Craving crispy, cheesy goodness? Look no further than cachapas, the irresistible corn pancake that is a Venezuelan street food staple. 

close up of cachapas on a plate

What are cachapas?

Cachapas are Venezuelan corn pancakes. I learned about them through the Food Network’s $24 in 24 hours. Jeff Mauro visited Maria’s Cafe in Minneapolis and ordered Cachapas Venezolanas, which are sweet, crispy corn pancakes topped with sharp cotija cheese.

I love watching shows on Food Network where they travel around to different restaurants because it introduces me to so many cuisines and cultures.

Although Maria’s tops their cachapas with cotija, cachapas are also served with other soft, melty cheeses like mozzarella. If you add the cheese right when they come off the griddle, the heat of the fresh cachapas will melt the cheese filling, creating a quesadilla like experience. 

The outside of the cachapas are a little sweet and caramelized and the inside has a mellow sweet corn flavor with a little texture. When you top them with cotija cheese they have a nice sour, salty finish. 

For more about the cultural history and significance of this dish, I invite you to read The History of Corn’s Prominence in Venezuelan Cuisine from Food Writer Maki Yazawa. 

No ratings yet

Cachapas (Corn Pancakes)

Craving crispy, cheesy goodness? Look no further than cachapas, the irresistible corn pancake that is a Venezuelan street food staple. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 3-inch pancakes


  • 1 15 3/4- oz can corn, drained
  • 3 tbls flour
  • 2 tbls water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • butter
  • cotija cheese


  • Place: Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  • Pulse: Pulse until combined, but still a little course.
  • Heat: Heat a griddle over medium-low heat. Coat with some butter.
  • Ladle: Ladle one scoop of batter onto the griddle.
  • Cook: Cook until bubbles start to pop on the surface.
  • Flip: Flip. Continue cooking until browned.
  • Serve: Serve on a plate with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of cotija cheese.


Serving: 1gCalories: 85kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 3gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Venezuelan
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @zestuous
cachapas on a plate with a fork

Ingredients for cachapas

  • Can of corn: Found in the canned vegetables section of the grocery store. Provides the base for cachapas, imparting a sweet and corn-forward flavor to the dish.
  • All-purpose flour: Creates the base for the cachapas batter. 
  • Water: Helps reduce the thickness of the cachapas. 
  • Egg: Helps to bind the ingredients together to form a batter. 
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cachapas and balances out the savory notes from the cotija cheese. 
  • Kosher salt
  • Smoked paprika (optional): If used, adds a slight smoky flavor and golden color to the pancakes.
  • Butter: Found in the dairy section. Used for coating the pan and giving the cachapas a velvety, buttery flavor. 
  • Cotija cheese: Found in the dairy or cheese section. Its fresh, salty flavor beautifully compliments the sweetness of the sugar. 

Substitutions: You can also use frozen corn kernels that are thawed or fresh corn kernels cut from the cob.

See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.

How to make cachapas


Use the right pan. I suggest using a nonstick pan. Also, keeping the heat on medium-low helps the cachapas not stick to the bottom of the pan. Finally, use butter, not oil. I find oil is too greasy for these pancakes.

  1. BLEND: Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined, but still a little coarse.
  2. HEAT: Heat a griddle or small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat with some butter.
  3. LADLE: Ladle one scoop of batter onto the hot griddle in a circular shape. 
  4. COOK: Cook until bubbles start to pop on the surface.
  5. FLIP: Flip. Continue cooking until golden brown.
  6. SERVE: Serve on a plate with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of cotija cheese.
cachapas on a plate with crumbled cotija cheese

How to serve cachapas

Serve these delicious corn pancakes with a side of black beans, a fried egg and a dash of hot sauce for the perfect breakfast. 


Leftover cachapas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does cachapa mean?

The word “cachapa” means crumpets, although a traditional Venezuelan cachapa is more like a regular pancake, according to

Where do cachapas come from?

Originating from Venezuela in pre-Columbian times, cachapas were made by the indigenous people and cooked on flat griddle plates, according to

How to reheat cachapas?

You can reheat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Or, you can reheat them on skillet over medium-low heat. 

Can I use another type of cheese besides cotija?

Yes. If you can find queso de mano, that is the traditional Venezualen cheese served with cachapas. Other options you can consider are fresh mozzarella cheese, queso fresco or even cream cheese. 

What is the difference between a cachapa and an arepa?

Cachapas and arepas are both popular dishes in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine. Cachapas are sweet corn pancakes made with corn kernals, while arepas are made with corn meal or masa harina, which is a corn flour. 

More breakfast recipes

Latest Recipes

You May Also Like

Christie Vanover

About Zestuous

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I love this post, and this recipe. So impressed that you were not deterred by having to make a few attempts to get this right – sometimes my impatience is a real vice! These look delicious, I know my husband would love them – thanks for the great idea!

  2. Christie!! I nearly spit out my Bloody Mary (virgin at that!)reading this post!! That’s hilarious…Dollar Store trumps LesCruset…ha ha ha! These look and sound wonderful…I must do!! Now to find some cotija cheese or a good substitute! xo Ally

    1. Thanks Ally. Your pans saved breakfast…but I’ll never get rid of the LC. Love those pans…they’re just not the best for pancakes :/