From buttery croissants to creamy custards to divine chocolates, the variety of desserts and sweets in Barcelona are endless. Can’t choose? Read our “best of the best” list of traditional, contemporary, and holiday sugar-laden delicacies for you to try in Barcelona!
Similar to the creme brulee, the Crema Catalana is a creamy custard dish with a caramelized sugar topping. Unlike the French version, the Crema Catalana is infused with a hint of lemon and cinnamon. Not only is it scrumptious, but it’s also fun to crack the top with your spoon!
The Xuixo reigns from Girona, just north of Barcelona. This decadent pastry is cylindrical in shape and is filled with luscious cream. To make it more calorific, it’s then deep-fried in oil and covered with sugar. Yum!
From the region of Vilafranca del Penedès, Catànies are Marcona almonds that are toasted, then coated in caramel. On top of that, they’re covered in white chocolate or a blend of almond, praline, or hazelnut. Then, they’re dusted in high-quality cocoa powder.
Contemporary Sweet Treats
Croissants at Hofmann
Carrer dels Flassaders, 44
If you think the best croissants come from France, you haven’t tried the ones at Hofmann pastry shop in the Born neighborhood. Their filled croissants are perfectly crispy on the outside, flaky on the inside, and oozing with mascarpone, sacher-torte, pistachio, or mango.
Chocolate cakes at Bubó
Copyright by Bubó
We’ve heard rumors that “the best chocolate cake in the world” is at Bubó, and we might agree. We can’t resist the Loreak Babylon, a chocolate mousse with a hint of saffron. Not only do their cakes taste incredible, but they’re also exquisite pieces of art.
Chocolate at Oriol Balaguer
Copyright by Justine Ancheta
Travessera de Les Corts, 340
Award-winning chef Oriol Balaguer innovates and impresses with his flavored chocolates. We’re fans of Yuzu (a Korean citrus fruit), mint lime, and pop-rock flavors. Drop by the Oriol Balaguer boutique in Eixample, where you’ll find elegant chocolates and cakes.
Bonus tip! Looking for a unique food experience? Try Essence at Espaisucre (Sant Pere Més Alt, 72), an educational experience that lets guests touch, feel, and smell their ingredients while learning about their origins and the conceptualization of each dish.
Special Holiday Favorites
Eaten on All Saints’ Day, the history of the Panellet goes back to the 18th century. They’re made with sweet potatoes, sugar, and almond meal, then shaped into a ball. Then they’re rolled in pine nuts, chocolate, crushed almonds, or coconut. They could possibly be the world’s first energy balls!
Coca de Sant Joan
Catalans gather together on the eve of St. John’s feast day, June 24, to share this sweet flatbread. It’s sprinkled with marzipan, confit fruit, pine nuts, or even pork cracklings. If you miss this holiday, you can find basic Coca sweet bread year-round in the bakeries!
Bunyols de Quaresma
A variety of a doughnut, Bunyols de Quaresma are pastries eaten during Lent. They’re puffy and hollow on the inside, but some are also filled with cream. Find the Bunyols throughout the Lenten season, typically on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Got a sweet tooth for something different? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll give you a personalized recommendation!
February 21, 2020 | Words by Justine Ancheta for Eye On Food Tours