Yum Peaceful Cooking: Capirotada - Mexican Bread Pudding

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Capirotada - Mexican Bread Pudding

Last week in reviewing the Muy Bueno Cookbook we had the option of making Mushroom, Jalapeno, and Cilantro Salsa and/or Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding). I had planned on doing both and posting both, last week. I only got to do the salsa. I had purchased all of the ingredients for Capirotada, and was ready to make it when I discovered it's not something you can just "whip up". Not that it's labor intensive but there is some time (prep and rest) needed. I had to wait until the following weekend to make it.

If you're not familiar with Mexican Bread Pudding, let me start off by saying it's not a custardy bread putting. There are no eggs or cream in the recipe. The bread soaks in this wonderfully amazing syrup thats made with piloncillo,. cinnamon, cloves and water. Piloncillo is sorta, kinda like brown sugar. I found mine at the Mexican market. It's sold in cones and is very hard. Have you ever come across those brown sugar 'stones' before and they don't break apart? Its hard (if not more so) than that. The other difference....flavor. Piloncillo definitely has a much stronger maple flavor to it. If you can't find piloncillo then go with dark brown sugar, but hopefully, you'll be able to find it. It's wonderful.

Now, the difference between Capirotada and your standard bread pudding doesn't end with the custard and flavor. Capirotada has a very deep religious meaning and is typically eaten during Lent. The list of ingredients are very symbolic: Bread represents the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the cloves stand for the nails on the cross, the cinnamon represent the wooden cross and the cheese is the Holy Shroud.

This dish is meant to be eaten warm and heats up nicely even a day or two after it has been made.

Printable Version

4 bolillo rolls (or French rolls)
4 TB butter
4 1/2 cups water
12 ounces piloncillo (or 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed)
4 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 cup raisins
3 cups shredded Longhorn Cheddar or Colby cheese

Preheat oven to 350' F

Slice the bread rolls into 1/2" slices. Butter both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes per side or until lightly golden and dry. You might have to do this in stages. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan, combine water, piloncillo, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. This is what we're calling you're syrup. Remove from heat and let steep for 2 hours. Pour through a strainer and discard the cinnamon and cloves.

Spray an 8x10 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the ingredients in this order: 1/3 of the toasted bread, 1/3 of the raisins, 1/3 of the cheese. Pour 1 1/2 cups of your syrup over everything. Let set for 15 minutes. Repeat two more times.

Once everything has set for its last 15 minutes, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover your pudding.

Bake at 350' for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm.

This was soooo good! I love maple and brown sugar. I love bread. I love cheese. And all this works together so very well. The bottom layers of bread are soaked in syrup...YUM. The top layer is adds a great texture...the raisins, well you can't have bread pudding (of any kind) without those. I think this would be a wonderful dish for Christmas. 

I'm participating in the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef 


  1. It just fascinates me that this bread pudding has no egg or milk. And the top looks insanely good.

  2. I'm not a fan of bread pudding. This sounds good but not sure on the cheese?? Sounds wrong to me, LOL

    1. Well...think of it along these lines...you know how some people like cheddar cheese with their apple pie? It works. And its soooo very good. I like it a lot more than regular bread pudding because it's not a custard kinda thing.

    2. I remember as a kid asking my mom to put more cheese in the Capirotada.

    3. There’s no such thing as too much cheese 😊

  3. I've never tried cheddar cheese on apple pie. Yours looks so good I may have to try it!! Expand my taste buds!!

  4. Fabulouuuuuuus! It's definitely not something you just whip up, but I think it's oh-so-worth it! This looks amazing.

  5. i've never liked bread pudding because of all that eggy garbage, but this sounds AMAZING! so brown sugary, so spicy, and what's this? cheese? again, amazing. :)

  6. I found this recipe to be surprisingly good. Yours came out beautifully.

  7. My Mom use to make this when I was young only she also added sliced apples and pecans sometimes. I plant to try your version can't wait. Thanks for sharing...

  8. I make this every year. In my family we put bananas, apple, peanuts and some plums. Ohh, and we deep fry the bread it has to be day's old bread. Such a big difference from baked I also use Monterrey Jack cheese. I know is a lot more but my family has been doing it like this for 50+ yrs.

  9. I always use a white cheese such as chihuahua or mozzarella. I also add coconut flakes. I also use star anise and green onion to my syrup. Don't be thrown off by the green onion, it gives it a great flavor. Not sure about the significance of those two ingredients but that is the way my mother taught me to make it. I've heard that there is a Jewish traditional dish which is similar to capirotada. I also read about it researching on sephardic Jews.


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