Mexican Bread Pudding Recipe – Capirotada

Mexican Bread Pudding is probably like nothing you have ever had before.  This dessert is one of the most traditional Lenten dishes in Mexico.  It has an interesting combination of fruits, nuts, spices, and cheese.  Cheese – yes  I said cheese!  Since meat was forbidden during Lent, the pudding may have grown in popularity as a way to get more protein into a meatless diet.  In this dessert the one defining ingredient is the cheese!  Remember, most Mexican desserts are not extremely sweet, but a delicious combination of both sweet and savory at the same time.

This dish is similar to a bread pudding.  Even if you have had already tasted Capirotada, almost every cook makes theirs just a little different.  For many Mexican-American families, the smell of Capirotada in the oven is their comfort food.

Mexican Bread Pudding is a traditional and popular Lenten dessert that is usually served on Good Friday, but it can be served at any time, especially when you have some nice crusty bread that needs to be used.


Mexican Bread Pudding


Mexican Bread Pudding Recipe - Capirotada:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Capirotada Recipe, Mexican Bread Pudding Recipe
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole clove
  • 3 or 4 large piloncillos*
  • 4 large bolilo rolls that hve been left out to stale, torn into 1-inch cubes**
  • 3 bananas (sliced) or 3 cooking apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) 
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup pine nuts, shelled
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and chopped
  • 1/2 pound cheese, cubed (Queso Ajo or Monterrey Jack Cheese)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter a medium-size baking dish.

  2. In a medium-size pot, boil the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and piloncillo (or brown sugar) together until a syrup forms, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid; set aside until ready to use.  Before using the prepared syrup, strain out the cinnamon stick and cloves.

  3. In the prepared baking dish, place a layer of bolilo (or bread cubes).  Cover with a layer of the banana or apple slices.  Sprinkle some of the raisins, pine nuts, almonds, and cheese cubes over the top.  Repeat layers until all the ingredients (except the syrup) are used. 

  4. Pour the prepared syrup over the top of the layers you have just made. 

  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven.

  6. Cool slightly, then spoon onto plates and serve warm.  Some people also like it cold.

  7. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe Notes

* Piloncillos are cone shaped pieces of raw cane sugar.  In my market they can be found in the produce section.  They come in a small (about 4-ounce size) and a large (about 9 ounces).   If you cannot find piloncillos, or simply prefer not to use them, 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar may be substituted.

** Most market bakeries sell bolillo rolls.  They are much like a French bread (crusty on the outside and soft on the inside).  French bread can also be used, or even toasted white bread if you have no choice.


Sources:  Photo From Cooking Light Magazine.  This recipe and comments are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX.  Check out more of Cynthia’s Southwest Recipes.


Baking    Bananas    Bread Pudding Recipes    Mexican    Southwest Desserts   

Comments and Reviews

4 Responses to “Mexican Bread Pudding Recipe – Capirotada”

  1. Eva Vizcaino

    It brings me memories of my mom. I live in China and to eat Mexican food is a luxury. So, when I go to the states I can not get enough of food from my childhood!

  2. Josie

    I make this dish but I omit the bananas I use staled bread piloncillio cinnamon sticks clove and Monterrey cheese and that Mexican candy I but it in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes

  3. Josie

    Okay I forgot I also use raisins and water for piloncillio surup

  4. Vivian

    I’m not a big fan of raisins so I use dried cranberries instead… I also top with a few drops of evap milk which gives the dessert an “apple pie & ice cream” feel.


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