Buñuelos (An Authentic Mexican Recipe)

2 mins read

These Mexican buñuelos are light, crispy and fried to a beautiful golden brown. Serve coated with cinnamon sugar and drizzled with homemade piloncillo syrup. these treats are the perfect Christmas dessert, or great for pairing with a mug of coffee!


All about these buñuelos…

Christmas is a time rich in tradition for many people. One way of celebrating for many families lies in the foods that they make. These Buñuelos are one of those recipes!

  • Light and crispy: thanks to a quick fry, the dough becomes light, airy and crispy.
  • Cinnamon & sugar: top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, this not only makes them pretty and sparkly, but it gives great flavor that is perfect for ending any meal!
  • Fun family treat: part of the fun is breaking them apart and dunking into a mug of warm syrup. Children love the hands on experience of eating these as a family.

Ingredients Needed:


Notes on some ingredients:

  • Oil: you can use any oil in the dough or these can also be made with lard like tortillas. Avocado oil is called for in this recipe but can easily be swapped with vegetable oil. I don’t recommend olive oil since that will affect the taste. 
  • Piloncillo: this is a cone of raw cane sugar that is usually found in the Mexican aisle in most markets. It has a deliciously rich molasses like flavoring, with an earthy burnt caramel taste. It is slightly bitter and sweet.

How to make (step-by-step):

  • Step 1: Prepare the dough, use a stand mixer to make this step quick and easy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix this dough by hand.
  • Step 2: After mixing the dough, continue to knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until dough is soft and no longer sticky. Add flour as needed in small amounts to achieve this
  • Step 3: Let the dough rest, then divide into 13 equal portions. Let this dough rest again, this helps with rolling out the dough. Dip the dough into flour and then press out and roll into circles. Then fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. After frying, sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Step 4: Prepare the Piloncillo syrup by combining the ingredients in a saucepan and bringing to a boil, let this simmer.

Expert Tips:

  • Instead of using water in the dough, steep some anise seeds in hot water, then remove the seeds and use the tea in the dough. This infuses a warm flavor through the buñuelos.
  • Hold the dough in the oil and press down as it fries to help prevent too much rising in the dough. Otherwise the dough may completely puff up when fried. You want a bubbly exterior, but not for the bubbles to grow so big the entire dough is puffed up like a sopapilla. 


What are buñuelos?

A buñuelo (pronounced: bun-whale-oh) is a fried dough fritter that is common in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and in the Southwestern United States. This particular recipe is how you will find them prepared in parts of Mexico and Texas, where they are also served with homemade piloncillo syrup.

What is the difference between buñuelos and sopapillas?

The dough is similar to flour tortillas and sopapillas. This particular dough has less baking powder than sopapillas. Sopapillas have more baking powder to assist in puffing up and are only fried briefly leaving them soft pillows. Instead of cutting the dough into small squares like a sopapilla, the dough is rolled out like a tortilla. And it is fried on both sides until golden and crispy. 

What is piloncillo?

Piloncillo is unrefined pure cane sugar. It is made by crushing the sugar cane, boiling it, and then pouring into a mold where it hardens. This is why you will usually find the piloncillo is shapes like the cone in the image above.


More Mexican Dessert Recipes:

If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!

Recipe first published December 4, 2020. Updated December 13, 2021 with new video and information, recipe is unchanged.

Photography by KJandCompany.co