Pandebonos (Colombian Cheese Bread)

Click aquí para versión en español

Pandebonos, another staple of Colombian cuisine, and just like buñuelos, you will find them being sold and made everywhere in Colombia which is probably the reason why most of the recipe requests I get are for this doughy piece of heaven. There are many different versions of pandebono all over Latin America and they all have different names depending on where you are like pan de queso, chipá (Argentina) and the most famous of all, the Brazilian pão de queijo. Now, why are they called pandebonos in Colombia? Legend has it that these were first made by an Italian man living in el Valle del Cauca who made these delicious treats and used to sell them out on the street while yelling “¡pan de buono!” (good bread!). Now, I’m not sure if there is any truth behind that story but it does have its romantic touch, so I’m sticking to it.

And just like there are different names for cheese bread in Latin America, there are also many different ways and recipes to make them, some will have more ingredients than others, some will use different ingredients, less ingredients, what have you, but what they all have in common is the use of cassava flour and cheese.

The ingredients to make Colombian pandebonos are very similar to the ones used to make Colombian buñuelos because you need cassava flour, as well as queso costeño. And, just like I said in the buñuelos recipe, since this type of cheese is only found in Colombia, we’re substituting it with queso fresco and feta cheese. You will find that the combination of these two cheeses is perfect for making these.

You will see that these pandebonos will transport you back to Colombia as soon as you take them out of the oven and serve them on the table. And if you have never had a pandebono, you will see how wonderful they are.

¡Buen Provecho!

Printable Recipe

PANDEBONOS (COLOMBIAN CHEESE BREAD)
Click aquí para versión en español

Ingredients

10-12 pandebonos

2    cups (240 g) cassava flour or cassava starch (also known as tapioca, mandioca or yucca flour)

2    tbsp pre-cooked corn meal (to make arepas) or all purpose flour

1    tsp baking powder
2    tbsp sugar
1    tsp salt
2    cups (200 g) queso fresco, grated
½  cup (50 g) feta cheese, grated
3    tbsp butter (softened)
1    large egg
Milk as needed

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven at 425ºF (220ºC).

2. In a food processor add cassava flour, pre-cooked cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to mix all ingredients well.

3. Now add the queso fresco, feta cheese, butter, egg and mix a few seconds to incorporate them with the dry mix. Now add the milk slowly, little by little until you get a soft dough.

4. Form small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You can also roll out the ball to make a string about ½ inch (1 cm) thick and pinch the ends together to end up with a bagel looking pandebono.

5. Bake pandebonos for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

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58 Comments

  1. Brooke Inayat
    July 9, 2013 / 1:03 pm

    I love your website and I am going to try your arepa recipe this weekend. My husband is Colombian but I am not so I am so excited to find your website. I have made empanadas before and they turned out good but it so hard to find good Colombian recipes on the internet. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes and videos. I can't wait to try them all!!!!

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 9, 2013 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you, Brooke! I know what you mean, it's really difficult to find well written Colombian recipes that make sense on the internet which is the reason I decided to start my own site, with videos included, to make it easier for people to follow along. If you want to check out more Colombian recipes I highly recommend mycolombianrecipes.com and mycolombiancocina.com, those two have a lot of great content as well. And thanks again for your support! =)

  2. Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 / 7:50 pm

    AHHH I can't wait to make these for my Colombian husband! Thank you so much for making such an awesome blog!

    • Sweet y Salado
      October 29, 2013 / 8:12 pm

      My pleasure Jannese! Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope the pandebonos turn out great. Just checked out your blog as well and it is fantastic, so many recipes! That pumpkin pizza dough looks amaaaazing! =)

  3. Anonymous
    December 4, 2013 / 1:01 am

    I wanted to make pandebono but I couldn't find cassava flour or starch, instead I used potato starch, which is pretty common here in the US, and the pandebonos turned out really good!!!Thank you so much for the recipes!!!

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 4, 2013 / 6:42 pm

      What a great tip! I never thought of using potato starch, but it does make sense. Thank you!

  4. Abby Robayo
    March 18, 2014 / 12:08 am

    My mix is still liquidity what should i add more of???….or should i do it over again? ?

    • Sweet y Salado
      March 18, 2014 / 4:43 pm

      Hi Abby, you can add more of the cassava starch little by little until it's firmer. Next time mix all of the dry ingredients first and then add the milk about 1 tbsp at a time until you get a soft but firm consistency. Some times the cheese we use has more water than others or we use larger eggs and that's why we don't need to use a lot of milk. That's happened to me a few times when making buñuelos, after I mix everything I find that I don't need to add milk at all and some times I end up using almost a ¼ cup of milk, it all depends on the ingredients and their water content.

  5. aura rocha
    May 15, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    Hi , question: the dough can be save in the fridge overnight and prepared in the oven the next day?

    • Sweet y Salado
      May 15, 2014 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Aura, I've never made the dough the night or day before because it's so easy to put together right before baking but I don't see why you couldn't do it if you wrap it really well, just like pie dough. It may be a bit dry though but you could probably make it soft again by adding a little bit of milk.

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2017 / 2:17 pm

      Hi, Diana,I have made up a batch the night before. I split it, wrap the balls in plastic and put one half in the freezer in a freezer bag or other resealable container, and the other overnight in the fridge to bake the next morning. The frozen pandebono dough will thaw overnight in the fridge. I bake them in our toaster oven at work and my staff loves 'em.

    • Sweet y Salado
      September 15, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      Oh my gosh, what a great idea! I do that with regular bread all the time but for some reason thought that the pandebono dough would dry up in the fridge, even if wrapped in plastic wrap. Great tip, thanks! =)

    • Anonymous
      September 16, 2017 / 2:11 am

      Diana,I just want to be clear. I didn't freeze or refrigerate the individual pandebonos. I split the large dough ball into two spheres and then did the wrapping/freezing. I make the individual pandebonos right before baking. Después de todo, ¡esto es cuestión de pandebono!

  6. aura rocha
    May 18, 2014 / 12:55 am

    I made them tonight for my 1st son's birthday party and it was amazing, really the real pandebono, one of my favorite Colombian food and so easy to prepare, I really love them, thanks to sweetysalado.

    • Sweet y Salado
      May 19, 2014 / 3:03 pm

      Hi Aura! What a joy to open the blog this morning to find your beautiful message, you have totally made my day. I'm so glad you enjoyed these pandebonos and I hope your son had a lovely 1st birthday. How exciting! ♥

  7. Karen Ochoa
    June 1, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    What is your favorite feta cheese brand to use for pandebonos? The one I bought was too salty.

    • Sweet y Salado
      June 1, 2014 / 8:46 pm

      Hi Karen, yes, there are many salty brands of cheese and it takes trial and error to find a good one. For the queso fresco I always like to use Cacique Ranchero which is their queso fresco and it's delicious. And for the feta cheese I like to use the crumbled feta by Treasure Cave. I usually buy both of them at Walmart but most grocery stores in the US should have them.

  8. Anonymous
    July 4, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    The bottom looks burned tho ��

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 7, 2014 / 6:33 pm

      No, not at all. They can easily burn but you have to keep your eye on them.

  9. Anonymous
    February 7, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    heat 1 gallon milk to 185 degrees, take off heat, add 3/4 cup vinegar, give a couple swirls with a big spoon, let rest 1 hour, pour off whey through a colander, let cheese slide into colander, let drain about an hour…you should have about 1 1/4 lbs unsalted queso blanco aka farmers cheese.

  10. Eva Kopernacki
    March 10, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    I made these yesterday and they came out great. My husband is Colombian and he said they tasted like they came straight from a Colombian bakery! I agree. The only problem I had, if it's a problem at all, is that they spread out a bit too much. I shaped them into balls but they looked kind of flattened. Any way to prevent this?

    • Sweet y Salado
      March 10, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      Hi Eva! Thank you so much for making these! I'm so happy to hear that your Colombian husband enjoyed them. So, if your dough is a bit too runny or too wet, your pandebonos will come out a bit flat, if the dough is too dry they will come out a bit hard. It's a bit tricky to get the right consistency but the more you practice, the more perfect they'll come out. =)

    • Eva Kopernacki
      March 12, 2015 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks for the reply Diana! I thought I needed to chill the dough before baking but I'll try making them drier with the next batch at your advice. I love your blog by the way! The recipes are great and the photos beautiful.

  11. Ivan Manzano
    April 18, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    Hi my name is ivan im from palmira colombia and I love your blog and your recipes are great, my wife loves pandebonos she now speaks spanish and she sounds just like a born and raised colombian jaja, so thank you for your time and effort to make sure that these colombian recipes are out there, que Dios te bendiga

  12. Anonymous
    July 22, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    Lo intente creo que me pase de leche, me hubiera gustado saber la cantidad que uso usted. Termine h echando más harina de yuca y los puse en un muffin pan porque no era lo suficientemente thick la masa y salieron bien pero no sabría si llamarles pandebono 😉 salieron bien rellenos de queso 😉 usé baking soda y crean of tartar en lugar de baking powder y use garlic parsley salt (salud) me alegro que salio bien aún con leche 0% fat y lactose free 😀 tenía un poco de miedo. Gracias por la receta. Bendiciones. Cristo viene y es él camino y la vida, la única manera de escapar la ira venidera de Dios, si quieres ser salva conoce a Cristo mediante Su Palabra, la Santa Biblia ♡. Tu morada eterna depende de ello. Un día esto es lo único que importará. Dios te bendiga!

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 23, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      Hola, la cantidad de leche siempre varía dependiendo de qué tan grandes está el huevo y qué tan húmedo está el queso. Muchas veces no necesito agregarle leche para nada y otras veces le agrego hasta 3-4 cucharadas, pero se las voy agregando poco a poco hasta que obtengo la consistencia que necesito.

  13. Diana Z
    November 14, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Hi Diana. I tried this recipe, the pandebonos came out great. After baking they were a little dry in the outside do you have an idea why this could happen? One more question, what size is your food processor?

    • Sweet y Salado
      November 16, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Diana, it could be that you baked them a bit too long, so next time you can take them out of the oven as soon as they start turning golden brown on top. Another reason could be your tapioca flour or starch, and the reason I say that is because a few year's ago I tried a new brand I saw at the store and my pandebonos and buñuelos came out pretty tough on the outside, even though the inside had a very nice texture.I have an 8 cup food processor, it's chops pretty well but it's very, very loud, which is the reason I don't like it much. And by the way, you don't need a food processor to knead this dough, it does make it easier, but it's not necessary to use one. This is the one I have: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Black-Decker-8-Cup-Food-Processor/16913545

  14. Anonymous
    December 14, 2015 / 1:35 pm

    Hi- Is there a specific cassava flour brand you recommend? Thank You.

    • Sweet y Salado
      December 14, 2015 / 6:48 pm

      Hi there! Yes, I love either the Yucarina brand that you find in Colombia and some Latin stores or Goya.

  15. Cooking_Politics
    December 26, 2015 / 1:39 pm

    Hello. I made your recipe for Pandebonos (found all the ingredients at my local grocery store). I wanted to make them for my daughters Columbian Aupair. She and her girlfriend loved them. Thank you so much for making it possible to bring a small taste of home to these two wonderful girls!

  16. Anonymous
    February 3, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    What can you use instead of cassava flour or tapioca, I had a hard finding it

    • Sweet y Salado
      February 4, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Some people have told me that potato starch has worked for them, but I haven't personally used it.

  17. Anonymous
    February 6, 2016 / 2:07 am

    Can I used cornstarch or rice flour instead of cassava flour

    • Sweet y Salado
      February 6, 2016 / 5:51 am

      Cornstarch will not help them rise like cassava starch or flour. Not sure about rice flour because I have never used it. However, some people have told me that potato starch or flour worked for them really well but I haven't used it myself.

  18. Luz mejia
    February 24, 2016 / 12:37 am

    Hello….I must commend you on the wonderful amojabana recipe. I've made them twice in ten days. So content..the colombian bakery that we use to purchase from has been taking cut back on the cheese and they are dry. Thanks to you I can make at home when ever I want. Will you also have a video for colombian yuca bread anytime soon?

    • Sweet y Salado
      February 24, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      Hello Luz, thank you so much for making the recipe! I'm really happy to hear that you're enjoying making it at home. I do plan on posting the recipe for the pandeyuca recipe but don't know when I'll have time to make the video. But I'll try to do it this year, I promise.

  19. Anonymous
    July 21, 2016 / 10:54 am

    I've been looking for a recipe for empanadas de cambray con quayaba and I've read that the dough for empanadas de cambray and pandebono are the same. Is this true? Can I use the recipe to make the empanadas de cambray and stuff them with some guayaba before baking?

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 21, 2016 / 8:13 pm

      I have heard that you can use the pandebono dough to make empanadas de cambray but I personally haven't made them that way. I have also heard that you can use the almojábanas dough to make them, which I also haven't used to make them.

  20. Anonymous
    July 21, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Hello �� I need help; how many times do I pulse, and how many minutes do I process?

    • Sweet y Salado
      July 23, 2016 / 1:20 am

      It depends on your food processor. I only pulse a few times until it all blends in. You can also knead everything with your hands until you get a soft, smooth dough.

  21. Carolina Tovar
    October 9, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Hi, thanks for your recipe. I'd like to now how to keep the pan de bonos fresh once they are ready? Should I freeze them or keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge? Outside the fridge? I made a lot and I don't want they get hard. Thank you

    • Sweet y Salado
      October 10, 2016 / 12:47 am

      Hi Carolina, since these pandebonos are homemade, they will tend to harden once they get cold because of the cassava flour. You can try storing them in a resealable bag or airtight container to see if they last fresh longer. You can also heat them in the microwave to soften them again.

  22. Unknown
    August 5, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    Hola! I have used your recipes before and have had great success! This time not so much. The pandebono was hard, not burned just hard. The flavor was great! I followed the recipe, what could I have done differently?

    • Sweet y Salado
      August 7, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Hi there! It could have been for many reasons. One of the main reasons I have found is the kind of cassava starch that is used. Whenever I change the brand to other than Yucarina or Goya, I find that it is too harsh. Also, if the measurements are not right and end up using more cassava starch, you may end up with a tough pandebono. Same goes for using less cheese than required or even using cheese that is too dry. That's why I had to come up with a foolproof recipe using mozzarella cheese and you can find it here: https://www.sweetysalado.com/2017/03/pandebonos-version-2_5.html

  23. Anonymous
    September 30, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    Hola Diana !Me encanta tu pagina y las recetas muy bien explicadas…super.Vivo en Holanda y extraño muchisimo la comida Colombiana…..hasta q me atrevi a cocinar y bueno pues con la ayuda de tu pagina y un poco de improvisacion a veces con los ingredientes (debido a q aqui no se consiguen muchos de ellos) me he logrado muy sabrosos resultados….Frijoles, almohabanas, torta de calabaza, queso fresco y dos veces pandebonos….q ricura. Frustracion son los buñuelos y las empanadas eso no me sale bien nunca….no tengo la mano para estos.A propocito de buñuelos q es lo mas rico de este mundo….la ultima vez q estube en Colombia ya los hacen tambien rellenos con queso mozarella o rellenos con arequipe……Dios mio…..que ricuras….estube dos semanas y no hubo dia q no los comiera…..todos los dias las empleadas de la panaderia me los hacian fresquitos mientras me disfrutaba un rico cafecito colombiano.Un abrazo y exitos con tu pagina.Sergio

  24. Ladrona De Libros
    January 20, 2018 / 2:34 am

    Tus recetas son espectaculares, también estoy en el extranjero y gracias a ti extraño un poco menos. Quiero comentarte que lo que se conoce aquí en Argentina como Chipa, es más bien el Pandeyuca, chicloso y tostado por fuera. Quiero agradecerte por compartir y ayudarnos a los migrantes a dar a conocer un poco de nuestra cultura. Abrazos!

  25. Adriz
    January 25, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    ..los pandebonos Receta 2, la actualizada no abre… 🙁 que mal.. que pasara

    • Sweet y Salado
      January 25, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      Hola Adriz, acabo de abrir el enlace de la otra versión de pandebonoso en mi teléfono, tableta y computadora sin ningún problema. ¡Qué raro que no te abra!… =

  26. Johana gomez
    April 4, 2018 / 3:08 am

    Hola!!! Mil gracias por tus recetas hace muchisimo no me como un pandebono y vivo fuera de colombia. Cuando tu dices queso fresco qué otro tipo de queso puedo comprar? Mil gracias de verdad que encontrar tu canal due una bendición.

    • Sweet y Salado
      April 4, 2018 / 4:19 pm

      Hola Johana, el queso fresco es muy parecido al quesito blanco o campesino colombiano y funciona muy bien cuando se combina con el feta que es más fuerte y más seco. Si en el país donde estás el queso feta no es tan seco como el que se consigue acá en EE.UU., entonces puedes usar solo ese. De otra forma te recomiendo mucho hacer la segunda versión de pandebonos que tengo en el blog donde solo uso queso mozzarella, que es más fácil de encontrar en muchas partes. Este es el enlace: https://www.sweetysalado.com/2017/03/pandebonos-version-2.html

  27. Mr Stealer
    September 24, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    Excelente receta! Acabo de hacerla y a mis vecinos ecuatorianos les encantó y yo encantado de haberla hecho bien, solo quería probar que podía pero en términos económicos me sale mejor comprarlo en la panadería Colombiana que me queda cerca. Gracias y éxitos en todo.

  28. Unknown
    November 7, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Me quedaron flat! why???

    • Sweet y Salado
      November 8, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      It could be for many reasons, one of them is the amount of cheese vs tapioca flour. If you have more cheese or if it's not dry enough, you will have too much water in the dough and it will flatten during baking. So make sure the cheese you're using is not too watery and that you're using the right amount for each ingredient. Also, make sure the egg you're using is large and not jumbo because that will also add too moisture. The last tip would be to shape them really round so they can keep that shape longer as they bake.

  29. Andrea
    January 24, 2019 / 2:15 am

    Hola estoy feliz con tu blog, mil y mil gracias!!! Quiero preguntarte si el queso fresco de la receta puede ser reemplazado por el queso mozzarella? (vivo en Viena, no queso fresco por estos lados), si consigo el feta. Vi la version 2 del pandebono que es solo con mozzarella, pero me llama mucho la atención usar el feta en combinación con el mozzarella, crees que funcione? De antemano gracias por tu atencion.

    • sweetysalado
      Author
      January 29, 2019 / 4:56 pm

      Hola Andrea, el queso feta es más que todo para darle el olor y sabor añejo que suelen tener y si quieres lo puedes combinar con el queso mozzarella. Lo malo de usar solo el queso feta es que tienden a quedar demasiado secos, pero recalco que el queso feta que consigo en EE.UU. es seco y de pronto diferente al que puedas conseguir en Viena.

  30. Sean Lally
    September 22, 2019 / 6:37 am

    Do you use white or yellow corn meal for this recipe? Really enjoy your recipes!

    • sweetysalado
      Author
      September 27, 2019 / 10:43 am

      I usually use white and you can also use all purpose flour.

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