Capirotada is a traditional Mexican bread pudding made with sliced bolillo rolls, raisins, peanuts, cheese and a piloncillo syrup seasoned with cinnamon and clove. My suegra (mother-in-law) makes a big batch of Capirotada every Friday during Lent to share with the entire family. Every time Doña Esperanza delivers a piping hot bowl of her sweet Capritoada, I am reminded of when my grandparents used to make their Capirotadas to share with family and friends.
Gramm's Capirotada was more along the lines of the classic American bread pudding using white sandwich bread, and baked in an egg and milk custard. Pappy, on the other hand, prepared what I liked to call Kitchen Sink Capirotada. Pappy threw in everything he could get his hands on, except the kitchen sink. He'd add raisins, orejones (dried apple slices), sliced bananas, crushed pineapple, coconut, shredded carrots, pecans, peanuts, cheese... If it was in our pantry or fridge, it was going in the Capirotada. The piloncillo syrup that the Capirotada was baked in was similar to what my suegra makes, except sometimes Pappy would add a little brandy or red wine para que le de un toque especial (to give it a special touch).
My Capirotada is a combination of the two Capirotadas I grew up eating. I don't add as many ingredients to one Capirotada as my grandpa did, but all of those ingredient can be combined in different ways to make a unique and delicious Capirotada. Carrot Cake Capirotada is what I make most often, but I also love the Banana Nut Bread and Apple Spice variations.
Carrot Cake Capirotada
- 3 or 4 bolillo rolls
- 2 cups shredded carrot
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- A pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice the bolillo rolls into 1-inch cubes. You'll need about 6 cups of bread cubes.
Place the bolillo cubes in a generously greased baking dish. Stir in the shredded carrot, the chopped pecans, and the raisins. (You can also add a small can of crushed pineapple, drained, and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, evaporated milk, regular milk, sugars, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread cubes.
Gently press down on the bread so that every piece can soak up the milk mixture. Bake uncovered in a baño Maria (water bath or bain Marie) for about 45 minutes. (For the water bath: Place the baking dish inside a large baking pan and fill the larger pan with about 1-inch of boiling water.)
Remove the capirotada from the oven and let cool slightly. Prepare the Cream Cheese Glaze by combining the cream cheese with the powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Stir in enough milk, one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Drizzle Cream Cheese Glaze over the capirotada.
*Variations: For Banana Nut Bread Capirotada, substitute 3 or 4 sliced bananas for the carrots. The Cream Cheese Glaze is optional or just sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. For an Apple Spice Capirotada, susbstitute 2 cups of chopped Granny Smith apples for the carrots, and 1 cup of walnuts for the pecans. Omit the Cream Cheese Glaze. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top after it comes out of the oven.
For more recipes to enjoy during Cuaresma, check out The Lent Club hosted by Presley's Pantry.