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Costa Rican Christmas Cake- Queque Navideño

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This traditional Christmas cake combines mixed fruits soaked in rum to create a moist cake that’s not too sweet and popular with everyone! A perfect way to celebrate Christmas in Costa Rica!

About This Recipe

Christmas is a very big deal in Costa Rica- and we start preparations in early November since there’s not a Thanksgiving holiday to think about.

People start to put up Nativity scenes in homes and businesses (known as pasitos in Costa Rica), and this Christmas cake is made and gifted frequently.

This recipe pairs perfectly with afternoon coffee, and is a staple at Christmas dinner (along with roasted pork leg and of course Christmas tamales with Salsa Lizano) and on Christmas Day. This

The recipe contains a bit of rum, which can easily be omitted, although the rum once baked isn’t enough to really cause any problems, and even kids in Costa Rica will eat a slice of this cake recipe as written. If you aren’t sure, then just omit the rum.

Related post: Christmas In Costa Rica

Related post: Arroz con leche Costa Rica (Rice pudding)

Costa Rican Christmas Cake Recipe

Printable recipe with measurements below

Ingredients

  • flour
  • brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • orange juice
  • ground cinnamon
  • baking powder
  • chopped mixed nuts
  • candied fruits
  • dark rum
  • baking soda
  • salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

In a large stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whip the brown sugar and eggs until they are well combined.

Add vegetable oil and continue beating. Slowly add the orange juice and continue mixing until well combined.

Next, add the dry ingredients slowly.

Remove the bowl from the stand and add the candied fruit and mixed nuts. Mix by hand until well combined.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!

Related post: Costa Rican Egg Nog – Rompope

Substitutions

You can substitute milk chocolate for the semi-sweet chips, and margarine or lard for the stick of butter.

Using cane sugar as opposed to granulated sugar works well.

Variations

Some people make these in mini-bundt pans for gifting, but the main variation is whether or not you have the rum in the cake.

Related post: Costa Rican Tamales Recipe- Receta Tamal de Puerco de Costa Rica

Serving Suggestions

This cake is almost always parsed out into portions and gifted to friends and family. It’s rare to make just one, but is often served with Costa Rican coffee as an afternoon snack or a dessert after a traditional Costa Rican lunch or dinner. This recipe is often served with Costa Rican egg nog, or rompope.

Yield: 12 slices

Costa Rican Christmas Cake - Queque Navideño

Costa Rican Christmas Cake - Queque Navideño

This traditional Christmas cake combines mixed fruits soaked in rum to create a moist cake that's not too sweet and popular with everyone! A perfect way to celebrate Christmas in Costa Rica!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups chopped mixed nuts
  • 2 cups candied fruits
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

In a large stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whip the brown sugar and eggs until they are well combined.

Add vegetable oil and continue beating. Slowly add the orange juice and continue mixing until well combined.

Next, add the dry ingredients slowly.

Remove the bowl from the stand and add the candied fruit and mixed nuts. Mix by hand until well combined.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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About the Author

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Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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