I just made arepas for the 2nd time ever. Here's the abbreviated version of the recipe I used:

  • 1 cup masarepa
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • pinch salt

Mix together dough. Knead, then let set 5 minutes. Roll in to balls and flatten into 1/2" by 3" disks. Fry on a griddle until crusted lightly on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Finish by baking in a 350F oven for 15min.

These were decent enough, but they didn't "puff" up like I'm used to tortillas doing. As a result, they were pretty dense, and were hard to split so that I could stuff them. They were definitely more dense and fragile than I'm used to restaurant arepas being.

I'm wondering what I can do to make them a bit more airy and easier to split, while still sticking to a traditional recipe.

  • hotter griddle?
  • more time on griddle?
  • make sure they don't cool before baking step (they did)?
  • this is just what arepas are like?


  • 3
    Six minutes per side on the griddle sounds like too much. It will cook it through and make it hard to puff up. I'd think maybe higher heat on the griddle for a shorter time, then transfer to the oven. Sep 6, 2017 at 14:16
  • Are these Colombian or Venezuelan arepas? The two are quite different, Venezuelan will puff more and Colombian will be more dense. Nov 5, 2017 at 22:55
  • I think they're Venezuelan? The recipe is from South American Table.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 8, 2017 at 0:14

2 Answers 2



You can try baking powder. Personally, I am not used to puffy arepas, they are usually dense, and different totally from tortillas; but if you want to try, it would go better with baking powder than with yeast.

Try to precook them in the oven (low - mid) before putting them in the 'budare' / griddle.

Sumito Estevez is a well-known venezuelan chef, I would suggest you to check this one.



Try adding a little baking powder.

  • Really? I can't find any reciped for arepas that use baking powder.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 7, 2017 at 15:42

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