Pan De Yuca or Ecuadorian Cheese Cassava Bread are small chewy buns made with cheese and cassava flour (yuca). Deliciously addictive and easy to make, these buns are sure to be your new obsession!
Serve hot for the perfectly chewy texture!
Pan De Yuca Recipe (Ecuador)
The first time I tried Pan De Yuca was on a sticky hot night, right in the center of Guayaquil, where I had just moved to.
My (now ex) Ecuadorian boyfriend told me I was going to get obsessed with it. I didn’t even know what what it was or why but when I had my first bite, I realized he was right.
Hot and cheesy, with the chewy texture of a mochi, these buns stole my heart. I was gobbling them down along a huge strawberry yogurt smoothie (sorta) while crossing the street to get into the Malecon.
I fell in love with Pan De Yuca, the city, the vibe, the country, everything. And after working on these for a while, I get to share the recipe with you guys, so you can make them at home!
Why this recipe works:
- Just like the Pan De Yuca you get in Ecuador. No joke. Same flavor, same delicious texture. You’ll feel like you’re there. (Or maybe in Colombia lol, they make this bread there too and in many other LA countries).
- Chewy texture. Pan De Yuca relies on yuca starch commonly known as cassava starch or flour to get that delicious mochi-like centers.
- Cheesy. If you’re a cheese lover, these buns are loaded with cheese ⎯ you’re going to love them!
- Easy to make, they’re ready in just 30 minutes!
Ingredients for Pan De Yuca
Yuca flour (cassava). This is the key ingredient, it’s what will give you that deliciously chewy texture so you can’t use a different flour. Yuca flour or starch is commonly known as cassava or manioca flour/starch in English (or tapioca).
You can usually get these flours in Latin American grocery stores or Asian grocery stores where they’re also much cheaper than the brands they sell in regular or specialty stores. I get a bag of over 1 lb for 1.50$ where I live (Ecuador), for reference.
Baking powder. I love me some Royal baking powder (this one) but of course any baking powder will do.
Cheese. Queso costeño is what you want here. Queso fresco may also work but may be different in flavor/texture, depending on what they’re selling as queso fresco where you live. Queso costeño is a very dry, salty, hard fresh cheese that will guarantee you the same flavor and texture as the Pan De Yuca you’d buy in Ecuador.
Note that I updated this recipe a year later to edit my thoughts and recommendations regarding cheese. In the older version of this recipe, I told you guys that you could technically replace queso fresco or costeño with others but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not true.
It’s just not worth it because only queso costeño or fresco will give you the authentic, 100% perfect pan de yuca texture and flavor so I don’t recommend using any other cheese aside from those two.
Butter. I recommend using unsalted butter so you can have more control over the amount of salt, especially if you’re using a salty cheese.
Egg. Just one!
Milk. Full-fat cow milk.
How to make pan de yuca
Make the bread dough. In a large bowl, mix together the the yuca, baking powder, salt, and butter. I like doing this by hand so I can really go in and mix the butter into the dry ingredients with my hands. Add the egg and mix again. Finally, add the cheese and mix.
Pour in the milk in multiple additions, mixing well after every addition until you get a smooth moist dough that’s not sticky or dry. Pan De Yuca dough is supposed to be moist, almost glimmering but should never stick to your hands or bowl.
Form into buns. You can use a 1 tbsp measuring spoon as a guide (if you’d like), they’re supposed to be small as they’re considered an appetizer/snack.
Bake for 10-15 minutes and serve immediately. Pan De Yuca is supposed to be served hot/warm or the chewy texture will harden up which is why they keep it warm and sell it warm, wherever you buy it.
What to eat with pan de yuca
You can eat pan de yuca with literally anything. It’s considered a snack/breakfast food.
I *love* Pan De Yuca with yogurt smoothies which is how it’s enjoyed in Ecuador so yes, it’s a thing down here. Huge yogurt smoothies and a bag of freshly-baked Pan De Yuca while walking downtown… my idea of heaven!
I also love it with Guacamole ⎯ omg so good!
Can you store pan de yuca?
Yes but the chewy texture will Harden up overtime so you’ll need to reheat it before serving. Ideally, you want to bake and enjoy these buns right away.
If needed, you can store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
How do you reheat pan de yuca?
You can reheat pan de yuca in the oven at 320F (160C) or in a skillet, covered, on the stovetop until hot and chewy again (5-10 minutes for both methods).
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes. Follow the recipe through step 3, then place the baking sheet with the buns in your refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
The next day, allow the buns to warm up a bit sitting on your kitchen counter (10-15 minutes), then bake them as instructed (step 4).
HAPPY BAKING!! I hope you’ll love these Pan De Yuca Recipe from Ecuador (aka Pan De Queso) as much as I do!
PS: Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ if you make it! Your comments make my day!! You can also tag me on Instagram @itsdamnspicy 🌈💘
More Ecuadorian Recipes you’ll love:
- Ecuadorian Rice And Beans (Menestra Recipe)
- Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Cheesy Potato Cakes)
- Salsa De Mani (Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce)
- Coca Cola Chicken (Pollo a la Coca Cola)
- Or check out all of my other Ecuadorian Recipes!
Pan De Yuca Recipe
- 2 cups (290 g) yuca flour (also known as cassava flour/starch, tapioca flour/starch also works)
- 1 tsp baking powder (I like Royal but any will work)
- 1/2 tsp salt (or adjust this depending on how salty your cheese is)
- 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 3 cups (340 g) queso costeño or queso fresco (crumbled)
- 1/4 cup (62 ml) whole milk (room temperature)
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or use 2 non-stick baking sheets.
- Make the bread dough. In a large bowl, use your hands or a fork to combine the yuca, baking powder, salt, and butter. Add the egg and mix again. Finally, add the cheese and mix until a dough starts forming.
- Pour in the milk in multiple additions, mixing well after every addition until you get a smooth moist dough that’s not sticky nor dry. Pan De Yuca dough is supposed to be moist, almost glimmering but should never stick to your hands or bowl.
- Form into buns and place them onto your prepared baking sheets. You can use a 1 tbsp measuring spoon as a guide, they're supposed to be small buns.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden/pale on the outside and soft (they shouldn't brown or toughen up). Serve immediately. Pan De Yuca is supposed to be served hot/warm or the chewy texture will harden up.
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