How to Make Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)

Mexican bread pudding recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
546 Calories
23g Fat
74g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 546
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 137mg 46%
Sodium 224mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Protein 19g
Calcium 269mg 21%
*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.)

Bread puddings do not tend to be particularly photogenic dishes, but they certainly count as comfort food to millions of Latin Americans. This dish came to the New World with the Spanish, and nowadays each country or region has its special version. In Mexico, Capirotada is prepared mainly during Lent (the Christian season leading up to Easter)​ and is eaten as a dessert, breakfast, or snack.

This rich version of Capirotada, with apples, pecans, raisins, and plenty of spices, is full of texture and flavor. Top it with whipped cream or a generous spoonful of Mexican crema, if you like, to add yet another flavor element.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 cups Mexican bread (day-old; bolillos, pan dulce, or a combination of both, cut into cubes)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 pound of piloncillo (or 2 cups packed dark brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large apple (or 3 small apples, peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked in warm water to soften)
  • 2/3 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or lime zest)
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 pinch salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Mexican bread pudding
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet or sauté​ pan. Fry the bread cubes until golden. Set aside.

    Melt butter in pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, piloncillo or brown sugar, anise seeds, and cinnamon stick. Heat, stirring often until sugar has dissolved. (This will happen relatively quickly with brown sugar but will take much longer if you are using piloncillo.)

    Capirotada Mexican bread pudding
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Once sugar is dissolved completely, gently boil the mixture until the liquid becomes syrupy - about 6 minutes. Take the syrup off of heat and set aside.

    Cinnamon
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

  6. In a large bowl, combine apples, raisins, pecans, both kinds of zest, and queso fresco. Sprinkle ground cinnamon and cloves over the top of the fruit mixture and toss to incorporate.

    Combine apples, pecans
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Add fried bread and carefully fold all ingredients together.

    Bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  8. Place half of the bread mixture into a large, buttered baking dish.

    Add bread cubes to pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Pour half of the syrup over it.

    Pour sauce over bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Add the remaining bread mixture and the remaining syrup.

    Bread in pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Put baking dish in oven and bake for about 35 minutes.

    Bake
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  12. Beat the egg yolks until foamy and smooth.

    Beat eggs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  13. Add the milk, sherry, and salt; stir until smooth.

    Add milk
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  14. Pour this mixture over the partially cooked bread and bake for another 35 minutes or until top is golden.

    Pour milk mixture over bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  15. Take your Capirotada out of the oven and allow it to cool before serving. It can be eaten either warm or lukewarm.

    Capirotada Mexican bread pudding
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tip

  • Store at room temperature for a day or so, or refrigerate and reheat in microwave before eating.