Colombian Buñuelos

Click aquí para versión en español

So today we’ll be talking about Colombian buñuelos, which just like the Colombian natilla, cannot be forgotten during the holiday season.  They’re completely inseparable, made for each other, eaten both as one, and yet, not really because  buñuelos are pretty much eaten all year round. Weird, huh? Colombians love their buñuelos which are served any time of year and any time of day. They even have street stands dedicated to making and selling buñuelos in every city. Yes, we are crazy about these round, fried cheesy, doughy balls.

And how are they made? Well, remember how in my last post I told you that Colombians use corn flour, in this case cornstarch, for almost everything? Yeah, they use it to make buñuelos as well. They also use a special type of cheese called queso costeño which can only be found in Colombia. It’s a semi-solid, salty type of cheese that gives these cheese fritters that special flavor. Now, if you don’t live in Colombia, I’m pretty sure you’re already wondering where you can get this cheese. The answer is, you can’t. But in this recipe I have an alternative, which is the whole purpose of putting it up on the blog. I have tried all kinds of cheeses to make buñuelos and I finally got it down to two different types, queso fresco (fresh cheese), which is a semi-soft Mexican cheese and feta cheese, a crumbly, aged, Greek cheese that has a very strong flavor. The combination of these two cheeses gives Colombian buñuelos the unique flavor found in queso costeño.

Now that we have the cheese issue out of the way, we have to talk about the perfect frying temperature. When you ask a Colombian this question they will say “not too hot, not too cold”, which never helped me at all. I tried low, medium low, medium and even medium hot just in case but my buñuelos always exploded after putting them in the hot oil, leaving them deformed with these weird looking tails. I mean, they were delicious, but kind of scary. So after years and years (make that almost 15) of guessing the correct temperature, I decided to go “high tech” and use a deep fryer. I tried setting it at different degrees and found that the magic number is… (drumroll please) 325°F!!! Which according to Google, that’s 163°C for those living outside of the US. No more guessing and no more freaky looking buñuelos, 325 is the ideal number for my buñuelos. I suggest you try to fry them at different temperatures to see which temperature works best for you.

But if you don’t have a deep fryer you can still try to see if you can get that “not too hot, not too cold” temperature with a big pot on your stove starting at medium low. They say the trick is to put a small ball of dough in the hot oil and wait 30 seconds. If the ball rises before 30 seconds, the oil is too hot. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, the oil is too cold. Try it, it might work for you!


Printable Recipe

COLOMBIAN BUÑUELOSIngredientsApprox. 12-14 buñuelos

  • 1½ cups (150 g) grated queso fresco
  • ½ cup (50 g) grated feta cheese
  • 1 cup (120 g) cornstarch
  • ½ cup (60 g) tapioca starch (cassava, tapioca, mandioca starch)
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ⅛ tsp baking powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying  

1. Mix the first eight ingredients until you get a soft, smooth dough. If you find that it is too dry, add one tablespoon of warm milk at a time until you get the right consistency.2. Add the baking powder and knead the though until it is well mixed.3. Shape the buñuelos by making small balls, about 1 inch(2.5 cm) in diameter.4. Heat up the oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 325°F (163°C) and add a few buñuelos at a time, leaving enough room for them to float around.5. Fry for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 6. Drain with paper towels. Serve hot.

**Note: The ideal temperature for frying is between 350ºF (180ºC) – 375ºF (190ºC). However, the room temperature, altitude and weather can many times affect the outcome. For this reason you will have to raise or reduce the frying temperature from time to time for best results.

Like me on Facebook. 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Want to stay up to date on future recipes? Subscribe to this blog as well!

Thank you!




  1. Anonymous
    January 9, 2013 / 4:45 pm

    Hola, te sigo desde el foro de visajourney, y me parece genial este aporte. El mes pasado prepare buñuelos y fue súper dificil conseguir los ingredientes o el equivalente de los mismos aca en usa, como me hubiese gustado tener a mano la información que das en tu página. Los buñuelitos no me quedaron nada mal, solo utilice queso fresco porque no encontré más :P, no sabia lo de tapioca starch, pero ya se para la próxima utilizaré tu receta.Yo soy de cali, y de vez en cuando me gusta preparar sancocho y patacón pisao; estaré pendiente de tu página para nuevas recetas y la daré a conocer a mis amigos por esta zona para que se deleiten con los platos tipicos de nuestra tierra.

    • Sweet y Salado
      January 9, 2013 / 8:14 pm

      ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario! Y sí, la yucarina (tapioca starch), al igual que el azúcar, son esenciales para que los buñuelos queden como los de Colombia. =)

  2. Charlie Gomez
    April 29, 2013 / 10:36 pm

    Hola Diana, saludo cordial, has intentado hacer los buñuelos con quesito? Con mozzarella quedan espectaculares pero definitivamente el mejor buñuelo es con el queso costeño y ahora sí que lo están haciendo mejor x cuestiones higiénicas.

    • Sweet y Salado
      April 30, 2013 / 2:43 am

      Claro, el queso costeño es muchísimo mejor. Y sí, con el mozarella quedan deliciosos, pero no con el olor que les da el queso costeño, por eso le agrego el feta, para que les de ese olor añejo que llevan. =)

      September 1, 2014 / 2:48 pm

      Tienes mucha razón el queso costeño colombiano autentico le da un sabor exquisito , pero te tengo un truquito que te puede funcionar agrega a tu preparación por cada 150 gr de fécula de maíz una cucharada de queso parmesano.Puedes darle un vistazo a mi versión el blog me encanto el video , me encantaria ver tu version del pan de yuca que hasta ahora he tratado con mi horno que me queden perfectos pero me sigen saliendo algo chatos vi en un video de un chef colombiano que se debe al horno , los pan de yucas necesitan calor arriba y abajo y bastante cerca los primeros 5 minutos.

  3. trazam1986
    August 13, 2013 / 1:18 pm

    Good Morning, I tried your recipe over the weekend and I think I may have used too much cheese. I was happy they were perfectly round, nice crust, and did not explode – But they were very dense. The buñuelos from the local Columbian restaurant have soft, moist, spongy, cake like interior. Do you know how much queso fresco you use by weight to make up the 3/4 cup? The amount could change depending on how fine it is grated. I used about 9 oz to make up the 3/4 cup. Thanks for the recipe, I enjoy reading your blogs, and look forward to making these again with (hopefully0 a tip or two from you to make these a bit lighter. THANKS!

  4. Anonymous
    October 15, 2013 / 10:40 pm

    Good afternoon. Thank you for posting an easy way of making Buñuelos. I had a great time making it but like trazam1986 my Buñuelos turned out the same. Now I know what kind of cheese to get. But I do have a question on the measurement on the cheese. Is it 11/2 cups or 3/4 cup. Thank you.

    • Sweet y Salado
      October 15, 2013 / 10:47 pm

      Thank you so much for posting and for making me re-read what I wrote in the earlier post. I meant to say that 12 oz. should be enough because the whole 12 oz. gives you about 1.5 cups total once it's grated. For some reason I wrote 6 oz., which is incorrect unless you're making ½ the amount of buñuelos. I'm editing it right away. =)

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2013 / 10:53 pm

      Thank you for your fast response. I have one more question for you. What is the difference between tapioca starch and tapioca flour?

    • Sweet y Salado
      October 16, 2013 / 4:14 pm

      When it comes to baking there's no difference between the two and you can use either one. I think it really comes down to the company that sells it, one will label it as "starch" and another will use "flour" but they're both the same thing. So use whichever one you can find. =)

  5. Anonymous
    December 13, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    hello, can i make my bunuelos without tapioca starch

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 13, 2013 / 11:00 pm

      No, you can't. Well, you can but they're going to come out mushy and too dense on the inside. The tapioca flour or starch is what makes them crunchy on the outside and spongy on the inside.

  6. aura rocha
    January 1, 2014 / 7:23 pm

    Hola me alegra mucho haber encontrado esta pagina, anoche hice buñuelos con todos los ingredientes pero la masa no me quedo perfecta, estaba muy pegajosa y se me quedaba en los dedos entonces le agregue un poco mas de harina tapioca y quedo bien, despues lo eché en el aceite pero éste no quedo en la temperatura adecuada asi que los primeros buñuelos no quedaron bien, no se si tambien tuvo que ver la harina de más que agregué, no creció la masa en el aceite despues al resto le agregue mas baking powder y si me quedaron bien, pero no estoy muy segura de la temperatura del aceite porque además no tengo como medirlo. De todos modos es mi primera vez buñuelos y no quedaron nada mal. Gracias por tu pagina.

    • Sweet y Salado
      January 1, 2014 / 9:09 pm

      Hola Aura, muchas gracias por tu mensaje y no te sientas mal que hacer buñuelos es muchas veces una ciencia. A veces la masa queda muy húmeda dependiendo de qué tan húmedo esté el queso y el tamaño de los huevos, pero se soluciona haciendo lo que tú hiciste que es agregándole ás almidón o fécula de maíz. Y la temperatura es muy difícil de conseguir sin poderla medir, claro que hay personas que lo hacen sin necesitar un termómetro, pero yo no soy una de ellas y por eso necesito mi freidora. El caso es que los buñuelos tengan un buen sabor que es lo importante. =)

  7. Anonymous
    August 13, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    Hola Diana!Yo tengo dos preguntas yo encontre un queso llamado fresh ‘homestyle’ white cheese from colombia eso es lo que dice. Este es el queso que necesito? Tiene los mismo ingredientes que el queso fresco de mexico. Si tengo ese queso que compre necesito tambien feta cheese? Ya yo tengo el queso pero solo quiero asegurarme si tengo que jacer la mezcla con los dos quesos y si es el queso correcto. Es que mi novio es de Colombia y vivimos aqui en USA y yo solo quiero que los buñuelos me queden al mismo sabor de los de Colombia si es posible!!Me encanta tus recetas gracias!Siempre veo tus videos y me encantaria que en tus descripciones hables mas de los ingredientes de como se pueden conseguir en USA porque casi siempre son nombres diferentes tu sabes en ingles.Gracias de nuevo!

    • Sweet y Salado
      August 13, 2014 / 5:25 pm

      ¡Hola! Sí, el quesito colombiano es prácticamente el mismo queso fresco que hacen en México y cualquiera de los dos te sirve para obtener la consistencia del queso costeño. Sin embargo, es un poco simple y lo debes combinar con el queso feta para obtener más sabor. Algunas personas usan queso cotija, que es otro queso mexicano y que al igual que el queso fresco, se consigue muy fácil en EE.UU.. Lo malo es que a mí me parece que es demasiado seco y es por eso que no lo uso.Y sabes, he pensado mucho hablar un poco más de los ingredientes que uso para que las personas los encuentren más fácil, pero a la final no lo hago porque son muchas las personas de otros países o que viven en otros lugares que ven los videos y no me gustaría confundirlos. Por ejemplo, en Colombia, España, México y Argentina, de donde visitan tanto el blog y el canal, no sabrían de qué estoy hablando si menciono los ingredientes en inglés. Fuera de eso hasta los mismos nombres en español son diferentes, entonces ahí sí me toca tratar de ser lo más neutral posible. =

  8. Anonymous
    November 7, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Where can I get tapioca starch/flower

    • Sweet y Salado
      November 10, 2014 / 5:38 pm

      I find it at a Latin store in the town I live but you can also buy it from Amazon or I've also found it at Whole Foods but in all honesty, I don't think it's as good as the Latin brands.

  9. cinnabom
    December 24, 2014 / 11:09 am

    Diana, por primera vez despues de 8 anos puedo decir que los bunuelos me quedaron perfectos, con ese saborsito que es, suavecitos y redonditos. Lo unico que cambie fue en lugar de utilizar dos clases de queso utilice uno que se consigue aca en Holanda en el turco (Zachtekaas in Pekelwater). Ayer disfrutamos de unos ricos bunuelos con natilla, seguro los voy a repetir en estos dias de navidad. Unas felices fiestas!

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 24, 2014 / 5:51 pm

      ¡Qué alegría escuchar eso cinnabom! No sabes cómo le alegra escuchar esa noticia y que los hayan podido disfrutar para esta Navidad. ¡Felices fiestas para tí también! Un abrazo hasta Holanda. ♥

  10. Anonymous
    March 25, 2015 / 3:46 am

    Pregnant and craving these bad boys at 11:32 pm. So I try and make it but for some reason my dough is not binding at all. I added a tad bit more starch and it's still not working ��. I think the cheese was kind of wet in the packaging. What should I do?

    • Sweet y Salado
      March 26, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Hi there! Thank you so much for wanting to make the recipe! Fixing the dough should not be a problem at all. If it wasn't binding, it's because it was a bit dry, in that case all you have to do is add a little bit of milk to it until it's nice and smooth. Start by adding a tbsp at a time, that way it won't get too wet. Let me know if that works!

  11. Melissa Rivera
    March 27, 2015 / 1:31 am

    Well i think it was too wet. It was all together but wasn't doughy. It was kinda sticky and wet. why is this cheese so wet? Could that be the problem? I'm going to try and make pandebonos tomorrow and I'm praying the cheese behaves. Thank you for your help

    • Sweet y Salado
      March 27, 2015 / 3:07 pm

      Yes, the cheese can come very wet but you can pat dry it with a paper towel before grating it. The egg your using could also be a bit bigger and that may add more moisture to the dough. This reminds me of one time that my sister was helping me make buñuelos and went overboard with the milk. The dough looked like oatmeal but all we had to do was add a little bit more cornstarch and tapioca starch to make it firmer.

  12. Anonymous
    November 26, 2015 / 4:30 am

    Hola, saludos desde Boston. Soy de puerto rico y mi esposo es colombiano, por lo cual le enseno a nuestro hijo a comer distintas comidas colombianas. Ha ambos les encanta los bunuelos y decidi intentar hacerlos siguiendo tu receta. Estube con miedo de q me salieran mal, pero me salieron muy ricos. Se crecieron bonitos, no reventaron y tenian muy buen sabor. Manana los hare nuevamente ya q mi esposo y hijo no los quieren comprados de afuera si no q hechos por mi porque me quedaron mejor q los q compramos. Muchisimas gracias

  13. Anonymous
    December 10, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    What type of butter did you use (tub or stick)? What brand feta did you use?

    December 29, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Hola dianamy name ratu from indonesia. I married colombian man and we have 2 sons now. Colombian food as far as i try to cook for him is not far from sudado, sanchoco or sopas. Because we live in Indonesia so some ingredients are not available.but i try my best to bake bread every other day, patacones for his morning coffee etc.he swore i cant make a bunuelos…kind of sad actually ja ja ja. So i quest to learn how to make bunuelos. I did make the queso fresco myself and thank god now my country start to produce cassava flour or arina yuca??Hope he will give his approval of my bunuelos. Since we plan to relocate to colombia i determine to learn even more and i find your channel and blog help me a lot.muchas gracias

  15. Adriana Restrepo Cardona
    September 18, 2016 / 12:05 am

    Hola saludos desde New Zealand mira encontré todos los ingredientes pero tengo problemas con el queso fresco me podrías decir que queso podría reemplazar el costeño por que el feta si lo conseguí pero el otro no me podrías ayudar porfa

    • Sweet y Salado
      September 19, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      Hola Adriana, puedes usar cualquier queso que no sea muy húmedo y que no se derrita muy fácil con el calor. Yo tengo que usar el fresco mexicano, que se parece mucho al quesito campesino colombiano, para darle textura a los buñuelos. El queso feta lo uso más que todo para darles sabor ya que el fresco es un poco simple.

  16. Jennie C
    December 9, 2016 / 3:01 am

    We've made you recipe previously and the Buñuelos came out amazing!! My Colombian in-laws told me I was an honorary Colombian. They felt like they were "home." Thank you very much. We are planning to make 30-50 Buñuelos for Christmas Eve. Is it possible to make them in advance and freeze them raw? We have a large deep fryer to fry them so they're freshly fried on Christmas Eve.

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 9, 2016 / 5:27 pm

      That's wonderful Jennie!!! I'm so glad to hear they loved the buñuelos. And yes, you can freeze the formed buñuelos, freeze them and then fry them directly in the oil. You need to make sure to cover them well with plastic wrap so they don't dry in the freezer. What I do is place them on a baking sheet, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and put the baking sheet in the freezer.

  17. Kimberly Solari
    December 18, 2016 / 12:29 am

    Hi! If I have extra left over how do you store them for the next day? Can I put them in zip lock bags and put it in the fridge? Or should I leave them out ? HELP

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 18, 2016 / 12:58 am

      Hi Kimberly, I always use all of my dough because it tends to dry really quickly but you can try storing it in the fridge. As with most doughts, you will need to make sure it's well covered, either in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Hopefully, that will keep it from drying.

  18. Kimberly Solari
    December 18, 2016 / 1:48 am

    Perfect! Thanks for responding so quickly. Crossing my fingers it works and I could just warm it up in the oven tomorrow with my family 🙂

  19. Daniel Barreto
    February 15, 2017 / 1:42 am

    Today on Valentines day I made them for my gf who is half Colombian and had been craving buñuelos for a while. The buñuelos turned out perfectly and tasted sooooooo good!!! Thanks for sharing.Some notes: I fried them at 160 degrees and only took them 10 min to get to brown golden color(half the time in the recipe). I used exact same amounts in the recipe and it yield enough for 8 buñuelos (of course this will depend on buñuelos size)

  20. Ratu Wulandari
    July 13, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Is it a glutenfree food?

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 14, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Since they're not made with flour, they are 100% gluten free.

    • Unknown
      December 17, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      *wheat flour

  21. mr Ed
    July 16, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Hello, I'm part Colombian and last week we went to Cali to see my Grandma and family. I live in Arizona. I like buñuelos but my wife really loves them. Thank you so much for this recipe. They came out really good. I had trouble with the oil temperature but other than that they came out really good. There great for breakfast with chocolate abuelita.

    November 26, 2019 / 3:02 am

    Do you really mean deep fry for 20 to 25 minutes or is that a misprint?

    • sweetysalado
      January 22, 2020 / 5:03 pm

      That is correct. It takes a while for the buñuelos to get golden brown so just give them time.

  23. Emma
    December 8, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    Hello! I made buñuelos tonight, and while they tasted amazing and the texture was good, they ended up getting all deformed while they were frying. Do you have any ideas as to why they didn’t stay little balls? Thanks!

    • sweetysalado
      January 23, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Hi Emma, the most common reason is because the temperature of the oil was probably too high. This causes the outside of the buñuelos cook faster than the inside and the raw dough ends up bursting out for air giving you deformed buñuelos.

  24. Shani
    May 1, 2020 / 9:33 am

    Hi! I was lucky enough to enjoy Bunuelos in Colombia and since me and my boyfriend crave them, after a bad attempt of making them I stumbled across your recipe and it looks amazing! Unfortunately we don’t have here queso fresco which kind of cheese can I substitute it to?
    Thank you

    • sweetysalado
      May 1, 2020 / 1:16 pm

      Hi Shani, welcome to the blog! It depends on where you live but try to find a cheese similar to the Colombian queso costeño or que Colombia white plain cheese. If you can find something similar to that it should work. Mexican cotija cheese also works well.

  25. Jan2020
    June 24, 2020 / 5:58 pm

    you don’t include milk in the recipe? should i add 1 tablespoon at a time if i believe the dough is to dry and crumbly?

    • sweetysalado
      July 22, 2020 / 11:00 am

      I do not because if you measure everything correctly 99% of the time the eggs will add enough moisture to the dough. If for some reason it is still dry, you can add a little bit of milk until it’s nice and soft.