Try this homemade mamallena recipe with leftover bread, milk, egg, cinnamon, and raisins. It's a traditional Panamanian dessert, easy to make. The perfect dessert for when you feel like something sweet.
In Panama, the mamallena is eaten throughout the year, but it has given me the impression that it is no longer made so frequently. You can find it in some local restaurants.
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Mamallena is a bread pudding with raisins. In other countries, it is also known as "budín de pan" or "pudín de pan" in Spanish.
It's a perfect recipe for using bread that is already a couple of days old or left over, and you don't know what to do with it.
If you prefer to use leftover bread for breakfast, try this holiday French toast recipe.
Some people make it by removing the crust from the bread, but I'm a bit lazy to do that.
Some may not enjoy the texture because it's pudding-like and has raisins. This version has raisins, but the trick is to cut them so they spread out better in the batter.
This recipe is low in sugar, and I suggest adding other things that make it a little sweeter when you eat it.
📋 Ingredients for the recipe
To prepare this recipe, you will need sliced day-old bread, milk, eggs, ground cinnamon, chopped raisins, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Preferably all ingredients are at room temperature.
In the recipe card below, you will find the complete measurements of each of these ingredients.
💡 Tip: Stale bread is the star of this recipe, and you can even mix different types that you have on hand.
- Bread – You can use another type of bread. Make sure it is the approximate amount (2 to 3 cups). I've made it before with leftover hot dog buns.
- Brown sugar – you can use white sugar.
- Milk – use 2% cow's milk, I haven't tried another type, but it will probably work if you substitute another type.
As for utensils, we will use a small and a large bowl, a spatula, and a square mold (it can be glass or aluminum).
Now that you have all the ingredients and utensils let's start.
📝 How to make the recipe? - Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In my case, with my gas oven, I use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct.
In a large mixing bowl, add the pieces of bread and milk. Let them soak for about 30 minutes. This will ensure that the bread gets super soft, which will help it get the texture we are looking for.
After the time has passed, mash the mixture, you can use your hands, but make sure they are clean. Mash them until no large chunks remain to help with a fine texture.
In the small bowl, add the eggs and beat them lightly. This ensures that it is better incorporated into the mixture and there are no pieces of egg floating.
Add the rest of the ingredients (beaten eggs, ground cinnamon, chopped raisins, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla) to the bread and milk mixture and mix everything until incorporated.
Now let it rest for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. This is for the flavors to integrate.
While you wait, grease the mold with butter and set aside. Pour the mixture into the greased mold and bake for 45-60 minutes, checking that the mixture dries. Use a toothpick to verify that it's ready and should come out dry.
Remove from the oven and let the mamallena cool completely before cutting it. Once it is cool, cut it into the number of pieces you prefer. I cut it into 16 pieces, so I have several small pieces to enjoy longer.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or add a little condensed milk and enjoy.
Here are some tips to make the recipe:
- If you keep the mixture in the fridge, take it out of the fridge a few minutes beforehand, so it comes to room temperature, and then bake it.
- If you see that the mamallena rises when it is baking, don't worry; you have a little more liquid in the mixture. Before baking, check if you have a lot of liquid in the mixture, and you can add more bread to counteract. But if you don't add more, nothing will happen.
- If you keep the raisins in the refrigerator, they dry out a bit, but once you leave the mixture to rest, they will hydrate.
- You can avoid chopping the raisins, but I think it gives a better texture, and you don't have too big chunks.
Once it's cold, you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days if you don't finish it sooner 😀.
- If you are not a fan of raisins, you can use apple or peach.
- If you want to give it another flavor, replace the milk with coconut milk, and you can even add grated coconut. This will give it more texture.
If you can prepare it in advance. I suggest preparing the mixture the day before, storing it in the fridge, and only baking it the day you use it in the morning.
You can use any bread to make mamallena. I have even used hot dogs and hamburger buns. Make sure that any kind you use has a couple of days old or is slightly stale.
More Dessert Recipes
If you have tried the Panamanian Mamallena recipe or any other recipe on Nashi Food, don't forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! We love to hear about your cooking experience.
Mamallena Recipe (Panamanian Bread Pudding with raisins)
- 2 cups bread, day-old, cut into pieces
- 2 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup chopped raisins
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl add the bread and milk, let soak for about 30 minutes.2 cups bread, day-old, 2 cups milk
- Mash the bread until there are no large pieces left, this will give it a smooth texture.
- In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs.3 large eggs
- Add the beaten eggs, ground cinnamon, chopped raisins, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla to the bread mixture and mix all ingredients together.¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ⅓ cup chopped raisins, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Let the mixture rest for an additional 20 minutes. While waiting, grease the mold with butter.
- Pour the mixture into the mold and bake for 45-60 minutes, checking that it is dry. Use a toothpick and if it comes out clean it's done.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting.
- Once the mamallena is cold, cut it into as many pieces as you like.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, or with a drizzle of condensed milk and enjoy!