Salvadorean Quesadillas, A Savory-Sweet Cake

Processed with MOLDIV

Each bite of these quesadillas is cheesy, sweet, and savory at the same time. It is a traditional bread from El Salvador eaten for breakfast or through out the day, and best enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee. Each bite of these little cakes take me back to evening conversations with family while visiting El Salvador. They especially take me back to Christmases in San Francisco when either Tia Gladis or Tia Chabela never failed to make some so that the many visitors had something to enjoy.  Here in New York, my mom made batches for this past Thanksgiving.  I’m happy to share this super easy recipe with you that is part of my family, home, and many joyful memories.  You may also transform it into a special dessert by adding a dollop of whipped cream and dulce de leche. Enjoy!

The recipe has been modified to include ingredients found in any US supermarket. 

  • Yields: 12 cup cakes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Oven Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 15 minutes

What You’ll Need:

  • Electric mixer or hand mixer
  • 1-2 bowls
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Dry measuring ingredient cups, measuring spoons
  • Muffin tin pan

Ingredients for Quesadillas:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan (or Cotija cheese or grated Salvadorean hard cheese if avialable)
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon of raw sesame seeds for decorating (optional)
  • PAM Baking, non-stick cooking spray

Additional Ingredients for Dessert Quesadillas:

  • Store bought whipped cream (Make your own by whipping with a mixer: 1 cup of heavy cream, ½ a cup of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until peaks form).
  • Dulce de leche


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl (or in mixer), beat butter and sugar at medium speed until pale, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Scrape down sides with spatula as needed.
  4. Reduce speed to low and mix in milk. Add flour mixture slowly and mix until just combined.
  5. Spray muffin pan with PAM baking spray. Spoon batter in to each muffin tin, 3/4 of the way. (This batter doesn’t rise too much).
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using).
  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.

NOTE: You can store your quesadillas in a plastic container with a lid. They can last up to a week. You can also make this recipe as a sheet cake.




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