Mexican Buñuelos

Mexican Bunuelos are a traditional Mexican dessert consisting of dough circles coated in a sweet cinnamon sugar coating and deep-fried to a crispy golden perfection.

Mexican Buñuelos

After tasting hot, freshly made Mexican Bunuelos dusted with cinnamon sugar, you’ll quickly understand why these beloved, traditional Mexican desserts have been enjoyed for so many years. The tastes of sweet spices and crispy fried rich dough make them the ideal Christmas treat.

Mexican Buñuelos

The dough for Mexican bunuelos is more akin to a churro or a donut, despite its fried tortilla-like appearance. The dough begins with an egg custard and then shaped into balls before resting to allow the gluten to form, making the insides soft and sensitive. After the balls are formed into flat circles, they are deep-fried until they are crispy and puffed. After being covered with sugar and cinnamon, the warm bunuelos are prepared for consumption.

What are Mexican Bunuelos?

Delicious treats known as bunuelos are a staple of traditional Mexican cuisine, while many other Latin countries have their own variations. Mexican Bunuelos differ from other varieties in that they are often flattened into tortilla-like rings before being fried and that anise is used in their preparation. They are served hot after receiving a heavy dusting of sugar and cinnamon.

Mexican Buñuelos

What is the difference between Bunuelos and Sopapillas?

Bunuelos and Sopapillas are similar in that they are both made of fried dough with a sweet topping, but they differ in a few important ways. Because of the longer rolling process, buñuelos are thinner, bigger, and considerably crispier. They are often formed like discs, and when they are fried, they are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Conversely, sopapillas are often flakier dough pockets that are eaten with melted chocolate or honey as a dipping sauce.

Mexican Buñuelos

How to Make Mexican Bunuelos

  • Custard: Heat the milk and lard in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until the fat melts. Take off the heat and let it a few minutes to cool. After adding the eggs and vanilla, whisk the wet ingredients and move them to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook so they can cool further.
  • Bunuelos Dough: In a another bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and anise. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture on medium speed. Keep kneading until a big ball of dough develops and the dough stops sticking.
  • Rise: Apply butter or lard on a baking pan. Roll equal portions of dough into twenty balls and place on the baking sheet that has been preheated. For forty minutes, let the mixture rise, covered with a fresh kitchen towel.
  • Shape: Sprinkle flour on a level surface. The dough balls should be rolled into flat discs. While you roll all of the dough balls, sprinkle a little flour in between each disc to keep them from sticking together and cover your stack with your towel to keep it from drying out.
  • Prepare: In a big saucepan with a thick bottom, heat up approximately 1 inch of oil to 350–365 degrees. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place a clean baking sheet with a wire rack on top.
  • Fry: Cook a few dough discs at a time in heated oil for 30 seconds on each side, or until golden brown. While you cook the remaining dough, coat the hot bunuelos on both sides with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and set them on a wire rack.
  • Remember to work in batches and avoid packing the pan too full to prevent a drop in oil temperature. If you allow them to cool on paper towels, they will become drenched.
Mexican Buñuelos

Key Ingredients

  • Lard: Using lard not only produces these mouthwatering Mexican fried sweets in the truest sense, but it also makes your bunuelos crispier. You may simply replace the lard, if you’d like, with butter or shortening because you’re melting it.
  • Anise: Ground anise adds a classic flavor to these bunuelos without overpowering the other ingredients. Not everyone like the licorice-like flavor of anise, but this recipe adds just a trace of it. By steeping seeds in hot milk, filtering them, and then using the milk normally, you may intensify the anise taste.
  • Vanilla: The warm, sweet vanilla enhances the tastes of the other spices and adds a delightful flavor of its own. You may always change the quantity based on how much vanilla flavor you like.
  • Nutmeg and cinnamon: To ensure that the taste permeates the entire dish, cinnamon is added to both the dough and the topping. These are the ideal Christmas sweets because of the extra snug, pleasant flavor that the nutmeg in the coating adds!
  • Custard: The rich egg and milk custard combination used to make these bunuelos gives them an exceptionally soft inside and a deep, flavorful flavor. The trickiest part is definitely making the custard, but the secret is to let the milk cool slightly before adding it to avoid scrambling the eggs. Just enough heat should be applied to the milk to melt the fat, but not so much that it boils and scalds.
  • Sugar: Traditionally, no sugar is used to the dough when making Bunuelos, unlike donuts or other sweet fried delicacies. Rather, the sugar is incorporated via the coatings or toppings. This prevents them from being too syrupy or sweet.

Can Mexican Bunuelos be made ahead of time?

While the dough may be prepared ahead of time, freshly fried Mexican bunuelos taste considerably better. Before stacking the dough circles, prepare them and place parchment paper coated with flour between them. To guarantee they are at their freshest, refrigerate them overnight and fry and coat them right before serving.

How to Store

  • Store: After allowing your cooked bunuelos to cool fully, keep them at room temperature for three to four days in an airtight container. Or, keep them in the fridge for a few extra days and simply reheat when ready to serve.
  • Reheat: You may reheat them in the oven at 250 degrees, which will only cause them to crisp up and get warm rather than cooking. You can also reheat them really well if you have an air fryer!
  • Freeze: After the leftover bunuelos have fully cooled, cover them in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag for up to two months. Reheat frozen at 250 degrees in the oven until heated through.

FAQs for Mexican Bunuelos

Why are Bunuelos eaten during Christmas?

When eaten during the winter holidays, bunuelos represent good luck in several Latin American nations, including Mexico. A favorite Christmas dessert, bunuelos also symbolize togetherness and joy in the act of creating and sharing them.

Are Bunuelos like Churros?

Although they are both delicious, beloved Mexican fried fritters, bunuelos and churros differ greatly from one another. Thin, crispy circles wrapped with cinnamon sugar, bunuelos have a distinct anise taste and a subtle crunch. Conversely, churros are thicker, sometimes ridged, and have a soft inside and a somewhat crispy outside. They are typically served with chocolate dipping or dusted with sugar.

Why are my bunuelos soggy?

A typical cause of soggy bunuelos is low oil temperature, which prolongs cooking time and increases oil absorption by the dough. Allowing them to dry on a paper towel, which permits the fat to collect beneath the heated pastry, is another way they can get soggy.

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Mexican Buñuelos

Mexican Buñuelos

Mexican Bunuelos are a traditional Mexican dessert consisting of dough circles coated in a sweet cinnamon sugar coating and deep-fried to a crispy golden perfection.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 20


  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lard room temperature butter is ok too
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground anise
  • vegetable oil for frying

To Finish:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and fat.
  • After giving the pan a good stir to ensure all of the lard has melted, turn off the heat and let it cool for five minutes.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together until a custard forms, then let it cool in your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and anise in a large bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  • Once the stand mixer is operating at a medium speed, add the flour mixture and let the dough come together using the dough hook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball and stops clinging to the stand mixer’s sides.
  • On a baking sheet that has been oiled, roll the dough into 20 balls.
  • After 40 minutes, cover and allow to rise.
  • Each ball should be formed into a 5-inch circle on a surface dusted with flour. To prevent them from drying out, cover them with a fresh kitchen towel and stack them with some flour sprinkled in between.
  • In a big skillet or saucepan, heat the oil to 350–365 degrees, approximately 1 inch deep.
  • Add the sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon to a small basin and stir with a fork while the oil heats up.
  • After about 30 seconds on each side, fry each piece of buñuelos until golden brown, and then quickly coat both sides with the sugar mixture.
  • Continue with the remaining dough pieces.
Keyword Mexican Buñuelos

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