Monday, July 19, 2010

Magdalenas for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen

The following recipes in honor of the upcoming feast of St. Mary Magdalen, which is celebrated on July 22nd, were submitted by Amy Eastman from Tampa, Florida. Thank you Amy!

"Magdalenas” are small sweet cakes that are rich-tasting, but light and fluffy. The Spanish traditionally eat them at breakfast with "café con leche," and they are said to have originated in Aragón. "Magdalenas" are not often prepared in homes today, but are sold in supermarkets and bakeries everywhere. These little cakes would be a great addition to any breakfast or a Sunday champagne brunch.



4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 4 oz. stick unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Centigrade). Measure 1/4 cup sugar into small bowl and set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until the mixture is light.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on medium on the stove top. Or, melt it in the microwave. Make sure that the butter cools slightly and is not bubbling. As you continue to beat the egg mixture, slowly pour in the melted butter, making sure to mix thoroughly. Stir in the lemon zest and milk.

Measure out the flour into a separate bowl. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix thoroughly.

While stirring the egg mixture, add in the flour mixture. Continue to stir until all ingredients are mixed well. The batter will be very thick.

Place paper liners in to cupcake pan. Use a large serving spoon to spoon batter into pan, filling each one half full. Batter will more than double in size when baked. Use a teaspoon to sprinkle each magdalena with a bit of the reserved sugar.

Place pans on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until magdalenas have turned a golden color. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before taking out of the pan to cool further.

Serves 9. Yield is 18 magdalenas.

The following is a more authentic recipe for the's the olive oil that makes this recipe more authentic, but the taste is a little different. My tastebuds like butter better! This recipe is also from the Poor Clares of Santa Ana convent, thus even more authentic!

Magdalena Sponge-Cakes


2 eggs
3 cups extra fine sugar
2 cups of milk
2 cups of mild extra virgin olive oil
6 scant cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange 2 dozen cupcake paper liners on baking trays.

Beat the eggs and sugar together in a food processor to give a pale yellow batter that leaves ribbon trails.

Stir in the other ingredients, alternating the milk and oil with the flour to avoid curdling, and beat well again.

Spoon into the paper cups, but no more than two-thirds full to leave space for rising. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and risen.

Servings: Makes about 2 dozen magdalenas

Other ideas for the feast of St. Mary Magdalen can be found here
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  1. Yum! Thank you for sharing, Jessica. I ordered a Madeleine pan but I'm not sure it's going to make it in time for the Feast day. We'll be sure to enjoy some Magdalenas.

  2. Oh, I love these kind of recipes! Baking and eating these makes you feel like you're celebrating with many people from so many centuries in Spain!