Traditional Mantecados Recipe

Mantecados are very popular in Gibraltar, they are traditional at Christmas time and Easter and are also enjoyed at any time of the year. They are of Spanish origin and a bit reminiscent of shortbreads, but much more crumbly and are flavoured with lemon and cinnamon which is a classic combination of many Spanish sweets. They are finished off with sprinkled sugar and sesame seeds.

The traditional way to make mantecados (and many other Spanish traditional sweets) is with lard, which is obviously not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However it is perfectly possible to substitute this for a mild olive oil or sunflower oil. These mantecados are have all the traditional taste, are just as crumbly, are dairy free and vegan, and incredibly moreish!

Traditional Mantecados Recipe
Yield: 15 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Prep time:
Cooking time:


  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 ml sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup of sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. This may not be necessary but I always like to sieve the flour.
  2. Add the sugar, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest and mix into the flour with a fork.
  3. Add the olive oil and sunflower oil, mix well and form into a dough ball with your hands. You may need a little more flour or oil, I suggest adding 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough holds it’s shape, but the quantities given should work fine.
  4. Break a piece of the dough off with your hands so that it is about 4 cm in diameter and work into a ball. Flatten slightly and lightly press the centre with your thumb to form a shallow indentation.
  5. Place on a tray lined with grease-proof paper. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  6. Sprinkle the dough discs with sesame seeds pressing them slightly into the dough so they stick. You can also sprinkle some sugar on top, but this is optional.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 150C (300F) fan for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before eating them.


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