These Guava & Cream Cheese Quesitos are Puerto Rican pastries consisting of buttery, flaky puff pastry, sweetened cream cheese, and gooey guava paste for a sweet, crispy, tender pastry you’ll flip for!
This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises. All opinions are 100% my own.
So as you know, I just returned home from cruising the Caribbean with Princess Cruises, and I am already vacation-sick (like home-sick, but craving to go back to where you just vacationed). On this particular cruise, we hit up Princess Cays, Bahamas; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos. While I truly loved all of the places we visited, my heart landed squarely on Puerto Rico.
I can’t really describe it, but I fell in love with this vibrant, historical city with its cobblestone streets, pastel-colored buildings and tropical climate. Everyone was so friendly and there was so much LIFE there in Old San Juan. From the little pop-up farmers markets to the rum-tasting rooms to the giant fortress that still surrounds the city. It was quaint but still felt so alive with colors and smells and flavors and people!
On our particular excursion, my mom and I went on a walking history and cuisine tour of Old San Juan. We walked all around the city, visiting breathtaking cathedrals and seeing the “front doors” of the fortress built in the mid-1500’s around the city. We also went to a little cooking school/restaurant where we were treated to homemade mofongo, which is like a Puerto Rican stew, and we got to make our own mojitos! I made an authentic mojito recipe HERE. You have to check it out!
We also had dessert served to us in the way of some quesitos. Quesitos are essentially like a cheese danish, only folded a little differently and with a slight different twist after it bakes. Ours was light and tender with a crispy, flaky shell and a sweetened cream cheese filling. Our chef, Carmen, drizzled it with guava paste and served it with fresh whipped cream. I was hooked! In fact, after they passed out all the plates to our group, they had a leftover one and I begged them for it because they were just so delicious.
After our tour ended, my mom and I took the liberty to walk around Old San Juan ourselves and found a little outdoor market where I picked up some vanilla extract and some Puerto Rican cookies and candies. Then we stumbled across a little cafe with pastries in the windows. I ended up ordering their quesito, and a guava and cheese pastry. If you didn’t know, guava is a very crucial ingredient in Caribbean cooking and it is very prominent at nearly every Caribbean island I’ve been to. It’s sweet with a little tangy bite, kind of similar to a strawberry jam but a little more tart. Both the quesito and the guava pastry were awesome, so I knew when I arrived back to California, I had to make a quesito for myself!
You guys – quesitos are SO simple to make! It’s essentially ingredients we’d use to make a danish or pastry but with a slightly different preparation.
To make them, you simply thaw some puff pastry (not to be confused with phillo dough, which is way too brittle for this). Cut each puff pastry sheet (each box has 2 sheets) into four equal squares. In the middle of each square, add a line (about a Tablespoon or two’s worth) of sweetened cream cheese. The cream cheese mixture is just cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Then add about a Tablespoon or two of guava paste, lined up right next to the cream cheese mixture. I found mine in the international aisle of the supermarket, but Amazon also sells it!
Use a little egg wash to coat the edges of the pastry, then fold one side over to the other and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Brush the tops of the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle with some granulated sugar. Bake them up until golden brown and puffy, and here’s where it gets different: brush each hot pastry with a little corn syrup and sprinkle with more granulated sugar. The result is an ultra-gooey, crispy, sugary, sticky topping that is to die for!
Whether you’re new to quesitos or you’ve enjoyed them before, you have to try this simple recipe for these sweet, tender, flaky, soft pastries!
- One box (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup guava paste
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- On a clean, flat work surface, unroll each puff pastry sheet, working with one at a time. Cut the sheet into 4 equal-size squares. You should now have 8 squares.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, and the vanilla extract together with an electric mixer until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cream cheese mixture (about 2 Tablespoons-worth) in a line in the center of the square. Add 2 Tablespoons-worth of the guava paste and break it up in a line next to the cream cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry square with egg. Fold one side over the filling and seal with the other side, creating a rectangular shape. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Place the pastries about 3" apart on the baking sheets, about 4 per sheet. Brush the tops of the pastry with the egg wash; sprinkle with some of the granulated sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Immediately remove from the oven and brush on the corn syrup. Sprinkle with the remaining granulated sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I love these quesitos for breakfast, brunch, or dessert! So easy, fast and delicious. You can also try experimenting with other flavored fruit jams, like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, or even lemon curd!
For more information about cruising the Caribbean, be sure to visit Princess Cruises’ website for info, deals, and more! We traveled on an Ocean Medallion cruise which I highly recommend! With the Ocean Medallion and Princess’ Ocean Now apps I could order pastries to wherever I was on the ship, any time of day or night! It definitely satisfied my pastry craving after those quesitos!
Have a super sweet day!
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