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Capirotada- Mexican Easter Dessert

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Capirotada is a Mexican Bread Pudding with layers of bread, various toppings, and covered in a brown sugar syrup. This traditional Mexican dessert is commonly served during Lenten season and Easter. 

Capirotada on a plate and topped with rainbow-colored sprinkles.

There are various ways to make capirotada including different add-ins and how the bread pudding is cooked. The capirotada recipe I’m sharing with you is how my husband’s family from Guadalajara makes it, and they prefer to cook it on the stove in a steamer pot. 

If you enjoy chocolate desserts, check out my recipe for Chocoflan.

Ingredients

For the bread, I’m using a French baguette and slicing it into 1-inch thick pieces. You want to use a crusty bread that can absorb the syrup and not get too mushy. It is also common to use bolillo rolls sliced and day old is best.

Sliced French baguette on a large baking sheet.

The capirotada comes together with a Piloncillo or brown sugar syrup. These are the ingredients for the syrup:

Ingredients with text, peanuts, raisins, sweetened condensed milk, aged cotija, piloncillo, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, onion, butter, and bananas.

The toppings for capirotada are layered between the bread and syrup. These are the toppings we used:

Feel free to change up any of the toppings based on what you like. You can do different nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut is a popular addition.

For the cheese, my mother in law prefers an aged cotija, which has a nutty taste and pungent smell. A similar one that’s more common to find is a Spanish Manchego. Use a grater to shred the cheese.

Shredded cheese in a black container.

Alternatively, you can use a milder soft cheese like Monterrey Jack, Oaxaca, or mozzarella. The saltiness of the cheese provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the bread pudding.

How to Make

1. Start by adding water to a pot and the ingredients for the syrup. Piloncillo or Brown Sugar, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Whole Peppercorns, and a quarter of a white onion.

Piloncillo, cinnamon, clove, peppercorns, and a piece of an onion in a pot.
Straining the ingredients for the piloncillo syrup.

2. Once the brown sugar has dissolved, strain the syrup and discard the ingredients and set the syrup aside. This smells so good!

3. Toast the sliced baguette in the oven until both sides are browned. Dip each side of the toasted bread in melted butter and place in a large pot or steamer.

Toasted sliced baguette in a steamer basket.
First layer of capirotada in a steamer basket.

4. Begin laying the toppings between the bread and pour a ladle of the piloncillo syrup to saturate the bread. My mother in a law also likes to add a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk for more flavor and sweetness.

5. Continue layering the sliced bread, toppings, and piloncillo syrup until you reach the top of the pot or run out of ingredients.

Uncooked capirotada in a pot, topped with sweetened condensed milk, banana slices, raisins, and peanuts.

We are using a steamer pot with some water in the bottom. You can also use a regular pot to cook it on the stove. Another popular method is to bake the Capirotada in the oven.

6. To steam it, place the lid on the pot and have the heat on medium, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

To bake it, use a large baking dish, cover the capirotada with foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

How to Serve

Capirotada can be served warm right after cooking, or leftovers can be served cold. You can store leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. My family likes to re-heat leftovers in the air fryer to get the bread crispy on the edges. Otherwise you can use the microwave.

Two round plates of Mexican bread pudding with a fork on the side.

For a festive touch, top with rainbow sprinkles before serving or add them when you are layering the ingredients.

This Mexican bread pudding can be made many different ways, and with various toppings. Most families have a recipe passed down from generations. If this is your first time making Capirotada or want to try making it this way, I would be honored for you to use my family’s recipe, thank you!

More Mexican Desserts

Feature image of Mexican Bread Pudding on a plate.

Capirotada Recipe

Renee
Capirotada is a Mexican Bread Pudding with layers of bread, various toppings, and covered in a brown sugar syrup.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 24 ounce French Baguette (1 inch slices)
  • ½ cup Butter melted
  • 6 cups Water
  • 8 ounce Piloncillo or substitute dark brown sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • ½ teaspoon Whole Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Whole Peppercorns
  • ¼ White Onion
  • 10 ounce Aged Cotija or Manchego Cheese- Shredded
  • ½ cup Peanuts
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • 2-3 Bananas
  • 10 ounce Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Optional: Rainbow Sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice the French Baguette into 1-inch slices. Place the slices on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned on both sides. Flip each piece of bread over at around the 8 minute mark.
  • Add Water, Piloncillo or Brown Sugar, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Whole Peppercorns, quarter of a white onion to a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. Strain the syrup and set the liquid aside.
  • Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pot and place the steamer insert inside.
  • Melt butter in a small skillet. Dip each piece of toasted baguette in the melted butter and place in the steamer pot in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese, peanuts, raisins, and bananas. You want to have enough toppings to make about 5 layers. Drizzle some sweetened condensed milk and a full ladle of the piloncillo syrup on each layer.
  • Continue repeating the layers of bread and toppings, ensuring the bread is saturated with the syrup. Add any remaining syrup, toppings, and sweetened condensed milk at the very top.
  • Place the lid on the pot and heat over medium-high heat until the water begins to boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. All of the syrup should be absorbed into the bread.
  • Serve the Capirotada warm and you can add some rainbow sprinkles.

Video

Notes

Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or air fryer if you prefer the bread to be crispy. 
Add different toppings based on your preference, (different nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut).
To bake the capirotada, layer in a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 15gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 594mgPotassium: 334mgFiber: 3gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 445IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 407mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword Capirotada, Mexican Bread Pudding, Mexican Easter Dessert
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