Spanish Magdalenas Recipe – Delicious Homemade Spanish Muffins

Here in Spain, a quick and easy breakfast option is a magdalena, a homemade Spanish muffin that’s made using olive oil and some lemon zest. Every bakery has their signature magdalenas recipe, some adding orange zest or cacao for a change.

Spanish Magdalenas recipe
Spanish Magdalenas – photo by Katrin Gilger on flickr CC

You can find homemade magdalenas in local bakeries, and plenty of prepackaged versions in the supermarket. But there’s nothing like a warm magdalena, fresh out of the oven!

This Spanish magdalenas recipe is the most traditional I’ve tried– I personally like using a fruity extra virgin olive oil to make them (such as arbequina), though you can substitute the oil of your choice.

I have to be honest– when I first tried a magdalena here in Spain, I was surprised at how simple these famous Spanish muffins are. Coming from the US I was cravng some chocolate chips, or the sweetness of a ripe banana. But many years later, I now adore the simplicity of a good magdalena — and like anything, it’s well worth it to make them from scratch.

This magdalenas recipe is easy to whip up in a pinch. So try them, and enjoy!

This magdalenas recipe makes about 24 muffins.

3.0 from 3 reviews
Spanish Magdalenas Recipe - Delicious Homemade Spanish Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Spanish magdalenas recipe makes the perfect Spanish muffins. Made with olive oil and lemon zest, they're delicious for a quick breakfast!
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup (360 grams) flour
  • 1 cup (240 ml) extra virgin olive oil (you can substitute the oil of your choice, but I love a fruity Spanish arbequina in my magdalenas!)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams or 1 Spanish packet) baking powder
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the lemon zest and pinch of salt.
  3. Add the olive oil little by little, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the milk little by little.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the bowl. Mix slowly with a rubber spatula until everything is homogenous. Do not overmix.
  6. To achieve the spongy texture of a Spanish magdalena, you'll need to let the mix rest in the fridge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
  8. Line muffin trays with muffin wrappers
  9. Fill the muffin wrappers ⅔ of the way, and, if you'd like, sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top of each muffin
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes on the middle rack, don't open the oven until you think they're ready
  11. Test with a toothpick in the middle of a muffin to make sure they're cooked through
  12. Let your magdalenas rest for at least five minutes before enjoying!

What do you think? Remember– you can always add spices (such as cinnamon or even saffron), or try adding cacao or orange zest instead of the lemon zest– yum!

Will you be trying this Spanish magdalenas recipe anytime soon?

See also:

Spanish olive oil cake with lemon and almonds

Tarta de Santiago cake

Olive Oil 101


  1. Great flavour although i used self raising flour and doubled the amount one cup wasnt enough the mixture was still like water and i used 1 and a half lemons just for more zing. I doubled the whole recipe and it made 60 magdalenas but they all got eaten.

    Sooo yummy!

  2. My daughter and I made these today for a project for her Spanish class. They are SO oily! The oil can practically be rung out of the baking cups.. Can you check that the proportions are correct?

    1. Hi Amy, that is odd– I have made these many times without an issue. I’m wondering if maybe your eggs were larger than what we use in Spain? I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out well, though the recipe should work! Good luck with the project!

  3. 2 tablespoons of baking powder??!!?! That’s a humongous amount by American standards. Is Spanish BP different from American?

  4. Could the mixture be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator longer than 30 minutes? Perhaps overnight?

  5. Make sure to use olive oil because using other oils makes the cakes extremely oily! I’ve made them for Spanish class many times and I’ve learned that the oil you use makes a huge difference!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: