Home RecipesDesserts Peruvian Cornstarch Alfajores

Peruvian Cornstarch Alfajores

by Lorena

Cornstarch alfajores are different because the dough falls apart a lot more than the ones made with wheat flour. It really leaves you with this feeling that they’re melting in your mouth. The filling cannot be anything other than manjar blanco made in a pot. There’s no replacement that goes near it in flavour and it goes incredibly with the cornstarch cookies.

Manjar blanco is the Peruvian parallel of the dulce de leche. You start of with the same mix as you would for a suspiro de limeña and then you cook it further to get this gooey texture.

One bite of these alfajores and I promise you will completely fall in love. I warn you, they’re addictive! So don’t come complaining afterwards that you can’t stop eating them 😉

Alfajores are delicious and there are two things you need to consider to achieve a maximum “melting in your mouth” experience. The first thing is that you need to cook them the bare minimum so that they’re cooked but they shouldn’t go golden. In my oven this point is at 8min. At this point they do have an outer crispy layer. However, on the next day they go softer and extra delicious.

To me, these are way superior to the wheat flour alfajores. It’s all in the texture of the cookies because they’re both filled with the same manjar blanco. They remind me of when I was little and my mom would buy me a box of 12 cornstarch alfajores. They had grated coconut around them and even though I don’t like grated coconut (I feel like I’m eating wood chips) they were so good I didn’t care.

cornflour alfajores

Peruvian Cornstarch Alfajores with Manjar Blanco

5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Tea Time
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 30 alfajores


For the cornstarch cookies

  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 100 g sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 250 g cornstarch
  • 70 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • icing sugar for dusting

For the manjar blanco

  • 400 g evaporated milk
  • 400 g condensed milk


For the cornstarch cookies

  • Mix the butter with the sugar using a whisk until you have an even paste.
  • Add the yolks and water an mix again.
  • Sift the dry ingredients and mix them in using a spatula until it can't help you any longer and switch to your hands. Don't knead it, just mix it in because if you work it too much it goes tough.
  • Wrap in cling film and take to the fridge for 30min so we can roll it out later. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you have it in there longer than an hour, take it out and let it warm up a bit before rolling it so it doesn't break.
  • Dust a clean surface with flour and also put some on top of the dough. Roll it out until it has 3mm thickness, moving it around after every roll to make sure it's not sticking.
  • Cut out the alfajores' cookies and place them on a baking tray with a silpat or baking paper.
  • Take to a preheated oven at 180C for 8min.
  • Let it cool down completely before filling.

For the manjar blanco

  • Put the milks in a large pot and stir constantly with a spatula on medium-low heat until you can clearly see the base of the pot. For further reference watch the video above.
  • Transfer to a large container (so it cools faster) and let it come to room temperature.
  • Fill the cookies using a piping bag.
  • Dust with icing sugar.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!


Wendy Rickards December 8, 2021 - 8:13 pm

In this recipe, is cornflour the same as cornstarch?

Lorena December 16, 2021 - 6:09 pm


La Chinita December 9, 2021 - 5:30 am

I have made this recipe for alfajores several times and it never fails to please (approved by many Peruvians!). I made the manjar blanco as well, although I find that it takes me a lot longer to thicken it (45 minutes at least) at a low enough heat to not burn. Still, it is absolutely worth it! Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

Note to others: working with corn starch/flour feels weird at first. It’s going to look like it is way too dry and powdery as you incorporate the flour mixture. DO NOT ADD MORE WATER! You will get to a point where all of a sudden it just comes together as a cookie dough. Trust the recipe. 🙂 You can also cut out cute shapes since these cookies don’t spread much. I’ve made heart and scallop-edged alfajores that look as elegant as any French macaron.

Anonymous March 10, 2023 - 9:41 pm

I’ve made these and my father in law, who is Peruvian, LOVED them. Easy to make and perfectly melt in your mouth. I made the for family and for my daughter’s class and everyone loves them. I used dulce the leche instead of manjar blanco.

Mini November 29, 2023 - 1:12 am

Honestly I cranked the heat up to medium and maybe I lucked out, because the manjar blanco was amazing and did not catch at all. I feel like I’ll probably carry on with this strategy from now on.

This recipe is my trusted go-to every time I need to make cookies for my kid’s school or for friends. I love your recipes and videos, keep up the good work!

El manjar blanco en serio no me demoró mucho, pero sí perdí la paciencia la última vez y le subí el fuego a medio. Igual tuve que jalar un banquito a la cocina pero con un audiobook fue bien tranqui. Tu truco de hacer las partes el día anterior y formar los alfajores al día siguiente es de perlas!


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