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Piononos of Santa Fé. Recipe for the famous traditional Andalusian dessert

Piononos of Santa Fé. Recipe for the famous traditional Andalusian dessert

people icon For 10 euro icon € 2.5 /pers. calories icon 302 kcal/100g


  • Ingredients for the cake: 80 g. of sugar
  • 50g. cornstarch, starch or fine corn flour
  • 30 ml. whole milk
  • 50g. pastry wheat flour
  • 4 eggs M
  • Ingredients for the pastry yolk: 8 eggs
  • Twice as much sugar as shelled eggs weigh
  • 30g. cornstarch or cornstarch
  • 180 ml. of water
  • Ingredients for the syrup: 160 g. of sugar
  • 160 ml. of water
  • Cinnamon powder

Santa Fé piononos are traditional sweets from this Granada town. Ceferino Isla Gonzalez was the creator of it in the 19th century and, being a very devout man, he decided to baptize his sweets as “ pio nonos ,” in honor of Pope Pius IX .

Their legacy has not only survived to this day, but they continue to be highly appreciated and known. It has even crossed borders and you can find this dessert in Latin America, on the blog we have the Argentine version of the piononos stuffed with dulce de leche , of course. These rolled biscuits , soaked with syrup and filled with pastry yolk , are a real delight, which luckily, we can also prepare at home without too much effort and get sweets as delicious (or almost) as those from Ceferino.

We encourage you to prepare them at home, they are so delicious that they will disappear from the table in a few minutes. We can skip the last step and not burn the sugar sprinkled on top if we don’t have a kitchen torch, but just like with crème brûlée   , that last touch at the end is delicious.

Preparation of the pastry yolk

  1. To prepare the pastry yolk, we start by cracking the eggs. We weigh them without the peels to know how much sugar we need. In a large bowl we put the eggs with the water and beat with a manual whisk. In another bowl or plate we mix the cornstarch with the sugar.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the egg mixture and sugar with cornstarch. Stir with a whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. This may take 8-10 minutes, but it is important not to stop mixing at all times. When it begins to thicken, remove it from the heat and continue stirring vigorously until it thickens completely.
  3. We transfer the pastry yolk to a bowl and spread it. We cover it with plastic wrap so that it directly touches the yolk, this way we will prevent a crust from forming on the top layer. We reserve at room temperature.

Preparation of the pionon cake

  1. We start preparing the cake. Preheat the oven to 200º C with heat up and down. We very carefully separate the yolks from the whites of the 4 eggs. Using electric whisks, beat the yolks with half the sugar.
  2. We beat until the yolks whiten, then we add the milk and beat a little more until it is integrated. We beat the egg whites and gradually add the rest of the sugar. We have to beat until we get a consistent meringue. We add the flour and cornstarch to the yolks with a strainer or sieve to prevent lumps from coming out.
  3. We stir with a tongue or spatula with enveloping movements. Little by little we add the meringue to the yolk mixture, again gently, with enveloping movements so as not to lose the spongy texture.
  4. Line a baking tray or large platter with parchment paper. We cover the greaseproof paper with a thin layer of the mixture (approximately 0.5 cm). And we bake for 6-7 minutes in a central position with heat up and down, being careful because it burns quickly as it is so thin. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool on a rack.

Preparation of the syrup, assembly and final presentation of the Santa Fé piononos

  1. We prepare the syrup. We just have to put the water and sugar in a saucepan and let it boil. We turn off the heat and transfer the syrup to a bowl to cool. We turn the cake over and carefully remove the paper. We turn it over again and with a knife we ​​cut the edges to form a rectangle.
  2. We break the cake into two pieces and soak them with syrup. Sprinkle cinnamon on top to taste. We take out the pastry yolk, remove the film and spread a thin layer on the cake. It has to be very thin, so that when rolling it does not overflow.
  3. We roll the cakes carefully and gently so that they maintain their shape and there are no gaps. We cut each roll into equal pieces of 3-4 cm. We brush each roll with more syrup and place it vertically, in a cupcake case. We transfer the rest of the yolk to a pastry bag and put a portion on each roll.
  4. We sprinkle a little sugar on each pionono and burn it with a kitchen torch to give a crunchy caramel touch.

You can see all the step-by-step photos of this Piononos de Santa Fé recipe . Don’t miss any details so that they turn out perfect.

Tips for perfect Santa Fé pionons

  • With the quantities we propose, about 16-20 pionones come out. They are perfect to accompany a good coffee or to take as dessert to a celebration.
  • We can add a splash of rum to the syrup to give the pionons an even more special flavor.
  • As always with meringue, the whites whip up better if the eggs were at room temperature at least half an hour before.

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