If you are already aware of Spanish Easter customs and traditions, you’ve surely heard of Mona de Pascua – the traditional Spanish Easter cake. Learn about the origin of this cake and how to prepare it in order to sweeten your Easter holidays in Spain.

Mona de Pascua is widely popular Spanish food mainly in the regions of Valencia, Catalonia, Balearic Islands and Murcia but its tradition has been spreading all over Spain. It’s a symbol of spring and it marks the end of the abstinence.

Atop the cake you can find a hard-boiled egg as many people give up eating meat during the Lent. People eat Mona during the Holy Week as a dessert after lunch or light afternoon snack and the tradition is to get together on Easter Monday to eat Mona outside, usually as a picnic.

Why is this Spanish food called Mona? The word ‘mona’ comes from Arabic ‘munna’ that means ‘gift’ and it’s true that in the past Mona used to be a gift from the godparents to their godchildren during the baptism. The cake was topped with eggs whose number depended on the age of the child.

The original cake is very simple containing only flour, eggs, water, oil, sugar and yeast. You can also peel little bit of orange skin into the dough for a change. Visit this site for a recipe. Nowadays, the cakes are of different shapes, decorated with chocolate or filled with cream which makes them more similar to Roscón de Reyes (traditional cake eaten on the Three Kings’ Day). It’s more common to find only one egg atop the Mona which is sometimes replaced by chocolate egg.

Nowadays, many bakeries around Spain compete with each other to make the biggest, the tastiest or the most original Mona de Pascua transforming this originally basic cake into the work of art.

What about you? Do you have any typical Easter food in your home country? Tell us about it.