Recipe by Isabel Coss

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Polvorones are delightfully crumbly cookies (their name comes from the Spanish word for "powdery") that are traditionally enjoyed year-round in Mexico and during Christmastime in Spain. This tricolor version features the flavors of orange, chocolate, and hibiscus in the form of soft and irresistibly buttery cookies. Whether you’re looking for a fun midday coffee snack, a colorful pick-me-up, or a bright after-dinner sweet, polvorones are the perfect choice.

This recipe is part of our feature celebrating Pan Dulce. Find more recipes here.


40 mins
15 to 20 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
36 cookies
Polvorones - select to zoom
Polvorones - select to zoom
Polvorones - select to zoom
Polvorones - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and salt until soft and smooth. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium speed until well incorporated and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  

  2. With the mixer running on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  

  3. Add the flour and baking powder in 3 or 4 additions, mixing on low speed until a soft dough forms.  

  4. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (about 300g each) and place in separate bowls.  

  5. To the first portion of dough, add the orange zest and orange blossom water. Mix with a spatula or your hands until fully incorporated. 

  6. To the second portion of dough, add the tea and food coloring. Mix until incorporated. 

  7. To the last portion of dough, add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and espresso powder. Mix until incorporated. 

  8. To assemble the polvorones: Roll each portion of dough into a cylinder approximately 18" long, then cut the cylinders in half widthwise to make two 9" cylinders of each color. 

  9. Using a pastry brush, brush some egg white onto the sides of the orange dough cylinders. Place the hibiscus dough cylinders directly next to the orange dough cylinders, then brush the top of both doughs with more egg white. Place the chocolate dough cylinders on top of the orange and hibiscus dough cylinders to create 2 pyramid shapes.  

  10. Wrap the pyramids tightly with plastic wrap and press on all sides to flatten them into triangular shapes.  

  11. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. 

  12. To bake the polvorones: Preheat the oven to 325°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment. 

  13. Unwrap the dough and cut the cookies into slices approximately 1/2" thick. Place the sliced polvorones on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1" apart.

  14. Bake the polvorones for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden, rotating the pans halfway through baking. 

  15. Remove the polvorones from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet before serving. 

  16. Storage information: Store any leftover polvorones, airtight, at room temperature for one week; freeze for longer storage. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • Substitute any unsweetened cocoa powder you like. We find that black cocoa gives the deepest color and flavor.