Colombian buñuelos are magical cheese-based donuts that are crunchy on the outside, with a soft, pillowy angel food cake consistency, and the tiniest hint of sweetness.
Oh. My. Word. I think I scared my husband when I first had a bite of these in my kitchen. I screeched so loud, he must have thought I’d just injured myself in the kitchen, which happens quite often. Fortunately for him, it was a shriek of sheer exhilaration and delight! I’m been obsessed with all things Colombian since I met my husband back in college in 2006. He’s half Colombian and half Puerto Rican, but his family here in the states is mostly from the Colombian side, so naturally, that’s the culture he has more close ties to. It’s also the food he’s most familiar with. I’d never tried Colombian food before I met him, other than the empanadas that many are familiar with.
When I first tried Colombian buñuelos at our local Colombian bakery, it was truly a religious experience. There’s really no way to describe them, they’re so multi-dimensional. Crunchy on the outside, with a soft, pillowy angel food cake consistency, and the tiniest hint of sweetness. But they’re made of cheese! These are really one of those things you just HAVE to try at some point in your life. Put that on your bucket list. You won’t regret it! Another bonus, these are gluten free, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Latino bakeries, known as panaderias, are a staple in the Latin community. Not only are they a place to get delicious baked and fried treats for family gatherings, they’re also neighborhood hubs for socializing and catching up on the day’s bochinche (gossip). I always looked forward to heading out to the local panaderia on a Saturday morning with my mom and dad to get un cafecito and a pastelito de guayaba, a delicious flaky pastry stuffed with guava paste and cream cheese. Ugh, so good!
Café Bustelo is dark, pure, and flavorful, their bold blend is roasted and ground from the finest coffees in the world. Their products offer a taste of true Latin flavor that makes you want to discover more, and inspires you to share it with others. I can’t start my day without Café Bustelo, and neither should you!
Now, let’s review the recipe ingredients.
First thing’s first! There are a few ingredients that are essential to this recipe. The first is cassava flour. This stuff has more aliases than most foods I know. It can be called cassava flour, cassava starch, yucca flour, yucca starch, manioc starch, or even tapioca starch. Any of those are what you’re looking for.
The second is Colombian quesito. It’s Colombia’s version of queso fresco, and is usually available in Latin supermarkets, depending on the population demographics in the area. If you can’t find it, you can try making it, using this awesome recipe from one of my favorite blogs, or you can substitute with Mexican queso fresco.
Now that that’s out of the way, this is a SUPER important technique note! You need a programmable deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot equipped with a candy thermometer. Buñuelos have a reputation of being one of those really finicky bakery items that only the most skilled bakers can make.
That’s only because they require a little extra TLC than most fried items. If the oil is too hot, the outside will burn too quickly, and the inside will stay raw. Also, the buñuelos will burst open if the oil is too hot, oozing their contents in the oil. Not a good combo. You need to fry these at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. This will allow them to cook thoroughly and will give them a beautiful toasty color.
Buen provecho, mi gente! If you make these, please tag me at @delishdlites on Instagram, I would love to see your photos! I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Colombian buñuelos as much as I do!
A fried Colombian donut that is made with queso fresco and cassava flour. Slightly sweet, and super delish!
- 2 cups Colombian quesito or Mexican queso fresco finely grated
- ⅓ cup cassava flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
- vegetable oil for frying
Using a microplane, grated the cheese and place into a bowl.
Add in the cornstarch, cassava flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir to combine
Work the egg into the dry ingredients with your hands.
Add in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix it in, until you get a smooth dough. You may only need 1 tablespoon of milk, depending on the moisture content of the cheese and the size of the egg you use. So start with 1, and if the dough doesn’t come together smoothly, add the other.
Form the dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls. You should be able to make about 12 buñuelos with this recipe.
Using a slotted spoon or spider, gently place each buñuelo into the heated oil (Preheated to 325 degrees F). They will float to the surface within 30 seconds, and then you’ll notice something very peculiar, they start rotating themselves!
After a while, they’ll stop rotating, so gently coax them to flip over once in a while, to promote even cooking. These will take about 10-15 minutes to cook.
Once they’re a deep golden brown, they’re ready to drain. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before diving in! They’re super, molten hot lava hot right now. So be patient.