|Place of origin||Spain|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, eggs, cow fat, sugar|
Mantecadas are a type of spongy pastry from Spain similar to a muffin, but flatter. The best known mantecadas are from Northwestern Spain, being a traditional product of the city of Astorga, province of León, as well as the nearby Maragateria comarca. They taste very much like pound cake.
Other Spanish regions also prepare mantecadas. There is a factory producing mantecadas in Sardón de Duero, Valladolid Province and another in Maliaño, Cantabria. The Casa Salinas bakery in Tudela, Navarre, reputed for its excellent mantecadas, closed down in January 2011.
Mantecadas are baked in square or rectangular box-shaped paper "cajillas" instead of in the typical muffin round paper cups. The mantecada leaves a characteristic cross-shaped silhouette on the paper when it is removed. In the Alt Maestrat comarca the mantecada square paper cups are known as "caixetes".
There is a type of cake known as mantecada in Colombia and Venezuela where the whole is cut into pieces after baking. Certain brands commercialize packed mini-mantecadas in Mexico and Latin America. Mantecadas should not be confused with mantecados, a much denser, non spongy very different type of pastry.
Mantecadas de Astorga
The most famous Mantecadas are the ones prepared in Astorga town under the name Mantecadas de Astorga. Their ingredients are eggs, flour, cow fat and sugar. Cow fat is essential in the preparation and differentiates the mantecadas de Astorga from average bizcocho or magdalenas (muffins). They are a protected product as per Geographical indication in the European Union.
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