Calatrava Bread Pudding (Pan de Calatrava)

Pan de Calatrava

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
415 Calories
13g Fat
64g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 415
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 211mg 70%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 51g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 175mg 13%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 248mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Calatrava bread pudding, or pan de Calatrava, is one of the most famous desserts in the region of Murcia in Spain. Traditionally, it is flan baked with stale bread or sponge cake with a caramel sauce on top. This version uses anis-flavored toasts, adding a subtle licorice flavor to this velvety smooth dessert.

A homemade caramel sauce is poured into the bottom of a baking pan, anisette toasts are placed on top, and then a flan mixture is added. The dish is baked in a water bath (also called bain-marie) and then turned out onto a plate to reveal the golden brown caramel top. Although there are a few steps, this is an easy dessert that's perfect to make ahead.


  • 8 anisette-flavored toasts, or biscotti

  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) milk

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 large egg

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) granulated sugar

  • Ground hazelnuts, or sprig of mint, for garnish

For Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided

Steps to Make It

Make the Caramel Sauce

  1. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar.

  2. With the back of a wooden spoon, keep the sugar moving constantly in the pan until it is completely melted and has a rich medium brown color (caramelized).

  3. Quickly pour the caramelized sugar into a large baking dish or mold.

  4. Place the anisette toasts or biscotti on top of the caramel in the baking dish. Set aside.

Prepare the Flan

  1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan with the cinnamon stick. Heat on high just until the milk boils.

  2. Remove the pan from heat and cover.

  3. In a separate pan, heat 4 cups of water for the water bath. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

  4. Place the whole egg and the egg yolks into a bowl with the remaining sugar.

  5. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.

  6. Remove the cinnamon stick and gradually pour the milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

  7. Slowly pour the milk-egg mixture into the baking dish or mold.

Bake the Pudding

  1. Place the dish into a larger baking dish (9 by 13-inch) and carefully pour the hot water from the pan into the larger dish for the water bath. Be sure that the water reaches about 3/4 of the way up the side of the dish with milk-egg mixture.

  2. Bake uncovered in the water bath for approximately 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted halfway between the center and the edge of the dish.

  3. Carefully remove the dish from the water bath. Set on a cooling rack until lukewarm.

  4. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. This usually takes at least 1 hour.

Serve the Bread Pudding

  1. Unmold the pudding by running a knife around the edge of the baking dish.

  2. Place a plate or platter on top of the baking dish. With one hand under the dish and the other on top of the plate, turn over.

  3. Tap the dish so the custard drops onto the plate. If it does not, carefully “prod” the flan out of the dish with a small paring knife.

  4. Garnish with ground hazelnuts or a sprig of mint if desired.

Recipe Variations

  • For coffee-flavored custard, use unflavored biscotti and replace 4 tablespoons of the milk with cooled strong espresso coffee.
  • For hazelnut-flavored custard, use unflavored biscotti and add 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts to the milk-egg mixture.

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