Pandebonos, Colombian cheese bread (gluten free)

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonos

I already blogged about the Paraguayan version of cheese bread. But today I want to introduce you to Colombian cheese bread: pandebonos! Pandebonos are, as many Latin American recipes, gluten free as they are prepared with tapioca starch. Pandebonos take very little time to prepare and are easy to make with regular ingredients.

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonosI hate to admit that it took me so long to finally make and then publish this recipe. That’s because pandebonos are my husband’s favorite dish from Colombia. And since he is Colombian, you may get why I am upset I didn’t try this recipe much earlier. He had tried, many times and had failed. I don’t blame it on him, for some reason Colombian recipes often don’t seem to work, at least I also had to experiment a lot before I was happy with achiras, another cheese snack from Colombia. We don’t really know what’s the reason for this, could it be that a lot of his favorite recipes are from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia and this mega city is at very high altitude (2,500 meters)? Is it because Colombians annoyingly never write down recipes, it’s all by eye measurement or feeling?

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonosAt first I seemed to have beginner’s luck with this recipe, the first batch was perfect. But then, oh dear, they melted away, they were all sad and flat, it was downright depressing. At least my husband didn’t mind and happily munched away the wrong batches. He also told me he was relieved that I also had so many failures before I finally got the hang of it. And the secret is: less milk. Yes, it is as simple as that. The dough will still look a bit crumbly, but you should be able to form little golf balls with it. And since it took me forever to figure this out, below you will see a picture of the right consistency. Please, please be sure to only add milk to the point you get that consistency. Otherwise your little pandebonos will deflate and be flat.

Somehow that reminds me of the way my grandma cooked, she never had a scale, she didn’t really measure anything, she just would know by the way something looked, smelled, or tasted if it was right or still needed something. Extremely frustrating. But be it as it may, I finally found a really great recipe I adapted to my needs. According to my husband it does taste like taken straight out of a Colombian bakery, so I dared to publish it on my blog.

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonosCredit: Sweet y salado (also in Spanish)

Pandebonos, Colombian cheese buns

Serves: About 15 pandebonos
Prep Time: 15min Cooking Time: Ca. 18-20min Total Time: 35min

Colombian pandebonos are small cheese buns, gluten free and prepared with tapioca starch. This is a snack bread typically eaten for breakfast or in between.


  • 30 grams of butter
  • 240 grams of tapioca starch/cassava starch/manioc starch
  • 20 grams of cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 200 grams of grated mozzarella
  • 50 grams feta cheese
  • 1 egg, size L
  • 50 - 100 grams of milk



You can see in this video how I make them. Preheat oven to 200 degreese Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Melt the butter and set aside. Then mix all remaining ingredients except for the milk until combined. Add about 50 grams of milk. You need a crumbly texture as you can see on the picture above or check the reel, but it has to be moist enough. You should not add too much milk as your pandebonos will deflate, but too little is also bad, you should be able to form balls from your dough. I use on average around 75 grams of milk.


Roll pandebonos the size of golfballs, you should get around 12-15. Place about 12 or less on your baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Once your pandebonos are golden, take out and serve immediately.

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonosIf you wonder what to do with tapioca starch, check out all below recipes with tapioca starch:

From left to right:

Colombian achiras (cheese snack)

German black forest cake

Colombian buñuelos (deep-fried cheese snack)

Paraguayan chipas (cheese bread baked in muffin tin)

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  • Reply
    Monday April 20th, 2020 at 09:38 AM

    Hallo Jenny,

    Danke für die Rezept, wie viel Milch sollte man rechnen? 50 ML ? 100? So in etwas.
    Danke schön

    • Reply
      Monday April 20th, 2020 at 09:40 AM

      Liebe Rosalle, ich habe das Rezept entsprechend deiner Anfrage nun aktualisiert und die Milch abgemessen. Danke für den Hinweis. Grüße, Jenny

      • Reply
        Tuesday May 18th, 2021 at 08:59 PM

        Ich komme auch aus Kolumbien und habe mich so gefreut als ich eine Rezept gefunden habe. Habe leider keinen Tapioca gefunden aber dafür Maisstärke genommen und anstatt 240 nur 120 benutzt und hat sehr gut funktioniert.

        • Reply
          Tuesday May 18th, 2021 at 09:02 PM

          Liebe Daniela, das ist ja schön, dass es trotzdem geklappt hat! Ich habe schon oft Tapiokastärke online bestellt oder im Asia-Laden gefunden, ich nehme an du lebst in Deutschland?
          Ich habe viele kolumbianische Rezepte auf dem Blog, du findest alle lateinamerikanischen Rezepte hier: frijoles, arepas, roscones, etc.
          Saludos, Jenny

  • Reply
    Monday July 13th, 2020 at 06:34 AM

    Hi can i substitute mozarella with another kind of cheese? Like cheddar

    • Reply
      Monday July 13th, 2020 at 06:40 AM

      I believe so, if you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Thursday July 23rd, 2020 at 06:59 PM

    Hello, did you use actual corn flour (essentially a finer corn meal), or did you use corn starch? It seems that some people use corn flour to mean corn starch, but there is also a distinct product called corn flour.

    Once I know the answer I will try this, as we recently tried a recipe online that simply did not work – much like what you experienced it seems. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Thursday July 23rd, 2020 at 07:17 PM

      Hi Will,

      Thank you for pointing this out, I updated the recipe, it is cornmeal. My translation was inaccurate.

      However, kindly note that it is only a very small percentage of cornmeal, the most important ingredient is the tapioca starch. This one is definitely the starch you are looking for, also known as cassava or manioc starch. Otherwise the recipe doesn’t work.

      Good luck and I am happy to hear whether yours turn out, fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    Monday March 8th, 2021 at 12:20 PM

    Gleich beim ersten mal geklappt. DANKE JENNY!

    • Reply
      Monday March 8th, 2021 at 01:09 PM

      Juchhei, das freut mich sehr!

  • Reply
    Tuesday April 18th, 2023 at 07:48 PM

    Hallo Jenny, wir sind so dankbar für dieses tolle Rezept! Mein Mann ist auch Kolumbianer und nachdem wir ein paar Mal Pandebonos mit einer völlig überteuerten Fertigmischung aus dem Latino-Supermarkt gemacht haben, dachte ich mir, dass man sie doch auch from scratch machen müssen könnte! Dieses Rezept gelingt jedes Mal. Die Maniokstärke bringen wir übrigens immer aus dem Urlaub in Portugal mit, dort gibt es sie günstig in jedem Supermarkt..

    • Reply
      Wednesday April 19th, 2023 at 09:43 AM

      Juchhei, danke für deine liebe Rückmeldung, genau aus dem Grund gibt es den Blog. Saludos!

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