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3 pukacapas en un plato

Pucacapas (Bolivian Spicy Cheese Empanadas)

Pucacapas are little pockets of joy. Filled with spicy, cheesy goodness. Wrapped around a sweet and buttery pastry.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Bolivian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 287 kcal
Author Lizet Bowen


  • Dough:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Filling:
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon quirquiña minced (you can substitute curly leaf parsley or coriander)
  • 2 habaneros chopped
  • 6 black olives
  • For brushing:
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Dough: In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix with your hands until it resembles big crumbs. Add the egg yolk; Mix. Add the milk, mix until all the ingredients have incorporated.

  2. On a floured surface, knead until the dough is smooth (2 to 3 minutes). Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Using the palms of your hands, form balls. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Roll out each ball into a disk about 12.5 centimeters in diameter. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  4. Filling: In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the onion until translucent. Add the quirquiña, and the minced chili pepper. Cook for 1 minute and allow to cool completely.

  5. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the cheese and onions (make sure they are not hot).
  6. How to assemble: Put an empanada disc on a flat surface. Add 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons of filling (leaving 1 centimeter of space on the edges) and an olive in the middle. Cover with another empanadas disc. Press the edges.

  7. To close them, you can use the tip of a fork or make a repulgue.
  8. Brush each empanada with a mixture of ground chili pepper and oil.
  9. Heat the oven to 180C / 355F. Bake the pucacapas for 20 minutes.
  10. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for one night, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.