Vegan Quesitos (Puerto Rican Cream Cheese Pastry)

October 2, 2021

Breakfast

By: Jasmine Briones 

Quesitos are one of the most popular pastries in Puerto Rico, and if you’ve never had one, you are in for a treat! These pastries are made with a light and flaky puffed pastry dough that is stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling. They are so easy to make and require just a few ingredients!

photo of quesitos on white serving platter

This recipe was contributed to our blog from Sachi Georgieva of The Colorful Coach, a vegan healthy habits coach based out of Berkeley, CA. She offers health coaching to those seeking to improve their wellness through a plant-based diet & lifestyle changes.

Quesitos in Spanish means “little cheese” and this is exactly what that is– stuffed little cheese rolls! They can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a midday snack, or even as a dessert, and are normally served with coffee or hot chocolate. Traditionally, quesitos contain a sweetened cream cheese that has is flavored with vanilla, but sometimes they may contain fruit preserves or jam.

Here’s What You Need to Make Vegan Quesitos:

  • Puff Pastry: Believe it or not, a lot of premade puff pastries are accidentally vegan– we use this one!
  • Vegan Cream Cheese: We like to use the Kite Hill brand for this recipe, but any vegan cream cheese should work!
  • Powdered Sugar: Used to sweeten the filling. We like to use powdered sugar so that it is nice and smooth.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a nice depth of flavor to the cream cheese filling.
  • Guava Paste or Jam: This ingredient is optional but recommended. We found some at our local Hispanic market but it is also available online.
  • Granulated Sugar: This is used to sprinkle over top the pastries before baking! To ensure that the sugar you are using is vegan-friendly, opt for an organic granulated sugar. We like to use this one!
  • Liquid Vegan Egg: This is used to brush over top the quesitos and help the achieve that beautiful golden brown color and crispy texture, as well as seal the pastries so they don’t pop open while baking. If you do not want to use liquid vegan egg, you can make an egg wash alternative by mixing 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup OR you can use melted vegan butter.

It can have a few different shapes, but the ingredients generally involve some kind of puff pastry crust wrapped around a filling of soft, sweet cheese. Common shapes for quesitos include envelope-shaped, tube-like, or croissant-shaped. Sometimes the pastry is wrapped so it completely encases the filling, and sometimes the filling is partially exposed.

close up photo of vegan quesitos on a white plate

If you are looking for more veganized Puerto Rican recipes, check these out:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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close up photo of vegan quesitos on a white plate

Vegan Quesitos (Puerto Rican Cream Cheese Pastry)


  • Author: Sachi Georgieva

Description

Quesitos are one of the most popular pastries in Puerto Rico. These pastries are made with a light and flaky puffed pastry dough that is stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling. They are so easy to make and require just a few ingredients!


Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 sheets) of vegan puff pastry, thawed
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: guava paste or guava jam
  • Granulated sugar, to taste
  • Liquid vegan egg (see notes for alternative)

Instructions

  1. Prepare puff pastry according to package instructions.*
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until well-combined.
  4. Unwrap the puff pastry dough on a floured surface and roll until it is about 12×15-inches. Cut into 12 even squares.
  5. Add 1-1.5 tbsp of the sweet cream cheese filling to each square. For cheese & guava quesitos, add a spoonful of guava paste/jam before adding the cream cheese.
  6. Brush vegan egg wash onto the corners of each pastry and fold two opposite corners in toward each other, making sure to tuck the top corner all the way underneath.
  7. Arrange the quesitos onto a nonstick or lined baking pan and brush each quesito with additional vegan egg wash. Sprinkle each with a bit of granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Puff Pastry: Believe it or not, a lot of premade puff pastries are accidentally vegan– we use this one. Some puffed pastries may require thawing before use. 
  • Vegan Cream Cheese: We like to use the Kite Hill brand for this recipe, but any vegan cream cheese should work!
  • Guava Paste or Jam: This ingredient is optional but recommended. We found some at our local Hispanic market but it is also available online.
  • Liquid Vegan Egg: If you do not want to use liquid vegan egg, you can make an egg wash alternative by mixing 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup OR you can use melted vegan butter.
  • These are best when served the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for about 3 days.
  • This recipe contribution is from Sachi Georgieva of The Colorful Coach and was inspired by The Hungry Dragonfly.

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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