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Pan De la Cruz - Easter Week Muffins Recipe Antigua Guatemala

Delicious sweet-touch buns, typical of Lent in Antigua Guatemala. In many places, these Lenten Rolls are traditionally prepared on Good Friday. In Spanish these have different names, such as “Pan Dulce de Cuaresma (Easter Sweet Bread)”, “Bollo de Pascua (Easter Bun)”, “Easter Muffin” or the well known "Pan de La Cruz (Cross Cake)”. Although this semi-sweet bread is typical of Guatemala during Holy Week, it is also produced by many bakeries every weekend in Antigua Guatemala.

This semi-sweet bread appears for the first time in the seventeenth century; It was created by the bakers of the Spanish ships when they traveled to the territories of the Spanish colony on the American continent. One of the special characteristics of this semi-sweet bread is that it was preserved for a long time without being ruined, so it was ideal for long trips at sea.

An interesting anecdote: at those times the bread `boroña` was consumed, which was a very popular bread and similar to the 'Easter Bread' but it was not sweet, to differentiate it from the new semi-sweet bread, it was called 'bun' a name that is known and used to this day. Eventually, the cross began to be placed on the bread as a sign of the symbolism of Holy Week in Guatemala. 

pan de la cruz antigua guatemala

Ingredients for the buns or muffins:

To make 16 muffins or buns

  • 75 grams of butter
  • 500 grams of flour
  • 200 ml of warm water
  • 75 grams of white sugar
  • 40 grams of fresh yeast
  • 15 grams of milk powder
  • Orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 125 grams (4.41 oz) dried fruit, chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A little bit of oil

Ingredients for the sweet cross decoration:

  • 40 grams of butter
  • 120 grams of flour
  • 90 ml of water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar or 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar


  1. Add the warm water and milk powder to a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Then, add the fresh yeast and mix well until the yeast is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the beaten egg to the milk mixture and mix well and set aside
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour, the raisins, the cinnamon, dried fruit and salt until they are well integrated.
  5. Then, add the butter to the flour and mix or mix with your hands until it is lumpy.
  6. Now, add the milk mixture, the orange zest and the orange blossom water to the flour mixture and integrate well until making a dough.
  7. Once we have the dough, place on a floured wooden board and knead the dough with your hands.
  8. You will know that the dough is ready when it no longer sticks in your hands and is fine to the touch.
  9. Then place the dough in a bowl greased with oil, cover well and let it rest in a warm place for over an hour (to cover the bowl, it is recommended to use a thin and slightly damp blanket). Suggestion: you could place the bowl near the stove
  10. After an hour or so, the dough will have grown twice or three times its size.
  11. Then, place the dough once again on a floured wooden board and knead again to eliminate the air trapped in the dough.
  12. With the help of a knife, divide the dough into equal parts until you have 16 small portions of dough.
  13. Now, with your hands grab each portion of dough and form small spheres and place them on waxed paper or on the baking sheet. Optionally, with a knife you can lightly make a cross shape on each ball of dough. Let rest 30 minutes.
  1. For the bun’s sweet-decoration, mix the flour, sugar and baking powder. Then add the butter and mix, we recommend that you use your hands so that the butter is well integrated until it is lumpy.
  2. Then, add the water and mix well, it should have a ‘frosting’ texture at the end.
  3. With this sweet mixture, draw a cross shape on the top of each bun or muffin.
  4. Finally, bake for 10 minutes at 190 Cº (celcius).

And you are done !

Enjoy these delicious ‘Panes de la Cruz’ any time any day.

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