Yemas de Santa Teresa

Candied Egg Yolks

These sweet egg yolks are found all over Spain, but they are usually associated with Castile, and especially Ávila, the birthplace of Saint Teresa. I had always regarded these candied yolks as too sweet and heavy, until I tried the ones produced by the Yemas Santa Teresa in Ávila

Start the yemas a day in advance of serving, as they need to rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

  • Makes about 18 units


  • 10 egg yolks 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus extra for shaping the balls 
  • ½ cup water 
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Pass the yolks through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a heavy saucepan. Set aside.

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the ½ cup granulated sugar and the water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Decrease the heat to medium-high and boil, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Add the cooled syrup to the egg yolks, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes, or until the yolks look crystallized. Remove from the heat and stir for 5 minutes longer. Pour the mixture into a 4 ½ by 8 ½ by 2 ½-inch loaf pan. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

The next day, you will notice that the surface of the yolk mixture has crystallized slightly. This is fine. Spread some confectioners’ sugar in a small, shallow bowl, and sprinkle a little granulated sugar on your palm. (The sugar keeps the yolk mixture from sticking to your hands.) Then, using a small spoon, scoop out a little of the yolk mixture and roll it between your palms to form a ball about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar, shake off any excess, and set the ball aside on a platter. Repeat until you have shaped all of the mixture into balls and dusted them with confectioners’ sugar.

Serve the yemas at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate and serve cold. To store, pack into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a few months.

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Castilla-Leon is the largest of the Spanish Autonomous Regions. It is comprised of nine provinces which share flavours and tastes but conserve their own traditions. Traditions of huge historical and artistic richness which are gastronomically reflected, together with Extremadura and Castilla la Mancha, in its nickname "España del Asado" (Spain of the Roast). Without a doubt, Castilla-Leon is best known for its roast suckling pig and lamb. 

Spanish Dessert recipes: Many of Spain's best-known desserts are smooth, creamy, rich custards - fashioned from the country's high quality  milk and eggs - such as flan, crema catalana, and tocino de cielo.