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Leche Frita (Fried Milk) — A Sweet Spanish Treat

Written By: Byron | February 3, 2024
A plate of Leche frita, fried milk squares

Leche frita (fried milk) is a delicious and interesting sweet that comes from the region of Asturias in the north of Spain. Milk appears to magically thicken and ends up as a soft but firm little parcel of sweetness. The texture will leave you wondering how it was milk in the first place. 

Of course, the milk is given a little help to get to this — namely from the added cornflour, being simmered in a pan, and then left to set in the fridge. After this step, you cut the set milk into squares and fry them in a batter. Making leche frita is a labor of love and not something you can rush, so if you’re looking for an easy dessert we’d suggest one of these 3 no-bake cheesecake recipes.

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Serving:

Makes 16-20 squares

Ready in:

24 hours

Skill level:

Moderate

Serve with:

Good on its own

Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes to delicious main meals, to incredible Spanish dessert options too.

How to Make Leche Frita (Fried Milk)

It’s best to make this over two days but at a push you can do the steps below for ‘Day 1’ in the morning, then finish off the steps for ‘Day 2’ in the evening. Your mixture from the ‘Day 1’ steps needs to set in the fridge for at least 8 hours. 

Ingredients

  • Lemon peel from 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 oz/120g of sugar
  • 1 quart/liter of whole milk 
  • 4 oz/120g of cornflour/cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • Butter (for greasing)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 3 medium eggs
  • Flour
  • Sugar and ground cinnamon (to coat)

Note: If you have pure vanilla extract, just use 1 teaspoon since it provides a stronger flavor. 

Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Sharp knife or peeler
  • Large rectangular container
  • Plastic wrap
  • Large frying pan
  • Tongs or spatula

Method

Day 1Make Milk Parcels

  1. Gently peel the lemon so you don’t include the white pith. Add the lemon peel, sugar, cinnamon stick, and ¾ of the milk to a pan on high heat.
  2. As soon as you see bubbles start to form, turn the heat to medium and let gently heat for 15 minutes on a low simmer.
  3. In the meantime, pour the remaining milk (about a cup) into a mixing bowl and add the cornstarch and vanilla and whisk well. 
  4. Grease a large rectangular container.
  5. When the 15 minutes is up for your milk on the stove, strain it into a larger pan and add the cornstarch and milk mixture. 
  6. Put it over medium heat and stir continuously with your whisk until it thickens and becomes a creamy consistency. 
  7. Pour the mixture into your greased container, cover with plastic film, and press down to even the mixture. 
  8. Put it in the fridge and leave it for at least 8 hours.

Day 2 – Fry the Parcels

  1. Take your milk mixture out of the fridge and cut it into squares (approximately 2 inches / 5 cm a side). 
  2. Crack your eggs into a dish and whisk with a fork or whisk so the whites and yolks have blended.
  3. Arrange a plate with flour, the egg mixture in a bowl beside it. 
  4. Pour some olive oil into a frying pan so it’s about 1 inch/2.5 cm high and heat on high heat.
  5. Once it’s hot, take a square and cover it in egg and flour, then put into the pan and fry on one side until golden, then flip. Do this for all the squares (you may need to do it in a couple of batches). 
  6. When a square is golden, remove it and put it onto a paper towel-lined plate. 
  7. Mix some sugar and ground cinnamon and put onto a flat plate (to coat the squares).
  8. When the squares have cooled enough to handle with your hands, coat them in the sugar and cinnamon mix.
          ingredients to make leche frita

          What is Leche Frita (Fried Milk)?

          Leche frita translates literally to fried milk. While this is true, the milk is first simmered with cornflour and set in the fridge before being fried. On that note, we always leave some of the set milk aside, cut it into squares, and eat those without being fried. It’s nice as a cold treat straight from the fridge. You can always try it and see if you like it, and if not, fry it with the rest.

          Leche frita comes from the north of Spain — where exactly is hotly debated. Wherever it comes from, it’s a traditional Easter food, but now can be found all over Spain and eaten year-round. It makes sense since you can eat it warm or cold so it doesn’t matter what season you’re in, you can enjoy this dessert. 

          Is Leche Frita (Fried Milk) Easy to Make?

          The short answer is no. This isn’t the easiest recipe to make for two reasons: the time it takes and the attention it needs. This isn’t a no-bake cheesecake after all. Having said that, with a few tips and tricks that we’ve picked up over time and included in the recipe, we feel this is as easy as we can make it. 

          Would we recommend you make this the first time to serve at a dinner party? No. There are plenty of easier Spanish dessert recipes out there. But, it’s a fun recipe to make and well worth the effort to try out because there’s nothing else quite like it.

          More desserts to try:

          A plate of Leche frita, fried milk squares
          A plate of Leche frita, fried milk squares

          Leche Frita (Fried Milk) — A Sweet Spanish Treat

          Byron
          Leche frita (fried milk) is a delicious and interesting sweet that comes from the region of Asturias in the north of Spain. Milk appears to magically thicken and ends up as a soft but firm little parcel of sweetness.
          5 from 1 vote
          Prep Time 30 minutes
          Cook Time 30 minutes
          Refrigerate 8 hours
          Total Time 9 hours
          Course Dessert, Snack, treat
          Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Spain, spanish
          Servings 16 squares
          Calories 137 kcal

          Equipment

          • Saucepan
          • Whisk
          • Sharp knife or peeler
          • Large rectangular container
          • Plastic wrap
          • Large frying pan
          • Tongs or spatula

          Ingredients

          • Lemon peel from 1 lemon
          • 1 cinnamon stick
          • 4 oz/120g of sugar
          • 1 quart/liter of whole milk
          • 4 oz/120g of cornflour/cornstarch
          • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
          • Butter for greasing
          • Olive oil for frying
          • 3 medium eggs
          • Flour
          • Sugar and ground cinnamon to coat

          Instructions
           

          Day 1 - Make Milk Parcels

          • Gently peel the lemon so you don’t include the white pith. Add the lemon peel, sugar, cinnamon stick, and ¾ of the milk to a pan on high heat.
            Lemon peel from 1 lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 oz/120g of sugar, 1 quart/liter of whole milk
          • As soon as you see bubbles start to form, turn the heat to medium and let gently heat for 15 minutes on a low simmer.
          • In the meantime, pour the remaining milk (about a cup) into a mixing bowl and add the cornstarch and vanilla and whisk well.
            1 tablespoon vanilla essence, 4 oz/120g of cornflour/cornstarch
          • Grease a large rectangular container.
            Butter
          • When the 15 minutes is up for your milk on the stove, strain it into a larger pan and add the cornstarch and milk mixture.
          • Put it over medium heat and stir continuously with your whisk until it thickens and becomes a creamy consistency.
          • Pour the mixture into your greased container, cover with plastic film, and press down to even the mixture.
          • Put it in the fridge and leave it for at least 8 hours.

          Day 2 - Fry the Parcels

          • Take your milk mixture out of the fridge and cut it into squares (approximately 2 inches / 5 cm a side).
          • Crack your eggs into a dish and whisk with a fork or whisk so the whites and yolks have blended.
            3 medium eggs
          • Arrange a plate with flour, the egg mixture in a bowl beside it.
            Flour
          • Pour some olive oil into a frying pan so it’s about 1 inch/2.5 cm high and heat on high heat.
            Olive oil for frying
          • Once it’s hot, take a square and cover it in egg and flour, then put into the pan and fry on one side until golden, then flip. Do this for all the squares (you may need to do it in a couple of batches).
          • When a square is golden, remove it and put it onto a paper towel-lined plate.
          • Mix some sugar and ground cinnamon and put onto a flat plate (to coat the squares).
            Sugar and ground cinnamon
          • When the squares have cooled enough to handle with your hands, coat them in the sugar and cinnamon mix.

          Video

          Notes

          Cooking Note: If you have pure vanilla extract, just use 1 teaspoon since it provides a stronger flavor.

          Nutrition

          Serving: 50gCalories: 137kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 3.9gFat: 2.9gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 46mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 10.4gCalcium: 80mgIron: 1mg
          Keyword fried milk, leche frita, milk

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