How are friends of Paulina Cocina? We hope very well! On this occasion we are going to prepare a recipe that is traditional from Bolivia and at the same time very common to find on the streets of Bolivia, especially in Santa Cruz: Cuñapé.

It is about some cassava and cheese starch breads, which you have probably tried, perhaps with a different name if you are in another Latin American country, but with that unmistakable aroma and flavor. A bread that can be enjoyed on many occasions, and is always good.

In this note, we will explore in depth the universe of Cuñapéfrom its origin, its meaning in Guaraní, its variants and the secrets to prepare the baked Cuñapé recipe at home.

About Cuñapé

He Cuñapé It is a traditional snack of the Bolivian gastronomy, specifically from the eastern region of the country. It is a cheese bread that combines the crunchiness of its exterior with a irresistible fluffiness inside.

The main ingredient in this preparation is cassava starch, also known as cassava or tapioca, which gives it its characteristic flavor and consistency. It also has cheese, usually fresh and sometimes Parmesanto enhance its flavor.

Types of Cuñapé

There are variants of this cheese bread that stand out in the Bolivian gastronomic universe: Starch wedge traditional, the Cuñapé abizcochado and the frito.

  • The first (starch wedge), is characterized by its more airy and fluffy textureand it is made in the oven.
  • The second (cuñapé abizcochado), has a process double oven cookingThat is, once cooked it is left to cool and then baked again so that it absorbs the moisture and becomes crispy.

In both types they can be found in the shape of balls or rings.

Also, the Fried cuñapé It is prepared in the same way but is cooked in a frying pan or pot with plenty of hot oil, and usually has an elongated or ring shape. Also a crispier texture.

Origin of the Cuñapé recipe and its meaning

The origin of Cuñapé is intertwined with the customs and culinary practices of indigenous communities, not only in Bolivia, but in a much of Latin America. That is why you will notice that there are preparations that are almost identical in appearance, but with different names.

  • In countries like Paraguay and Argentinait is known as it’s a gift (yes, the classic bread stuffed with cheese, the one of life); in Brazil as cheese breadin Colombia as pandebonoand in Ecuador like cassava bread.

Its origin dates back to guaraní culturewhere the consumption of cassava was common, and its recipe has been transmitted through generations, becoming a regional symbol.

And… where does its name come from?

Regarding the meaning of his name, Cuñapé is a fragment of the Guaraní language which can have different interpretations. Some theories say that it translates as “flat woman“, and others that derive from the word “bread” (bread).

Did you hear any other interpretation? we read them in comments 👀

Moments to enjoy a Cuñapé

I assume that this bun adapts perfectly to different moments and occasions, that is why we are going to name some of the most typical ones, but there is no limit to its enjoyment.

  • Breakfast or snack: It can be accompanied with a cup of coffee, tea or even hot chocolate. The combination of the crunchy texture of Cuñapé with the warmth of a drink creates a comforting and delicious experience.
  • Accompanying meals: In some places in Bolivia, it is served as a side dish at lunch or dinner. Its unique flavor and texture complement well with soups, such as peanut soup, adding a special touch to the dining experience.
  • Celebrations and special events: On festive occasions and special events, it becomes a popular choice. Whether at family gatherings, community celebrations, or cultural events, this cassava bread is often part of the table, offering a delicious bite that can be enjoyed casually.
  • Travel snack: Due to its portability and durability, it becomes a convenient snack to take on trips. In this case the version of Cuñapé abizcochado which can be kept for longer, making it ideal to be enjoyed during long journeys.
  • Appetizer at social gatherings: At social gatherings or informal gatherings, this cheese bread can be presented as a popular appetizer.

7 Secrets to make the baked Cuñapé come out perfect

Some wedge recipes They include corn starch among their ingredients to improve texture and consistency.

  1. Sift the cassava flour and corn starch It is a great trick to avoid lumps and obtain a more uniform mixture. I recommend considering it if you are one of the people who always has a problem with lumps and want to avoid them as much as possible.
  2. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes, it can be a good tip if you have time and want the ingredients to integrate better. It never hurts to be patient and let the flavors enhance.
  3. Make sure the oven is preheated It is one of the commandments of this channel and it is something very important to review before placing the Cuñapés in the oven. This helps ensure even cooking and prevents them from drying out too much.
  4. Avoid overbaking so that they do not lose their sponginess. Don’t be overconfident, cook them for just the right amount of time and don’t forget them in the oven. The Cuñapés They are tastiest when lightly browned on the outside but soft on the inside.
  5. Don’t limit yourself and play with the flavors. You can add a personal touch by experimenting with additional flavors, like herbs, spices or even small pieces of chilis or pork rinds for a spicy touch.
  6. Enjoy them fresh from the oven to appreciate its optimal flavor and texture.

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Cuñapé Recipe

Portions: 20 units

Preparation time: 45 minutes


  • 2 cups of cassava starch
  • 2 cups of grated fresh cheese (preferably Bolivian white cheese)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt (to taste)
  • Optional: 1 cup of fresh cheese in small cubes for a creamier touch

How to prepare Cuñapé step by step

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a container, mix the cassava starch, corn starch and baking powder. Reserve.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk and melted butter. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Gradually add the starch and baking powder mixture to the wet mixture, making sure to obtain a homogeneous dough.
  4. Add the grated fresh cheese to the dough, mixing well to distribute it evenly. If using cubed fresh cheese, add at this step.
  5. Form the balls with wet hands and place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they turn golden brown on the surface. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
how to make pinape


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