Recipe: Salvadoran Quesadilla (Sweet Breakfast Cake)

Makes 18-22 cupcakes

Don’t expect cheese and tortillas. Instead, think poundcake. Think party food. Think happy mornings, popping a few too many quesadillas in your mouth. In El Salvador they eat rich, buttery quesadillas in the morning with a big cup of coffee and I suggest you do the same. You’ll love the slight crunch of the sesame seeds in combination with the sweet/salty cake.

I’m proud to say that this recipe was awarded First Place in food52‘s Gluten-Free Baking Competition.

Best served with dulce de leche and a cloud of whipped cream.


1 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated hard cheese, like cotija (parmesan can be substituted)
sesame seeds, to taste


Get your baking shoes on! You’re about to whip up a batch of Salvadoran goodness.

Gather your ingredients, then preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk together the rice flour, baking powder, and salt.

Meanwhile, in a standing mixer, cream the butter with sugar.

Drop in the eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully incorporated and scrape down the sides.

Then add the sour cream.  Plop.

Once you’ve whisked that in, add the rice flour mixture.

‘Don’t forget the cheese, please!

Spoon into greased cupcake tins. Leave some room for them to rise up (they aren’t meant to have “muffin tops” though)

Neither am I, but my jeans won’t listen.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Pretend you see some in this picture. Aren’t they pretty?

Bake at 350F for about 15-20 min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes and pop out of the tins.

Eat at room temperature with a big cuppa coffee.

Take an hour to read the newspaper and glance out the window from time to time, watching the clouds drift by.

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  1. Hilarious – invisible pretty seeds, deaf jeans and persistent muffin tops!

  2. elisa waller says:


  3. Congratulations on the recent Food52 win! I love your blog & am so glad one of these fabulous global recipes will be included in the next cookbook.

  4. peter kelly says:

    Not much of a baker, but these were delicious. Baking them again tomorrow. Thanks Santa

  5. I’m going to make a vegan version :). Vegan butter, non-dairy sour cream, flax seed in stead of eggs and Daiya non-dairy cheese :). Loved your comment about muffin tops!

  6. AMAZING!!!!!!!! I couldn’t find rice flower in my po dunk town so i used wheat. Again. Amazing. So soft crispy chewy on the outside.

  7. I posted about quesadilla Salvadorena too, great minds think alike! Its so nice to see some fellow Salvador bloggers on here! This is truly the best pound cake ever! thanks for the lovely post!

  8. Oh Sasha, this is EVIL. Dulce de leche…..whipped cream. Come on…..I have this is my plan to make tomorrow – bought everything I need, now you are tempting me to make some dulce de leche too. Not fair. But looking forward to it all – might make a quick caramel sauce!

  9. Made this tonight. Loveeeee it. Rice flour is so amazing. Made two versions – as you gave…and the other with lemon zest and poppy seeds – super awesome! Thanks.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      What a fantastic idea! Thanks for trying it and reporting back the results… I’m going to have to try it your way :)

  10. Jessica Bennett says:

    I just made these for a potluck I’m going to tomorrow. They turned out well. I don’t usually like to make something new to bring to a potluck, but as this one will have a huge amount of people (50 people? maybe more- no idea), I figured if they weren’t so good, there would be plenty of other things available. So, thank you again for this blog. I never used the links at the top until now, and I was very excited to see the potluck category.

  11. I had this for the first time a couple of weeks back, one of our waiters who is Salvadorian made some for our staff. We loved it! Great Post!

  12. Since I didn’t have a muffin tin, I made this today as a cake. Added a bit more cheese, and substituted turkish yogurt for the sour cream (since this is what I had on hand). Wonderful, milky and so rich!

    Served with some home-made caramel sauce, a bit of yogurt mixed with cream and vanilla, and some blueberries. A very rich and decadent dessert that would fit well to end a celebration.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Next time (there will be a next time!) I might add citrus peel to the batter.


  1. […] was just one test. And when I employed the dodgy creme fraiche in a sweet ‘quesadilla’ by Sasha of Global Table Adventure (the recipe is from El Salvador), it proved not bad at all. The […]

  2. […] once in a while I happen upon a recipe that is naturally gluten free. First, there were the quesadillas from El Salvador (super yum and award-winning, by the way). This week we’re going gluten free with Maasa […]

  3. […] reputation on their sweet delicacies and these lived up to the hype. A take-home box of Salvadorian quesadilla cake and cuernito de guayabas, barely lasted a day in our house. When I recently packed up a care […]

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