Marifer’s Gorditas, a Delicioso Breakfast and Nightime Snack

gorditas Marifer

Gorditas were a sure bet for breakfast whenever Marifer Rodriguez spent childhood holidays in her grandmother Blanca González’s home in Mexico. Now a college student studying industrial design in Texas, Marifer still remembers how much she looked forward to waking up to these early-morning, toasty-hot gorditas. Even as a child, she loved eating them exactly like her grandmother did: plain, no filling and with a cup of coffee.

Gorditas are thick tortilla-like discs usually made with corn masa harina and filled with a combination of beans, cheese and/or meat. But in the northern Mexico, where Marifer’s family is from, gorditas are traditionally made with all-purpose wheat flour and served plain in the early morning and as a snack any time of day.

Now that she has started to cook for herself, Marifer, who is a vegetarian, knew that she wanted this family-famous Mexican staple in her college comida lineup. So, of course, to learn how to make them, Marifer turned to the best gordita-makers she knew: her grandmother, Blanca, and her grandmother’s sister, Eva González. Neither of them use (or need) measuring cups, but through careful observation of the sisters in the kitchen while visiting them, Marifer has gotten her gorditas to taste just like the ones she grew up loving.

Gordita is the Spanish word for ”chubby,” and these thick flour treats certainly are. The masa is shaped into a thick circle about 4 inches wide and then toasted on a comal, griddle or pan. Gorditas are similar to chalupas, which is another Mexican form of masa, but chalupas are always fried and thinner.

Marifer remembers helping her grandmother, whom she affectionately calls Tita, cut and assemble gorditas for her parties. Whenever her abuela’s friends came over to visit, they looked forward to freshly-made, golden gorditas, which were served in bowls on the dining room table.

Toast your gorditas until the center of both sides turns golden brown.

Gorditas have just five ingredients, but there’s still plenty of room for families to put their own spin on this traditional dish, says Marifer. How you mix the ingredients and the amounts used of each makes a big difference in how your gordita tastes, she explains. Wide gorditas tend to be soft, while smaller gorditas are thin and crunchy. Marifer says her family prefers their gorditas medium-sized­: slightly crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle ­— the perfect combo texture, in her opinion.

One of Marifer’s tips for making perfect gorditas every time is to toast each round until its center turns amber brown on both sides. Be patient and wait for the golden tones to present themselves. It’s worth the wait, Marifer says. Undercooked, mushy gorditas are definitely not what you want, ever.

A basket of flour gorditas in Marifer Roriguez’s college kitchen.

If you have a grill outside, as Marifer’s grandmother does, making gorditas is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh breeze during meal prep. If the weather is not ideal (or you don’t have an outdoor grill), no problem, says Marifer. She promises they’ll taste just as good cooked on a hot pan or comal on your indoor stove.

Looking for more traditional Mexican recipes? Check out these family-famous dishes sent in from all corners of Mexico to

Ready to Make Marifer’s Flour Gorditas for Breakfast?

Marifer’s Gorditas

Recipe by Marifer Rodriguez Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/8 cup 1/8 piloncillo, grated

  • 1 cup 1 vegetable shortening (like Manteca Inca or Crisco)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 water

  • 1 ½ Tbsp 1 ½ sugar

  • 4 cups 4 all-purpose flour


  • In a large bowl, mix the grated piloncillo, shortening and water. If the mixture is too dry, add a smidge more shortening or water. Be careful not to add too much water. The texture should be smooth, soft yet firm enough to create not-so-sticky circles, says Marifer. When you’re mixing the dough, the palm of your hand should also look a little bit shiny.
  • Add the sugar. Mix into the other ingredients by hand. Slowly incorporate the flour, until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  • Separate the batter into small chunks about 1 inch wide each. Using your hands, press each chunk into semi-flat circles. Each should be about 1/3 inch thick and 2 ½ to 3 inches wide.
  • Place the gorditas on your hot pan, comal or griddle, set to medium heat. Let the disc cook until each side turns golden brown and then flip to toast the second side. It will take about 8 minutes per side, says Marifer, depending on the size of your gorditas, heat level, and type of pan you are using.
  • Eat your gordita warm. You can fill them with your favorite vegetable, cheese, bean or meat topping, or eat them plain with a cup of coffee, like Marifer and her abuela do for breakfast, with a cup of sweet, hot coffee, of course.


  • Marifer recommends using a tortilla press to make the semi-flat circles faster if you do not want to do it by hand. Just be careful not to close the press all the way flat.
  • Marifer’s abuela Blanca González often cooks her gorditas on an electric griddle heated to 250°.

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