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Quequitos de Guayaba para Cinqo de Mayo: Guava Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

May 5, 2011

Growing up, my sister was kind of obsessed with guava. Any time the juice was on offering, she would slurp it down, and we returned from trips to Hawaii with jars of guava jelly to spread on toast back at home. She loved it. Even with my early introduction to this exotic fruit, it wasn’t until this year, during my February visit to Mexico, that I encountered a whole fruit in the flesh. My mom and I were strolling through the lovely town of Todos Santos and we stepped into the back garden of a little art gallery. The sweet perfume of guava immediately overwhelmed my nose and I realized the small green globes scattering the ground were indeed the fallen fruit of the “guayaba” tree.

They were rather ugly, actually, but the incredible scent and delicious flavor make up for what the guava lacks in looks. On our way out of town, Mom and I stopped at a roadside market where I picked up a hefty block of dense, sticky guava paste, made from the trees right across the road. I’ve been wondering what to do with the stuff ever since bringing it home and I figured there was no better occasion to experiment than for Cinqo de Mayo.

When I try new recipes, the moment of truth arrives after I’ve snapped several dozen photos of the finished product and the time comes to dig a fork in and take a bite. Did I just waste the last few hours mixing, baking, cooling and decorating, arranging and taking photos, only to have a taste and discover a complete disaster in flavor? I know I’ve created a winner when I become more concerned with eating the dessert than taking its closeup. Bite. Click. Bigger bite. Click. Shove in mouth.

This was one of those times. My Quequitos de Guayaba, or Guava Cupcakes, are like a combination of your favorite cornbread and cupcake recipes, studded with jammy bits of guava paste and topped with thick and tangy cream cheese frosting. Delicioso! The cornmeal adds fantastic texture to this sweet and creamy treat.

Although my guava paste came from Mexico, you can find canned guava paste at Hispanic markets or well-stocked super markets. Goya is a good brand to look for. You can also order it online.

Quequitos de Guayaba

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (medium grind or finer)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 oz guava paste, diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixer on low speed. Pour in half the buttermilk, followed by another 1/3 of the dry. Finish with the remaining buttermilk and the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combine.
  4. Break apart the cubes of guava paste (it’s sticky, I know!) and fold into the batter.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine)
  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla, brown sugar, and salt and beat to combine.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Fill a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread generously atop each cupcake with a knife. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (Keep frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator.) Enjoy!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2011 8:00 pm

    these look delish
    Please stop by and say hi.

  2. May 6, 2011 12:05 am

    Love the colors! I keep trying to frost my cupcakes like that and they never turn out as good as yours do… I must not have enough patience!

  3. May 8, 2011 2:37 pm

    Your cupcakes always look so perfect, especially your piped frosting on top! I normally give up and simply spread it across the top since I can’t get it to look picture-perfect like yours.

    My mom and younger brother have the same obsession with guava as your sister. We actually visited a guava plantation one time when we were in Hawaii, just for them! After our Hawaii vacations, our pantry swells with jars of guava jelly and guava syrup, and they insist on buying guava nectar to feel like they’re still on vacation.

  4. The Sister permalink
    May 25, 2011 1:57 pm

    What are the chances you could bring me some of these for my birthday? I mean I am the one who inspired them 🙂 They look amazing!! Love you.

    • May 25, 2011 2:12 pm

      Absolutely! I may have to track down more guava paste, or I could do half with guava and half with mango paste since I still have that to use up 🙂 Let me know what you want 🙂


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