Torta de Pastores

Christmas Pudding

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 12 to 16


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Torta de Pastores is another Christmas holiday favorite of the Valle del Cauca. When I lived in Cali, I used to sell many cakes for people to make this dessert. I got this recipe from my daughter’s very much loved physical education teacher at our school there, Patricia Varela. She is a very good cook, who also taught me to make the Torta de Coco in this chapter.


  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup Moscatel wine
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) white farmer’s cheese*
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sponge cake crumbs
  • ½ recipe (4 cups) of Arroz con Leche
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small bowl place the raisins and wine and set aside for 1 hour, or place in a small pot and cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a food processor, process the cheese to a fine grain.
  3. Place the egg yolks, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and mix on low for 2 minutes. Add the crumbs, raisins, cheese, and arroz con leche.
  4. Place the egg whites in the clean and dry bowl of a mixer. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of water. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes or until soft and airy.
  5. Add some of the egg white mixture to the yolk mixture; gently fold all the yolk mixture into the rest of the whites.
  6. Carefully pour the batter into 2 buttered and floured 8-inch baking pans or a rectangular Pyrex mold or baking pan.
  7. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Let cool about 10 minutes before unmolding.