Buñuelos Colombianos (Colombian Buñuelos)

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Colombian Buñuelos

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

Buñuelos Colombianos

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 :).

Colombian Buñuelos|mycolombianrecipes

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

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup yucca flour or tapioca starch
  • 1 cup finely grated feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Queso fresco or fresh farmer cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients, except the oil in a medium bowl and mix well using your hands until soft dough is obtained.
  2. Form small balls using your hands.
  3. In a deep pot, heat the vegetable oil to 300°F (Warm, not very hot). Carefully drop the balls in the warm oil. Cover the pot and after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the heat up and fry until golden brown.
  4. Buñuelos Colombianos

  5. Remove from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve.
  6. How to make Colombian Buñuelos

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Comments

  1. says

    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-)

    • Mark says

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

  2. says

    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…!

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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 :)

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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!

  7. Claudia says

    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.

  8. Martha says

    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.

  9. says

    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.

  10. Felisha says

    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!

  11. Adriana says

    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”.

  12. Anonymous says

    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

  13. Nats says

    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! =)

  14. Santa Marta says

    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.

  15. Sylvia says

    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!

  16. Eugenio says

    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…

  17. Juan says

    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.

  18. Erica says

    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.

  19. soniA says

    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.

  20. Xanta says

    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
    :)

  21. says

    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

  22. VivianV says

    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

    • Erica says

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

  23. Michelle says

    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)

  24. Laura says

    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.

  25. Liz says

    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

  26. says

    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

  27. Bomvero says

    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?

    • Elizabeth says

      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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