Almojábanas (Colombian Cheese Bread)


Another type of bread that is very popular in Colombia, especially in the region of Cundinamarca and Boyacá, are almojábanas, which is another kind of cheese bread, very similar to pandebonos and pandequesos. I shared the recipe to make pandebonos a while back which are mainly made with tapioca starch and costeño cheese. Almojábanas have a very similar texture but are mainly made with cuajada (another type of white cheese) and cornmeal (to make arepas). Every now and then I’ve seen a recipe where they also make them with tapioca starch, cornstarch and costeño cheese, but if you really think about it, with those ingredients you’re practically making pandebonos and not exactly almojábanas… just sayin’.

Versión en español

And of course, making these almojábabas here in the US is a lot easier for me if I use queso fresco, a white Mexican cheese that I pretty much use on a daily basis. If you have the luxury of being able to find cuajada where you live, or the time to make it, all you have to do is let it dry so that it’s easier to grate. But, in all honesty, they come out just as delicious with the queso fresco.

Many, many people wrote me requesting this recipe ever since I started the blog and I am finally able to share it with all of you. You’ll see that they are much easier to make than you thought and that there is no secret for them to come out with that gorgeous golden brown  color and that beautiful spongy texture.

¡Buen provecho!





Almojábanas (Colombian Cheese Bread)

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Almojábanas (Colombian Cheese Bread)
Category: Appetizers, Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: Colombian
Serves: 10-12 almojábanas


  • 1 cup (150 g) pre-cooked cornmeal (For making arepas)
  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt, or to taste, depending on how salty is your cheese
  • 4 cups (400 g) cuajada, queso fresco, or Colombian white cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten and at room temperature
  • Milk, as needed, about 5-6 tbsp


  1. Pre-heat oven at 450ºF (232ºC).
  2. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Then add the grated cheese and mix well. Now, add the beaten egg and start kneading with your hands. Finally, add a tbsp of milk at a time until you get a smooth dough.
  4. Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions, shape the almojábanas into small discs and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes and serve warm.





  1. Arianne
    July 22, 2016 / 11:13 am

    Hi, I love your blog Ana YouTube Channel! It is amazing to be able to make food that I miss so much when I leave Colombia! Just a quick question, I tried making these but they were browning too quickly on the center bottom…what could it be?

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 23, 2016 / 1:26 am

      Hi there! It could be because your baking sheet was too thin and that usually lets the heat go through. If you don't have a thicker baking sheet, you can use two baking sheets, one under the other, to protect the almojábanas from burning. Also, if you're using dark baking sheets, they tend to absorb the heat longer, darkening the underside of most things you bake. Another thing you can try is position the baking sheet towards the top halfway through the baking process, just in case your oven is not distributing the heat evenly.

  2. Anonymous
    November 12, 2017 / 12:05 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am Colombian and I live two hours away from a Colombian bakery, it's a treat when we go to eat there. Now I can make them at anytime. My whole family truly thanks you for sharing the recipe with all.

  3. Anonymous
    November 16, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Hi. Is it possible to substitute mozzarella cheese for the queso fresco as you did in the pandebonos V.2 recipe?

    • Sweet y Salado
      November 17, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Hi, I have never made them with mozzarella cheese but you could try. I imagine the texture would be a bit different but not horrible.

    • Nancy Galloway
      May 23, 2020 / 9:52 am

      I live in Iowa, USA, I am Colombian and enjoy learning to cook Colombian Food. My two boys enjoy me doing that cooking. I have made almojabanas two times already, both times my bread comes out looking a bit flat, but ones it cools down the appearance is more like a thick arepa. The taste is certainly missing fluffiness. What can I do to improve taste and appearance? Humbly, a faithful follower/fun,
      Nancy Galloway, Des Moines.

      • sweetysalado
        July 10, 2020 / 2:30 pm

        Hi Nancy, the key for making this version of almojábanas y making sure the dough is nice and soft. If it’s dry, like the texture of arepa dough, they will come out like arepas. So make sure it’s softer and smoother and that way they won’t dry up while baking in the oven, giving you very soft and cheese almojábanas.

  4. Becky
    February 23, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    This is the first time I’ve left a comment on recipes. I lived in Colombia for a few years and miss the people and food. Tried this and it was very good. Thank you so much for sharing. I never thought it was so easy or would have been making them all along. The video was great!

    • sweetysalado
      February 24, 2019 / 8:08 pm

      Thank you so much, Becky! I’m so glad you decided to make them. 🙂

  5. Danielle
    June 17, 2019 / 6:20 pm

    I tried maybe 6 or 7 times to make these and although the flavor was there, they weren’t as light and fluffy as I hoped. This time I used 2 eggs instead of one, and a pinch more of baking powder and they were perfect!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    • sweetysalado
      June 18, 2019 / 11:21 am

      Hi Danielle, the pre-cooked cornmeal tends to absorb a lot of moisture really quickly. So if your dough is a bit dry, it’ll dry up even more in the oven, giving you hard and many times flat almojábanas. What I usually do is add more milk until the dough is nice and smooth. If it cracks it means it needs more moisture. Which is what the second egg that you used added to the dough. Glad you enjoyed them! ?

  6. Elsie Garcia
    January 1, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Hi there. Near my job there is a columbian cafe that sells Almojabanas which I have become addicted to these pillows of goodness. So I attempted to make these today with corn flour instead of corn meal and substituted the white sugar with coconut sugar. I used 1 egg with 1/2 of corn flour since I only wanted to make about 5-6 almojabanas but had to use a whole egg. They came out dark after 15 minutes in the oven and they did not come out fluffy. I do have an electric oven so that may have contributed to them coming out dark but they definitely did not come out to what I am use to. They were sweet but not airy or cheesy. I used queso fresco instead of columbian white cheese since I could not find it anywhere. Do you have any suggestions?

    • sweetysalado
      January 23, 2020 / 6:04 pm

      Hi Elsie, yes, you need to use precooked cornmeal to make this version of almojábanas. That’s what gives you the fluffy texture. I also use Mexican queso fresco, so that’s fine, however, I’m sure the bakery near your job uses “cuajada” made by them to make them. That’s a type of cheese that is softer than queso fresco, with an custardy texture.

  7. Kylo
    January 11, 2020 / 8:26 pm

    Dear Sweet & Salado Author
    EXCELLENT JOB! I have been
    following your website and YouTube for over a few year Sams throughout several Asian Countries.

    It’s wonderful you do your recipes in both English and spanish, because many ingredientes can’t be found in Spanish in many countries around the world- but certainly in English.

    Keep up the great job!

  8. Yolanda M Triana
    January 21, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    Thanks a lot for this recipe, I love almojabanas Cundinamarca style.
    I had the same result as Danielle, dry and a bit heavy almojanas. I will try again using your recommendations.

  9. Nidi
    May 27, 2020 / 3:56 pm

    Hi! First time making almojabanas and they turned out very good. Thanks for the recipe. I made half recipe with one egg, 3 tbsp of milk and just a tiny bit more of half tsp of baking powder; baked them for 15 minutes. Great texture. Wish I can share a pic.

  10. Lila
    June 5, 2020 / 7:05 am

    Second time making this recipe. Very good almojabanas. Is nice to feel home when you are away from home. Thanks for the recipe

  11. Rene
    June 20, 2020 / 7:25 am

    Hello, I just made these. Tastes great. However, mine taste and have the consistency of buñuelos? What am I doing wrong? —Rene, NC

    • sweetysalado
      July 21, 2020 / 1:39 pm

      You’re not doing anything, this version of almojábanas tends to have that texture especially when made with queso fresco, because remember, in Colombia they use cuajada, which is softer and smoother. One thing to keep in mind is using plenty of cheese and add more milk to make the texture smoother. Don’t leave the dough too dry because you end up making arepas.

  12. Malcolm
    July 5, 2020 / 2:14 pm

    I made these today for my Colombian friend who misses them.
    I followed the recipe and the dough seemed perfect. I only had about 250 grams of cheddar cheese that was the only difference.
    They were really tasty, but not light and airy, in fact they were quite dense.
    Certainly not a failure by any means.
    They just did not rise to the fluffy pillow of goodness I expected.
    I used the PAN brand per cooked cornmeal same as for Arepas.

    • sweetysalado
      July 22, 2020 / 12:20 pm

      So the first thing would be not to use any other type of cheese because that will give you a completely different texture, usually much drier than if you use the queso fresco or cuajada, which would be ideal for this recipe. Another tip is to make sure you measure everything correctly and that your dough is not too dry because if it is, it will keep drying out in the oven and at the end you end up with very dry arepas instead of fluffy almojábanas.

  13. Ray
    July 10, 2020 / 2:40 pm

    Hi I want to try your recipe, sounds delicious, however never heard of those types of cheese and definitely can’t find them where I live, would you say it’s like close to a feta cheese or cheddar or mozzarella, what would be best option? Thank you

    • sweetysalado
      July 16, 2020 / 1:41 pm

      The cheese is very similar to the Colombian queso campesino. It has to be soft and not too salty so that you can end up with a soft and smooth dough. Feta tends to be too dry, as well as mozzarella. However, I just read a comment someone left me in the Spanish YouTube video for this recipe where they said they used mozzarella and turned out fine. It might just work.