When it comes to fried dough, it’s hard to go wrong. It’s easy, inexpensive and always delicious. There are so many popular fried dough recipes we lovefrom funnel cake at the fair to beignets in the French Quarter to paczki on Fat Tuesdaybut have you ever had Mexican buuelos? After one batch, you’ll know why these sweets are the fried dough of dreams!

What are buuelos?

Buuelos are discs of fried dough that are tossed in cinnamon sugar or sweet syrup. They’re eaten throughout Latin America, and you’ll find different toppings, doughs and even shapes from region to region. Sometimes, the fried disc is dipped in piloncillo syrup; other times it’s coated in cinnamon sugar, like in this recipe. Though traditionally enjoyed around Christmas and New Year’s for good luck, this delicious pastry is tasty all year long.

What’s the difference between buuelos and sopaipillas?

Sopaipillas are another delicious fried dough dish that has roots in New Mexico and South America. Buuelos and sopaipillas are made with a similar dough, except the buuelos dough contains eggs. The flat discs of buuelos have more of a crispy and flaky texture, whereas sopapillas are puffier, like Native American fry bread. Both buuelos and sopaipillas can be topped with cinnamon sugar, and sopaipillas are often drizzled with honey instead of piconcillo syrup.

What’s the difference between a Mexican buuelo and Colombian buuelo?

While the Mexican buuelos are rolled out into flat discs, Colombian buuelos are altogether different. Slightly savory, round and filled with cheese, Colombian buuelos are another delicious take on buuelos. They tend to be made with cassava flour, tapioca or cornstarch, producing a texture that’s chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The biggest similarity, though, is that they’re a popular Christmas treat, just like the Mexican buuelos.

Ingredients for Buuelos

All-purpose flour: Use regular AP flour for the best texture.Sugar: These buuelos use cane sugar in the topping as well as in the dough itself.Baking powder: Baking powder is an important leavener, which allows the dough to rise.Cinnamon sugar: Use a cup of sugar with a tablespoon or two of cinnamon to make the perfect cinnamon sugar mix for dusting.Frying oil: You’ll need a high heat oil for frying, such as vegetable or canola. Stay away from oils with a low smoking point like olive oil.

Buuelos Recipe


2 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons sugar1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt3 teaspoons butter, melted1 large egg, room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/3 to 1/2 cup water1/2 cup cinnamon sugarOil for deep-fat frying


Step 1: Make dough

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well until the mixture is crumbly. Add water gradually, mixing into the dough. Knead until you form a firm ball.

Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Shape dough

Use a dough scraper to divide the dough into 18 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into a thin 6-inch circle. Repeat with remaining dough.

Step 3: Fry dough

Have a plate with paper towels ready next to your frying station.

In a large cast-iron skillet with tall sides, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry dough circles one at a time, until puffed and golden, about 45 seconds on each side. Use tongs to flip buuelos and pull them from the oil. Place them on the paper towels to strain, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar immediately.

Serve as whole pieces or break into smaller pieces to share.

How to Store Buuelos

Since the light, crisp texture of buuelos is one of the best parts, you’ll want to try and keep that texture as long as possible. Store buuelos on the counter covered with a towel for a couple of days. For longer, store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to five days. You can reheat them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

You can even freeze them if you’d like. After frying, allow them to cool and then wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and freeze. Reheat in the oven at 300F for about two minutes.

Tips for Making Buuelos

What other toppings can you put on buuelos?

There are many different topping variations for buuelos. The most popular is a sweet syrup made from piloncillo, a special Mexican evaporated cane sugar. You can also dust them in sugar mixed with cardamom or nutmeg for a delicious twist.

What do you serve with buuelos?

Since buuelos are eaten around Christmastime, they’re served alongside other traditional Mexican Christmas foods. They’re also served with a glass of Mexican hot chocolate or atole.

Can you make buuelos ahead of time?

You can make the buuelos dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. When you’re ready to make the buuelos, continue with step 2 as normal.

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