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Quesitos are one of the most popular Puerto Rican Cream Cheese Pastries and are easily made vegan! They’re light, flaky, and filled with a sweet guava and cream cheese filling. Enjoy as a sweet breakfast treat alongside your favorite morning beverage for the perfect Puerto Rican treat!
What are Quesitos?
Quesitos are an incredibly popular in Puerto Rico. They’re typically made with a sweet, cream cheese filling and wrapped in a soft puff pastry dough. Quesitos are also commonly filled with sweet jams and pastes such as guava paste. After baking, these pastries are crispy and flaky on the outside and sweet and creamy on the inside.
Quesitos are most often enjoyed as a sweet breakfast food in Puerto Rico, but can also be enjoyed throughout the day for a sweet snack.
Sachi Georgieva veganized the authentic Puerto Rican pastry by swapping the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese and replaced the typical egg wash with a vegan egg wash. If you grew up eating quesitos, we think you’re going to love this easy vegan cream cheese pastries recipe!
Ingredients You’ll Need + Substitutions
- Puff Pastry: Believe it or not, a lot of premade, store-bought puff pastry doughs are accidentally vegan – we like to use Wewalka Puff Pastry European Bakery Style Dough that we pick up at Fred Meyer. If you can’t find Wewalka Puff Pastry at your local grocery store in the freezer section, check out these 11 Other Vegan Puff Pastry Brands You Can Find in Stores!
- Vegan Cream Cheese: We like to use the Kite Hill brand for this recipe, but you could also use our easy Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese or any other vegan cream cheese of choice.
- Powdered Sugar: Sweetens the cream cheese filling. For the best, smooth filling, sift the powdered sugar before adding it to the bowl with the cream cheese. And to ensure your sugar is vegan, opt for organic.
- Vanilla Extract: Optional, but adds a nice depth of flavor to the filling of the cream cheese pastries.
- Guava Paste or Jam: Adding guava paste or jam to the filling is optional, but is highly recommended when possible. We were able to find some at our local Hispanic market but it is also available online for a relatively low cost!
- Granulated Sugar: A light sprinkle of sugar over the quesitos before baking gives them an added crispiness and sweetness! Again, to ensure that the sugar you are using is vegan-friendly, opt for an organic granulated sugar. We like to use Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar, but you can also use a turbinado sugar of choice.
- Liquid Vegan Egg: Authentic quesitos are sealed shut with egg wash, then brushed before baking for additional color and flavor. Sachi’s recipe replaces this egg wash with a liquid vegan egg, such as Just Egg. If you do not want to use a liquid vegan egg or simply don’t have access to it, replace the liquid vegan egg with melted vegan butter or make a vegan egg wash using a mixture of plant-based milk and maple syrup (2 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon sweetener).
- Medium mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter or sharp knife
- Whisk or fork
- Pastry brush
- Nonstick baking sheet
- Parchment paper or silicone mat
How to Make Vegan Puerto Rican Quesitos
- Prep the puff pastry. Thaw your puff pastry according to package instructions and set aside while you prepare the cream cheese pastry filling.
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar. In a medium bowl, combine the room temperature vegan cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Using a fork, mix the cream cheese mixture together until well combined and smooth, resembling a consistency similar to cream cheese frosting.
- Roll the puff pastry until 12×15-inches. Remove the puff pastry dough from the packaging and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry dough into a rectangle, about 12×15-inches. Cut the dough into 12 even squares (this recipe makes 12 quesitos).
- Add the filling. Place 1 tablespoon of sweet cream cheese onto each square. If making guava pastries, add a spoonful of guava paste/jam before adding the vegan cream cheese filling.
- Seal the quesitos. Brush vegan egg wash onto the corners of each cream cheese pastry and fold the two opposite corners in towards each other, making sure to tuck the top corner all the way underneath and pressing it into the dough to seal tightly.
- Sprinkle with sugar. Arrange the quesitos on a nonstick or lined baking sheet and brush each with additional egg wash. Sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar.
- Bake. Bake the vegan quesitos for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky.
- Serve. Allow the cream cheese pastries to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
Sweet quesitos can be enjoyed just as you’d enjoy any other type of breakfast pastry. Pair them with your favorite morning beverage such as a Date-Sweetened Matcha Latte, a Mocha Frappaccino, or a classic Homemade Cold Brew.
These Puerto Rican pastries are also delicious enjoyed with your fresh fruits, particularly guava, pineapple, or fresh strawberries. Or, if you want to make them even sweeter and more delicious, serve with an additional dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of our Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream.
For more delicious Vegan Puerto Rican recipes, check out our Youtube video: Eating Only Puerto Rican Food for a Day.
Vegan Quesitos are best served day of, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
We have not tested freezing quesitos, but it should likely work. If you’d like to give it a try, allow the vegan quesitos to cool completely until room temperature, then wrap each quesito individually in plastic wrap before placing them together in a large freezer-safe bag (we like to use Stasher bags in the freezer – check out more of our favorite ways to reduce kitchen waste here).
Vegan Puerto Rican Creators to Follow:
- Sachi Georgiva of the Colorful Coach – In addition to this recipe, Sachi also shares more vegan recipes and more good eats in Mexico city.
- Jeremie Serrano of La Comida de Jeremie – We love his Sofrito recipe, Vegan Chicharrón de Pollo and Tostones, and Coquito!
- Destiny DeJesus of Eat Yo Destiny – Destiny shares tons of tips on living a sustainable vegan lifestyle as well as authentic Puerto Rican recipes.
- Lyana Blount of Black Rican Vegan – Lyana is a Bronx Native and shares amazing Vegan Food in the NYC area!
- Karla of VeggieJava – Karla shares plant-based Puerto Rican recipes she develops from her home kitchen in Puerto Rico.
- Giselle from the Plant-Based Boricua – Giselle loves veganizing her favorite Puerto Rican and Caribbean recipes and shares them on Instagram as well as her blog!
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