These Pastelitos de Guayaba (Cuban Guava Pastries) are made with puff pastry and filled with sweet and slightly tart guava paste. Made with just four ingredients! Baked until they are golden brown and crispy, they are super easy to make and your family will fall in love with them!
When you live surrounded by Cuban bakeries, it’s super easy to find the guayabas or guayabas con queso. There is a even a Cuban kiosk in my local supermarket. Guayabas are a classic Cuban breakfast treat; and if you want something savory, they have delightful croquetas or even empanadas.
So, yes, since there are Cuban coffee shops all around my neighborhood, I sometimes get a craving and get to practice and order in Spanish a nice pastry with a cafecito or caffe con leche.
I did also get to enjoy the homemade version of guava pastries. Usually it was mom that would get the homemade guava pastries going for all of us to enjoy. But then I took over the baking project and it sort of became an obsession!
When you take one bite of the super flaky puff pastry filled with the soft and irresistible guava paste, you’ll be totally smitten! They are so easy to make that you’ll be making them for a nice weekend breakfast or brunch. Trust me when I tell you: these pastries are MAGICAL!
I usually keep an extra package of puff pastry on hand and the guava paste for whenever we’re craving a special treat. If we have a few leftover (hardly ever!), the kids like to have one at the end of the day. You could even reheat it a little bit in a toaster oven.
Is puff pastry made with butter?
Yes, it is typically made with butter. But I buy Pepperidge Farm’s brand for my dairy-free peeps and it’s made without butter and it is very good! You could also take the time and make your own puff pastry. But there are so many great brands (with butter and without).
Is this recipe vegan?
If you use puff pastry without butter and use a dairy-free milk instead of the egg wash, this recipe is totally vegan.
What is guava paste?
You can usually find guava paste in the jam and jelly section of most markets (or easily find it online). Guava paste is simply the pureed guava fruit with sugar and some pectin. There are different brands of guava paste and you can even find some not with any added coloring.
IF you are ambitious and happen to find some guava at your local fruit market, it is not that difficult to make your own guava paste (and it smells incredible while it’s cooking up!).
What does guava paste like?
Guava paste is such a unique flavor. Some say it’s a combo of mango, pear and strawberry; or even a pear and grapefruit. The paste is much sweeter than the actual fruit as it has added sugar. The unripe guava will be really sour.
What are the ingredients to make guava pastries?
Here is all you need to make these lovely treats:
- Puff pastry
- Guava paste
- Coarse sugar
That is it! You could also add some cream cheese and then you’ll have a guayaba con queso. But if you’re dairy-free, keep the recipe simple with just the guava. If you are able to eat cheese, the addition of cream cheese take it to a whole different level of
How to make Cuban guava pastries: Step-by-Step directions:
First and most important step, remove the puff pastry from the freezer about 30 minutes before. I usually take the pastry out of the box (leave it in the wrapper)and leave it on the counter. Don’t mess around with it until it’s defrosted enough or it will crack.
While it’s defrosting, preheat the oven to 400F.
Next step when the pastry is ready to work with, place it on a sheet of parchment paper on the counter (or the easiest way is to place the parchment paper with the first layer of puff pastry directly on the baking sheet ).
I place it flour side up (the puff pastry comes with a light dusting of flour)and I roll it just slightly, but you could leave this step out if you like. I feel it’s too thick as it is out of the package and like it just slightly thinner so I slightly roll it with rolling pin. That is a personal choice. You could make these leaving them the thickness that it has directly out of the package.
Next step is to cut the guava paste. I like to cut into 12 portions. You could score the pastry into 6 squares, or do what I do and just place 6 guava paste portions spaced out about 1-2 inches apart. I've seen these made with 3 portions of 2 per fold, but my family likes bigger guava pastries!
If you rolled out the first portion of dough a little, you’ll have to roll the second one out a little bit. Place the second portion of puff pastry on top of and use a very sharp knife to score the portions (no need to cut them all the way). Score the top of each square section (I do two small cuts with the knife, but even one is fine).
Gently press the dough together around all the corners (you could even use a fork to press together). It’s fine if you don’t totally seal edges together. Some guava paste will ooze out and that is fine.
For the egg wash: in a small bowl, beat a large egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the top layer of puff pastry with the egg wash. Use a dairy-free milk (like almond milk)if you want to keep this vegan.
If you have turbinado sugar, sprinkle some on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on the lower rack of the oven, or until pastry is golden brown and guava paste is gooey. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
How to store Cuban guava pastries?
Place the cooled down pastries in an airtight container and they’ll stay fresh in the fridge for a few days. Simply reheat them at 350F in a toaster oven or the oven for about 5 minutes or so. IF you have a microwave, you could heat them there, but they won’t be as crispy as heating them in oven.
How to freeze guava pastries?
If you would like to have these baked fresh from frozen, follow all the instructions to assemble the guava pastries. Place the pastries on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Cut them into individual portions and seal them closed around the borders with a fork.
IMPORTANT: Do not put on the egg wash and sugar. Freeze the pastries *should take about 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and place the pastries in zipped lock bag or an airtight container.
When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat oven to 400F. Brush egg wash and sprinkle on turbinado sugar and bake increasing the time by about 3-5 minutes (so 15-20 minutes plus an extra 3-5 minutes) until golden and crispy.
Some other breakfast recipes to enjoy:
- Ciambella Romagnola-Italian Breakfast Cake
- Banana Scones with Maple Espresso Glaze
- Sourdough Banana Bread
Pastelitos de Guayaba
- 2 sheets puff pastry I like Pepperidge Farms and it’s dairy-free
- 1 package guava paste whatever is your favorite brand
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar
- Remove the puff pastry from freezer and place on the counter to defrost for about 20-30 minutes (I remove the pastry from the box and leave it on the counter still wrapped in the paper).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the guava paste on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the guava into 12 sections (it's 4 portions of guava paste per fold and there are 3 folds of puff pastry). The paste is very hard and sticky, so take care while cutting it.
- Unfold the first puff pastry sheet and place on the parchment paper.
- Place 2 portions of the guava paste along each pastry fold section (space them out about 1-2 inches apart per section). So you’ll get 4 paste portions per pastry fold.
- You could slightly roll the pastry like I did or leave it as it comes when you take out of the package. The puff pastry should be roughly 8 x 9 inches (20 x 22cm) Use the back of a knife to lightly score both sheets into 9 equal sections (3 squares across and 3 squares down).
- Open up the second section of the puff pastry and place on top of the guava paste slices. (If you rolled out a little bit the first section, you’ll have to do the same with this section of puff pastry).
- Use a sharp knife to score into squares (you don’t have to cut all the way through).
- Egg wash:
- Beat the egg with a fork with a teaspoon of water. Brush the egg wash on top of the puff pastry.
- For a little sparkle and sweet crunch, sprinkle on some turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (every oven is different so it may take 25-30 mins), or until pastry is golden brown and guava paste is gooey. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy with a nice cafecito!
- Guava paste: If you aren’t able to find guava paste near you or online, you could sub it with a quince paste or even a nice and thick plum butter. It has to be something thick. If you use a thin jam it will just be very runny. Any leftover guava paste could be used to make guava muffins or a banana-guava quick bread!
- Puff pastry: The Pepperidge Farms brand is dairy-free. IF you are ok with eating dairy products, find a nice brand with butter. Either way, the pastry will be delicious.
- Vegan: To make these vegan, use the butter-free puff pastry and use a dairy-free milk instead of the egg wash.
- To serve: These pastries are best served freshly baked. Just let them cool down about 5 minutes or so, as the paste will burn your tongue (trust me, everyone in my family has bitten into one without letting it cool enough!).
- To Store: IF you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge or on the counter for a day.
Being a beginning baker, I really enjoyed making these pastries. So easy to make and just so delicious!