13 Authentic Mexican Bread Recipes to Bake at Home


These authentic Mexican bread recipes are close to my heart. My family is from a town in Mexico well known for its delicious pan dulce. I grew up smelling and eating it and now one of my missions in life is to make them easy for others to bake at home.

Several layers of Mexican bread (pan dulce) in baking sheets.

Please be sure to bookmark this page and come back often to check out the new recipes. Meanwhile, indulge in their vibrant colors and shapes through my Mexican Pan Dulce Guide, which features different types of Mexican bread and more than 100 names and photos.

Mexico’s rich culinary heritage extends beyond savory dishes to include a diverse array of traditional breads that are beloved for their unique flavors, textures and cultural significance. 

From sweet conchas, to fluffy bolillos and everything in between, this roundup of delectable Mexican recipes are sure to tantalize your taste buds and transports you from your home to the streets of Mexico City,  the winding staircases of Guanajuato, and the warm sands of Zihuatanejo.

I hope you get inspired to bring the flavors of Mexico to your home. Let's bake!

13 Authentic Mexican Bread Recipes

Get the recipes by clicking on the links in the first paragraph of the descriptions of each delicious Mexican sweet bread below.

1. Mantecadas

Mantecadas are known for their spongy consistency and golden crust on top. They are typically baked in red liners, which adds to their distinct appearance, and you can find them in nearly every Mexican bakery.

Mexican mantecada with the red liner removed

Considered a staple pan dulce in Mexico, they look like cupcakes, but their texture is similar to a muffin. They come in various flavors, with vanilla being the most traditional and popular. 

The flavor of oranges is one of my very favorites, so much so that I prepared these in the third episode of PBS’ The Great American Recipe, and the judges loved them. 

In my opinion, this is one of the easiest Mexican sweet breads you can make at home, so if this is your first time adventuring into baking, this is the perfect recipe to try first.

2. Niño Envuelto

Niño Envuelto, which translates literally as “swaddled baby,” is a classic cake featuring a light sponge rolled around a sweet filling, usually strawberry preserves. The cake is then covered with more strawberry marmalade and shredded coconut. 

Niño Envuelto pan dulce sliced

Niño Envuelto is a festive treat often made for and enjoyed during special occasions, but you can also find them sliced, which reveals a beautiful pinwheel pattern, in Mexican bakeries.

3. Mirror Mexican Cookies (Espejos)

Espejos, or Mirrors in English, are my kids’ favorite pan dulce. My family in Mexico knows this very well, so when we go to visit, a bag of these popular Mexican cookies is already waiting on the kitchen table waiting to be enjoyed with a cup of warm milk.

chocolate and glazed espejos pan dulce

Espejos are round cookies made with a buttery, crumbly dough and vanilla extract. They are usually covered with a sugary glaze that gives them a reflective surface just like a mirror, hence the name.

You can find them in different colors, white or pink are the most popular; however, sometimes they have a rich, chocolatey glaze.

4. Bolillos

Bolillos are a type of bread that resembles a small baguette with a crunchy crust and a soft, fluffy interior. These versatile rolls are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are commonly used for making tortas which are Mexican sandwiches, or as a side to accompany meals.

Mexican bolillos dinner rolls on a baking sheet

Nothing is better than a freshly baked bolillo slathered with butter and covered with salsa or cinnamon sugar for a sweet twist, or dipped in Mexican hot chocolate.

My favorite way to eat them is as Molletes, toasted bolillo halves covered with a generous layer of refried beans and topped with salsa and queso fresco.

Their versatility makes them a delicious option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

5. Telera Bread (Telera rolls)

Also known as telera rolls, this traditional “pan de sal,” or savory bread, are similar to bolillos, but have a softer texture thanks to the unsalted butter and a distinct oval shape with two lines in the middle.

torta buns freshly baked

This spongy bread is typically used for making tortas or pambazos which are tortas filled with chorizo and potato and then dipped in a spicy red sauce. Also, just like the bolillos, they can be filled with savory or sweet foods.

6. Mexican Cheesecake

Mexican cheesecake, also known as Pay de Queso, is a creamy dessert similar to the cheesecake we know in the United States. However, it’s less sweet and has a lighter texture.

slice of Mexican cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries

A popular dessert in my family, one of my aunts started making it for my family’s gelatina business years ago with huge success. Since then, it’s been a favorite for Christmas and New Years celebrations.

7. Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake, or Three Milk Cake, is a beloved Mexican dessert that needs no introduction. Its moist and tender crumb is irresistible. It’s one of the most popular recipes on this blog.

An slice of tres leches cake with whipped cream and strawberries. The two layer cake is in the background.

The light sponge is soaked in a mixture of three different types of milk and often topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I’ve made it with strawberries, peaches and mangoes. Try it out with lemon curd, it’s scrumptious!

8. Santa Claus Concha

The Santa Claus Concha is a festive variation on the classic concha, an iconic Mexican sweet bread known for its colorful and crumbly sugar toppings and distinctive shell-like shape.

The inspiration for the creation of this concha recipe came from my abuelita, my mom’s mom. She loved the holiday season and was a big fan of Santa. She used to get a new Santa ornament every year. Every time I see an image of Santa, I think of her.

Three Santa Claus conchas on a baking sheet.

This whimsical concha is a popular treat during the holiday season and adds a touch of festive cheer to any dessert table. It needs a little bit of work and patience since you need to let the bread dough rise for along time, but it’s worth it!

9. Traditional Pan de Muerto

This traditional Pan de Muerto or “Day of the Dead Bread” is a unique festive bread families eat or place on an “ofrenda” during Day of the Dead celebrations.

Two loafs of pan the muerto next to paper flowers and a sugar skull.

Typically, it has a round shape and it’s decorated with pieces of dough in the shape of bones. Pan de Muerto is made with dry active yeast, bread flour, eggs, butter, sugar and then flavored with orange blossom water or orange juice.

10. Day of the Dead Bread Anima

Another type of pan de muerto, very popular in the States of Michoacán and Guanajuato, is known as the “pan de muerto anima” or “bread of the soul.” It has an oval shape covered with a citrus glaze and pink sugar.

Pan de muerto covered in a white glaze and pink colored sugar on top of papel picado and next to marigols

My original recipe features a lime-flavored bread with a sweet and tart meringue.

11. Rosca de Reyes

Rosca de Reyes is a festive Mexican bread that is traditionally enjoyed during the celebration of Three Kings Day on January 6th each year.

This sweet bread is often shaped into an oval ring but you can also find it as a round wreath. 

Rosca de reyes with 6 sugar costrones on top of a wooden plater.

It is adorned with nuts, dried fruit and sugar “costrones,” made of vegetable shortening or butter, confectioner’s sugar, and flour. Inside the bread small figurines that represent baby Jesus are hidden. Whoever finds them is responsible for throwing a tamales and atole party for Candlemass on February 2nd.

12. Three Kings Day Muffin

Three Kings Day muffins are a modern twist on the traditional Rosca de Reyes bread. Since they are not made with yeast but all-purpose flour and baking powder, they will be ready in about half an hour.

Three Kings Day Cupcakes with Candied Fruit on a table with candles.

They are flavored with orange zest, decorated with candied fruit and their size made them the perfect bread for a single-serving dessert.

13. Capirotada

Capirotada is a beloved bread especially enjoyed during the Lenten season in Mexico. This warm and flavorful dish combines sweet and savory flavors like cinnamon, cloves, dried fruit, nuts and cheese.

Our recipe includes cranberries and piloncillo syrup.

Capirotada, one of the easiest Mexican bread recipes, in a glass bowl on a wooden table

Whether you are enjoying the rich flavors of mantecadas, savoring the fluffy interior of Mexican conchas, or celebrating special occasions with Pan de Muerto or Three Kings Day bread, the deliciousness of these Mexican bread recipes offers a diverse and delightful treat for all bread lovers.

So grab a cup of coffee, a glass of milk, hot chocolate, or atole and enjoy! Buen provecho!

Silvia Martinez
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