some are eaten only during specific festivals, and some are only made in certain regions of the country, depending on the availability of ingredients.
Mexican sweet bread recipes are handed down along generations, and they are refined and changed along the way. Making sweet bread is as much a part of Mexican culture as developing new sweet bread recipes and altering existing ones.
If there is a specific sweet bread you are looking for, an online search for the name of the bread should reveal more about it and how to make it, but the most popular and most delicious Mexican sweet bread types are what we will focus on here.
There are simply too many sweet breads to cover in detail in this article, but a few stand out from the rest and are worth learning more about.
Let’s identify and explore 12 of the most popular Mexican sweet bread varieties that everyone can enjoy. Try making these breads for yourself to experience them, and the next time you get an opportunity to try one, do not waste it!
Concha is a type of Mexican sweet bread roll made from typical bread ingredients with added sugar. Concha means shell. The shape of the roll and the cracked texture of the top layer resembles certain types of seashells.
The defining feature of conchas is the topping made from butter, sugar, and flour. It forms a thin cookie on top of the bread. The topping cracks during the proofing process and forms the distinctive cracked layer atop the roll.
The cookie-like layer on top of the concha can be flavored the same as the bread or flavored differently from the bread, but the topping is usually made to be different colors.
Popular flavors include vanilla and chocolate, but conchas and their toppings can be flavored any way you like them.
Elote Pan Dulce
Elote pan dulce means sweet cornbread. However, this is not a cornbread that you may be used to.
This sweet version of cornbread is prepared with a lot of fat, usually lard, which results in a very soft and unique texture. The bread is baked as a dessert and is generally filled with a sweet fruit jam9.
This is a true dessert bread and is always eaten as such. This type of bread can be dusted with powdered sugar and usually has a crispy crust that perfectly complements the softness of the bread and its filling.
This bread is something extraordinary and has a unique flavor combination of cornbread and sweetness, combined with a smooth texture, unlike any other bread.
Roles de Canela
Roles de canela are cinnamon rolls that you are probably already familiar with. This type of sweet bread is widely popular in Mexico and is considered among Mexican sweet breads because this bread has been made in this country for so long.
The arrival of Europeans in Mexico in the 1800s and 1900s influenced cinnamon and cinnamon-based treats and dishes to the people here. Since then, roles de canela has become among the most popular Mexican sweet breads.
These are the same type of cinnamon rolls that you can get everywhere in the world. Rolled dough covered in cinnamon and sugar, baked at a high temperature to crisp the bread and caramelize the sugar, and drizzled with icing or other toppings.
Cinnamon rolls are delicious, and there is no need to change the recipe, as they are perfect the way they are.
Picon Pan Dulce
Picon pan dulce is very similar to concha. The bread is made in the same way and covered in the same cracked cookie-like topping, but this bread has a different texture.
The Picon topping is brushed with egg before finishing to give it a significantly more crunchy texture. This bread is usually slightly less sweet than concha and has fewer flavors, but it is a favorite among those who enjoy crunchy sweet breads.
Moño is the quintessential Mexican sweet bread. If you order sweet bread without further description, this is the bread you will get.
This sweet bread is traditional in Mexico and is more similar to a pastry than a bun, despite what its name implies.
This sweet pasty-like bread is slightly sweetened, deep-fried, and crispy. It is usually shaped into a bow tie and sprinkled with sugar.
This is a delicious staple of almost every Mexican bakery and is a favorite of anyone who has ever explored Mexican sweet breads.
Ojo de Buey
Ojo de buey is a unique traditional Mexican sweet bread that is truly a special treat. There is simply nothing like this anywhere else in the world.
This type of sweet is a combination of flakey folded bread, puff pastry, and pound cake. Flakey bread or pastry is rolled around flavored pound cake, which is baked together to form a unique treat.
Ojo de buey is a sensation of textures and flavors. The pound cake center is soft and dense, usually flavored orange, and the outer layer of flakey bread is crisp and light. Ojo de buey is delicious and exciting, and everyone who has not yet tasted it should endeavor to do so as soon as possible.
Beso, or Besos pan dulce, is a type of Mexican sweet bread named for the word ‘kiss,’ as the two halves of the bread are touched together and resemble a physical kiss.
This bread is a sweet dough bread formed into half-spheres or full spheres that are then cut in half. A layer of sweet fruit syrup, such as strawberry syrup, is placed on the flat sides of the bread, and two half-spheres are pressed together with the syrup.
These are small, two-bite-sized sweet breads covered in sugar and filled with delectable syrup. These kisses are irresistible to almost everyone and are incredibly delicious to anyone with a sweet tooth or a preference for cake-like desserts with jam.
Dona is Spanish for doughnut. These are exactly as you would expect a doughnut to be, but they are made distinctly Mexican by the addition of Mexican doughnut toppings.
Mexican doughnuts are delicious and made in the same way as regular doughnuts. Rings of sweetened bread are deep-fried until golden and covered in delicious toppings or sugar.
Dona in Mexico is topped with traditional Mexican sweet toppings such as cajeta, a sweetened caramel made with goat’s milk.
This type of sweet bread has become a favorite in Mexico and can be found in almost every home. All Mexican bakeries make donas, and they have become a staple in this nation.
Rebanadas de Mantequilla
Rebanadas de Mantequilla is a sweet bread loaf traditionally cut into semi-thick slices, slathered with a layer of butter, and enjoyed with a cup of hot coffee. This bread sometimes has additional sugar sprinkled over each slice.
The name of this bread literally translates to ‘slices of butter’ and is always eaten this way. This is a slightly sweetened larger loaf of bread that is a favorite lunchtime or afternoon snack and is almost always eaten with a hot drink such as coffee.
This bread is known by several names, the most common of which is puerquito, but it is also called cochinitos de piloncillo. This bread is uniquely Mexican and is not made anywhere else.
This unique bread is somewhat similar to gingerbread, but it is not made with ginger. The bread is made with spices such as cinnamon and anise, but the chief ingredient in the bread that gives it its flavor and texture is unrefined cane sugar called ‘piloncillo.’
This bread is always formed into the shape of a pig, hence the name ”little pigs,” and is a widespread favorite of the Mexican people.
This sweet bread has a long history but has become a staple of Mexican sweet bread and will always be a favorite in the nation.
Pan de Muerto
Pan de Muerto means ‘bread of the dead’ and is traditionally baked and eaten during the weeks leading up to the celebrations of the Day of the Dead.
This bread is, therefore, only eaten seasonally, but it remains a delicious favorite in Mexico when it is prepared.
This bread is a standard sweet bread recipe, being made from regular white bread with added sugar, but it features decorative additions of skulls, crossbones, and teardrops that represent various traditional elements related to this festival.
Of the traditional sweet bread in Mexico, this bread is usually considered the favorite among the Mexican people.
Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de Reyes translates as the King’s Wreath. This is another traditional seasonal bread enjoyed in Mexico and is baked two 12 days after Christmas every year.
This bread is round and bejeweled with sweet bread shapes and different colors to represent royalty and is baked as a celebration of the three wise men that visited Jesus in the manger on the night that He was born.
This sweet bread is baked with a small doll hidden in it as a representation of the baby Jesus, and the person who finds the figurine in their bread is required to host a tamale feast in early February.
The King’s Wreath is made to bring families together, forming part of the greater traditional celebration that happens over two days yearly.
This bread holds more traditional and cultural significance than almost any other sweet bread, but it is a delicacy that every person in Mexico looks forward to every year.
The bread is delicious, crispy, soft, and sweet. There is no other bread like it, and you must try it for yourself to truly appreciate its flavors and textures.
Mexican sweet bread is something very special. These bread are part of Mexican culture, and every family has their own version of these bread, and they are made in different ways based on where you are in the country.
Every Mexican sweet bread is delicious, and if you ever have the opportunity to do so, you should try as many as you can. These breads are always amazing and are a taste and texture adventure for anyone who is not accustomed to them.