Cakes, pies & tarts | Traditional Spanish Recipes

La Mona de Pascua – A Catalan traditional Cake

This is the story of a Mona that wasn’t convinced enough to become a Mona. And it’s also the story of a woman (me) who was patient and stubborn enough to finally achieve good results!
My first try was kind of chewy and hard to swallow, the second improved a bit but it was not fully baked in the middle… and the third… oh boy… the third was impresionante!!!!! To my English readers: impresionante means impressive… tell my palate about it :D. I know, I shouldn’t say that… but you can ask the rest of the family and they’ll tell you I’m not lying!

La Mona is this traditional cake, which originally was made out of a kind of marzipan and it had boiled eggs to eat with… tradition has improved and evolved into these wonderful cakes and chocolate that are sold at bakery shops and are a sign of the end of the Lent period.Approximately 600.000 Monas have left the bakers’ shelves and ended up in our tummies this last Monday :D.
As you can see in the pictures I made a Sara Pie (or cake… I always get mixed up!), added some little preserved cherries and decorated with Chocolate eggs. Now, it’s a Mona.

Honestly, I wanted to post this 3 days ago, but when I’m on vacation… I take the word literally! But, don’t hate me ;D, here is the recipe for the Sara Pie… the eggs, feathers and chicks are up to you.

I’m sending over my homemade Mona to A Slice of Cherry Pie and her event: Easter Cake Bake 2009. There’s still time to send your creations until the 20th of April :D

Am I becoming a baker? Will this baking fever pass? Let me tell you that I’m loving it!!! And, if on top, results are good… :D


Ingredients for 6 - 8 servings:
For the bread biscuit
3 egg yolks, 1 egg, 50 grs of sugar, 1 lemon zest.
80 grs of flour, 20 grs of cornstarch, 30 grs of ground almond.
3 egg whites and 80 grs of sugar.

* Take your electric mixer and beat the egg yolks, the egg, sugar and lemon zest (first 4 ingredients) They should achieve 3 times their volume and a whiter aspect. Reserve.
* Clean the electric mixer tools and in a clean space beat now the whites until they get high and spongy. Reserve.
* Now take the egg yolks mixture and add gradually and slowly into the egg whites. Use a tongue tool from underneath to the top.
* Preheat oven at 180ºC.
* Take the different flours (cornstarch, normal and ground almond) sift using a thick colander over the eggs mixture. Little by little and keep on using the tongue from underneath to the top.
* Pour into the mold and place in rack number two using both oven's up and down heat. Bake for 20 minutes aprox. Check with the wooden stick to see if it's done. Don't open the oven more than necessary! It's perfect to bake this in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. This way we let the base cool down :D

For the syrup: 100 grs of sugar, 100 ml of water, some drops of lemon juice and a dash of liquor (optional).
* Boil the water, sugar and lemon juice for aprox. 3 to 5 minutes.
* Once outside the heat, add the liquor if you wish. Reserve.

For the cream butter: 200 grs of sugar, 50 grs of water, 4 egg yolks, 250 grs of butter (at room temperature. Soft enough to work with it) Never use the microwave to get the texture! And a dash of liquor (also optional). If you added some to the syrup then it won't be necessary here.
* Start a syrup with the water and sugar. Boil at medium heat for 3 minutes aprox.
* Meanwhile get the yolks into the electric mixer and beat them. When they start to grow add the syrup little by little and keep on beating until the mixture gets 3 times its initial volume. Only when it's cold add the butter little by little with the mixer on until you get a thick mixture. Reserve.

To assemble the Sara pie: 1 bread biscuit, a syrup, cream butter, apricot jam, laminated almonds.
* Cut the bread biscuit in half (only when it's cold or at room temperature).
* Paint the inside layers with the syrup and the apricot jam. Reassemble.
* Spread the cream butter on top and sides of the pie.
* Toast the laminated almonds in the oven. 200ºC on top rack and keep an eye on them until they golden up.
* Carefully, place the almonds over the butter cream. The ones that fall, won't be used.
* Decorate and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
* Devour with the family!!!!


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04/14/2009 · 21:56 h by Peter G

And that is one “muy impresionante” cake Nuria! looks fantastic! Glad you got to enjoy it over Easter!

04/15/2009 · 1:24 h by Mercè

Bravo Núria!! The third is the charm, que diuen! ;) Felicitats per aquesta mona!! T’ha quedat genial!!
Ja veig que la classe de la Mireia va ser molt profitosa! ;) jeje

04/15/2009 · 7:44 h by Sophie

El pastel està delicioso! Eres muy creativo!
Es muy rico!

04/15/2009 · 12:22 h by Joan Nova

Impresionante, sí! Your daughter must have been very excited. Happy Spring!

04/15/2009 · 14:05 h by Cynthia

It is always a delight to learn about traditional foods.

04/15/2009 · 23:46 h by Marc @ NoRecipes

This looks delicious! I have to say I’m curious about the original version that was eaten with boiled eggs now though.

04/16/2009 · 7:01 h by La cuina vermella

Espectacular la mona, la decoració i tot el post!
Molts petons reina.

04/17/2009 · 1:49 h by Dragon

How pretty!

04/18/2009 · 8:04 h by Núria

He, he, thanks darling Peter!

Hola Mercè guapa! M’encanta saber com es diu en anglés: a la tercera va la vençuda!!! Gràcies. La Mireia és molt bona teacher i a més ens fa riure molt… i encara més… les classes son gratuïtes!!!!

Muchas gracias Sophie :D

Hola Joan, my daughter is asking for more!!! ;D

I completely agree with you Cinthya!

Hola Marc! Last year’s mona’s post I talked about the original Mona. I’ll give you the url of the post.

Cuina vermella… tú sempre m’animes! Gràcies :D
Molts petons per tu també i bon cap de setmana!

Thanks Dragon :D

04/18/2009 · 19:18 h by Bellini Valli

Wonderful Nuria. I am glad that you persevered and we have the value of your experience:D I hope you had a wonderful Easter!!

04/19/2009 · 23:37 h by Maria Jose

Et va quedar una mona preciosa, de pasteleria “bona” ;) la trobo molt sofisticada nena, una pena que no pugui provar-ne un bocinet…petonets!!!

04/20/2009 · 23:02 h by Nathan

Hole Nuria te deje un award en mi blog, perdon por no visitar mas seguido pero e estado super occupado con la escuela :) pero de ves en quando siempre miro los blogs y los leo na’mas que no dejo commentarios por el tiempo.


That tart looks GOOD!!!! I love almonds!

04/21/2009 · 12:23 h by Darius T. Williams

Wow – that cake looks decadent!

04/21/2009 · 23:53 h by Psychgrad

Very nice and festive. I am very impressed with your persistence.

04/22/2009 · 1:57 h by we are never full

so adorable. i hope you had a wonderful easter! sorry the comment is overdue but we’ve been on vacation!

04/23/2009 · 9:52 h by Peter M

Thank you for your dedication and tenacity in banging out the cake until it was perfect. I don’t suppose there is a slice left for this Chico?

04/23/2009 · 11:55 h by Dolça

Núria, encara que arribi una mica tard t’he de felicitar per aquesta mona tan maca i boooooona! I també pel magnífic post. Saps que et faig servir per practicar una mica l’anglès?

04/24/2009 · 9:34 h by Núria

Grácies per l’entusiasme dels vostres comentaris :D :D :D! Aixó és el que em fa tirar endavant… sou un sol!!!

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments… I love you guys!

04/24/2009 · 20:48 h by glamah16

I hope you had a lovely spring break and Easter. Good job on the Mona. I think the dog is adorable in the background.

[...] You can stuff yourself with typical Barcelona Easter food, especially the Mona de Pascua, so sweet and soft and up-lifting after this 40-day long Lent (well… if you’re Christian and [...]

[...] delicious sponge cake (we call it “Mona de Pasqua”) will try to steal your heart with its apricot jam, candied fruit, and chopped [...]

03/23/2021 · 15:29 h by Tanya

Hi,the cake looks amazing, want to make it,but am wondering about the raw egg yolk? Any suggestions or substitutes. Thanks.

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