When in Mallorca, we are always ready to swim at the beach as if there were no tomorrow, visit (again) its beautiful villages and find the best ensaimadas on the island.
I have not (yet) visited all the bakeries and ovens in Mallorca, but I can assure you that in these establishments the ensaimadas are very tasty.
Ensaimadas don't taste the same in Mallorca
You can’t talk about Mallorcan gastronomy without mentioning its famous ensaimadas.
At home we have always eaten ensaimadas. The typical ones they sell in the supermarket or in the bakery. And I remember my mother always telling me that the best ones were the ones from Mallorca. She had been on a school trip and still remembered the taste of the ensaimadas from there.
But as I had never set foot on Balearic soil, I didn’t think much of it. Until I moved there and tasted the authentic ensaimadas. And now, whether you buy them or try to make them at home, they never taste the same.
The best places to eat ensaimadas in Palma
I have to admit that, to my taste, the individual ensaimadas are better than the big ones. When I have bought a large one (especially when I have been back home for a few days), the taste is not the same.
Although I’ve tried most of them in both sizes, so don’t scold me if they don’t meet your expectations 😅
📍 C’an Joan de S’aigo
This is the most legendary place in existence to try ensaimadas. Founded in 1700, it now has three establishments around the city. It is, without a doubt, my favourite place to eat ensaimadas.
Of all the places I have eaten them, I like these the best. Perhaps because their consistency seems more fragile or the flavour is more attenuated. Of course, I also recommend you go to their oldest place. There’s usually a queue, but they’re a bit better there.
📍 Forn des Teatres
Right next to the famous Plaza Mayor is Forn des Teatres. It is a century-old establishment, whose façade maintains the aesthetics of the period.
The place does not go unnoticed by anyone. It has even appeared in the New York Times. A couple of years ago, the owner of Fornet de la Soca took over this place and now it is a must-visit in Palma.
Its location is perfect. In the heart of the city centre and just a few steps from the Plaza Mayor car park. It also has a terrace that’s ideal for summer.
📍 Horno de Santo Cristo
This company has several locations in Palma (city centre, Porto Pi, FAn) and one in Sóller. You can also buy ensaimadas from this bakery at Mallorca airport to take them home.
It is one of the places that is always recommended when it comes to Mallorcan ensaimadas, and no wonder: they are delicious!
You can also order them anywhere on the peninsula. You will have no excuse not to enjoy the flavours of the island even if you don’t visit it. Shipping costs are free on orders over 35€.
📍 Forn Fondo
It began life in 1742 in a small alley of Capuchin nuns. To access the oven, you had to go down several steps and go to the bottom. Hence its name, Forn Fondo.
Its façade maintains the Belle Époque style, and inside you can enjoy finger-licking ensaimadas. In addition to the classic ensaimada, they make more than 20 different types of ensaimadas with seasonal products.
These are the best ensaimadas in Mallorca
We have already mentioned some of the perfect places to enjoy an authentic and delicious Mallorcan ensaimada. But what about the rest of the island?
In this section I am going to recommend two places to try them. The first is Ca’n Molinas. This is a cafeteria with several establishments in Valldemossa. It is famous for its coca de patata, which I highly recommend you try. Although everything they make here is worth repeating, including their ensaimadas.
The second place (which I have not yet visited) is Forn de Sant Francesc in Inca. It has been awarded the prize for “the best ensaimada in the world”. Thousands of people and tourists travel specifically to Inca to enjoy THIS ensaimada.
Joan Seguí has a cookbook where you can find several recipes, including the ensaimada. It is called Forn Sant Francesc. Traditional bakery and confectionery. With it you can learn how to make other typical products of the island, such as sweet and savoury cakes.
If you don’t want to go all the way to Inca to try them, you can stay at the Royal Hideaway hotel on Formentor beach. Guests can enjoy them every day at breakfast time.
Origins of the ensaimada
The first time the ensaimada was identified as such was in the 17th century. The origins of this typical Balearic sweet are unknown, although it is known that they predate this period.
Some theories point to an Arab origin, due to the presence of Arabs on the island since 1909. They made a sweet in the shape of a snail called bulema with the same ingredients, but without using lard.
It is also said to be of Jewish origin. Legend has it that in 1229 a Jewish confectioner gave an ensaimada to Jaume I to taste during the reconquest of Mallorca.
What is clear is that it is a sweet that is closely linked to the history of the island. In fact, in Puerto Rico they are also made and known as mallorcas.
I got all this information about their origins from this page.
Where does the name 'ensaimada' come from?
One of the main ingredients of Mallorcan ensaimadas is lard. In Mallorcan the word saïm means lard, and it is said that this is where the name comes from.
Can you recommend a recipe for making ensaimadas at home?
I encourage you to make them at home, but I can also tell you that (at least for me) they are not the same. I have tried several recipes and none of them convince me 100%. Although maybe the problem is me because I’m incapable of following them to the letter.
I have not yet tried to make them using Joan Seguí’s recipe from Forn de Sant Francesc. They say that success is guaranteed with that one.
The ones I have tried are the following – sorry all of them are in Spanish!
I have to say that the taste and texture of the recipes are very good. But I’m looking for a specific texture that I’m struggling to achieve. I’m getting closer and closer. If I get THAT recipe, I’ll post it here.