Recipe: Doña Pinita’s Signature Pío Quinto (Rum and Custard Cake)

Try your hand at Pio Quinto, a traditional Nicaraguan custard cake often served at special occasions. Recipe courtesy of Doña Pinita, Owner and Chef, La Terraza Margarita Restaurant, Managua, Nicaragua.  Read more about Doña Pinita, Nicaragua’s first female TV celebrity chef, here.

DESSERTS-Pio Quinto1


4 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1 pinch of salt

*you can also substitute 1 package of white or yellow plain cake mix and follow preparation directions


1 cup sugar

¾ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

½ teaspoon of lime juice

¼ cup rum

1 teaspoon whole cloves

½ cup raisins

8 prunes

Atolillo (Simple Custard)

2 cups milk

½ cup sugar

1 egg yolk

2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

1 cinnamon stick

Ground cinnamon

Preparing the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square 8”x8” baking pan and dust with flour. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt). Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla for 10 minutes on high speed. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (eggs, sugar, and vanilla). Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Preparing the syrup:

Put the sugar, water, rum, cinnamon stick, cloves and lime juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir mixture slowly until it reaches a boil and then remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Add the raisins and prunes and let simmer for a few minutes until the liquid reduces and forms a syrup. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool.

Preparing the Atolillo:

Add one cup of milk, the sugar and cinnamon stick in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Before the mixture boils, dissolve the cornstarch in half a cup of milk and add to the saucepan. Then, add the egg yolk to the final half-cup of milk and add to the saucepan as well. Stir consistently and slowly until the mixture has thickened. When the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and take out the cinnamon stick.

Once the cake has cooled, pour the cooled syrup over the cake, reserving some of the raisins and all of the prunes. Let cake absorb the syrup for a few minutes and then pour the atolillo over the moistened cake. Decorate with ground cinnamon and reserved raisins and prunes. Cool before serving.

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