Guyanese Cheese Rolls are buttery, flaky shortcrust pastries stuffed with a spicy, savory cheddar cheese filling. They are a staple in Guyanese homes and can be eaten as a snack or served for breakfast or even lunch.
Guyanese Cheese Rolls
Cheese rolls take me right back to high school when the best cheese rolls came in a white plastic bag from the school canteen. There was a trick to eating Jerrie’s cheese rolls––you simply kept the entire cheese roll in that white plastic bag it came in, carefully taking little bites, until all that flaky cheesy goodness was gone. This was the only way to avoid getting pastry flakes all over your hands and school uniform.
Now I make my own flaky and equally delicious cheese rolls. My son always asks for a bowl to catch the flakes, then at the end, he empties the bowl into his mouth because as he puts it, he doesn’t want to waste any of it.
- Guyanese Cheese Rolls
- Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Cheese Rolls Recipe
- Guyanese Cheese Roll Ingredients
- How to Make Guyanese Cheese Rolls
- Substitutions & Variations
- Tips for the Best Guyanese Cheese Rolls
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Guyanese Cheese Roll
Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Cheese Rolls Recipe
- Easy Prep: The rolls are made with simple ingredients and with easy-to-follow instructions, making them is a breeze.
- Great for Any Occasion: Indulge any time of the day and serve them as an appetizer at any gathering. They are also a convenient treat to eat on the go.
- Versatile: The cheese filling goes so well with other ingredients. Get creative with delicious additions!
Guyanese Cheese Roll Ingredients
This cheese rolls recipe comes together with some pantry staples so you can enjoy this whenever the craving strikes!
For the Pastry Dough
- Flour: This is the primary ingredient and is the foundation of the dough.
- Butter: Frozen butter works best for this recipe.
- Vegetable Shortening: This ensures a flaky crust.
- Ice cold water: This binds the ingredients together.
- Pinch of salt: Only use this if you are using unsalted butter.
For the Filling
- Extra sharp cheddar cheese: I used an aged cheddar and find that the sharper the cheese, the better the cheese roll tastes.
- Spicy brown mustard: Add this for a zesty kick of flavor.
- Butter: For taste.
- Flour: This thickens the mixture.
- Wiri wiri pepper: Remove the seeds and veins. I add pepper to my cheese for the flavor. Removing the veins and the seeds removes the heat of the pepper.
- Beaten egg yolks: This adds a golden brown color to the crust.
- Cold water: Apply this to the assembled rolls with a pastry brush to seal the edges of the cheese rolls.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Guyanese Cheese Rolls
Make the Pastry Dough
Combine flour and a pinch of salt, then grate frozen butter using the shred side of a cheese grater into the flour. Then use a pastry blender or fork to blend the butter into the flour but do not over blend. Leaving little chunks of butter creates a really flaky texture.
Then add the vegetable shortening and combine until it is fully mixed and crumbly. Gradually add the ice water and press the flour together in order to form a dough ball. Do not knead the dough as this will remove the flaky texture.
Place the dough in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Prepare Cheese Filling
While the dough chills, make the simple cheese spread. Cut the cheese into cubes, then add that (along with the flour, mustard, butter, and pepper) to a food processor and blend until a smooth paste is formed.
Assemble Cheese Rolls
When you are ready to start making the Guyanese cheese rolls, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. (I find that it is easier to work with when I do this.)
After that, place the dough on a well floured surface. Cut it into 4 pieces and then begin to roll the first piece out until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
You will need to flour your rolling pin as well as the top of the dough to ensure that it is not sticking. When you are rolling pastry dough, try to push the dough in one direction. A back-and-forth rolling motion will make the dough lose some of the flakiness.
I use a cookie scooper (but you can use a tablespoon) to add one scoop of cheese spread (about 2 tablespoons) to each rolled out pastry dough. Cut the rolled out dough into a rectangle (as shown above). Then brush the edges with room temperature water and sealed the edges to form a flat roll.
Roll the first bit of dough to cover the cheese then brush water on top of that dough. Press the other side firmly on top to seal in the cheese spread. Finally, use a fork to seal the end of the cheese rolls.
Repeat the steps until all the cheese rolls are assembled.
Finally, poke some holes in the top of the cheese rolls with a fork, to release trapped air during the baking process. Then brush the top of the cheese roll with a beaten egg yolk. Bake these beauties in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. Let them cool before serving as the cheesy center can be quite hot!
Substitutions & Variations
- More Spice. For a spicier cheese roll, add pepper sauce to the cheese paste.
- Add Meat. Make these handheld treats even more satisfying by adding some protein. Once, I pressed all the excess dough together and made hotdog cheese roll combination for my 5-year-old!
- Add Veggies. Fresh vegetables make for a healthier addition. Try including diced onions, green bell peppers, sauteed spinach, or even herbs to enhance the flavor.
- Fried Cheese Rolls: You can fry Guyanese cheese rolls instead of baking them.
- Gluten Free Cheese Rolls: Check out my recipe for gluten free shortcrust pastry dough.
- Pastry Blender: To incorporate the butter into the flour.
- Rolling Pin: To roll out the dough.
- Food Processor: Use this to blend the ingredients for the cheese paste.
- Cookie Scooper: To add even scoops of cheese paste to the cheese roll pastry.
- Pastry Brush: To seal the edges of the cheese rolls.
- Baking Sheet: To bake the cheese rolls on.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. For longer storage, freeze them. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating. Reheat them in the oven or the air fryer to keep them crisp.
Tips for the Best Guyanese Cheese Rolls
- The key to perfect cheese balls is the temperature of the ingredients and the mixture techniques.
- Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes because it helps the crust maintain its structure as it bakes.
- If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cold water. And if it’s too wet, add a little flour.
- Do not knead the dough the way you would when making bread, just press it together with your hands to make a ball.
- If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cheese instead of cutting it into blocks for easier mixing.
- Pierce the top of the pastry with a fork to release air while baking. This prevents the cheese from oozing out. However, sometimes when I am making cheese rolls, some of the cheese escapes onto the pan and can be a bit messy. If that happens to you, don’t fret there will still be enough cheese left inside for the cheese roll to retain its flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can prepare the dough and keep it covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days to save yourself some time. I recommend making the cheese filling the day you plan to bake the cheese rolls because it could possibly dry out.
The dough may be too cold. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before handling it. Otherwise, it is difficult to work with and much more likely to break apart. And when rolling out the dough, ensure the rolling pin is coated with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to surfaces and tearing.
Guyanese Cheese Roll
- Pastry Blender
- Rolling Pin
- Food Processor
- Cookie Scooper
- Pastry Brush
- Baking Sheet
For the pastry dough
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup Butter frozen butter works best for this recipe (see notes below)
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
plus a few more tablespoons if needed
- Pinch of salt If using unsalted butter
For the Filling
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 wiri wiri pepper seeds and veins removed
- 2 beaten egg yolks
- Cold water and a pastry brush for sealing the edges of the cheese rolls
Make the Pastry Dough
- Combine flour and pinch of salt, then grate frozen butter using the shred side of a cheese grater into the flour.
- Using a pastry blender or fork blend the butter into the flour but do not over blend, leaving little chunks of butter creates a really flaky texture.
- Then add the vegetable shortening and combine until it is full mixed and crumbly.
- Add the ice water a little at a time and press the flour together to form a dough ball. Do not knead the dough as this will remove the flaky texture.
- Place in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Make the filling
- Cut the cheese into cubes and add to a food processor along with the butter, flour, mustard and pepper and process until smooth. Alternatively you could grate the cheese on the fine side of a cheese grater, then mix in the butter, flour, mustard and pepper until it is a smooth paste.
Making the cheese rolls
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator then cut into half. Return one half to the ziplock back and back into the refrigerator. Then working with the remaining half, roll out until it is about 1/8th thick
- Then cut into 6 equal rectangles and add about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture to the center of the rectangle
- Brush perimeter of the rolled out dough with some room cold water, then fold over the edges to meet in the center to slightly overlap and seal in the cheese filling
- Using a fork seal the ends of the cheese roll and then pierce the top to allow air too escape during baking. Repeat until all 6 rectangles are filling and sealed, then place the cheese rolls on a greased cookie sheet
- Repeat steps 2 to 5 above with the remaining half of the pastry dough
- Add a tablespoon of water to two beaten egg yolks, then brush the cheese rolls with the egg wash
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350°F, then remove and let cool before serving.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.