Venezuelan Cachapas with Queso de Mano Recipe + VIDEO

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Today I’m bringing you the irresistible Venezuelan cachapas recipe. Cachapas with queso de mano. Rustic corn pancakes made with fresh corn kernels, not corn flour, cachapas have become an icon of the Venezuelan food we all love.

Venezuelan Cachapas with queso de mano, served on a black china dish.

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Cachapas are so wonderful that they are gluten-free, and there is more: if you want, you can make them without adding sugar too!

These sweet corn pancakes are becoming increasingly popular in the US, Spain, Latin America, and everywhere there are Venezuelans. The reason? They are delicious and super easy to make.  Besides, cachapas are gluten-free, and there is more: if you want, you can make them without adding sugar too!

What are Venezuelan cachapas?

Cachapas are a sort of sweet corn hot cake. They are to Venezuelans what pancakes are to Americans. But not your regular pancake. I would say a much more rustic pancake, but full of flavor and rich in texture.

corn on the cob to make cachapas with queso de mano

We used to have these sweet corn pancakes for breakfast or brunch. But they are so fulfilling that you may serve them at lunch and dinner, especially if you pair them with carne mechada (Venezuelan shredded beef), pernil de cochino (roasted pork leg), or a thick slice of cheese (better if it is queso de mano). 

Lately, I’ve seen “pabellón cachapas”. Pabellón criollo is Venezuela’s national dish and it includes carne mechada, black beans, sweet fried plantains and rice. The “pabellón cachapas” I’ve seen had everything but rice. The cherry on the cake is the delicious Venezuelan guasacaca, a flavorful sauce made of avocado.

What is the origin of the cachapas?

corn kernels to make Venezuelan cachapas with queso de mano

The indigenous people that inhabited what now is Venezuela and Colombia regarded corn as a precious gift from a divine origin. The Venezuelan sweet corn pancake is from the same family as our delicious arepa

They both have pre-Columbian origins. I would say cachapas and arepas are cousins. Our cachapas resemble the Colombian arepa de choclo, both made of ground fresh corn kernels. 

The recent cachapa boom

Despite its ancient roots, the popularity of cachapas is relatively new. Whether paired with savory ingredients or enjoyed alone, the delicious blend of sweet corn will surely please any palate.

At least in Miami, where I live, cachapas can be conveniently found pre-made and stored in the refrigerated section of supermarkets. Cachapas are becoming so popular that Harina P.A.N., manufacturer of the arepa flour, makes cachapa flour too!

A cachapa being cooked in a cast iron  pan.

This flour is made in the US in the same P.A.N. facility in Texas. I must confess that cachapa flour has saved my life more than once. You can buy it in the US online, in Latin grocery stores, or supermarkets in the international food aisle. 

But please notice that although they look alike, arepa flour and cachapa flour differ. And they both substantially differ from the American cornmeal and the Mexican masa harina.

With that said, I must confess: nothing beats the experience of savoring fresh cachapas made from scratch. That’s what we call homemade cachapas! 

What is Queso de Mano?

A cachapa ready to be eaten, served in a black plate with a fork and a knife.

What can be better than a good cachapa? Well, that same cachapa served with super fresh queso de mano. This is one of the wonderful types of Venezuelan cheese. Queso de mano translates into “hand cheese” because it’s hand-shaped. 

Along with queso guayanés and telita, queso de mano belongs to the Olympus of Venezuelan fresh cheeses. Super gooey, queso de mano‘s taste and consistency are similar to fresh mozzarella. It’s a bit saltier and tart, though. 

Cachapa vs. arepa de choclo
Venezuelan cachapas recipe

Luckily, queso de mano is also relatively easy to find in the Miami area where I live. It comes in 4-inch disks, which makes it perfect for eating with cachapas! I always buy La Pradera or Paisa.  But you can get this brand through Amazon Prime Fresh, depending on your area.

If you cannot find queso de mano, you can substitute it with fresh mozzarella. Venezuelan cachapas may also be filled with ham and cheese, or add melted butter or Venezuelan nata fresca (you can substitute it with crema salvadoreña) on top.

Cachapas: A recipe from my Venezuelan childhood

Venezuelan Cachapas recipe with queso de mano

When I was a little girl, eating cachapas was a joy reserved for our getaways to El Junquito. At least three times a year, we went to that little mountain town with my dad. El Junquito was located on the outskirts of Caracas, where I was born and raised. As if it were a tacit ritual, we always ate cachapas with queso de mano.

When I grew up, what was priceless was eating cachapas on my cowboy friends’ haciendas. It doesn’t matter if those haciendas were in Aragua, Guárico, or Zulia states. When visiting, during the weekends, they honored us, the Caraqueños (people from Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city), with a brunch that invariably consisted of cachapas.

The thick corn pancakes were grilled on a huge iron plate called budare, heated with firewood. No need to say that aroma was the closest to heaven.

How to make Venezuelan cachapas

Cachapa with queso de mano  #byenrilemoine

To make the perfect cachapas, you’ll need some tools and ingredients:

Tips to make the best cachapas

Cachapas with gooey queso de mano

To make the cachapas, follow these steps:

  1. Blend fresh sweet corn with heavy cream, skim or whole milk, and some arepa flour. 
  2. This recipe doesn’t call for eggs, but I have seen people adding a large egg to the batter. If you want to add eggs, you may want to add more arepa flour.
  3. Whether you add eggs or not, don’t skip the arepa flour. This ingredient is very important, especially if you live in the US, where fresh corn has a high water content than in Venezuela and other countries in Latin America. Arepa flour gives consistency to the batter. 
  4. I used to add sugar or monk fruit to the batter. But lately, I don’t think it is necessary, especially because fresh corn is really sweet in the US. 
  5. Preheat your budare, griddle, or nonstick pan to medium-high heat. The temperature is very important for the cachapa to develop a nice crust.
  6. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. This step is very important because the arepa flour has to be hydrated by absorbing the liquids so the batter sits.
  7. Grease your budare or griddle with butter immediately before adding the batter. You must grease your griddle each time you pour the batter.
  8. Pour your cachapas and cook them as if you were making a big pancake.

More fresh corn recipes

If you like cooking with fresh corn, check out these Venezuelan, American and Latin-inspired recipes:

Venezuelan Cachapas Recipe

how to make venezuelan cachapas

Following is the full recipe for this delicious dish. I hope you like these corn cakes as much as we do! Thanks for subscribing to my Youtube channel and visiting my Amazon store.

Cachapa con queso de mano by enrilemoine
4.68 from 96 votes

Cachapas with queso de mano

Cachapas are gluten-free corn cakes, rustic pancakes perfect for breakfast or brunch. Serve them with gooey Venezuelan fresh cheese queso de mano for a heavenly experience.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1225kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels about 6 ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup arepa flour I used Harina P.A.N.
  • Butter
  • 2 8- ounce queso de mano disks
  • Instructions

Instructions

  • Save 4 tablespoons of corn kernels.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients, except for butter and cheese, in a blender and blend until a thick paste forms.
  • Add the rest of the corn kernels and stir. Press to liquefy for a few seconds. The idea is to get a rustic batter to feel pieces of corn when eating the cachapa.
  • For best results, let stand for about 5 minutes for the mixture to thicken.
  • Preheat a non-stick pan, budare, comal, or griddle over medium-hight heat.
  • When the pan is hot, add butter to grease it.
  • Make each cachapa using 3/4 cup of the batter at a time, and make a circle of about 4 inches.
  • Cook for 7-8 minutes and flip with a spatula. Cook for 6 more minutes until the cachapas are golden brown.
  • Serve hot with butter and cheese. You may cover a cachapa with cheese, then top it with another cachapa. You may also cover half of the cachapa with cheese and fold it.

Video

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cachapas with queso de mano
Amount Per Serving (1 cachapa)
Calories 1225 Calories from Fat 495
% Daily Value*
Fat 55g85%
Saturated Fat 30g188%
Cholesterol 166mg55%
Sodium 1342mg58%
Potassium 2001mg57%
Carbohydrates 178g59%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 55g61%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 3026IU61%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 253mg25%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Venezuelan
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: cachapas, cachapas from Venezuela, cachapas recipe, cachapas with cheese, cachapas with cheese recipe, cachapas with queso de mano, how to make cachapas, how to make Venezuelan cachapas, Venezuelan cachapas, Venezuelan cachapas recipe, Venezuelan corn pancakes
Author: Enri

Notes

I used to add sugar to the cachapa batter. Now I don’t think it’s necessary.
Some people add eggs top the batter. If you consider this, you may need to add more arepa flour to the batter.
 

Check my other fresh corn recipes:

Enri

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