Panamanian Tortillas (Thick Corn Cakes)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

This is my Grandmother's recipe for tortillas--she dictated it to me in very broken English! :) Panamanian Tortillas are completely unlike Mexican Tortillas. They are corn-based and are much thicker and have much more flavor. These can take a while to get down, especially the kneading and cooking, but they're more than worth it!! See my other recipe for Cheesy Panamanian Tortillas for next-day eating. If you make the masa before-hand, it will keep in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. For the more adventurous cook, try deep-frying or grilling instead of baking.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix the water, mix, salt, rice flour, and sugar (optional) with a spoon.
  2. Knead with wet hands in bowl (wet hands keep it from sticking, so if it starts to stick just get your hands wet again).
  3. It will form into a mixture called "masa".
  4. Get bunches of the masa and form them into circles. Make sure the edges are pinched (no creases or cracks), and that the thickness is consistent (about 1 or 2 cm thick).
  5. To bake, put some of the butter in the pan and spread evenly. Heat the butter on med high.
  6. When butter is heated, place masa circles on the pan and let bake.
  7. Flip them every 2 or 3 min to evenly cook without burning.
  8. They will start to puff up and get golden.
  9. It should take about 10 min to cook thoroughly, but make sure not to overdo them--no one likes a burned tortilla!
  10. Repeat the steps until all the circles are baked through.


Most Helpful

I have been making these for a couple years now minus the rice flour salt and sugar.....if you stuff them with cheese and beans before cooking them they become pupusas!

cervantesbrandi December 12, 2007

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