Torrejas: French Toast, but Better

Mexican torrejas

Mexican Torrejas, like French Toast, but better.

By Lisa Renata

I don’t know about you, but when Lent comes around I go crazy trying to figure out meatless meals I can cook for my family.

Growing up, most of our Lent Friday meals consisted of camarones empanizados, coctel de mariscos, tortitas de camarones, fish, or to sum it up: seafood! My mom is from the lovely state of Sinaloa, after all.

And though I love, love, love anything and everything seafood, unfortunately it is something we cannot eat at home. At least nothing that contains shellfish because my little guy is very allergic. So, you can imagine that leaves me with very little to choose from.

Torrejas: Delicious Connection

Fortunately Torrejas is one dish I can continue to make at home, and one I loved eating when I was growing up. A dish that speaks to my kids a little of who they are and where they come from…on my side, at least.

I know, how can a little dish like torrejas do all that, right? Well, in many ways. When one is in a biracial, bilingual and interfaith marriage, every little thing counts. Plus it doesn’t hurt when the whole familia loves the same sweet recipe.

So what the heck are torrejas? It is a Mexican dessert-type dish served usually around the time of Lent. It is a bread similar to French Toast, dipped in a sweet piloncillo syrup. Although it is not a main dish, by any means, it sure doesn’t hurt to serve it as one once in a while. (Cubans, by the way, love their torrejas too!)

My family sure never complains when I serve torrejas.


ingredientes para torrejas


My Mami’s Torreja Recipe










For the syrup you need to boil about two cups of water in a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks and continue to boil until the water turns a nice brown see-through color.

Add 1 more cup of very cold water. Return to a boil. Add two or three whole cloves. Continue to boil and add another cup of very cold water.

When it boils again, then add 2 to 3 piloncillos (this really depends how sweet you want it. I used only two and it was very sweet). Continue to boil until they dissolve completely. Y listo.

For the torrejas you will need to separate the egg yolks and egg whites.

Beat the egg whites with a hand beater until spongy and firm. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat until they are mixed well.

Cut the bolillos, or bread, into slices of about two inches thick. Dip each slice in the egg mixture and then into a very hot pan. Cook completely and turn over. Pat the cooked pieces with a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Serve syrup in a soup bowl, add the torrejas and a disfrustar!

Ah yes, you will need a spoon.


Enjoy your torrejas!

Lisa Renata is a US-born Latina who experienced Mexican culture first-hand when she lived there as a child.  You can often find her interpreting and testing for the school district ESL program, working on her blog Sabor a Cajeta, sewing or enjoying some calm time with her two kids and husband – and with a camera always in her hands.


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By Contributor on March 24, 2011 · Posted in food

6 Comments | Post Comment

Maura says:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE torrejas! They remind me of very fond memories of time spent with my husband’s abuelita in Aguascalientes. It’s one of her favorite dishes, and now one of mine. I will never forget how she taught me to pour syrup – liberally! When I asked her if it was too much sugar, she basically told me we only live once so we should enjoy it :) I look forward to the day I can share this dish with my future escuincles so I can tell them all about their bisabue!
Maura´s last [fabulousness] ..Wordless Wednesday- Todos los sabores

Posted on March 24th, 2011

Monica says:

AY! I thnk my keyboard id shorting out becuase I am droolng all over it….
Monica´s last [fabulousness] ..The Smithsonian Latino Centers Young Ambassadors Program

Posted on March 25th, 2011

Lisa Renata says:

You know what I’ll be picking up at the grocery store today. Jajajaja.
Lisa Renata´s last [fabulousness] ..Friday Favoritas

Posted on March 25th, 2011

Denene@MyBrownBaby says:

Oh my—that looks and sounds absolutely divine! Can’t wait to try it…
Denene@MyBrownBaby´s last [fabulousness] ..Bad Breath &amp Weak Handshakes- Denene Gives Tips On Handling Awkward Situations On the Today Show

Posted on March 25th, 2011

Tia Mirtha says:

I had Cuban torrejas and they don’t look anything like your Mexican torrejas, but they were good. Mi vecina made them, yo no se hacerlas pero si se comerlas.

Posted on March 25th, 2011

Nieves Martinez says:

Ay que ricas! Mi mama y yo vamos a preparar unas torrejas hoy. La receta es muy similar a esta. Se que tambien le agrega cafe y creo aniz a la miel que prepara de piloncillo. Se me hace agua la boca. Can’t wait to indulge. Mi mama es de Veracruz y la receta que aprendio ella fue de su madrina, ya que mi abuelita murio muy joven.

Posted on March 27th, 2013