My biggest problem with capirotada is that it is addicting. Have you ever seen that Sex and the City episode when Miranda makes a chocolate cake and can’t stop eating it? That is totally me when it comes to capirotada. I serve myself a small portion for breakfast to eat with coffee, and then before I know it I have the full baking dish in front of me with a fork. It’s a good thing I usually only make it once a year during the Lenten season.
My best friend suggested I make a smaller version of our recipe and so the idea for these bread pudding muffins were born.
While making this recipe I wanted to change up our original family recipe based on some of the frequent comments I have read from my readers:
“My mom adds nuts to her capirotada”…boom I added pecans. Feel free to replace with peanuts or the nuts of your choice.
“Cheddar or Colby cheese? Never!” So I tried it folks. I replaced our yellow cheese with queso Oaxaca. Feel free to use your cheese of choice or maybe top each muffin with different cheeses to see which one you like best.
“Where is the grajea (sprinkles)?” I added sprinkles just for you. And have to admit I love the pop of color!
“My mom adds tomato and onion to her capirotada.” Ok, that’s where I draw the line folks. I didn’t want to add savory ingredients to my recipe, so instead I replaced with golden raisins rather than traditional dark raisins.
The end result? Amazing! I have come to the conclusion that the piloncillo and cinnamon infused syrup is what makes capirotada so special and comforting. The toppings are the icing on the cake.
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to flavors, so if your mama added bananas, apples, and coconut flakes feel free to add in those special ingredients.
My goal is to give you a good base and from there you can add to it.
Are you dying to know what cheese I like best? To be honest I like the contrast of flavors of salty Colby cheese with the sweetness of the capirotada. Have you ever tasted apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese? It’s all about the contrast of sweet and salty. Queso Oaxaca is very mild and there wasn’t a level of surprise.
Don’t get me wrong, this recipe is darn fabulous, but I think it comes down to personal preference and what you love, and what you are used to.
This dish is very personal and evokes a lot of comforting feelings, and I’ll leave it up to you to make this dish with your favorite toppings.
Capirotada (Bread Pudding) Muffins
- 1 large bolillo or French roll
- 3 cups water
- 7 ounces piloncillo or packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- Zest from 1 orange and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 ½ cup queso Oaxaca, or cheese of choice, shredded
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
- 1 tablespoon butter or spray butter
- Grajea, sprinkles
- Cut roll in ½ inch slices and butter both sides, layer on a baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes on each side, until lightly toasted and dry. Remove and cool.
- Combine water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange zest, and juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, creating a syrup. Simmer syrup uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, covered for 2 hours. Pour through a strainer and discard cinnamon sticks and cloves. Set syrup aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 8 cups of a muffin pan with non-stick spray, evenly distribute ingredients in each muffin cups: half of the toasted bread, half of the raisins, half of the cheese, half of the pecans, and about ¼ cups of syrup evenly over ingredients. Wait 10 minutes and layer another half of the bread, raisins, cheese, pecans, and syrup evenly over ingredients. Before baking let set for another 15 minutes.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake until cheese is golden brown about 10 minutes more.
- Serve warm, and with sprinkles (grajea) on top.