<data:blog.pageTitle/>

Spicy Cheese Pupusas or El Salvadoran Corn Cakes

by Spicie Foodie on June 11, 2012

pupusas, cheese, el salvadoran corn cakes, Spicie Foodie

Pupusas are stuffed round corn cakes, or patties, from El Salvador. They are made from masa harina dough, like corn tortillas, that is shaped into a disc and stuffed with a variety of ingredient. Pupusas can be stuffed with cheese, meat, beans or vegetables. If you’re familiar with Hispanic food think of Pupusas as a relative to Mexican gorditas or South American arepas. Additionally pupusas are served alongside a traditional fermented cabbage salad called curtido.

As you can see from the photos my pupusas aren’t quite authentic El Salvadoran pupusas. These are more of a gordita-pupusa Spicie Foodie fusion… Or something like that. For starters the dough I used was fine yellow corn flour not the white masa harina called for. I’ve run out of masa harina and when I do yellow corn flour makes a great substitute. The cheese, I’ve used Feta, my queso fresco substitute, instead of a melting white cheese. To give the pupusas that special Spicie Foodie touch I added red pepper flakes to the dough. Lastly instead of serving alongside curtido I choose refried beans and Mexican salsa.

If any Salvadoreños are reading this please no angry comments or emails telling me these aren’t traditional or authentic. I’m not claiming them to be so. But what I will tell you is that regardless of authenticity these pupusas are also very good. In the past I’ve made my pupusas in the traditional way but every once in a while it’s good to change up recipes.

pupusas, cheese, el salvadoran corn cakes, Spicie Foodie

(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe.)
Spicy Cheese Pupusas or El Salvadoran Corn Cakes
(yields 9-11 depending on size)
1 1/2 cup corn flour + 1 cup white flour OR
2.5 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa (masa harina)
red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1.5 tsp)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp sunflower or corn oil
1 cup or 250 ml lukewarm water
200 gm or 7 oz crumbled/grated feta or queso fresco or any melting white cheese

equipment:
comal or griddle

To serve:
beans, salsa, avocado or your favorite sides and toppings

Heat a comal or griddle. In a large bowl combine the flours or masa harina, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour oil and water. Stir until a wet dough is formed. The dough will not have elasticity like that of other breads.

pupusas, cheese, el salvadoran corn cakes, Spicie Foodie
1. Divide the dough into even sizes. 2. Make a flat disc between your palms. 3. Place crumbled/grated cheese in center of disc. 4. Gather all sides up to make a round pouch and form back into a ball. 5. Once shaped into a ball flatten between your palms into a disc.

Place the shaped pupusas onto the heated comal or griddle, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve along any of suggested items above.

*Tip: If you would like a little extra help in shaping the pupusas try using a tortilla press. Read over my post on gorditas to see how you can do it.*

pupusas, cheese, el salvadoran corn cakes, Spicie Foodie

Every time I make pupusas they take on a new look. It really depends on what we are craving or what I have in the refrigerator. This particular night our pupusa dinner consisted of spicy cheese filled pupusas, refried beans, homemade salsa and some avocado slices. Pupusas are so great because you can have fun and experiment with the fillings and side dishes. For example you can easily make this into a vegan meal by using beans or vegetables as the filling. I hope you give pupusas a try soon, Buen provecho.

in Cheese,Gluten Free,Mexican,Vegan/Vegetarian

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa June 11, 2012 at 7:06 AM

That is a speciality I adore! Your pupusas are wonderful.

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

2 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Thank you Rosa:)!

Reply

3 TastefullyJulie June 11, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I love how versatile these are. They look like something I’m going to have to try!

Reply

4 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Me too Julie. I think that’s what makes them so great and fun. I hope you do:)

Reply

5 Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie June 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Cheese stuffed pupusas!!! Now that’s my idea of a perfect breakfast! :)

Reply

6 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I’ve had leftovers for breakfast and they are good:) Thanks Leslie.

Reply

7 PolaM June 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Looks delicious! Have to try this recipe!

Reply

8 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Thank Pola!

Reply

9 The Mistress of Spices June 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I love pupusas! Many fond memories of enjoying them when I lived in Washington DC, where there’s a big Salvadoran community. I always loved them with the curtido, crema and some frijoles. Love the adaptations that you’ve made to make them doable for those of us who live outside of the States or Latin America!

Reply

10 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Lucky you that you got to experience that:) Thank you!

Reply

11 Cookingrookie June 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I love that “step-by-step side-by-side photo” with all the stages in one plate – so frugal and informative :-). And I love the other photos too of course, for more esthetic reasons :-). Great recipe!

Reply

12 Spicie Foodie June 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Thank Elana:)

Reply

13 Ella- Home Cooking Adventure June 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Wow, these looks delicious. I love yellow corn and these seem a good idea on how to use it. Thanks :)

Reply

14 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Thank you Ella!

Reply

15 Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

These look delicious Nancy, I love pupusas but haven’t had one in years. Cheese filling is my favorite!

Reply

16 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Then it’s time to make them Laura:) Thanks!

Reply

17 Suzie June 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Yum! My husband loves loves pupusas, but have been a little to scared to try… definitely giving this recipe a go soon :) Thanks!

Reply

18 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Hi Suzie,

Don’t be, they are so super easy to prepare. Thanks and enjoy.

Reply

19 Michelle June 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I’ve learnt something new today. Is that you stuff cheese in corn cakes!

Reply

20 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Glad I could help Michelle ;)

Reply

21 Sandra June 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I’m diggin your gordita-pupusa Spicie Foodie fusion!

Reply

22 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Thanks Sandra:)

Reply

23 Suzanne Perazzini June 11, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I have never tried these but I can certainly imagine all sorts of fillings for them – probably not quite in keeping with the El Salvador cuisine, of course. But, part of the beauty of the easily accessed information on the cooking of other countries is that we can adapt recipes to suit us and so enrich our experiences in the kitchen.

Reply

24 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Hi Suzanne,

Yes, really whatever you’re craving stuff it into the patties. We all make do with whatever local ingredients we have. That’s why I don’t claim many of my dishes to be authentic. Thanks!

Reply

25 Ramona June 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Wonderful recipe. I have heard of these… but didn’t know much about them. Now I may have to give them a try because who doesn’t like cheese inside a spicy corn cake? YUM! :)

Reply

26 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Hi Ramona,

Yes, do give them a try. Maybe you can come up with a Sri Lankan fusion pupusa- yummy!:)

Reply

27 Tania @ A Perfect Pantry June 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM

These look so yum and not that difficult to make. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Reply

28 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Not at all difficult Tania:) Thanks.

Reply

29 DB-The Foodie Stuntman June 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM

An acquaintenance once noted I should make a pupusa. Now I can!

Reply

30 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Yes do make them DB:)

Reply

31 Eha June 12, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Looking at this appetizing post I realize there really is an ocean twixt us :) ! Had never heard of pupusas before, never mind cheese-filled ones . . . I think I’ll look into this: what an interesting lesson!

Reply

32 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Hi Eha,

That is why the food blogging community is so great, we share our knowledge and introduce others to the many foods around the world. I hope you do give it a try. The ingredients are ones you should be able to get your hands on.

Reply

33 anna June 12, 2012 at 2:39 AM

oh my goodness i love pupusas! now i just want them stuffed with squash flowers and huitlacoche…is that too much to ask? :)

Reply

34 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Hi Anna,

Yummmm!

Reply

35 Nami | Just One Cookbook June 12, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Although I’ve never tried pupusas before, I can already tell that I will love these corn cakes! I love your step by step with numbers – so cute and easy to follow!

Reply

36 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Hi Nami,

You should give them a try. Thanks but they are nothing like your great step-by-step photos:)

Reply

37 love2dine June 12, 2012 at 2:56 PM

This looks heavenly!!

Reply

38 Spicie Foodie June 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Thank you!

Reply

39 Mi Vida en un Dulce June 12, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I never hear about pupusas, but living in South America I do on arepas, I had the opportunity to eat a lot when I traveled to Venezuela. It’s curious how our countries here have similar dishes, we don’t have something like this on Peru, so I guess it should be a Caribbean recipe.

Reply

40 Spicie Foodie June 13, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Yes it is interesting how countries across the Americas can share some recipes. Glad you have tasted arepas. Thanks!

Reply

41 Yelena June 13, 2012 at 3:16 AM

I never cooked pupusas, but I would love to try one-)

Reply

42 Spicie Foodie June 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

You should Yelena:)

Reply

43 Kim Bee June 13, 2012 at 3:35 AM

I love this. It’s so fun to have a dish that can take on different “moods” when you make it. Those are my fave things to make. These are really gorgeous.

Reply

44 Spicie Foodie June 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Hi Kim,
Yes you can really adapt it to your moods. Thanks:)

Reply

45 vianney June 24, 2012 at 2:28 AM

What a great twist!! and I love that you added red pepper flakes!!

Reply

46 Spicie Foodie June 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Thanks Vianney!

Reply

47 Ryan June 25, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Would you be able to form the pupusas a couple hours ahead of time and refrigerate them? Or would it perhaps be better to cook them and then reheat in a toaster oven?

Reply

48 Spicie Foodie June 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Hi Ryan,

I don’t see why not. I would just make sure that the cheese or stuffing wasn’t too moist or watery. The reheating will also work, I do it on a griddle or frying pan, sometimes even a microwave but the others work better. Enjoy:)

Reply

49 Magic of Spice July 3, 2012 at 1:12 AM

They do not need to be authentic to be delicious, and these beauties are one tasty treat!

Reply

50 Spicie Foodie July 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

That’s true, there are a lot of no-authentic dishes that are delicious. Thanks!

Reply

51 Liz November 22, 2013 at 12:39 AM

I came across your pupusa recepy and my siblings love it!And for me they were the most soft and delicious pupusas.I made them today.I made it with pico de gallo, rice,carne molida with bits of carrot and potatoes.Thank you.Great recepy!Enjoy.

Liz.

Reply

52 Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:43 PM

This recipe looks delicious! I plan on making them the day before serving and was wondering how to store and reheat them.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: