Facturas: A Traveler’s Guide to Argentine Pastries

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What are Facturas?

facturasFactura is not only the Spanish word for “bill” it is also the generic name given to a delicious collection of Argentinean sweet pastries. Some of these facturas originate from Europe. Facturas come in different shapes and with different fillings. They are generally crammed or coated with either crema pastelera, dulce de leche or membrillo and sprinkled with either brown sugar, white sugar or icing sugar. Each factura has its own name.

Strict vegetarians beware as some facturas are made with animal fat!

Facturas are generally eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack in la merienda which is between 17:00 and 20:00 but are not considered as a dessert. They are commonly bought in large quantities to share at the office or with friends over mate.

Facturas are ubiquitous, they can be found on every street corner enticing passers-by through the vitrine of a panaderia, a bakery. They can also be bought in the supermarket and are sometimes found in street markets. Facturas are of course served in cafes and restaurants.

Watch out! One soon discovers that quality and value for money can vary significantly from bakery to bakery. Take-away prices range from AR$0,90 to $AR1,50. The average price of a factura is AR$1.

A highly recommendable bakery in Buenos Aires is Flores Porteñas. The facturas are a good size, very tasty and reasonably priced. There is also an indoor and outdoor seating area. It is a sophisticated looking bakery located in the neighborhood of Boedo, close to the centre.

Flores Porteñas
Boedo 708
Boedo Subte Linea E

Three Main Facturas Fillings

Crema Pastelera

A pale yellow, lightly vanilla flavoured cream.

Dulce de Leche

Made from caramalised milk it is very sweet, light brown in colour and has a creamy sticky consistency. It is much loved by Argentines and is found in many desserts.

Dulce de Membrillo

This is a red jam that is made from the fruit Quince. It is very sweet.

Factura Names

Each factura has its own name which either refers to its ingredients, shape or is a provocative term directed at the army, church or police. The latter is said to have come about as a result of the first baker´s strike in the country in 1888. Here are just a few of these interesting names:

Medialuna-de-Manteca MedialunaMedialuna is the most common factura. There are two types- Medialuna de Manteca and Medialuna de Grasa. Medialuna literally translates as half-moon. Medialuna de Manteca is made from butter(manteca) and looks like a French croissant but is smaller and sweeter as it is covered in a sugary syrup. Medialuna de Grasa is made from animal fat and is narrower in shape. It is probably the only savoury factura. Medialunas are at their most delicious when served warm.
Con-Membrilla Con Membrillo
A piece of pastry usually oblong shaped and coated with the red jam mebrillo. Sometimes it is mixed with crema pastelera.
Palmerita Palmerita
A large, flat, circular, crusty piece of pastry coated in sugar.
Rosquita Rosquita
A deep fried doughnut ring sprinkled with white sugar.
  Tortita Negra
It’s name literally means little black cake. It is a bun coated in dark brown sugar.
  Medialuna Rellena
A Medialuna filled with dulce de leche and topped with icing sugar.
  Con Crema Pastelera
A piece of pastry usually oblong shaped and coated with crema pastelera. Can be found with dark chocolate drizzled over the top. On occasion it is mixed with membrillo.
A small bun filled with colourful dried fruit.
  Con Membrillo
A piece of pastry usually oblong shaped and coated with the red jam mebrillo. Sometimes it is mixed with crema pastelera.
Churros are deep fried and cylindrical in shape. They can either be coated in chocolate or plain and can be filled with dulce de leche or left hollow.
Cañoncito means little cannon. It is a short, cylindrical pastry filled with dulce de leche and dusted with icing sugar.


Peter on October 27, 09

That would be Dulce de Membrillo, not Membrilla (which is a place in Spain!!!).

And the name of the fruit in English (seeing as you are writing in English and trying to explain what Dulce de Membrillo is) is Quince.

Peter on October 27, 09

By the way, I’m all about the Cañoncitos!

Cesar on October 28, 09

OMG, this makes me so hungry. I miss good dulce de leche!

Sophie Parsons on November 1, 09

Hi Peter, Thank you for your comments- I have made the necessary alterations. I am personally more of a Medialuna de Manteca fun 🙂
Best Wishes Sophie

CJ on November 1, 09


My husband and I will be there in November and I cannot wait to have FACTURAS! They are delicious. Thank you for the great article, Sophie. By the way, is the bakery you recommend in a safe neighborhood? It’s the first time I hear of Boedo.


Sophie Parsons on November 2, 09


Thanks- I m glad you liked the article- there are still more facturas to add! Yes, Boedo is safe. It`s a tango neighbourhood close to the tourist areas of San Telmo and the centre and about 40 minutes away by bus from Palermo and La Boca. It is slowly being discovered by tourists. Of course like in any big city you still have to be careful. Hope you enjoy your trip to BA.
Best Wishes

adri schvemer on January 22, 10

OMG! My husband can’t ever get enough of these delicious treats! Does anyone have an idea on how to make these? I’m willing to take up the challenge. i got the empanadas down…:-) thanks!

Jayroc on April 6, 10

Does anyone know a recipe for facturas? Tasted them in Miami and fell in love. I can’t find any bakeries in Toronto that have them

Rick on June 20, 10

Hi Sophie,
Nice article. I was born and bred in Buenos Aires – a Porteño as we are called. However, I resent being called argentinean or argentinian – The people of Argentina are Argentine or Argentines, Argentinos!

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