A Latin American holiday staple, Buñuelos are a donut-like dessert covered in cinnamon sugar! They’re light and airy with a golden, crispy shell. The whole family is going to love them!

I love trying to recreate Latin American treats and desserts. They always have the best flavor! You’ll have to try out coquito, arepas, or some homemade churros next!

Hero image of 4 bunuelos stacked on top of each other.

Bunuelos Recipe

If you’ve never tried buñuelos before, meet your new obsession. They are a disc-shaped fritter commonly found in Spain, Mexico and Colombia! Their texture is similar to a scone but with a light, crispy shell. They’ve been around since the second century B.C. so you know they’ve got to be good, passed down from generation to generation. Buñuelos are a popular street food around Christmastime. With this recipe you can join in on the fun and enjoy some in the comfort of your kitchen. No vacation needed!

Now, you will need to fry these in oil, but trust me- it’s a lot easier than it looks! It only takes about 60 seconds to get your bunuelos to light, puffy perfection. From there, all you’ve got to do is dredge them in some cinnamon sugar! My kids love helping with this part. Making bunuelos is quickly becoming a new Christmas tradition! I know your family will love this recipe just as much. You may even want to make them year-round! Need more delicious Mexican desserts in your life? Try some homemade flan or tres leches! This pumpkin tres leches is also a great choice for the holidays.

The Difference Between Buñuelos and Sopapillas

Both bunuelos and sopapillas are sweet quick breads, but they have some differences. Sopapillas are pan-fried and typically have a thicker, softer texture. Bunuelos are more airy and have a golden, crispy shell. Psst- if you love sopapillas, you’ve got to try my sopapilla cheesecake bars!

Ingredients for Buñuelos Mexicanos

My favorite thing about this recipe is all of the basic ingredients it uses. You’ll be able to find all of them in your pantry! Bunuelos are the perfect thing to make when the kids are craving something sweet. If you’re looking for measurements, they can all be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Flour: All-purpose works great here! If you use a substitute, be sure it doesn’t have a high protein content. This will make your bunuelos turn out dense instead of light and fluffy.
  • Baking Powder: You’ve got to add baking powder to your dough because it helps it rise.
  • Sugar: A little granulated sugar is all you need to make your bunuelos nice and sweet. You’ll also want to reserve some for the cinnamon sugar coating.
  • Salt: Salt is a must-add because it helps to boost all of the flavors. It also keeps your bread from tasting bland.
  • Egg: This will help to bind everything together. I recommend using an egg at room temperature so that it mixes into your dough smoothly.
  • Butter: For moisture and rich flavor! You will want your butter to be softened or at room temperature as well. This will keep your dough from being lumpy.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you want your bunuelos to have the best flavor, use pure vanilla extract! In fact, for desserts like these, I always use the vanilla that I got from Mexico!
  • Warm Water: For adding moisture to the dough.
  • Vegetable Oil: This is used for frying the bread in.
  • Cinnamon Sugar: For coating the bunuelos with!

How to Make Homemade Bunuelos

Making bunuelos is a labor of love! My kids always want to help with rolling out the dough and coating their bunuelos in cinnamon sugar. Even though we’re making homemade dough here and frying in oil, the process is a lot simpler than it looks. You’ll be a pro at making bunuelos in no time!

Preparing the Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Add in your egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Then mix until it resembles a coarse meal. Add your water in 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing and kneading until your dough is soft and completely smooth, this should take 3-4 minutes. Then cover the dough with saran wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll Out Dough: Prepare a flat surface with a rolling pin, a plate with paper towels, flour for dusting, bench scraper, or knife. Then once the dough has rested, put it onto your work surface and cut into 12 equal balls. Flour your working surface and begin rolling out each ball into a thin circle. You want your bunuelo to be as thin as possible without tearing it. The dough should be almost transparent.

Deep Frying

  1. Heat Oil: On the stove in a large frying pan, heat your vegetable oil to 350℉ (over medium-high heat). Your oil should only be about 1- 1.5” deep so the amount of oil you use will vary depending on the size of pan you’re using.
  2. Fry: Once all your bunuelos are all rolled out and ready, you can fry them in the hot oil until they are golden and crispy, this should take about 60 seconds. You should also flip them halfway through frying.
  3. Coat With Cinnamon Sugar: Remove the bunuelos from the frying oil and place them on the paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. When all the bunuelos are done, then you can sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and enjoy!



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