Feliz Navidad

It’s time for our next cooking around the world adventure and Mr. N is taking us to South America – Chile to be exact. Now since the holiday season is upon us, we also thought we’d make our first Chilean recipe something a little festive. Would you believe we actually found a Christmas recipe right off the bat – the Pan de Pascua. Now Pascua actually translates to Easter in Spanish, but in Chile they use Navidad and Pascua interchangeably. So today’s recipe is a Chilean Christmas Cake! Santa's helper

The pan de Pascua is similar to a fruit cake, but a bit less fruit and a lot more cake (at least compared to the fruit cakes I’ve had before). Christmas cake

The cake itself reminds me a lot of a spice cake – cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and anise seed. You can imagine how wonderfully seasonal the kitchen smelled. Chilean Christmas cake

There’s even a splash of brandy in the batter, oh yes, and butter-sugar icing drizzled over the top. Pan de Pascua

The cake comes together quickly and bakes for about an hour. The end result is moist, full of delicious seasonal flavors and has tasty bites of fruit and nuts. I have to say I was actually pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this cake. I’m not a big cake eater (cookies and pies are more my thing), but this recipe really kind of won me over. It was a 4 spooner for me. Chilean pan de Pascua

Oddly enough, the cake lovers in the house didn’t rank it quite as high. Mike enjoyed his cake, but thought it was a bit too dense for him. It was a 3 spoon vote for him. Chilean fruit cake

Mr. N really liked the cake itself, but wasn’t so crazy about the bits of fruit. He was waffling between 2-1/2 and 3 spoons. cake for xmas

Miss A was the least impressed. For her it was the nuts. She takes after my dad…no nuts, ever, in desserts. As you can imagine though, she loved the icing. fruit cake with nuts

Now, I’m curious to see if the cake holds up in the fridge. The recipes online say that it can last a few weeks in the fridge. We’ll see on Sunday at our second of four Christmas celebraions! pan de Pascua for xmas

I for one am really looking forward to it. And in the meantime, I’m looking forward to finally finishing my Christmas shopping! (Am I the only one totally behind?!)

We’ll be back next week with a little monkey business. Until then, we wish all those celebrating a very Merry Christmas! May you have a joyous day filled with love, laughter and delicious food. We are so grateful for everyone that checks into our little space of the blogosphere, for those that take the time to leave us a note, and for those who have become friends over the past few years. Thank you. Mike, Mr. N and Miss A and I appreciate every little bit of it. Merry Christmas!

Print this recipe: Pan de Pascua

42 thoughts on “Feliz Navidad

  1. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says:

    Your little Santa’s Helper is just the most adorable helper I bet Santa’s ever had! I love the sounds of this cake, I’ve finished off the entire fruit cake that I’d ordered online, so it’s safe to say I’m missing it and am in love with this spicy fruit-filled version! I love how it cracks on top.. leaving room to soak up the icing.. fantastic!! I’m so glad we’re in Chile:)


  2. helene dsouza says:

    I hope you enjoyed a quite and beautiful Christmas with your family Christy!

    I have never heard of the cake before. It shows again how little I know about the South American continent. Interesting reviews from your family. I feel its a cake that I would enjoy. WE always use candied fruits and spices in our cakes for Christmas. =)

    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!


    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Helene! We know little about South American cuisine as well. That’s what’s so fun about cooking around the world with the kids. We learn so much. Happy New Year to you too!


  3. Bam's Kitchen says:

    Feliz Navidad! Have a stupendous time in Chile. Your adorable little girl is getting a head start on all of the fun. She is such a cutie and an awesome kitchen mommy helper. I would love a slice of that delicious cake with the sweet topping. i have never had anything like this before. Wishing you a safe and happy 2013. Take Care, BAM


    • Kristy says:

      We’re not really going to Chile – although I wish we were! Just taking our cooking adventures there for a bit. 🙂 Have a safe and happy New Year as well BAM! Looking forward to more of your deliciousness.


  4. spicegirlfla says:

    This would be a cake I’d love for sure! I too am not a cake eater but I like carrot cake – the kind with pineapple, nuts…in other words, dense! I think I can actually smell it! I will have to try this, I only wish I had a little helper like Miss A! Outfit and all!!
    I wish you all the Merriest of Christmas (tho I’m a bit late) the eason is not completely over yet!


  5. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    I am imagining how wonderful your kitchen must have smelled with all of those lovely spices in that cake. You are not alone — I have barely made it with all of the shopping, wrapping, and baking …but now it feels amazing to be done. I can finally catch up on my blogging! A very Merry Christmas to you and the family. I feel so blessed to have met such a wonderful group of bloggers who I love connecting with!


    • Kristy says:

      And now we can all breathe that collective sigh of relief. I have no doubt your Christmas came together just perfectly. Hope that you all enjoy a wonderful New Year too. 🙂


  6. Dawn says:

    I am reading this post poolside from Hawaii, and it looks terrific, how could this not have been 5 stars!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday…so nice to have your blog in my life!


  7. Karen says:

    I for one would really enjoy this cake…all the ingredients sound like they would come together to make a delicious cake. I hope your whole family has a wonderful and memorable Christmas.


  8. Kate@Diethood says:

    First of all, I am going to be singing Feliz Navidad all day long.. thanks! ;-D
    Second of all, I need to give you my address so you can send that deliciousness over this way. K? Thanks! 😉

    Merry Christmas to you and to yours!! Wishing you a very blessed year ahead!
    xoxo ~Kate


  9. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Your little helper is really cute as always 🙂
    I love all the spices in this cake Kristy and from the pictures the texture looks interesting too. Maybe I will give this a go with orange juice instead of the alcohol.
    Wishing you, your family and your loved ones a blessed and magical holiday.


  10. ChgoJohn says:

    You should put a “Cute Elf Alert” in the title of posts that start like this one did.
    Our fruit cake bakers should take a page from their Chilean counterparts: use a sugary icing to top the cale. Everything is better with a sugary icing. I read it on the internet.
    Wishing you all the very Best of Holidays, Kristy.


  11. Charles says:

    Lovely craggy cake! Never heard of it – it’s a new one for me. Definitely looks like something I’d enjoy, although like Miss. A I’m not a massive fan of nuts in baking. They always go soft and weird. I mean, I’ll eat them, you know, but it’s still a bit funky. Bet the house smelled fantastic while this thing was baking up.


  12. hotlyspiced says:

    What an interesting Christmas cake. I’ve never heard of this type of cake before. My husband was born in Chile and lived there until he was eight. He doesn’t remember the food too fondly (may have been the way his mother cooked it!) but he has great memories of the bread – he’s missed that bread ever since xx


    • Kristy says:

      We’ll have one more Chilean recipe that your husband might enjoy – I know we did. The bread though – that sounds good to me. I’m such a sucker for carbs. 🙂


  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Vixen…. heeheeheee… that pretty much covers it I’d say ;). Oh my goodness, your Santa’s Helper has brought the biggest smile to my face this morning… Beyond adorable. We are absolutely buried in snow here in Ottawa! – it could not be more Christmassy out there – picture perfect (though our resident shoveller is perhaps not as impressed ;0)). I’m loving all the colours and flavours in your styling and this yummy recipe. The idea of slightly more cake to fruit appeals to this gal (I’ve never been a huge fruit cake fan though my hubby loves it!). That final photo with the icing dripping around the cake is especially lovely Kristy! Wishing all of you a beautiful Christmas ~ Enjoy your time together… lots of giggles and cuddles. Best Wishes – xo.


  14. sallybr says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you, from the home of the Bewitching Kitchen!

    I bet I would love this cake, even though like you, I am not a cake person, and definitely NOT a fruit cake person. But, there’s something about the way this one bakes, and looks… it has got to be a winner

    Looking forward to another year following your great adventures in the kitchen and anywhere else you care to take us along!


  15. Eva Taylor says:

    I grew up across the hall from a Chilean family, the Dad. Rudy brought them to Toronto through his job at Motorola. The Mum, Carmen didn’t work, but also was not much of a cook which is too bad. Her parents were dignitaries in Chile and I think we met them once. The Grandmother, who would visit from time to time, was an exceptional cook and taught my Mom to make empanadas.
    The spices in this recipe are lovely, and although I am not much of a dense fruitcake lover, I think I might like this one mainly it is more cake than fruit. I can just imagine how divine your home must have smelled as it baked for the hour, makes me want to bake a fruitcake just for that aroma!


  16. A_Boleyn says:

    Sounds like a great Chilean Christmas dessert with all those spices. My own Xmas baking is going to be very limited … I’m making gingerbread cookies for the first time.

    PS: I would have suggested Chilean alfajores if it wasn’t Xmas time and you were looking for a quick and easy cookie. Though milhojas are also tempting. As you can see, I’m on a dulce de leche kick. 🙂


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