Traditional Chilean Pan de Pascua, or Fruitcakes, are many. The classic version in my family is this Fruitcake with Dulce de Leche. Every year, I experiment with different versions, and the truth is all of them have their charm. This year, I wanted to bake a fruitcake without butter to make it cheaper.
The name “Pan de Pascua” is misleading. “Pascua” is Easter in Spanish but, for unknown reasons, Christmas in Chile is also known as “Pascuas.” We don’t eat this fruitcake for Easter, I promise. It’s an end of the year Holiday cake usually served with a cold glass of Cola de mono.
In general, it is good to let the fruitcake rest, wrapped in plastic and stored in a bag for a couple of days. This rest helps prevent crumbling, and it also improves the taste.
You can omit the candied fruit or replace it with the same amount of nuts, chopped figs, apricots, candied pineapple, or whatever you prefer.
If you want it darker: add two tablespoons of cocoa powder or replace 1/2 cup of flour with rye flour.
In the US, candied fruit is easy to find in all supermarkets at this time. If you use molasses instead of Chancaca use the full or mild flavor versions (affiliate link), not the more bitter blackstrap.Print
The most traditional recipe for fruitcake in Chile.
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
- 1 cup candied fruit (can be omitted)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- the zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons rum, pisco or brandy
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup mild or full flavor molasses or Chancaca (225 grams diluted in 1 cup of water)
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- The night before, mix the nuts with the candied fruit, spices, lemon zest, and rum. Stir well and cover with a cloth or plastic kitchen.
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
- Prepare an 8″ baking pan, cover the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and grease all sides with butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, molasses, or Chancaca until incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating 30 seconds or until mixed.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the nuts and fruit and incorporate them with a spatula. Transfer into the pan and smooth the surface.
- If you want the Pan de Pascua to protrude from the pan fill it 3/4 of the way. If you want it flush with the edge of the pan, fill the pan 2/3 of the way with the dough (this is recommended if you plan to glaze it).
- Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half or until a stick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool and wrap in plastic.
For the glaze
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- a few drops of lemon juice
Mix well until you get a bright and thick glaze with glue-like consistency. Cover the bread and decorate with almonds or candied maraschinos. Let dry thoroughly before packing, about 2-3 days. How long it takes for the glaze to dry completely will depend on the environmental humidity.
Keywords: chilean fruitcake, chilean pan de pascua