Pandebono (or pan de bono) is a popular bread in Colombia, made from cassava starch and corn. Eggs and cheese in the dough makes it a rich and filling bun.

Traditionally, pan de bono is consumed while still warm soon after baking – preferably together with a mug of hot chocolate.

Pandebono is eaten throughout Colombia, but is especially associated with the department of Valle del Cauca.

Recipe for pandebono

Naturally, many different recipes exist for pandebono. Many of them call for guava, but our recipe below is without guava and also distinguishes itself from the herd by including feta cheese.

Ingredients (for 12 buns)

  • 2/3 cup of cassava starch
  • ¼ cup precooked cornmeal or masarepa
  • 1 cup Colombian quesito (can be substituted with Mexican queso freso or similar cheese)
  • 1 ¼ cup of feta cheese
  • 2 small eggs


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix cassava starch and cornmeal together in a bowl.
  3. Add the cheeses and mix all ingredients well.
  4. Add the egg and quickly knead to a dough. This is not a dough that should be kneaded a lot.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Make twelve buns out of the dough and place them on the parchment paper.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the buns are golden on the top. This will typically take 15-20 minutes.
  8. Serve the buns while they are still warm.

Hot chocolate

In Colombia, hot chocolate is staple for both children and adults, and it goes very well with freshly made pandebono. Most households will have a chocolatera and a molinillo – two kitchen gadgets utilized to make hot chocolate at home. In the stores, you will also find sweet chocolate bars especially intended for making hot chocolate.

You put your chocolatera on the burner, pour in 2 cups of milk, add 4 pieces of chocolate and turn the heat on. When the liquid is warm, take the molinillo and place it in the chocolatera and between the palms of your hands. As you move your hands forward and backwards against each other, the molinillo will whisk the hot chocolate. Keep on doing it until you notice the beginning of a hot chocolate eruption in the chocolatera. During this eruption, the hot chocolate starts rushing towards the top of the chocolatera and it will spill over if you don’t remove the vessel from the heat fast enough.

Don’t have a chocolatera?

Don’t have a molinillo?

Don’t have a bar of Colombian drinking chocolate?

Don’t worry! Below, you will find a simplified hot chocolate recipe that you can use. Many stores outside Colombia carry ordinary sweet chocolate bars from Colombia, so you can still get the Colombian connection.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 5 ounces of sweet Colombian chocolate
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon


  1. Chop the chocolate.
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it up over medium heat, to just below the simmering point.
  3. Add the chocolate to the milk.
  4. When the chocolate is melted, stir in sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Whisk vigorously using an ordinary whisk.
  6. Reheat if necessary, and serve right away.