Buñuelos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat, but they are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee.
What are Colombian Buñuelos?
They are fritters made with a mix of cheese, corn starch and yuca flour. They are crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy inside. They are a staple in Colombian during Christmas season.
Now let’s talk about my Colombian Buñuelos recipe and ingredients. Traditionally they are made with (Queso Costeño) which is a Colombian white cheese that is a little saltier and harder than 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 here in the United States. Some Colombian Buñuelos recipes are made just with corn starch, but my grandmother used to add yuca flour to her recipe and it gives the buñuelos a wonderful flavor and texture.
I have to tell you, this recipe gave me a lot of trouble the first time I made it. Now that I’ve made these Buñuelos, I have a lot of respect for buñuelo makers in Colombia :). I know the Buñuelos pictures 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.
Colombian Buñuelos Recipe
- Vegetable oil for frying
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup yucca flour or tapioca starch
- 1 cup finely grated feta cheese
- ½ cup finely grated Queso fresco or fresh farmer cheese
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Place all the ingredients, except the oil in a medium bowl and mix well using your hands until soft dough is obtained.
- Form small balls using your hands.
- 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.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve.
In Colombia on December 7th in Colombia, friends get together to celebrate “el dia de 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 :).
Tips to make Buñuelos
When frying Colombian Buñuelos, they become very greasy if the oil is not hot enough, and the exterior will burn before the interior cooks if the oil is too hot.
Avoid adding too many buñuelos at once into the oil as the increase in them will lower the oil’s temperature. Also it’s easier to flip them when there’s enough space. Make sure to add enough oil to your pot to cover the Buñuelos.
You can make the dough for these buñuelos a day ahead of time if you want and leave it wrapped in the fridge.
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! 😎
To me they taste like fried cornbread. These go great with a cup of hot chocolate as the author stated....muy bien!
Mark, maybe the taste resembles a bit that of cornbread BUT the HUGE difference is their consistency, their texture! Cornbread is HEAVY vs. Bunuelos which are very, very light (almost as light as a sponge) inside. and golden delicate outside crust.
Approximately how many bunuelos does this recipe make? How much oil do I use to fry them? Thank you.
Your answers depend on the size of your pot and the size of your balls. The easiest way is to make all your balls the same size and then add enough oil to cover the balls.
Angela Alexandra Cadena
I just made them and got 15 little bit bigger than a golf ball
You may get it in Caribbean or Latin grocery stores. Also, the tapioca flour
is another name for it.
I have been to Colombia and tested not only arepas and Buñuelos, but also pan de yucca. Everything in colombia is delicious. The buñuelos are my favorite out of the three of those though. You will love them. Just remember to be careful with your oil. If it's too hot you have burnt on the outside, raw on the I side yuck balls. Lol good luck and enjoy!
they are the best thing in the world!
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!
Latin American stores and the Latin section of some grocery stores in the US carry small boxes of it. The Colombian varieties are labeled “almidón de yuca”. I also saw some in a Brazilian cafe at my local mall! Good luck.
Finally made these as my family has been asking for me to make them for years! Your directions are amazing followed them perfectly and they came out amazing for my first try! They passed my Colombian husband's approval
Oh wow..They looks so yummy...i love yucca..An important dish in Kerala cooking too..
where can we get Yucca flour from??
you have problems
good one man
You can always find it in latin or asian stores but instead of yucca it is called tapioca flour
You can buy Yuca Harina Colombiana or GOYA Yuca Harina through Amazon.
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...!
oh nice!!! pity it has cheese 🙁 🙁 but loved reading about it nonetheless 🙂
Oh my, I'm drooling!...These look sooo good!
Se ven absolutamente deliciosos Erica, besoosss, gloria
Gera @ SweetsFoods
You can't beat the combination with these buñuelos and hot chocolate! Yum yum 🙂
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!
This is really a simple recipe and makes me drooling...
Thank you all 🙂
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 🙂
I have heard of bunelos before, but never knew they had cheese in them! I bet they taste great.
Wow, these bunuelos sure look yummie...yuca flour and cheese...wish to try them soon 🙂
I've never tried these but they sure look delicious!
all that cheese and frying......YUM!!!
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.
oh, yummy yum, that's a delicious cheesy treat!!! sounds absolutely delicious!!!!
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!
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.
nico translate helped me with this one
Thank you everyone for visiting 🙂
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.
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.
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!
OOOh Erica, me encantan estos buñuelos!
Me gustan mucho!!! Muchas Gracias por tu receta!
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".
Adriana- Thank you so much! I am going to try it next time.
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.
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! =)
Wondering if you have a recipe for Pandebono with ingredients in the USA.
Sam- I am going to post the pandebono recipe this week.
They are delicious and my familys version taste potatoish..
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.
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!
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Where can I find yuca flour? Love your recipes. Thanks.
Patricia- I find mine at my local market.
How many does the recipe make roughly? Also thank you for sharing this recipe with us. 🙂
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.
Hi Vivian- I followed my aunt's recipe and she doesn't add egg to hers.....I changed the queso costeño for feta cheese.
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)
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.
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?
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
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
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?
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!!
Se parecen a las "almojabanas" que hacemos en Puerto Rico! yummy!
Hola, Erica. Siempre vengo a tu blog cuando quiero cocinar algo que me haga sentir en casa. Ayer hice un "trial run" con los buñuelos y todo salió perfecto: controlé la temperatura, se estaban volteando solitos -hermosos!- y salieron súper ricos; redonditos y perfectos por dentro, solo que el exterior quedo muy crujiente y un poquito grueso. ¿Será que esto se debió a la improvisación de los quesos (Feta y Cottage escurrido) o depronto mucha fécula de maíz? ¿O depronto la temperatura o tiempo de cocción? Muchas gracias por todas tus recetas. Un abrazo desde Abu Dhabi!
Hoy hice estos buñuelos y seguí la receta al pie de la letra pero no me quedaron muy bien que digamos. La masa quedó muy aguada, entonces le eché más harina de tapioca hasta que me fue más o menos posible hacer las bolitas, pero igual no quedaron como esperaba. Qué puede hacerse en ese caso, cuando la masa queda muy aguada?
My mom is from Medellin and she wants to try and make buñuelos herself, but she is wondering if she can make the dough and store it in the fridge for a day or two?
Hope you can answer this! Love your blog by the way 🙂 You have so many delicious recipes!
I don't know, I always fry them the same day, but she can try it!
My mom (Margarita Jaramillo) just tested this out, we fried dough we had made the previous day and it worked out great! Took a little longer to fry initially because the masa was cold from the fridge, it may make it a bit more oily so maybe get the masa closer to room temp when frying it.
Podrías decirme para cuantos buñuelos es esta receta?
tried feta cheese, I do not like the taste of it, my guest didn't either.
Absolutely wonderful. I made these this morning for my Colombian exchange student, and she gobbled up 3 of them! She said they were perfect.
I used a heaping tablespoon to form my buñuelos, and this recipe made exactly 9. I also used a candy thermometer to get the oil right at 300°. I set the stovetop on 4, or just above medium-low, and it took about 15 minutes to get up to the right temperature without getting too hot.
Thanks, Erica! This is a keeper!
I want to try this recipe soon. I will let you know! Thanks for posting!
Your blog is literally the savior of my family legacy. I moved from Colombia as a little girl and never went back and never learned how to cook anything at all. But you have saved our traditions through your blog and there are no words to thank you!
Hey! I'm making these for a class and they will have to be cooked a day before they are eaten, so would you recommend reheating them in an oven/microwave, or just serving them at room temperature?
The best Colombian recipes blog. I love all the recipes and pictures.
Cuantos buñuelos se hacen con esta receta?
I love this recipe!, I made Buñuelos today, and the taste was exactly like my moms Buñuelos. I have a question: do you know if Buñuelos can be made using an Airfryer?
I don't know!
You can’t beat the combination with these buñuelos and hot chocolate! Yum yum
Gracias Erica. Do you have a recipe fir a substitute fir Queso Fresco? I make my own Paneer, would that work? Love the use if Feta! It should be noted too that the hot chocolate should be the Colombian Chocolate! There is a big difference! . I can’t wait fir 2020 to be gone and hopefully COVID is soon to follow!
First of all, I love your website sooooo much!
Tiny question, do you know how long can the dough can be saved and refrigerated? I like to do the prep for xmas days before and I am not sure how long this kind of cheese dough can survive and how to store it.
Thank you so much! 🙂
I always fry them after make the masa.
Your buñuelos recipe is the best one I’ve ever tried. I grew up eating Colombian buñuelos that my grandma and mom made for us and yours are as good as theirs. Thanks for sharing the recipe , I can make them now for my own children.
Your note about oil temperature was perfect, thank you!
This Buñuelos recipe was delicious and easy to follow. Thank you for sharing your Christmas recipes.
I’m so confused, I’ve tried to make this twice already and it does not come out as a dough it’s very watery, then when I add more yuca flour I creat a dough, I also see in the comments some people comment about adding eggs? Was this recipe updated? Maybe that’s why it’s very watery, can someone please help, this is what I’m following:
Vegetable oil for frying
¾ cup cornstarch
¼ cup yucca flour or tapioca starch
1 cup finely grated feta cheese
½ cup finely grated Queso fresco or fresh farmer cheese
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Maybe it’s the other way around 3/4 yuca flour and 1/4 corn starch? I’m not sure please help
Omit the milk or add a little bit more of cornstarch.This dough is not hard, it's very soft.
Can I make the mixture for buñuelos a freeze it? Or can I freeze the queso fresco?
I never freeze the dough for buñuelos.You can try!
Hey Erica! My best friend is colombian and I wanted to make these for his birthday. Somewhere I must have made a mistake, my dough was way too runny... I added another 1/3 cup of tapioca starch, another 1/3 cup of corn starch and another tablespoon of sugar (It's possible they're too sweet now) - and they still weren't as firm as yours. I think they still taste good, but I'll have to ask my colombian friend what he thinks. Anyway - do you maybe have a tip for me for the dough? Maybe my eggs were too big? Did you use small ones? I'd really like to get it right (: Greetings from Germany! (Oh and thank you for the recipe!)
You can add 1 egg next time and let the dough rest. The dough for buñuelos is soft.