Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder) – And Pattern for the Cones

Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder)

“Gooooffffffiooo!”, screamed the kids with their mouth full of this sweet powder, covering their unsuspecting friends with one of Dominican children’s traditional sweet treats.

Part treat, part practical joke, Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder) was one of those things that you could buy in nearly every Dominican “colmado”. Back in the 70s (yeah, I am dating myself here), you could even win a toy with the purchase of your gofio, if you were ever so lucky.

Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder)gofio-DSC_8349

Yeah, ask your mama what a chuflai was.

Some lucky kids got a token in their gofio cones that they could exchange for some cheap toys at colmados, kinda like the ancient version of today’s scratch-offs. This gave us the expression “se lo sacó en un chuflai” (he/she won it in a chuflai), meaning getting stuck with an unexpected — and often unwanted — object or person.

The top price was a plasticky, naked baby doll, the looks of which would give modern children nightmares, and necessitate a lifetime of therapy (think third-rate version of the kewpie doll). Perhaps that’s what wrong with us oldies.

Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder)Gofio (Sugary Corn Powder)

This treat was originally prepared using dry corn grain that would be roasted, then ground in a big mortar… by hand. But who has time for that? In this version we will use regular medium-grain cornmeal, which makes it much easier, fast, and the results are nearly the same.

This makes a fun treat at children’s parties. You could also include your own token (see instructions after recipe), and perhaps one of your guests should be so lucky and win some ugly toy. Therapists have to make a living too.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara

Gofio (Dominican Sugary Corn Powder)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gofio (Dominican Sugary Corn Powder) was a very popular treat for kids decades ago, now we bring you a great idea to incorporate it into a child's birthday party.
Serves: 12 cones
  • 1 cup of medium-grain cornmeal
  • ½ cup of sugar
  1. Pour the cornmeal into a cast iron or aluminum pot. Heat over medium heat.
  2. Cook stirring vigorously until it turns a uniform golden brown color.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Mix in sugar.
  4. Cool to room temperature. Serve in paper cones (see instructions for paper cones after the recipe).


How to make the cones:


  1. Print the pattern linked here onto a thick paper (to mark the pattern onto wrapping paper).
  2. Cut another one from the thick paper, roll into a cone and glue the end, use this one to roll the cones around it, as the wrapping paper is thinner and it’s harder to keep the shape.
  3. Trace and cut out twelve cone patterns from the wrapping paper, and twelve from wax paper. Cut 12 circles from thick paper.
  4. Line a piece of wrapping paper with a piece of wax paper (so the food does not come in contact with the wrapping paper) and roll using the thick-paper cone to keep the shape. Glue the ends. Repeat with the remaining 11 cones.
  5. Fill out the cones with gofio, leaving half an inch space at the top. Place a circle (one circle should be a token, with the prize handwritten on it) and fold the edges at the top. Hold with a piece of adhesive tape. Alternatively, you can just leave them open and place them upright into a glass or vase.
Receive Aunt Clara’s Updates
Find out about new recipes, articles, and sometimes exclusive content.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Jay May 23, 2015, 12:01 PM

    I haven’t had gofio in years. I had the pleasure of going to Puerto Rico and meeting a man with a candy store. He made lots of his own candy one was gofio. He had cinnamon, cocoa powder, toasted seasame, dry banana (was my favorite) and other flavours of gofio.

  • Aria October 3, 2012, 1:11 AM

    I am not a very good cook by the way so I love the site because of all the instructions.

  • Aria October 3, 2012, 1:10 AM

    Hi!I saw this recipe and I thought of my mom.I am thinking in surprising her.The site is wonderful,it have many recipes that are easy to make and hard to find here in the states.Thanks!

  • Michelle B April 10, 2012, 1:08 PM

    I couldn't find medium grain. I only found coarse and fine. I bought fine is that ok or should I exchange it for coarse? Thanx!!!!! P.s. I told my mom that I found this recipe and she went bananas!!! Made me happy to hear her happy (told her over the phone lol)

    • Aunt Clara April 10, 2012, 2:36 PM

      Michelle, this sweet is pure mischievousness and innocent childhood. Unfortunately is not nearly as common as it was before. I have an idea for reshooting these pictures and making a tutorial on how to make some really cute cones.

      Now on to your question: the cornmeal should have the texture similar to cane sugar. If yours is too fine you need to get a coarser one, if it is too coarse a quick pass through the food processor should fix that.

      • Michelle B April 10, 2012, 2:51 PM

        It would be great to see the tutorial. Gofio just isn't gofio without the paper cones!!!! Thank you so much for your reply. Haven't had gofio in years. I'm anxious to make this!!!

      • Michelle B. April 22, 2012, 10:56 AM

        Hi. So I got the coarse one and ran it through the food processor and it felt like I was eating tiny rocks!!!! Maybe I should have just bought the fine one :0(

      • Aunt Clara April 22, 2012, 11:06 AM

        Or leave it more time in the food processor.

  • Angelo May 24, 2011, 7:35 PM

    OMG, I havent been to DR in about 8yrs, and I had totally forgotten about gofio!!!

    I just moved from the east coast to San Diego as of this past Saturday, and from day 1, I was missing Dominican food. My whole family lives in 1 building in the Bronx (sooooo Dominican lol), and I knew few recipes. Your site, I must say, is a Godsend in this land barren of any Dominican flavor.

    And you are 100% right about kids' reaction to gofio… my reaction was pretty close once I saw the recipe listed lol.

  • Taty February 5, 2011, 4:59 AM

    by corn flour, do you mean corn meal or corn starch.