Desserts and sweets

Bilbao rice cakes

Bilbao rice cakes


  • Easy
  • 45 minutes
  • For 5 people
  • 0.8 € / person
  • 305kcal per 100g.

How to make Bilbao rice cakes.  First of all we are going to make it clear that this sweet recipe, despite its attractive name, which is “rice”, is nowhere to be found.

But as tends to happen in most traditional desserts, this has a historical explanation. To tell you that it is one of the most famous desserts in Bilbao along with the carolinas and the butter buns.  They are present in most Bilbao bakeries, and are a must if you are passing through the city. We could put them in a high place in the Basque pastry ranking with the traditional Basque cake   and of course the Pantxineta . 

Let’s go to the peculiar story, there are “theories” that place their origin in the Bilbao sailors who returned from the Philippines, and who would have brought this recipe made with rice flour. Then, over time, for practical and / or economic issues, this flour is replaced by wheat flour.

Other sources speak of making puff pastry bases , and filling them with the rice pudding left over at home. Hence the name of rice cakes. The fact is that at present they are known by that name, although they do not carry a single bit.

This dessert can be prepared in two ways. Or tart type, using a round mold and using the puff pastry as is; or using small molds to make individual cupcakes. I have opted for this option, since it is the usual preparation in bakeries in Bilbao.

They are very easy to prepare, and the sea of ​​rich. I would say they remind me of belem cakes , a Portuguese dessert that surely has some connection to these rice cakes. You know, if you need an express and successful dessert, these cakes are your salvation.

Preparation of Bilbao rice cakes

  1. The first thing we must do is take the butter out of the fridge well in advance, so that it has a “pomade” texture. Another option would be to give it a heat stroke in the micro, so that it takes texture.
  2. Once achieved, mix it with the sugar and beat. Until you get a cream. Add the eggs, one by one, and beat again.
  3. It is the turn of the flour, which we are sifting and mixing. Do it in several steps. We pour the milk, in 3 times, at the same time that we mix. We must have a homogeneous cream, and something liquid, it is normal.
  4. We preheat the oven to 180º, for 10 minutes.
  5. We stretch the puff pastry sheet, leaving a fine dough. We place the molds on it, and cut the dough, so that there is some left over.
  6. Butter the mold, and place the dough inside, with the help of your fingers. We remove the surplus. We repeat the process with the rest of the molds.
  7. We fill the “glasses” to the brim. Then in the oven the cream will rise, but there is nothing to worry about since they will lower when you take them out of the oven.

Baking and final presentation of rice cakes

  1. Bake about 25/30 minutes at 180º. The first 10 minutes place the tray on the bottom, to get the puff pastry to cook well. After time, raise her to the central position. Always on a metal tray and with heat up and down.
  2. The exact point of preparation is when we click and the skewer comes out clean. Also, the top must be lightly toasted. We remove and let it temper.
  3. When we eat them, you can see a small crust on top, then a delicious soft cream and the crispy puff pastry on the bottom. A contrast of textures that makes these cupcakes even more attractive.
  4. The usual thing is to taste them warm or cold. And if you can not in one go, they will be kept cold in perfect condition for 3-4 days.

Well, you will tell me how about this gastronomic journey to Bilbao itself. Here at home not one has been left on the table, and it is that they are “delicious”.

You can see all the step-by-step photos of the rice pastry  recipe in this album.

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