Chilean Holiday Fruitcake: Pan de Pascua Recipe

Chilean Holiday Fruitcake - Pan de Pascua
Marian Blazes
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
661 Calories
31g Fat
81g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 661
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 133mg 44%
Sodium 694mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 29%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 183mg 14%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 365mg 8%
*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.)

The name of this Christmas cake can be confusing to English speakers, but the word Pascua refers to both Easter and Christmas in Spanish. Pan de Pascua is thought to have evolved from two other holiday breads, German stollen, and Italian panettone. It's a rich, dense spice cake, flavored with rum (or pisco) and filled with dried fruits and nuts. Serve Pan de Pascua with the spiced alcoholic coffee concoction called cola de mono (tail of a monkey), another Chilean holiday tradition. Although not traditional, this cake would be delicious covered in marzipan.


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee

  • 1/2 cup brandy, pisco, or rum

  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

  • 2 tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 cup nuts, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Cream butter with the sugars until smooth and creamy.

  3. Add eggs one at a time until well blended.

  4. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir the fruit zests into the dry ingredients.

  5. Whisk the coffee, brandy or rum, evaporated milk, anise flavoring, vanilla, and vinegar together.

  6. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture, blending well.

  7. Fold in the nuts and the dried fruit.

  8. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of waxed paper.

  9. Spread the batter evenly into the pan.

  10. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Without removing the cake from the oven, carefully sprinkle some sifted powdered sugar over the top of the cake, then bake the cake for 15 minutes more.

  11. Check cake for doneness: a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. If the cake is not yet done, return it to the oven and check it again every 5 or 10 minutes until done.

  12. Let cake cool 15 minutes in the pan on a rack.

Make the Icing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Sift 1 cup confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Add melted butter, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or more to reach desired consistency.

  3. Remove cake from pan, and drizzle top with icing.


  • Cake keeps for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic.