Buñuelos Colombianos (Colombian Buñuelos)

by Erica Dinho on December 7, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Colombian Buñuelos

Buñuelos Colombianos

Buñuelos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat, but they are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee.

On December 7th in Colombia, friends get together to celebrate “el dia e las velitas”, a Christmas tradition in honor of the Virgin Mary. They light candles in front of their houses or on their balconies, cook traditional Christmas treats, like Natilla, Buñuelos and Hojuelas and of course, they party :).

Now let’s talk about this Buñuelos recipe. Traditionally they are made with Costeño cheese (Queso Costeño) which is a Colombian white cheese that is a little saltier and harder that Queso Fresco. I used feta cheese for this recipe because to me it’s the most similar cheese to Queso Costeño that I have found. I have to tell you, this recipe gave me a lot of trouble. Now that I’ve made this Buñuelos, I have a lot of respect for buñuelo makers in Colombia :). I know the Buñuelos don’t look very attractive, but they taste wonderful. They are the right consistency inside but it was a bit difficult to get the correct crust consistency because the oil temperature has to be perfect. Feliz dia de las velitas and enjoy!

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Ingredients

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tangled Noodle December 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM

I’ve heard of buñuelos but have never tasted them before; looking at the ingredients, I’m so curious about the flavor and texture. I think they look marvelous! However, I still have to make your arepas recipe. Since I have all the ingredients, I have no excuse. Maybe these buñuelos will motivate me – I can make both! 8-)

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2 Mark August 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM

To me they taste like fried cornbread. These go great with a cup of hot chocolate as the author stated….muy bien!

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3 Chris December 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Those look amazing! I love your blog because every post is something that I haven’t seen before and is something I want to make!

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4 Sarah Naveen December 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Oh wow..They looks so yummy…i love yucca..An important dish in Kerala cooking too..
where can we get Yucca flour from??

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5 Natalie December 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM

These are like hush-puppies only its corn meal rather than corn flour and does not consist of the lovely cheeses you have in your recipe… Thanks so much for this lovely traditional idea Erica…I am sure it must be really easy to feed little one’s too yes ?… : ) …

Hope you have a wonderful and fun time at the festivities…!

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6 Jhonny Walker December 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM

oh nice!!! pity it has cheese :( :( but loved reading about it nonetheless :)

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7 Simply Life December 7, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Oh my, I’m drooling!…These look sooo good!

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8 Gloria December 7, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Se ven absolutamente deliciosos Erica, besoosss, gloria

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9 Gera @ SweetsFoods December 7, 2009 at 7:11 PM

You can’t beat the combination with these buñuelos and hot chocolate! Yum yum :)

Cheers!

Gera

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10 Oysterculture December 7, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I can say I have never had these, but want some now – if I knew these little globes of heaven were an option, I’d never leave the breakfast table. Erica, you’re getting me into serious trouble now!

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11 anncoo December 7, 2009 at 8:20 PM

This is really a simple recipe and makes me drooling…

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12 Erica December 7, 2009 at 9:07 PM

Thank you all :)

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13 Ben December 7, 2009 at 9:34 PM

I like these buñuelos. In Mexico we have them too, but they are different. I need to make both recipes to compare them back to back :)

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14 Kim December 7, 2009 at 11:22 PM

I have heard of bunelos before, but never knew they had cheese in them! I bet they taste great.

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15 Juliana December 7, 2009 at 11:25 PM

Wow, these bunuelos sure look yummie…yuca flour and cheese…wish to try them soon :-)

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16 Lynda December 8, 2009 at 12:40 AM

I’ve never tried these but they sure look delicious!

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17 Danielle December 8, 2009 at 12:56 AM

all that cheese and frying……YUM!!!

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18 Ivy December 8, 2009 at 1:15 AM

I love your buñuelos. In Greece we call them tyrokroketes (cheese croquettes). I have not made them yet but now I feel like making some.

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19 Vinolia December 8, 2009 at 4:08 AM

oh, yummy yum, that’s a delicious cheesy treat!!! sounds absolutely delicious!!!!

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20 Joanne December 8, 2009 at 7:01 AM

I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with fried cheese AND partying. Great recipe and thanks for the description about this Colombian holiday!

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21 Claudia December 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Erica,
Encantadisima de encontrar este sitio, especialmente por los ingredientes que usas, ya que son faciles de conseguir en otros paises. Desde ahora esta familia sera una fiel seguidora de este blog. Ya te contaremos como nos quedan la natilla y los bunuelos. Ojala puedes publicar algo para navidad.

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22 Erica December 8, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Thank you everyone for visiting :)

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23 Martha December 8, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Thank you. My 8 year old daughter will be SOOOO Happy, she has been asking for them.
I’m so greatful I found your site.

Thank you so much.

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24 Leela@SheSimmers December 8, 2009 at 3:53 PM

What are you talking about? These look attractive to me. They look delicious, really. At first, I thought it was a savory treat, but then I found out it’s a breakfast item. And a breakfast item to be had with hot chocolate too! Oh, my. I’m definitely making these.

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25 Felisha December 10, 2009 at 12:09 AM

I love buñuelos! I make mine a little different- I use half queso fresco (or blanco) and half queso cotija (mexican parmesan cheese-pretty salty). I also add harina pan (corn flour) to mine it gives it a nice crust on the outside. I put it in a food processor until it forms a dough. I found a recipe from one of my colombian cookbooks and tweaked it up! The cheese makes all the difference with almojabanas, pandebono and buñuelos! And you’re right-the temperature of the oil is crucial. These are my favorite with cold coke!

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26 Sophie December 10, 2009 at 11:50 AM

OOOh Erica, me encantan estos buñuelos!

Me gustan mucho!!! Muchas Gracias por tu receta!

MMMMMM,…estupendo!

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27 Adriana December 22, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Erica, instead of feta cheese try “queso Cotija”. It’s very close to the “queso Costeño”. Where we live we can find it at WalMart. It’s a mexican cheese like “queso fresco”. My husband uses it to make “pandebonos”.

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28 Erica December 22, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Adriana- Thank you so much! I am going to try it next time.

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29 Anonymous December 23, 2009 at 1:28 AM

Hi!
Mmm those buñuelos look delicious! I was wondering if you tried to incorporate an egg. Perhaps is because the yield is not in a larger quantity, it doesn’t affect the recipe. I also add a little baking powder.
Happy Holidays..

~Xavier

~Xavier

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30 Nats December 29, 2009 at 4:01 PM

I made these for christmas and my biggest problem was forming a perfectly round ball! Like you, I now have great respect for my mom, grandma and all buñuelo makers out there! =)

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31 Sam January 18, 2010 at 4:13 AM

Wondering if you have a recipe for Pandebono with ingredients in the USA.

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32 Erica January 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Sam- I am going to post the pandebono recipe this week.

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33 Evan April 17, 2010 at 11:36 AM

They are delicious and my familys version taste potatoish..

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34 Santa Marta November 7, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I highly recommend those Bunuelos. They are very delicious. Has anyone had a fried Arepa with egg. A lot of people from the coast of Colombia usually eat that. At first its hard to make but once its cooked its a reward.

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35 Sylvia November 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM

We live in Australia and are also unable to source Queso Costeño. My mum instead uses ricotta and it is my favourite Colombian dish that she makes. I have just stumbled across this site and I look forward to exploring it more and passing it onto my friends and familia!

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36 Eugenio December 20, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Yo estoy en NJ y acabo de hacer bunuelos y quedaron perfectos… pense que valdria la pena compartir con Uds una receta que funciona usando ingredientes que se consiguen en un supermercado normal. Segui la receta que esta en Youtubeyoutube.com/watch?v=kCugjQ40fu8.

Hize los cambios que sugiere Erica, el almidon agrio que sale en esa receta lo cambie por Tapioca Flour, el Colmaiz por Corn-Starch, el queso costenio, por mozarella comun y corriente. Y quedaron redondamente deliciosos…

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37 Juan December 20, 2010 at 7:23 PM

Hi Erica, Thanks for the recipe although I’ve tried it already and for some reason I cannot explain for me it was a disaster, maybe I’m doing something wrong? But I followed every single step of it. Anyways it may for the lack of Colombian ingredients available around my area (Williamsburg VA), nonetheless Thanks.

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38 Erica December 20, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Juan- This is a hard recipe! I made it different times and and it is not an easy recipe to make! The oil has to be at the right temperature.

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39 soniA December 29, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I made the bunuelos, but it it is a little complicated, but they tasted delicious. I use a store bought box for bunuelos , i live in miami and every supermarket has it. And i use cotija chese, or you can use a hard white cheese. It was hard work but worth it.

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40 Xanta December 29, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Thank you!!!
I appreciate you take time to publish our recepies,
specially cause I’m in Ia. and is so difficult find
some Colombian ingredients so your web site help me
soooooo much!!!
Happy holidays,
be bless
:)

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41 Oceanbeat January 18, 2011 at 8:22 PM

As Erica said this are a little tricky to make, I found a recipe that gives the same texture and taste as the ones made in Colombian bakeries…here the recipe.

lossaboresdemicocina.blogspot.com/2010/12/bunuelos-cheese-baignets

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42 Patricia February 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Where can I find yuca flour? Love your recipes. Thanks.

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43 Erica February 7, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Patricia- I find mine at my local market.

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44 diana December 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

How many does the recipe make roughly? Also thank you for sharing this recipe with us. :)

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45 VivianV December 11, 2011 at 11:37 PM

Erica , a little curious about why there’s no egg on your recipe. Is the feta cheese moisture enough to make the dough ?
What about baking power?
I would love to confirm these two ingredients on your recipe before trying.
Thank you

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46 Erica December 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Hi Vivian- I followed my aunt’s recipe and she doesn’t add egg to hers…..I changed the queso costeño for feta cheese.

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47 Michelle November 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I learned, when I made your empanadas, that peanut oil is best for this. It heats to a hotter temp and is very clean (and reusable)

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48 Laura December 1, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Gracias, mujer! My mother is Colombian and I was born and raised in NJ. I lived there all my life but spent endless summers in Colombia as a child and as an adult. Once upon a time, I could go to my neighborhood in Paterson and get a bunuelo whenever I wanted. Now I live in FL, the side of FL that only has one very pathetic Colombian restaurant that doesn’t even have this on the menu. It’s been almost a year since I’ve had one. But now with this treasure of recipe I found, I will be able to bring a taste of home to our Christmas this year. Keep it up, chica! This blog rocks!

PS I’m looking for a Mantecada reciepe too. I’ve yet to taste anything here in the states that comes close to what I tasted back in my 2nd home away from home….Colombia.

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49 ana December 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Hi! I want to make these for xmas but I need to know how high do you turn up the heat after you cover the pot?

Thanks!

Ana

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50 Liz December 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

If you are able to find the Greek cheese called Kaseri, it tastes even closer to queso costeño than feta. It is usually in the specialty cheese case by the deli at Publix.
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes
Liz

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51 Christina January 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Erica,
After reading your blog, I just assumed bunuelos were made from scratch. When I got to Colombia, I saw the mix in the supermarkets. When I went to my family’s finca, they had bought the mix from the bakery. My husband was so proud that his American wife can make them from scratch. To be honest, I think the ones from scratch tasted way better. :) But I didn’t tell my family that. haha

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52 Bomvero May 30, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Hola Erica, una amiga colombiana me dijo que usa un queso llamado “cotija” para hacer sus buñuelos (deliciosos de hecho) Lo conoces, lo recomiendas? mi hija me tiene loca pidiendome que le haga “bolitas” desde que fuimos a visitarla, pero no me he arriesgado todavia.
Como mides la temperatura del aceite? un termometro de carnes funcionara bien?

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53 Elizabeth September 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Hola,

Soy colombiana y vivo en California, así que no me es posible conseguir el queso costeño que tradicionalmente se usa en Colombia para hacer los buñuelos. Generalmente cuando hago buñuelos uso una mezcla de queso fresco mexicano y queso cotija (60/40). Me parece que saben ricos y el sabor es parecido a los que hacemos en Colombia.

Antes de fritar los buñuelos mido la temperatura del aceite echando una bolita pequeña de masa al aceite caliente. La idea es que el buñuelo flote en cuanto lo sumerjas en el aceite y que se voltee solo, hasta que esté completamente dorado. Si los buñuelos se rajan mientras los estas fritando es porque el aceite está muy caliente.

A Erica, muchas gracias por compartir tus deliciosas recetas colombianas. Leerlas me hace recordar la sazón de mis abuelas!!

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54 Anonymous December 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Se parecen a las “almojabanas” que hacemos en Puerto Rico! yummy!

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