Colombian Buñuelos are incredibly delicious, crisp, and cheesy savory treats that are a staple recipe in Colombian homes every Christmas.
These cheese fritters are easy to make, take less than 30 minutes, and have endless variations. Not only can you change up the recipe I am making today, but you can look at other types of Buñuelos for inspiration.
What Is Buñuelos Colombia?
Colombian Buñuelos are one of my favorite savory, crispy treats from the region! You make them with a mixture of fresh white curd cheese and a dough recipe. Once you have a uniform dough, you can shape the balls and deep-fry them until they become golden brown and crisp.
These deep-fried cheese balls are served as a traditional Christmas dish. Often alongside natillas and manjar blanco.
What I love most about this recipe is its simplicity yet versatility. The only “unique” ingredient you may need to source for these cheesy fritters is fresh white curd cheese.
In this recipe I use a combination of Queso Fresco and feta cheese. You can also use other white soft cheeses like Cotija, Ricotta, cottage cheese, and even fresh halloumi. It is a fantastic opportunity to play around with some flavors. Or a way you can spice things up for different dinners.
Colombian Buñuelos also uses a variety of starches. I decided to use one type, which is cornstarch. It is one of the most affordable and easy-to-find starches you can buy. And you likely already have some in your pantry.
If you want to, you can substitute the cornstarch with another type like potato or tapioca starch. But, you cannot substitute the ingredients in equal parts. You will have to research what the correct replacement ratio is.
What You Need To Make Colombian Buñuelos
The most important ingredient for this recipe is the white curd cheese. Again, I chose to use Queso Fresco and feta cheese. You can substitute them for similar types. Have a look at this list of substitutes for feta cheese and substitutes for Queso Fresco cheese.
Then, you also need to add starch. The starch will help bind the ingredients together, absorb the flavors of the liquid ones, and help give an uber crispy texture.
I added some caster sugar and a pinch of salt to create a more balanced flavor. You can play around with the amount of sugar you add.
The baking powder in this recipe isn’t a must-add. However, it does help give a crisp texture and make the dough a little bit more fluffy and less dense.
And finally, the eggs and milk help bind the ingredients as well. On top of that, they give them color and a much richer flavor.
While it’s not traditional, you can add some herbs and spices to the dough to create a more complex flavor profile. I do it all the time! Just add them with the rest of the dough ingredients before you start mixing. And remember to use ground spices and herbs. Large pieces and whole spices will prevent the dough from coming together nicely.
How To Make Colombian Buñuelos
Unlike many other deep-fried foods, these balls are quick and easy to make.
First, you can make the dough. Just mix together all of the ingredients until you have a uniform mixture. Then, divide it and shape the portions into perfect balls.
Finally, deep-fry the cheese fritters until they become golden brown and crisp. It is as easy as that! And, you can finish the entire recipe in less than 30 minutes!
How does Colombian Buñuelos differ from other Buñuelos?
Columbian Buñuelos are a type of Buñuelos. But they differ in many ways. Traditional Buñuelos are a type of fried dough fritter. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations throughout Spanish, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.
Buñuelos are made with a simple yeast dough that gets deep-fried. Then, you garnish it with a sweet topping and serve it with a sauce.
Is Colombian Buñuelos gluten-free?
Only pure cornstarch is 100% gluten-free. If you buy a cheap product made with additives like flour, it will not be gluten-free. So this means that authentic Colombian Buñuelos are entirely free of gluten.
Is Colombian Buñuelos healthy?
Overall, I won’t call these deep-fried cheese balls healthy. The description alone gives away how many calories you can expect to ingest. However, there are many ways you can make them a little more diet-friendly. For example, you can bake or air-fry the balls instead of deep-frying them. That alone will cut down on a ton of oil. Then, you can also use low-calorie cheeses instead.
What do you serve with Colombian Buñuelos?
With Colombian Buñuelos you can serve natillas or manjar blanco. Natilla refers to the Colombian version of Spanish Natillas. It is a type of custard that doesn’t include eggs.
Manjar blanco is another custard-like dessert. But, in Colombia, they make it with rice, milk, and sugar.
The salty and cheesy Colombian Buñuelos pair exceptionally well with the sweet custards.
More Delicious Snacks
Colombian Buñuelos – A Quick And Easy Cheesy Crispy Treat
- 1 3/4 cups cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp fine caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- 1 cup Queso Fresco cheese, finely grated
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, finely grated
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp milk, room temperature
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- To start your dough, combine all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can leave out the vegetable oil. You will need it for frying the balls. Mix the ingredients until a uniform dough forms.
- Next, you can start shaping cheese balls. Divide the Buñuelos dough into 10-12 even portions. Then, roll them into perfect balls between the palms of your hands. Set them aside on a tray as you finish them.
- Preheat your vegetable oil in a large pot to 320ºF (160ºC). Then, carefully add one cheese ball into the preheated oil. Allow the ball to fry for roughly 5 minutes, turning it occasionally. Keep frying until the ball is beautifully golden brown.
- Once your test ball comes out perfectly, start frying the remaining Colombian Buñuelos in batches of 3-4.
- After the cheese balls have finished frying, drain them on some sheets of paper towels.
- Serve these balls immediately with an accompaniment of your choice. But they are just as good alone! Trust me!