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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
20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 287kcal
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
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, or some kind of sharp cheese)
  • 6 black olives
  • For brushing:
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roll out each ball into a disk about 12.5 centimeters in diameter. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  • 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.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the cheese and onions (make sure they are not hot).
  • 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.
  • To close them, you can use the tip of a fork or make a repulgue.
  • Brush each empanada with a mixture of ground chili pepper and oil.
  • Heat the oven to 180C / 355F. Bake the pucacapas for 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot.


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