Torrejas is a Mexican dish made from bolillo bread that’s coated in a whipped egg mixture, then lightly fried, and topped with sweet piloncillo syrup! It’s commonly served during Lent, Easter, and Christmas, and is great for feeding a crowd.
If you’ve never had torrejas, buckle up because you are in for a treat!
This traditional Mexican dish can easily replace your typical French toast breakfast, or can be served as a sweet dessert with a cup of café de olla.
What are Torrejas?
Torrejas is a Mexican dish that features bolillo bread dipped in a light and airy egg mixture, that is then lightly fried and drizzled with piloncillo syrup.
Frying the bread dipped in whipped egg mixture gives the torrejas a wonderful texture – a lightly crispy exterior and a soft and pillowy inside.
Torrejas are often served during Lent, Easter, and Christmas in many Mexican households.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Bolillo bread: Bolillo bread is great for this dessert because it’s more dense. If you can’t find bolillo, you can also use a French baguette.
- Eggs, milk, vanilla extract: The light egg mixture is whipped with a handheld mixer. Milk and vanilla are used as a light soak for the bolillo bread, giving it a hint of sweetness.
- Vegetable oil: A neutral oil that’s great for frying like vegetable, canola, or avocado oil works here.
- Piloncillo: Piloncillo has a sweet, rich, and nutty flavor, making it a great syrup. If you can’t find piloncillo, you can also use dark brown sugar.
- Cinnamon stick and cloves: These add extra layers of flavor to the piloncillo syrup.
How to Make Torrejas
1. Make the piloncillo syrup: Add the piloncillo, cinnamon stick, cloves, and water into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the piloncillo fully melts and forms into a syrup.
Once it reaches the desired consistency, discard the cinnamon stick and set it aside. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
2. Prepare the egg mixture: Separate 4 egg yolks and egg whites in 2 bowls. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form, then mix in the egg yolks one at a time until fully combined.
3. Prepare the milk mixture: In a separate bowl, combine some milk and vanilla extract.
4. Assemble the torrejas: Lightly dip sliced bolillo bread into the milk and vanilla mixture. Then lightly dip it into the whipped egg mixture.
5. Fry: Fry until golden brown on both sides. The egg batter is very light and soft, so I find using a spatula to flip them is much easier than using tongs.
6. Remove excess oil: Set the torrejas aside on a baking sheet or large plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Continue working until all of the slices of bread are fried.
7. Serve: Serve the torrejas on a plate and drizzle with piloncillo syrup. Alternatively, you can also dip each of the torrejas into the syrup and serve already coated in syrup.
- Can’t find bolillo bread near you? You can use French bread or baguette instead.
- Use a wide spatula to flip the torrejas while frying to help keep their shape intact.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan while frying. The egg batter lightly expands when frying, so I usually only fry 2-3 at a time depending on the size of the pan.
- You can also dust with powdered sugar or use agave or cajeta to drizzle.
storing and reheating
- To store, allow the torrejas to cool completely and then store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Place the piloncillo syrup in a separate airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
- To reheat, place torrejas in a shallow pan over medium heat and heat until warmed. Reheat piloncillo syrup in microwave in 10-15 second intervals.