Cuban Masa Real (Guava Bars)

Cuban Masa Real_Serving Plate

It was the late 90’s when I started making this great and delicious Cuban dessert. My husband has fond memories of this dish from his school years. 

Although, if you believe the stories, kids in Cuba used the masa real bars as projectiles during recess time :)

Cuban Masa Real_Ingredients

Dulce de guayaba, or guava paste, was one of the most widely available and inexpensive sweets in Cuba. The guava paste can be found in most Latin markets.

Cuban Masa Real_Layers

Guava is super rich in vitamin C and considered a “super fruit” due to its numerous health benefits. I also love this fruit flavour and fragrance.

Guava is somewhat little known in North America. If you have not tried guava fruit before, you owe to yourself to give it a try. You will not regret it.

4.8 from 6 reviews
Cuban Masa Real de Guayaba (Guava Bars)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. of salt
  • 1.5 cup sugar, adjust according to your taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 tbsp. of cold water
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract or sherry cooking wine
  • 1.5 lb. guava paste, cut into thin slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Cut the guava paste into thin slices and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour with baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with sugar and eggs using an electric mixer.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the water and vanilla. Continue mixing until you have a stiff dough and not a batter.
  6. Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle the size of your baking pan.
  7. Put one half into the pan, covering the bottom.
  8. Spread a layer of the slices guava paste over the crust, thoroughly covering it.
  9. Put the remaining crust on top, again spreading it with your fingers until guava is completely covered.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly brown on top.
  11. When it's cool, cut the pie into 3-inch square and serve.


  1. Dunia Dellio says

    This dessert is close to my heart. Growing up in Cuba, I relate this dessert to my happy childhood, it has a lot of sentimental value to me and many Cubans of different generations. It is a light dessert, that melts in your mouth and of course the filling is made with guava paste, the queen of all fruits! Thank you so much and no doubt in my mind this is a winner!!!!!

  2. Tamy says

    El masa real es uno de los dulces que nos ayudó a sobrevivir la adolescencia en nuestra Cuba natal. Siempre que lo veo tengo que sonreír por los recuerdos que me vienen a la memoria. Es muy simple y sabroso ?. No empalaga y sobresale la delicioso sabor de la Guayaba que es mi fruta favorita. Le doy un 10 sin dudarlo !!! ?

    • says

      Muchas gracias, Tamy! :) He escuchado muchas historias geniales y divertidas acerca de masa real durante sus días de escuela secundaria en Cuba. Me aseguraré de hacer este bocado o postre hermoso cuando usted viene visitarnos en el futuro. ~ Lani

      *Por favor disculpeme por mi pobre español :(

  3. Alina says

    One of my favorite childhood desserts and definitely an essential part of my school memories. To all those who have enjoyed “Ratatouille” movie, I bet the experience of tasting one of these Lani’s masarreales would be comparable to when Anton Ego when he tastes the ratatouille at Gust eau’s and remained deeply touched and wordless !! So for me, it’s a 10 plus !!! 😉

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful childhood memories, Alina. I also heard a lot of great and funny stories about masa real during your high school days @ La Lenin. This snack or dessert is so simple and yet so delicious. Hmmm, Yum! Yum! :)

      P.S. I love the ratatouille movie – 😉

  4. Ivette says

    The best replacement for my heart always make me feel happy. Yummy yummy for my tummy Best dessert ever! THANKS amazing Lani to share this our country recipe to the world.

    • says

      Thanks, Leah. I’m so sorry, I’ve missed this comment. For the next occasion, I highly recommend the TIRAMISU CAKE. It’s always everyone’s favorite when I make it for any gathering. ~ Lani

  5. Maria says

    I am definitely going to try this recipe tomorrow. I enjoy baking, and this was a dessert we had after school ??

    • says

      Hi Katiria,

      Thanks for letting me know. I was using 2 eggs initially, but I found out that 4 eggs are perfect according to our taste.
      I will fix or mention it on the recipe.


  6. Ana says

    This is amazing! My 95 year old grandparents said that this is the best masa real they’ve had in their lives!! Quick question, is it 2 eggs or 4 eggs?

    • says

      Hi Anna,

      I’m sorry for the late response.

      About your question? I was using 2 eggs initially, but we like the result when using 4 eggs. Either way works fine.


  7. Arlenes Negrin says

    Recuerdos de la infancia mi padre era el major repostero primero en El Antiguo Bilbao em Cuba y desde wir tenia 12 anos su nombre era Antonio Negrin (Paco) y despues mudamos pra Puerto Rico en los Anos 70 y alla trabajo haste su ultimo dia de su vida 16 Enero 1996 a la Edda de 62 ano. El maestro de Los Dulce’s mas Ricos en Puerto Rico. I miss my dad . I did love his masareal😰

    • says

      Hola Arlene,

      Gracias por compartir los recuerdos de tu papá. Estoy casado con un cubano, y él siempre habla de Masareal cuando estaba creciendo.
      De todos modos, lo hago al menos una vez al mes durante los últimos 20 años. Sin embargo, hago mi versión sin gluten desde hace más de una década.
      Siempre uso la receta original cuando visitamos a nuestros amigos Cubanos.


  8. Eiko says

    I’ve been making this delicious Masa Real many times for my family every time the guava paste is on sale at a grocery store. My family says that it’s better than the store bought one. Thank you for the easy and tasty recipe! I’m going to make this again for Father’s Day this year for my Cuban father in law.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your fantastic feedback, Eiko. Happy Father’s Day to your hubby and father in law.

      P.S. please ask them if they do like panquecitos? Our boys love it. 😍

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