We Made Buñuelos from “Encanto” and Colombia!

Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos

Submitted by Janeth and Luna Barrera

By making the buñuelos in Encanto—so crispy, cheesy and delicioso!—for their family, Janeth and Luna Barrera, 7, are bringing home their love for the magical movie set in her native Colombia.

The very first day the new Disney movie opened in Chicago, this mom and daughter made sure they bought tickets to the earliest screening of Encanto. (Janeth and Luna saw the animated hit in a movie theater, but they’re now streaming it from home—on repeat.) Luna’s favorite character is the young cousin Antonio. His magical gift is communicating with the animal kingdom, and Luna loves all animals.

Janeth and Luna were so inspired by Encanto, they immediately went into their kitchen and made one of the foods in the movie—arepas de quesousing Janeth’s own Colombian family recipe. This homey, easy-to-make popular dish is cooked by the heroine Maribel’s mother Julieta, who uses arepas to heal her family and the local villagers.

Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
Absolutely delicioso, says Luna. “I want to make these every day for every dessert we have.”

Janeth taught Luna to make cheese arepas, just like Janeth learned to make them from her mother when she was growing up in Colombia—and about the same age.

“The arepas were so good! I love to cook,” says Luna.

The Barrero family, including dad Edwin and Luna’s older brother Samuel, who all live in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, feel a special hometown pride watching this celebration of family and culture in Colombia. They try to go back as often as they can to see Luna and Samuel’s grandmother and the rest of Janeth’s large, close family.

Cheese Arepas, Check! What’s Next? Buñuelos, of Course!

Luna liked the cheese arepas so much, she asked to make more Colombian dishes from the movie. What else could they cook to celebrate their family heritage and the magical Encanto world?

Buñuelos, of course!, said Janeth.

In the movie, Julieta also makes these golden, savory-sweet and totalmente delicioso fried dough with queso. This traditional cheese treat is usually served during the Christmas season with natilla—a custard-like dessert made with milk, panela (unrefined whole cane sugar), and coconut—and a cup of Colombian hot chocolate.

Watch Luna and Janeth make their family recipe for cheesy-delicious buñuelos—just like the ones in Encanto!

Today, as they make Encanto-inspired buñuelos. Luna helps her mother prepare the flour, shape the ping pong-ball-size rounds of dough, and fry them in the hot cast-iron pan, using tongs.

”It looks so GOOD,” says Luna. She is monitoring the frying pan, hopping up and down, excited, while waiting for the dough to turn burnished gold on both sides.

”I can’t wait to eat them.”

When they are listos, Janeth and Luna sit down at their kitchen table to sample the crispy treat.

Luna cracks one open, and a sliver of steam shimmies out of the fried dough.

She takes a really big bite.

The verdict?

Enormous Encanto thumbs up from Luna!

Luna decides she loves buñuelos as much as arepas—because they both have cheese, she says, and queso is one of her favorite foods.

”I’m going to make these for every dessert we have,” Luna says.

For more of Janeth and Luna’s family-famous recipes from Colombia, check out their arepas con queso, double fried-plantain patacones con hogao, the traditional, deeply loved tomato-garlic sauce. And don’t miss their flan de queso and whole fried mojarra fish, which Janeth remembers eating when she was a little girl and her family went to the seaside on vacations that were magical.

Colombia truly is an encanto.

If You Like These Colombian Buñuelos, Check Out Their Arepas con Queso From Encanto!

We Made Buñuelos from the Movie Encanto and Colombia!

4 from 7 votes
Recipe by Janeth and Luna Barrera Cuisine: Colombian
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1 cotija cheese (if you don’t have, you can use parmesan)

  • 1 cup 1 cornstarch

  • 1 Tbsp 1 baking powder

  • 1 Tbsp 1 sugar

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 2 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 milk

  • 2 to 3 cups 2 to 3 vegetable oil, to fry the buñuelos

Directions

  • Mix the dry ingredients and eggs in a bowl with a fork—or your hands!
  • Add the milk slowly, mixing it into the dough.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and then pat it into a ball.
  • Place the ball of dough in the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, take a small mound of dough between your hands—about 2 Tbsp—and shape it into a small, round ball, about 1-inch wide each.
  • Pour the oil into a frying pan. Turn the heat to medium-high. In about 3 minutes, start checking the oil’s heat. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if you place a test dough round in the pan—and the oil sizzles gently around its edges and it floats to the top. If the ball does not float, let the oil heat a minute longer, or turn up the heat a smidge.
  • When the oil is ready, use tongs to gently place the dough balls into the oil, being careful not to crowd them. In about 2 to 3 minutes, if they look medium golden on top, turn each dough around to fry the other side for another 2 minutes.
  • When both halves are golden brown and the dough balls are lightly floating on the hot oil, they are ready. Take them out of the oil with tongs and rest them on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Serve them hot. No sugary toppings needed! This is the authentic taste of Colombia loved by the Madrigal family in Encanto and Luna’s family in Chicago.

Notes

  • Janeth says that back home in Colombia everyone buys boxes of premade Buñuoelina flour called Bunuoelia, which can be found in some Latino markets. She could not find it this time, so she made her own traditional buñuelo using cornstarch and baking powder.
Luna buñuelos
Janeth and Luna get ready to mix the grated cotija cheese, corn starch, baking soda, salt, sugar, eggs and milk.
Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
Using their hands, Janeth and Luna knead the dough, let it rest for 20 minutes, and shape them into small balls.
Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
The buñuelo dough is ready! Luna lines it up into two rows, ready to be fried in the vegetable oil.
Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
Luna supervises the buñuelos frying process. The dough is correctly rising to float on top of the oil.
Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
Luna carefully flips the dough so that both sides turn medium-golden brown.
Luna and Janeth Encanto movie buñuelos bunuelos
They are almost done—how will they taste?
Luna Encanto buñuelos
Luna’s first-ever batch of buñuelos using her mom’s family recipe get an enormous Encanto thumbs up.

Like these buñuelos? Next try their arepas con queso, inspired by Encanto!

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