Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)


For the Capirotada

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 Mexican bolillos, day-old and cut into 3/4″ slices

16 fluid ounces evaporated milk

3-6 tablespoons piloncillo, to taste

½ medium star anise

2 whole cloves

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

For the Toppings

½ cup shredded coconut

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

2 ½ tablespoons roughly chopped pecans

1 tablespoon roughly chopped walnuts

1 ½ tablespoons roughly chopped salted peanuts, rinsed

3 tablespoons raisins

½ cup shredded Manchego cheese


Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 390°F.

Use the butter to grease the bottom and sides of a 9×9″ baking dish.

Step 2:

Vertically assemble the bread slices in the baking dish.

Make sure to place them in all sorts of directions to leave a bit of room in between the slices.

Step 3:

Pour the evaporated milk into a small pot.

Add the piloncillo, star anise, whole cloves, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger.

Place it over low heat and stir constantly.

Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Step 4:

Add the coconut to a small pan over low heat.

Stir it constantly and let it toast for 5-8 minutes or until golden.

Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Step 5:

Add the toasted coconut, almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, and raisins to a small bowl.

Mix until well combined.

Set it aside.

Step 6:

Sprinkle the toppings over the bread and into the nooks between its slices.

Step 7:

Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the milk over the bread and toppings.

Gently squeeze the bread into the baking dish to help coat it with the mixture.

Step 8:

Pop it into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.

Remove it from the oven and serve warm.



Once fully cooled, you can refrigerate this Mexican bread pudding for up to 5 days.

I suggest doing so in an airtight container to avoid the transfer of odors from strong-smelling foods like onions, but you can also cover the baking dish with foil and pop it in the fridge.


To reheat it, sprinkle it with 1-2 teaspoons of milk and then microwave it for up to a minute or until warm.

If you’re reheating a large portion (for more than 3 people), place it in the oven at 360°F for 6-12 minutes.

Nutrition Information:


Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use a different type of bread if I can’t find Mexican bolillos?

Yes, you can use French bread or any other sturdy bread as a substitute for Mexican bolillos.

Is piloncillo necessary for this recipe, or can I use another sweetener?

Piloncillo adds a unique flavor, but you can substitute it with brown sugar if piloncillo is unavailable.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it?

Yes, you can assemble the dish ahead of time and bake it when needed.

Reheat in the oven until warmed through.

Are the nuts and raisins optional?

Absolutely. Feel free to customize the toppings based on your preferences.

Omit or substitute any ingredient you don’t like.

Can I use a different type of cheese instead of Manchego?

Certainly. While Manchego adds a distinctive flavor, you can use other cheeses like Monterey Jack or mild cheddar as alternatives.

Can I use sweetened shredded coconut instead of unsweetened?

Yes, you can use sweetened shredded coconut, but be mindful of the overall sweetness of the dish and adjust the amount of piloncillo accordingly.

How do I know when the bread pudding is done baking?

The bread pudding is done when the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the bread is golden brown.

This usually takes around 15-20 minutes.

Can I omit the star anise and cloves if I don’t have them?

Yes, you can omit them if you don’t have star anise or cloves.

The bread pudding will still have delicious flavors from other ingredients.

Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger in this recipe?

Yes, you can use ground ginger as a substitute.

Use about 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for the 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ginger.

Can I serve Capirotada cold, or is it best served warm?

While it’s traditionally served warm, you can refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy them cold.

Simply reheat individual servings in the microwave if desired.

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