Craving a sweet Mexican treat? These amazing manteconchas are just the thing. They have a beautifully soft and fluffy interior, and a crunchy cookie topping that you'll absolutely love!
If you love Mexican bread recipes, make sure to try my recipes for Rosca de Reyes, ojos de buey, and mantecadas.
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What are manteconchas?
They are conchas baked in a muffin pan, like mantecadas. The only other difference is that manteconchas are typically smaller than conchas.
What are they made of?
This dessert is made from traditional sweet bread ingredients. Flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk are the key ingredients in the dough, while the topping is made from flour, sugar, lard, and vanilla extract.
Why are they called manteconchas?
This type of pan dulce is so named because it's a concha baked in the shape of a mantecada.
Where did manteconchas originate?
They have been invented within the last 20 years by Panadería El Manantial in Querétaro, Mexico. However, conchas themselves date back to the 1800s, when French bakers influenced traditional Mexican cuisine.
How do you pronounce manteconchas?
Here's where my Spanish lessons come in handy! The name is pronounced MAHN-tay-cone-chas.
What is on top of manteconchas?
The sweet, crunchy topping is a type of cookie, and is typically dyed with food coloring or colored naturally with cocoa powder or vanilla extract. This is what makes the conchas look like seashells, and also gives them extra sweetness and crunch.
Do they come in different flavors?
Yes, manteconchas and conchas come in different flavors. The most popular ones are chocolate and vanilla. Most colored ones do not have a special flavor.
How do you eat them?
Most Mexicans like to have this pan dulce at breakfast or as an evening snack with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Many people like to dip their manteconcha in their hot drink to soften the topping and add extra sweetness and flavor.
How do you store manteconchas?
Homemade ones will be the freshest within the first 12 hours of baking. If you need to store them for longer than that, you can seal them inside of a plastic bag and keep them at room temperature, or freeze them. Freezing the manteconchas will keep them the freshest for the longest period of time.
Can you freeze them?
Yes, manteconchas freeze very well! Let them cool completely after baking, then seal inside of a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost in the microwave for 30 seconds.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients. You'll need bread flour, yeast, salt, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.
Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides. Stir each one into the flour, making sure that the salt doesn't touch the yeast directly.
Add the sugar and softened butter.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then mix until blended.
Gradually trickle in the warm milk and mix to form a sticky dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's smooth and stretchy, about 10-15 minutes. The dough should also pass the windowpane test, which means that you can stretch a piece of dough thin enough to be translucent without it breaking.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover and let it prove in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, gather the ingredients for the concha paste. You'll need all-purpose flour, icing sugar, lard, and vanilla extract.
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl.
Add the lard and vanilla and mix with your hands to form a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface a few times until the paste is smooth.
Split the paste into 5 equal pieces. Leave one plain, and knead 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into another one. Color the other pieces blue, yellow, and pink with gel food coloring.
Once the bread dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into 24 equal pieces. (Only 12 of the 24 pieces are in the photo below.)
Roll each piece into a ball and place it in a muffin pan prepared with colorful cupcake liners.
Divide each color of concha paste into 5 pieces. Pat each piece into a thin disc and place it on top of each manteconcha.
Use a small, sharp knife to make curved parallel lines on each manteconcha. Cut all the way through the paste.
Let the manteconchas rise until the bread dough is springy to the touch, about 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until they have an internal temperature of 190 F on a meat thermometer.
Let the manteconchas cool briefly on a wire rack before serving with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate or coffee.
- Use bread flour for the fluffiest, softest manteconchas.
- Knead the dough until you can stretch a piece to be translucent without it tearing.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place to speed up the process.
- Make sure to cut all the way through the paste on top of the conchas.
- Use a meat thermometer to check if the conchas are cooked. 190 F is the minimum temperature.
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For the Dough
- 4 ⅛ cups bread flour
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole milk, warmed
For the Topping
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder, optional
- Gel food coloring, optional
- Pour the bread flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides. Stir in each one, making sure that the salt doesn't touch the yeast directly.
- Add the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until a clumpy mixture has formed.
- Gradually trickle in the warm milk and mix with your hand to form a slightly sticky dough. Keep mixing until there's no more flour in the bottom of the bowl.
- Knead the dough until it's no longer sticky and is very smooth, about 10-15 minutes. Use a bench scraper if needed to help with the kneading. The dough should also pass the windowpane test, which means that you can stretch a piece of dough until it's translucent without it tearing.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until it's doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and blend in the lard and vanilla extract to form a paste. Knead the paste a few times until it's very smooth.
- Divide the paste into 5 equal pieces. Leave one piece plain, and knead 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into another one to make it chocolate flavored. Color the remaining pieces pink, yellow, and blue with the gel food coloring.
- Place 24 colored cupcake liners in two muffin pans.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into 24 equal pieces. Roll each one into a tight ball and place in the paper liners.
- Divide each ball of paste into 5 pieces, and pat each piece into a thin disc. Place each disc on top of a ball of dough and use a small sharp knife to cut curved parallel lines into the paste to create the distinctive concha pattern.
- Let the manteconchas prove uncovered at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, until the dough springs back when gently prodded with a fingertip.
- Bake the manteconchas at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until they have an internal temperature of 190 F on a meat thermometer. Let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
ok I tried to make the topping and I feel like there is something missing when I put all the ingredients there was no paste it looks like sand and I followed the recipe
Did you happen to add enough lard? That's the only binding agent in the topping. I'd recommend adding a little extra to bring the mixture together.
Can I substitute the lard with shortening?
Yes, you can. Enjoy the manteconchas!
These came out so good!
I subbed “Princess Emulsion” for half the vanilla in the dough the second time I made them, just for a fun flavor boost. Keep in mind you may have to knead longer depending on your climate! I have to knead for nearly 30 minutes for mine to pass the windowpane test.
Mine bake up almost to the texture of a cinnamon roll, and are perfectly done at 16 minutes.
I'm so glad that you've been enjoying these manteconchas, Oxana! Kneading times definitely are flexible, based on a lot of factors. Humidity and the protein content of the flour will affect the dough the most. Happy baking!
Can you use instant yeast or is there not a difference?
Instant yeast is the same as fast-action yeast, so you can definitely use it!
So do you put the salt and yeast together? But the salt can’t touch the yeast? Can you just mix the salt and flour first then pour the yeast?
The method I use is I pour the salt in on one side of the bowl, and I pour the yeast in on the other side, then I stir both into the flour with my finger. I don't mix the whole lot together, but just stir the salt and yeast in the flour immediately near them. The flour acts as a buffer to prevent the salt from touching the yeast.
I let my yeast proof with the warm milk first so everything got mixed in the mixer before then I slowly added the milk/yeast mixture. It worked out great.
That's a great way to do it if you're using active dry yeast that needs to be bloomed or proofed before being added to the dough. So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Mary!
I used salted butter boom problem solved
Thanks for sharing your substitute, Moni!
Delicious recipe, my friends and family loved!
So glad to hear it, Darlene!
The shell on top is crunchy, and the bread part is chewy, light, and airy. The bright colors make these mantecadas look cute! They are not too sweet. YUM!
I love the crunchy part of these too, Alex! Thanks for your kind words!
These manteconchas smell sweet. The bread tastes buttery, airy, and soft, while the paste is crunchy. They are really good! The bread is not very sweet, but delicious.
Thanks for your review, Beth!