International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Quesadilla Salvadoreña

Quesadilla Salvadorena Recipe (Salvadoran sweet cheese poundcake)

(Salvadoran sweet cheese poundcake)

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Average: 4 (122 votes)

Unlike the Mexican snack of the same name, Salvadoran quesadilla is a rich, sweet dessert cake often found in local panaderías, or bakeries. The queso in quesadilla is traditionally unsalted Salvadoran queso fresco, a fresh farmers-type cheese. But parmesan cheese is often substituted.

10 to 12 servings


  • All-purpose flour -- 2 cups
  • Baking powder -- 2 teaspoons
  • Grated queso fresco or parmesan cheese -- 1/2 pound
  • Sugar -- 2 cups
  • Eggs, beaten lightly -- 4
  • Whole milk -- 1 cup
  • Butter, melted -- 2 sticks (1/2 pound)
  • Sesame seeds (optional) -- 2 tablespoons


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. Add the cheese, sugar, eggs and milk to a large bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
  3. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the cheese mixture until fully incorporated and a smooth batter is formed.
  4. Pour the batter into two well greased loaf pans, filling them only halfway. If using, sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set on racks and allow to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.


  • Try using different types of cheese for your quesadilla: grated cheddar, Monterey Jack, even grated feta cheese.
  • Many Salvadoran cooks substitute rice flour for the regular wheat flour.
  • Instead of milk, use crema agria, or sour cream thinned with a little half and half.
  • Bake in round cake pans or in muffin tins if you like.


my boyfriend is from el salvador and this is his favorite but i dont really care for it. it has a strange texture.

look if you dont like salvadoran quezadillas dont eat them. i am tired of people liking salvadorans but always saying something negative

I will agree with you, i love my countrys food, and i like corn bread to, but is has a funny texture it's because their different countries.

Remember that altitude affects cooking and especially baking. Most of El Salvador is like Colorado. Not even near Sea level. That may explain why some prefer the texture of the Bisquick. Corn flour is notoriously fickle. If it resembles baked library paste, well, more leavening and watch the cook time. Here in Texas, at 250 feet sea level, it is not the same as back in los montes, adjustments have to be made.

Try using 1 cup flour and 1 cup corm meal .yummy

This pan does not have a strange texture,it is delicious and is intended to eat with cafe..Maybe you had some that wasn't made well...

You must be White if you think it has a strange texture.

I love the quesadilla and I am white. My husband brought some back from El Salvador and it was great! I was just wondering if the recipe shown here is going to turn out like the stuff I had. I don't want to waste any food.

I make this recipe often. I learned it from my ex sister-in -law, who is Salvadorean. Use a 12 oz bag of rice flour instead of regular flour. Keep everything else the same, just adjust the measurements a little...
12 oz rice flour
3 eggs
16 oz sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter softened (almost melted)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
12 oz queso fresco
mix in some parmesan cheese too (1/2 cup)
Bake btwn 400-450 about 45 minutes, depends on your oven

should it turn out cakey

Salvadorans are white. If you are not Black or Asian you are white. That is race. So stop
throwing race cards if you don't know what you are talking about.
Culturally we are different. My Grandma was Mexican Indian from the Guadalajara area. Of
course, my Grandma was the best cook. I judge everything to her standards. Also, when I was
was a kid, most things did not have chemicals in them, here in the USA. Everyone has different tastes they enjoy, they also enjoy different textures. As children we get used to these factors. That does not mean we won't like others.
Please do not make generalizations when making statements. This is what causes racism. In researching foods of different areas, it is interesting how much we are alike. It is always intersting to see food migrate. Food I thought was from a certain place, come from someplace else or across the sea. Chapati, tortilla, nan, frybread, pita; some are fried, some are grilled, some are baked, and so forth. Like us, with slight variations, but all the same, flat bread.

And you're a racist. I'm white, and I don't think it has a strange texture.

Your being raciest. It doesnt matter if your white black green to have a liking of a food. My bf he doesn't care for Pizza so should I judge him for not liking Pizza. No because everyone has different likes. It is impossible to like every single food on this earth... so you think i should accuse you of being hispanic and you don't like pizza (no because it makes no sense)

I agree. My bf is from E.S too but I don't care for it but he loves it... as long it makes him happy i'll make it. I was wondering which cheese is better Farmer cheese or pamersean?

I tried this and it was nothing like we've had in the local neighborhood. This recipe is cakelike. it's not moist. Many adjustments have to be made. And my husband said that corn flour is generally used not white flour. Overall, if it wasn't for the parmesan cheese, i would have thrown it away. What a waste of ingredients.

you don't know how to make it. lol

I had to reply to this e-mail,...
I'm from Mexico, I always bake the Salvadorean Quesadilla, I use all the ingredients that are mentioned on almost all the recipes EXCEPT I don't use any of the flours mentioned.
If you want a tasty, moist and Quesadilla try to make with the mix to make your pancakes which is Buttermilk pancake mix.

I'm american and what I use is Bisquick instead

You have the right idea. My mom was born and raised in El Salvador and she made the best food. Including, this quesadilla. I think the trick is using Bisquick pancake mix, not regular flour! And she always used parmesan cheese.

Dude! I'm Mexican & just as american as you are... And so are Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Brazilians, Peruvians, Canadians... You get the picture!

Bisquick is the flour to use in quesadilla from El Salvador...You are absolutely correct... :-] I'm from the Caribbean and I know this.

that is the key bisquik not flower or pancake mix butter comes out delicious!

you are right , this is the way i make it ,,, its easier and the taste is better, however we have different taste in everything . for instance i love when people like chicken breast
instead of leg or dark meat , cuz i prefer the leg always .
how ever we have to respect other people opinion with out getting offensive .

Duh its cake like! It says its a cheese poundCAKE! Maybe you should read abit more before "wasting" ingredients!

quesadilla salvadorena is actually really great, IF you know how to make it correcly!!!
i enjoy eating this wondreful pastry any time of day. if anyone thinks its not worth it than they dont know what they like, or whats good for that matter.

My son and I made this for his Latin America school project and it's actually quite tasty. Based on the comments on here I used 1 1/3 cups flour and 2/3 cup corn meal to make it a bit more authentic and change the texture. Also, I had to cook it for about 20 minutes longer than the original recipe called for.

Can anyone give me a recipe for the type of everyday "pan frances" that they make in El Salvador?

My husband is from Santa Anna, Metapan, El Salvador. This recipe is very close but the way we make it is with the rice flour, Salvadorean hard cheese and an El Salvadorean Creme. It is much richer and my husband says it taste closer to his moms. Of course our food and their food cannot taste the same because he says we use too many chemicals in our food and their eggs, cheese, milk and etc are fresh from their farms.

Being a salvadoran guy who rarely bakes, I wanted to try my hand at baking one, however, I had a good idea of what this should taste like, I also got some pointers from my wife and other sites, so further to this recipe, I used corn flour in lieu of regular flour, I used evaporated milk instead of milk, along with an additional two heaping spoonfuls of sour cream, I also had to bake it for 40 minutes using my contemporary oven. The quesadilla came out delicious and vouch for these slight modifications to the recipe, should anyone want to try it out!

My daughter and I just made this for her Spanish class tomorrow. We only had to serve a few people so we halved the recipe to make one loaf. Other than that, we followed it exactly, except that to get it done, we had to bake it for more like 40-45 minutes (yes, my oven is calibrated correctly). It does that more like cake than bread. If made with corn flour, which we didn't have, or part corn flour instead of all white flour, it would possibly make a delicious cornbread!

Iam from PR and I love Quesadilla

Well this is not actually a bread,it is more like a cake.We eat this with coffee.

My Mother in Law taught me how to make Quesadillas in El Salvador on our last visit. When we made it we dealt much larger quanitities and measuring cups not really used a whole lot! We made like 30 cakes in the wood burning clay oven. Very Cool. Our ingredients here are different but this works pretty good here. The main difference is that we use Rice Flour.
•Rice flour -- 2 cups
•Baking powder -- 2 teaspoons
•Grated parmesan cheese -- 1/2 pound
•Sugar -- 2 cups
•Eggs, beaten lightly -- 5
•Whipping Cream -- Small Carton
•Butter -- 2 sticks (1/2 pound)
•Sour Cream -- 1 cup
•Sesame seeds (definately needed) -- sprinkle on top before putting in oven.
You want a consistency of a smooth batter add more whipping cream or sour cream to thin if batter is too thick.

I bake at 350 for an hour - check at 45 mins

Eat with really Strong Coffee! It is the best

Thank you for your suggestion. I tried it and it came out excellent. Can't wait to make it again.

Thank You so much for sharing.thats what i was looking for the one with rice flour...honestly thats what gives a better taste and does make a difference and the clay ovens...missing familia..and home cooking...but thanx so much for sharing...

Thanks for this great recipe! It was my first time and after scrolling through I tried your recipe and worked out PERFECT!! Thanks so much for making our coffee time yummy!!

this is really good. My mom makes this and it is always good. I never made it with bisquik ppl say its good. So maybe ill try. One of my favs

When I was little and still to this day, when in a pinch, my mom would use one block of creamcheese and more sour cream to get the little 'tartness' of parmesean cheese. And I tried this recipe with pancake mix...genius! so moist but not too too soft either.

Most of u dnt no wat u r talking bout da salvadorian quesadilla uses a spanish type flour not paNcake mix or anything lyk dat DUH

rice flour

lOl ¿QuE? aLl DoZ h8rS bEeN tRiPpIn On MaH qUeSaDiLlAs Yo MiNe Is Da BeSt EN EL MUNDO

Hey, I'm a little thing called grammar. Use me.

I noticed the recipe does not include sour cream. My Salvadorian family uses sour cream. Maybe that's why some of you guys don't really like it. Who ever put this up must of missed that. I have not tried it with the rice flour yet which is probably the most accurate way to make this. I have used the Bisquick and it comes out great. This is what my family uses. I think it just more convenient because you do not have to add the baking powder, also I think the bisquick might be a lot easier to find than the rice flour. I am sure the recipe has changed once it was introduced to us in the U.S. since the Salvadorians that moved over hear did not have access to the fresh more natural ingredients that they did over there. But I am sure the new recipes are pretty close based on what they could find here in the U.S.

Sour cream is mentioned there.

I guess you truly haven't been to El Salvador or "Central America". We have just as much "fresh" ingredients here in the United States. In addition, in United States we have a lot more variety of ingredients and different cultures here all adding the the diversity of the US that you do not see anywhere else. The Central Americans would use their crema agria and it is usually Crème fraîche and it is a soured cream containing about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than sour cream. If the indredients are not available in your home town, we can also find them on the internet. For Crème fraîche you mix 8 ounces of sour cream with 4 oz of heavy cream and stir until combined. Don't take for granted what we have here in United States that in Central America may of them cannot afford the staples we take for granted. There things are much more expensive taking into considerated their hourly rate of pay, etc.

My great grandmother who is 85 uses hard cheese from E.S. grated, but here she buys cotija cheese. It comes out great.

i just wanted to say this is the way i make it and i actually sell these for a living
when i use it to make at home i use the rice flour and the sour cream added as well it tastes wonderful with feta and parm when queso duro is not available...
Everyone has differents tastes so why the need to insult people giving opinions. How ghetto can you get insulting online and talking about race when all that our people go through everyday. I really hope that the non-guanacos do not take offense to the stupidity said on here. Save your energy for the ignorance because i will not sit here and respond to the comments back

thanks for the one that posted this and sharing a bit of our flavors

i am mexican and have tried this quesadillas. they are so good! i was trying to get the recipe to make it. hope it comes out as good as the ones i buy!

im so CONFUSED??? 1/2 pound of cheese?? isn't that a little to much lol well imma put parmesan so is it still half a pound?

I just made it but the cheese didn't fully melt =( i bought parmesan cheese in the can which was shredded??? any tips?