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Pan De Polvo Recipe

When you think about Mexican cuisine, chances are that you’ll conjure images of tacos or enchiladas.

But did you know there was once a dessert called “pan de polvo?”

In English, this translates as “dust cake,” but if you want to get technical about it, a pan de polvo is actually more like a shortbread cookie.

What Is A Pan De Polvo?

Pan de polvo literally means “dust cake,” so it sounds fairly complicated when translated into English.

However, it has been around for centuries in Mexico, and is still popular today.

The name comes from its appearance – it resembles a small round piece of dust cake or biscuit.

The original recipe calls for ground almonds (or almond meal) instead of flour, which gives it a nutty flavor.

There is also no egg yolk added to the dough, because eggs were expensive during the Spanish rule over Mexico.

These days, however, most recipes call for baking powder rather than yeast to make them rise.

If you have ever had one of these cookies, you probably already know how they taste! They are very sweet with an almost chewy texture and crunchy outside.

People can be quite picky about their pan de polvo, though, so many people add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, or even candied fruit inside to give them something else to chew on.

So what makes them special enough to warrant being named “the best food in the world?” Well, according to some sources, they are traditionally eaten on December 6th, St.

Lucy’s Day, when Mexicans celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of housewives.

It wasn’t long before Pan de Polvo spread throughout all of Latin America, where it became part of the holiday celebrations too.

In fact, there are different regional variations of pan de polvo across South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Panama.

But why does everyone love these little treats?

What Is The Origin Of The Pan De Polvo?

Pan de polvo has its roots in Mexico, where it was originally created by nuns from the Convento de las Trinitarias del Carmen (Convent of the Trinitarians of the Blessed Virgin Mary) who were tasked with making baked goods for their convent community’s daily meals.

The nuns would bake different pastries using local ingredients such as wheat, eggs, almonds, and raisins.

These sweets were then shared among the sisters.

Eventually, they became known as pan dulce, which means sweet bread.

As the word spread, people began calling these desserts pan de polvo, literally meaning dust cakes, though some claim that the name came from the fact that the nuns used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar when baking them.

After decades of being considered an everyday treat, pan de polvo eventually became popular during the holidays.

At Christmastime, the nuns would bake several batches of the cookies and send out baskets filled with them to family members all over town.

Today, pan de polvo recipes can be found throughout the world, including in many countries outside of Mexico.

And while pan de polvo might not have been common in medieval Europe, it still exists today.

In England, this type of pastry is called ginger biscuits, which are similar to American sand tarts.

What Are The Traditional Ingredients In A Pan De Polvo Recipe?

A pan de polvo can be made with any number of different types of flours, such as cornmeal, almond meal, brown rice flour, and even spelt flour.

The most common type of flour used for making these desserts is all-purpose flour (or APF), which works well because it has an extra protein content that gives it structure without being too dense.

The other major ingredient in the traditional pan de polvo recipe is granulated white sugar.

This helps the dough hold together when baked, so don’t substitute regular table sugar here!

Butter also plays very important role in the texture of the finished product.

In addition to adding moisture and flavor, butter makes the dough easier to roll out.

If you use margarine instead, you might end up having to add some additional water during mixing just to make sure the dough holds its shape.

Finally, ground cinnamon adds a warm, spicy note to the finished pan de polvo.

Cinnamon isn’t just good on pancakes, though – it pairs wonderfully with chocolate chip cookies, and it’s also great sprinkled over oatmeal raisin bread.

And speaking of spices, you should probably leave those whole cloves out of your pan de polvo mix since they won’t stay mixed into the batter properly.

Instead, try using them in place of dried rosemary or thyme.

How Is A Pan De Polvo Typically Served?

The pan de polvo originated from the Spanish-speaking people who settled on the American continent during colonial times.

The cookies were traditionally eaten for special occasions such as weddings or holidays.

They could be found on tables all over Mexico and Central America.

Today, however, they can also be bought at bakeries around the country.

Some bakeries sell them year round while others only offer them at certain times of the year.

This variation depends entirely on what holiday season they choose to celebrate.

There is no set serving size for a pan de polvo because each person gets to enjoy his or her own portion.

You don’t need much space either.

Most recipes call for just one pan de polvo per person so you won’t take up too much room in your kitchen.

Many bakeries will have their customers cut out the center with a knife or an ice cream scoop before eating it.

If you do not wish to do this yourself, most stores will gladly cut it for you when you purchase it.

Some pan de polvos contain nuts and chocolate chips while other versions may include raisins, coconut, or even marshmallows.

However, these types of additions are optional depending on what kind of pan de polvo you prefer.

But whatever the case, pan de polvo is always delicious.

What Are Some Popular Variations Of The Pan De Polvo Recipe?

A pan de polvo can be made with almost any type of flaky dough available in your kitchen pantry.

You could use puff pastry for its crisp texture, while others prefer their doughs to have a softer consistency.

Some recipes call for adding nuts into the batter, while others don’t.

The most common ingredients used to create these cookies include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, milk powder, and eggs.

Other things you may find in a pan de polvo recipe include cornstarch, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar.

Pan de polvo with chocolate chips

This variation on the classic pan de polvo features a sweet filling of melted dark chocolate chips mixed with condensed milk.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter softened (or ½ stick plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup condensed milk mixed with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Mix together the dry ingredients until combined well.

Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix them through the dry ingredients just enough so they form clumps.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes before scooping out small pieces onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flattening slightly with the back of a spoon.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pan de polvo with peanut butter

If you love peanut butter and would rather not go without it than add too many calories, try this version instead!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter softened (or ½ stick plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup whole milk

Combine the dry ingredients together and then add the other wet ingredients.

Scoop out portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pan de polvo with pineapple

Pineapple lovers will adore this tasty treat. Plus, it’s easy to prepare!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter softened (or ½ stick plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple
  • ⅓ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Combine the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients.

Scrape the sticky mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle evenly with the chopped macadamia nuts.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does It Take To Make A Pan De Polvo?

Pan de polvo recipes vary depending on what type of pan de polvo maker you have access to (or can borrow from your local bakery).

Typically, though, they require around 10 minutes of active work followed by 30-60 additional minutes of resting and cooling time before serving.

If you don’t have a lot of experience baking with doughs, you might be afraid of making a pan de polvo because it looks intimidatingly complicated.

Don’t worry! The basic technique for making these treats is very simple.

Here’s how to do it step by step:

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until completely combined. You may need to use a spatula to help incorporate any dry ingredients into the liquid portion of the batter.
  • Roll out the dough using a floured rolling pin until it’s roughly 1/4 inch thick. Use a round cutter or glass to cut circles, then place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
  • Allow the pan de polvo to cool fully before removing them from the oven.
  • Serve warm with milk, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Pan De Polvo?

Pan de polvo is essentially a thin, crumbly shortbread-like cookie that has been rolled in granulated sugar before baking.

The flavor is sweetened with ground almonds and cinnamon, which gives it an almondy taste.

It also contains wheat flour, so it’s not exactly vegan friendly (though many people do enjoy its deliciousness).

The only way to find out how much fat and calories there are in one serving would be to calculate the weight and measure each ingredient individually.

However, because there isn’t any nutrition information available on the packaging, we can assume that one pan de polvo has around 100 calories per serving.

This means that most people should have no problem eating just one slice without feeling guilty about it.

If you’re looking for something healthier, look no further than our other recipes! You can easily replace your regular old cookies with healthy alternatives from here on out.

What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Pan De Polvo?

Pan de polvo has been around since the 16th century in Spain.

However, its popularity only really took off when Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821.

The dish started out as being a sweet treat, but eventually evolved into a savory snack.

The original recipe calls for an egg yolk and breadcrumbs with sugar sprinkled on top.

Over time, the recipe changed to include ground almonds, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and even salt.

Today, many people also add raisins and sometimes chocolate chips!

If you’re looking to make your own pan de polvo, here are three things you need to keep in mind:

  • Use good quality ingredients.
  • Stirring everything together can take a while. Make sure you have plenty of patience.
  • Don’t over-mix anything.

Now let’s talk about how to store these cookies so they last longer.

How Should Pan De Polvo Be Stored?

Pan de polvo can be kept in an airtight container for up to three weeks – so long as it remains dry.

If you find your pan de polvo has become damp, simply pop it back into the oven on low heat until it dries out again.

If you don’t have any leftovers from last night’s holiday meal, keep a couple of pieces wrapped in parchment paper in the freezer for when you need them next year!

What Are Some Common Mistakes People

People who don’t cook regularly can make the mistake of thinking that baking isn’t difficult.

This is especially true when they see recipes with long lists of ingredients that seem to call for an army. In reality, though, most baked goods only require a few basic ingredients.

For example, here’s what I use in my own family’s version of pan de polvo:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

That’s it! There aren’t any fancy techniques involved. If you’re new to cooking, stick to these simple guidelines:

Read through every single ingredient label before buying anything.

Even better, ask your grocer for help.

They may have specific instructions on how to store their products properly so they retain their best flavor.

If you buy something online, don’t just assume that everything will work out okay.

Ask for reviews from other customers and read them carefully.

Don’t overdo it. Don’t try too many different things at one time either.

You don’t need to start making cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries until you’ve mastered bread doughs, muffins, and pancakes first.

Pan De Polvo Recipe

Pan de polvo literally means “dust cake,” so it sounds fairly complicated when translated into English.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pan De Polvo Recipe
Servings: 3
Calories: 4723kcal


  • 1 whole stick canela cinnamon
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cup water
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • 3 whole sticks of canela cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 pounds all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ pounds shortening
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt


  • In a small sauce pan, combine the water, anise, and canela. Bring to a boil; then, turn down the heat, and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to fully cool.
  • Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out the canela sticks (cinnamon), and reheat in the oven for three minutes. This makes it simpler to grind the canela. Grind sugar and warmed canela sticks into a fine powder in a molcajete or food processor. Set aside in a bowl until you’re ready to sprinkle cookies.
  • In a large basin, combine all the ingredients for the dough and knead it for 15 minutes. Then, add 1 cup of tea, 1/4 cup at a time (depending on the temperature, you might not need all the tea), and keep kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Combine thoroughly, then remove dough from bowl, divide dough into fourths, roll out to 14 inch thick on a floured board, cut out cookies with your preferred cookie cutter, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for a while, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.



Calories: 4723kcal | Carbohydrates: 622g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 232g | Saturated Fat: 57g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 66g | Monounsaturated Fat: 94g | Trans Fat: 30g | Sodium: 1575mg | Potassium: 501mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 277g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 22mg
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