Pan de Pascua – Chilean Easter Fruit CakeSarah Bradley - Director
A holiday tradition in Chile, the word Pascua refers to both Easter and Christmas in Spanish. The cake is thought to have evolved from two other holiday breads, German stollen and Italian panettone.
- Prep: 30 minutes
- Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Recipe serves: 8-10
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Zest of one orange
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup brandy, pisco, or rum
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons anise flavor liqueur
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 cup nuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degress
- Cream butter with the sugars until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time until well blended.
- Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir the fruit zests into the dry ingredients.
- Whisk the coffee, brandy or rum, evaporated milk, anise flavoring, vanilla, and vinegar together.
- Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture, blending well.
- Fold in the nuts and the dried fruit.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of wax paper.
- Spread the batter evenly into the pan.
- Bake cake for an 45 minutes. Without removing the cake from the oven, carefully sprinkle some sifted powdered sugar over the top of the cake, then bake cake for 15 minutes more.
- Check cake for doneness: a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. If the cake is not yet done, return it to the oven and check it again every 5 or 10 minutes until done.
- Let cake cool 15 minutes in the pan on a rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Sift 1 cup confectioner's sugar into bowl. Add melted butter, pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 - 2 tablespoons milk, or more to reach desired consistency.
- Remove cake from pan, and drizzle top with icing.
- Cake keeps for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic.
Variation: Serve pan de pascua with the spiced alcoholic coffee concoction called cola de mono (tail of a monkey), another Chilean holiday tradition.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Alex Walker - Travel Expert
Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert
Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert
Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.