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Recipe: Quesadilla Salvadorena

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

I’m excited about our recipe this week as it’s one we just kinda played around with and discovered in our kitchen while making Family Meals last week. Exploring the foods of El Salvador, we came across a recipe for “Quesadilla Salvadorena”. This is not a quesadilla as most people think of it (a tortilla with tons of melted cheese). Instead, it refers to a type of sweet cheesecake that is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea. Traditional versions of this cheesecake are made with either wheat flour, rice flour, or a combination of both and a type of fresh cheese similar to Mexican queso fresco. We played around with some recipes and tried a couple of different versions and I was really surprised how delicious and simple this was to make. I took some home to both my wife and four-year-old son to try and they gave the seal of approval (which is certainly high praise if you know my wife and son!). The other thing I loved about this cake was how versatile it is. It was delicious and moist both with 50% rice and wheat flour as well as 100% rice flour (making it naturally gluten-free!). We even made a version that substituted Monterey Jack cheese for the queso fresco and it turned out fantastic!

So, I invite you to play around with the recipe as it’s pretty forgiving, and find your own version! If you prefer a bit less sweet just dial back the sugar by about half a cup or so (as my wife prefers). The cake pairs well with any type of fresh berry but is perfectly excellent on its own!

Quesadilla Salvadorena

Makes 1 9x13 pan or 9 inch round

2 Cups of AP Flour or Rice Flour (You can use a combination of both!)

2 Cups of Sugar

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

8 Ounces Queso Fresco, crumbled (You can use nearly any fairly neutral cheese such as Jack or Mozzarella, grated)

4 Eggs (Beaten Lightly)

⅓ Cup Whole Milk

⅔ Cup Sour Cream

8 Ounces Melted Butter

½ Teaspoon Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F

  2. Grease a 9x13 or 9 inch round cake pan

  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder

  4. Stir together the milk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter in a separate bowl

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the cheese and stir until completely combined (this can be done in a mixer with the paddle attachment if you prefer)

  6. Pour into the prepared pan leaving at least a half inch of space as the cake will rise a bit in the oven (it will rise more if using wheat flour versus rice flour)

  7. Bake approximately 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is a nice golden brown.

  8. Set aside to cool before cutting. Can be refrigerated for later use.

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