Bunuelos Colombianos (Colombian Cheese Fritters) Recipe

Bunuelos Colombian cheese fritters

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
135 Calories
4g Fat
20g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 185mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 77mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bunuelos are part of local cuisine all over Latin America. These delicious sweet-savory doughnuts came to Latin America from Spain and have evolved into various forms in different regions.

These Colombian-style bunuelos are made with cottage cheese or farmers cheese, which are substitutes for a traditional Colombian soft fresh white cheese called queso costena and tapioca starch. 

Colombian bunuelos are round and less sweet than some of the other varieties, such as Mexican bunuelos. They are a popular Christmas treat in Colombia where they are typically served with a pudding called natilla. Learn more about the ingredients you need to stock your pantry with to cook Colombian recipes with this helpful guide.

Bunuelos are great party food, whether for a Christmas celebration with friends or family or ringing in the new year. Because they are mostly savory, but a little bit sweet because of the brown sugar and a dusting of powdered sugar, finding a festive drink to serve that will harmonize with the fritters is a head-scratcher.

If you tend in the sweet direction, serve up hot chocolate, coffee spiked with Irish cream whiskey or Irish cream on the rocks. Hot toddies with honey are a bit less sweet and might be more to your taste. Or serve spicy orange tea spiked with Grand Marnier for a more neutral taste. It's all good on a cold winter's night.


  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese

  • 1/2 cup white salty cheese (such as feta or farmers cheese)

  • 3/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup yuca

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 6 cups vegetable oil

  • 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for bunuelos cheese fritters
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Crumble or grate the two cheeses together, making sure that they are grated very finely. 

    Cheese curds
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Mix the cheese, cornstarch, yuca or tapioca starch, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, and butter in a large bowl until well-blended. 

    Mix the cheese
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth. It will be soft but should not be sticky and firm enough to shape into balls. Add more cornstarch if the dough seems too wet. If the dough seems too dry or crumbly, add a small amount of milk (1 to 2 teaspoons at a time) until it is smooth.

    Knead the dough
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough into the palms of your hands and shape the dough into a very smooth ball.

    Roll into balls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Heat several inches of oil in a heavy pot to 325 F.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Add the bunuelos, a few at a time, and cook. They will sink to the bottom, then rise and expand.

    Add the bunuelos
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or longer if needed, turning them occasionally until they are golden brown.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired

    Drain on a plate
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Serve warm
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga