Marquesote (Salvadoran sweet bread)

This morning I had homemade Marquesote, (Salvadoran sweet bread), for breakfast. Here’s the recipe so you can have a taste of Marquesote, too.

Marquesote (Salvadoran sweet bread)


8 eggs
2 cups of cake flour
1 cup of sugar (a little more can be added if you’d like it sweeter.)
2 teaspoons of yeast
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Optional: A few dashes of cinnamon


1. Mix together the yeast and cake flour in a medium bowl. (Add the cinnamon if using.)

2. Separate the eggs into two different bowls. (The whites should be in a large mixing bowl. Yolks in a small bowl.)

Tip: To separate the eggs, crack an egg in half and pour the yolk back and forth between the shells over the bowl until all the white has dropped into the bowl below. You will be left with just the yolk after a few passes back and forth. The yolk can then be dropped into a separate bowl.

3. Grease a 9×13 glass or metal pan. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

4. With an electric mixer on high, beat the egg whites until stiff.

Tip: Not sure if the egg whites are stiff yet? Tilt the bowl – if it moves or there is any liquid, you’re not done.

5. Add the sugar little by little while continuing to use the electric mixer.

6. Add the yolks little by little while continuing to use the electric mixer. Repeat with the flour/yeast mixture. Add vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove to cool when golden brown. Serve with milk or coffee.

*UPDATE* – Please see the UPDATED VERSION of this recipe!


    • Victory – in the baking aisle of your grocery store near the regular bags of flour, will be a box called “Cake Flour” (the brand doesn’t matter) – it produces a softer product than using regular flour. It’s not cake mix. Good luck!

  1. I was browsing through your recipes and I noticed this thinking it was quesadilla. Have you tried it? And, no not the tortilla con queso. LOL

    • I do have a great recipe for Salvadoran quesadilla (with sesame seeds on top!) but I haven’t shared it here because a reader shared it with me via E-mail, so it’s not really mine to share publicly. I love quesadilla :)

    • Hola Emmiee, Tal vez depende la marca de yeast y no son iguales los paquetes. Mejor voy a cambiar la receta para que dice “2 teaspoons” y voy a borrar donde dice “1 packet” … Si 1 packet no es igual a 2 teaspoons, usted debe agregar más hasta que llegues a 2 teaspoons, okay?

    • Thanks for sharing but everyone’s recipe, even for authentic foods from cultures around the world, tend to have differences and variations.

      The recipe for Marquesote in “Cocina Salvadoreña” (an authentic cookbook from El Salvador), includes the following ingredients:

      harina cernida
      polvo de hornear
      cáscara de limón

      As you can see, this recipe includes neither vanilla or cinnamon.

  2. Yay! Im so glad you shared this! I was just saying how I wish I could make this instead of buying it all the time at the bakery. Muchas gracias :)

  3. I tried to make this for my Salvadoran boyfriend – but it came out of the oven like a brick of coal:( Does the oven really have to be at 450 or is it supposed to be 350?

    • Sorry it didn’t turn out Audrey! 450 F is the correct temp. Does your oven run hot? You can try it at 400 or 350 but as I’ve never done it, I can’t tell you how this will affect the recipe. If you try again, let me know the result. Good luck!

      Edit: Audrey – Please see my comment to Mandy.

  4. I made this, so excited as My fiancee is from el salvador and he loves his mom’s marquesote. I did everything as described and set timer for 30 mins … at that time opened the oven to a brick of coal pretty much :( soooo sad . all that time spent ( and with three little babes under three here to watch ) i thought i was being superwoman. Hah. Try try again. Another day maybe at a lower temp.

    • I’m so sorry. Since you’re the second person to say this, I’m changing the temperature in the recipe to 350 F. I have 450 F written down from when I made it but it’s entirely possible I wrote the wrong number. Again, so sorry for the wasted time and ingredients as well as disappointment. I will try it again at 350 F soon – That must be what I meant.

      EDIT: I just wanted you to know, after baking the bread again last night and this morning, once at 350 F and once at the original 450 F, I am leaving the recipe at 450 F. Both breads turned out well without any problem, but baking it at 350 F doesn’t give it the right texture in my opinion. At 450 F the crust became a little drier and crustier like an angel food cake, which is exactly what I want it to do. I did change the bake time in the recipe from “30 minutes” to “15 to 20 minutes” – but that’s also why I always write “or until golden brown” in the recipe. As all ovens vary, it’s important to keep an eye on things, especially when making a recipe for the first time. So, if you want to try this again, bake at 450 F for about 15 minutes – it should not burn at all if your oven isn’t running extremely hot.

      Another thing you may want to try is checking the freshness of your yeast. It’s really important to have fresh yeast. When you poured the batter into the greased Pyrex, did you see little bubbles start popping up? If you did, the yeast was good — If not, that could have contributed to the problem you experienced. Next time buy fresh yeast if yours has been sitting around a long time, or you can proof some of it to see if it’s still good.

      How to proof yeast:

      Hope that helps!

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