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Capirotada (Dairy Free) – Mexican Desserts For Easter

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Capirotada is a delightful and warmly spiced Mexican bread pudding, known for its sweet and delicious flavors. This simple dish, made with just 7 ingredients, is one of the most popular authentic Mexican desserts for Easter and Christmas.

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Capirotada Dairy-Free Mexican Desserts for Easter
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You will love this dairy-free version of the traditional Mexican bread pudding. It has simple ingredients like layers of bread, brown sugar syrup, dried fruits, and nuts.

Traditional recipes include cheeses like queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, mozzarella cheese, Monterey jack, or mild cheddar cheese.

If you want a delicious vegan Easter dessert you can substitute vegan cheese for dairy cheese or simply leave it out altogether. I chose to leave it out of my recipe, either way, it will taste great. Everyone will enjoy this healthier bread pudding recipe for its delicious mix of sweet taste and textures. 


Reader Review of this Dairy Free Capirotada 

“This dairy-free capirotada is a yummy take on a traditional treat! I love that it’s vegan!” – Olivia


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Mexican Desserts for Easter

What is Capirotada?

This traditional Mexican dessert typically consists of layers of toasted bread slices, soaked in piloncillo syrup (Mexican brown sugar), cinnamon, cloves, and sometimes other spices like star anise. Between these layers of bread are additions like nuts (such as peanuts or walnuts), raisins, and cheese. The whole dish is baked until the bread is soft and the flavors have melded together.

There are many variations of this dish some include sweet bananas, a little whipped cream, evaporated milk, or sweetened condensed milk. I created this dairy-free sweet cream sauce for this Bionico Recipe, but it tastes incredible drizzled over this traditional dish. 

I adore this straightforward capirotada recipe for its simplicity and dairy-free nature. It’s a fantastic plant-based Easter dessert where you can play around with different types of bread, dried fruits, coconut, nuts, and more. Consider this recipe as the foundation for creating your own family tradition and have fun with it.

It’s an easily customizable recipe for the Lenten season, Cinco de Mayo, Christmas, or any time of the year.  It’s a great dessert that appeals to your taste buds and eyes, which makes it a hit at any event.

This Key Lime Dairy Free Cheesecake is a hit, too!

Why you will love this Capirotada Recipe

  • Cost Effective: It has simple ingredients and it’s a great way to use stale bread.
  • Easy Dessert: This Capirotada recipe is easy to make and can be customized to enjoy it in various ways. It’s a quick and delicious dessert.
  • Healthier Option: Because this is a vegan Easter dessert it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also perfect for those with dairy allergies or who enjoy a vegan diet.

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Before I lost 125  lbs I would have devoured this entire dessert in a couple of sittings. Now that I have lost weight I am trying to make recipes healthier, so I created this vegan Easter dessert and I make sure to share it with family and friends to keep my portions smaller.

More Mexican Desserts for Easter


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Dairy-Free Capirotada Ingredients 

You can find the full printable recipe card including ingredient quantities, full step-by-step instructions, and nutrient information below.

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Capirotada ingredients
  • Bread – You can use different types of bread like white bread, bolillo rolls, bread rolls, french bread, or any crusty bread cut into thick slices. 
  • Piloncillo syrup or brown sugar syrup – made from piloncillo cones or brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Toppings – peanuts, craisins, raisins, or other dried fruits, shredded coconut, sprinkles, bananas, non-dairy whipped topping.
  • Vegan Butter – for extra depth of flavor you can butter the bread before toasting and drizzle the capirotada before baking.
capirotada before being bakedPin
How to make Capirotada

How to make Dairy-Free Capirotada

​You can follow these simple steps for this vegan Easter dessert. 

  • Prepare the Bread: Toast slices of bread until they are lightly browned and crisp. It’s even more delicious if the bread is stale.
  • Make the Syrup: In a saucepan, combine water, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Simmer until the piloncillo is dissolved. If you don’t have piloncillo you can substitute 1 cup of dark brown sugar.  
  • Layer the Ingredients: Grease the bottom of the baking dish with vegan butter and layer the ingredients in the following order: a third of the toasted bread, a third of the craisins, a third of the peanuts, if you are using it, sprinkle some vegan cheese, and 1 cup of syrup evenly over bread. Wait a few minutes for the bread to absorb the syrup and continue the process two more times. 
  • Bake: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Serve: Sprinkle with shredded coconut, vegan sprinkles, or drizzle with this sweet cream sauce and enjoy!

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Capirotada – plant based Easter dessert

Tips & Substitutions for Capirotada (Dairy Free)- Mexican Desserts For Easter

  • You can make your capirotada ahead of time and refrigerate it without baking. Simply prepare it as instructed and store it in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. The custardy, soft texture is achieved by allowing the dried bread to soak up all the syrup, so letting it set will make it extra yummy!
  • You could substitute dark brown sugar for piloncillo. To make the syrup combine 1 cup of dark brown sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Add a cinnamon stick and 3 whole cloves to the mixture or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 10-15 minutes. Let it cool and remove the cinnamon stick and cloves before using the syrup in your capirotada recipe.
  • You could serve the capirotada warm, at room temperature, or cold, but don’t serve it directly from the oven. It will be scalding, so be patient and allow it to cool for 10 minutes or so.
  • Feel free to customize the recipe by adding your favorite dairy-free ingredients such as vegan cheese, dairy-free whipped cream on top, or add a little vegan ice cream for an extra indulgent touch.
capirotada  with vegan sprinkles and coconutPin
Capirotada -vegetarian Easter recipe

FAQ’s

What does the Capirotada symbolize?

Capirotada is deeply rooted in religious symbolism, serving as a poignant reminder for many of the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The ingredients used in this recipe carry profound religious meaning.

The bread signifies the Body of Christ, the piloncillo syrup represents His blood, whole cloves symbolize the nails driven into His hands, cinnamon sticks embody the cross itself, and the melted cheese serves as a symbolic representation of the grave clothes.

Catholics typically make this recipe during Lent. While I’m not Catholic, I am Christian and love the symbolism of this dish, it is perfect for Good Friday or Easter. 


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How do you store Capirotada?

After baking, allow the capirotada to cool to room temperature. Transfer the cooled dessert to an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze the capirotada in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, thaw the frozen dessert in the fridge overnight. You can reheat the capirotada, covered in foil, in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the microwave.

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Capirotada – Mexican desserts for Easter

More Mexican Recipes


If you like this recipe, please leave a 5-star rating and tell me how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

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5 from 8 votes
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Capirotada (Dairy Free)

Capirotada is a delightful and warmly spiced Mexican bread pudding, known for its sweet and delicious flavors. This simple dish, made with just 7 ingredients, is one of the most popular authentic Mexican desserts for Easter and Christmas.
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword dairy free capirotada, mexican desserts for easter, plant based easter recipes, vegan easter dessert, vegetarian easter recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 318kcal
Author Cindy Newland with Intentionally Eat

Ingredients

  • 1 pound stale bread
  • 10 ounces piloncillo 2 cones or 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves or 3 cloves

Optional Toppings

  • 1/4 cup vegan sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Brush both sides of each bread slice with 1 Tbsp melted dairy-free butter. Toast slices of bread until they are lightly browned and crisp.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the piloncillo (or brown sugar), water, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the piloncillo (or sugar) is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. If using cinnamon stick and whole cloves, strain and allow to cool.
  • Grease the bottom of the baking dish with remaining vegan butter and layer the ingredients in the following order: a third of the toasted bread, a third of the craisins, a third of the peanuts, if you are using it, sprinkle some vegan cheese, and 1 cup of syrup evenly over bread. Wait a few minutes for the bread to absorb the syrup and continue the process two more times.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • Allow it to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of this recipe may differ depending on the ingredients you use.
Note- See Tips & Suggestions for making a syrup from dark brown sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g

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Cindy Newland with Intentionally Eat

​Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a medical professional. The information provided on this blog is based on my personal experiences and research as a vegan recipe enthusiast. While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns. The recipes and tips shared on this blog are meant for general informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always prioritize your health and well-being by seeking personalized guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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16 Comments

  1. omg these look so so good!!! I never tried Mexican desserts. I can’t wait to make your recipes, can’t can’t wait.

  2. 5 stars
    This sounds simply wonderful! I know my relatives would be pleased to have me include the Capirotada for our Easter dessert menu.

  3. 5 stars
    These all look really good. I love that they’re better for me, and they’re also more accessible to family and friends who might be lactose intolerant.

  4. 5 stars
    This looks yummy and made my sweet tooth itch. It also sounds fairly easy to make, which is always a winner in my book. Might just have to try this one myself.

  5. This capirotada really does sound delicious with all of those spices and the syrup. It also sounds like it is pretty simple to make, we have never tried it before so we will have a go at your dairy-free recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    With layers of bread, brown sugar syrup, dried fruits, and nuts, it’s a delightful blend of flavors and textures. I appreciate the option to make it vegan-friendly by omitting the cheese or using a vegan alternative. Whether enjoyed as a satisfying Easter dessert or simply as a comforting treat any time of year, this recipe promises to be a hit with everyone at the table. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  7. I’ve never heard of capirotada but I’m ready to try it! It’s a good dessert for lactose intolerant people and a unique dessert to try for Easter.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of this before but this sounds like a very delicious treat to try! Definitely something new to make for the holiday!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried Capirotada before. it sounds like a different recipe from what I’m used to. It sounds like a recipe that would be nice and easy to make and taste great too.

  10. I’ve never heard of this before, and it sounds delicious. We have traveled to Mexico many times, and it would be fun to try this out at home. It is nice that this is dairy-free.

  11. Oooh I’d never heard of this before but it looks delicious and not too hard to make either!! What a treat for Easter, I’m going to try make this for my kids, thanks so much for sharing

    Laura x

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