Capirotada: The One Thing You Should Never Give Up for Lent

It’s been a minute since I sat down and had my first piece of capirotada, a tradition rumored to have originated from Renaissance-period Spain. Born out of a need to abstain from meat during the 40 days of Lent, this bread pudding offers itself as a sweet-yet-hearty comida de cuaresma, or Lenten food. Somehow the odd assortment of ingredients magically come together during the bake. The result is a taste bud experience you won’t soon forget, and fortunately for us, it’s the perfect time to make it.

2 loaves French bread
1 12 oz box of raisins
2 8 oz bags shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 stick salted butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
Pecans to taste

For the anise tea
2 qt water
3/4 oz whole anise
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 piloncillo
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 medium white onion


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice your French bread loaves as if you’re slicing bread for sandwiches. Place slices on a cookie sheet and toast  in the oven for 10 minutes on one side (or until brown) and 6 minutes on the other.
  3. While your bread is toasting, boil your tea. NOTE: After your bread is finished toasting, turn your oven down to 350°F.
  4. Place the pot of water on the stove top. Add piloncillo, brown sugar, and the whole onion to the pot.
  5. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise in a cheese cloth. Pinch the cloth at the corners, twist, and secure with a tieback to create a spice bundle.
  6. Heat pot on high until it comes to a boil. Cover pot and let tea simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Now we’ll begin the layering process. Place your first layer of toasted bread slices in a large baking dish.
  8. Melt stick of butter and brush over the toasted bread.
  9. Sprinkle cheddar cheese, raisins, and pecans.
  10. Pour a portion of your tea over the layer until the bread becomes mushy in texture.
  11. Repeat steps 7 through 10 until your layers reach the top of the baking dish or your bread finishes.
  12. Place your baking dish in the oven, previously set at 350°F, for 30 minutes.
  13. Enjoy.



Janie Barragan

Janie Barragan

Made it, it came out delicious

Beatrice Townsend

Beatrice Townsend

Thank You for posting this!!
Growing up my grandmother made the most awesome capirotada every Christmas and its a childhood memory I enjoy! She was an amazing cook, but naturally she didn’t write anything down so i could never had a recipe for it. LOVE this!!

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