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Hi Bold Bakers!
Mexican buñuelos are a traditional dessert around Christmas, but these crunchy, fried dough, scented with anise and vanilla and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, is enjoyed year-round! And if you give these delicious treats a try, I bet you’ll enjoy them every chance you get as well!
Buñuelos are popular in other areas of the world, like Southwest Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, all with their unique take on the dessert. But this homemade buñuelos recipe is my take on the traditional buñuelos you’d find in homes and markets in Mexico.
Although these fritters are fried, they taste wonderfully light and crisp because of how flat they are pressed.
The best part is that this recipe has everything you have in your cabinets (except perhaps anise seeds, but if you don’t have that, you can find it in your grocery store’s spice section or online. They’re very aromatic, and it is a bit like licorice.)
… Actually, the best part is eating delicious, crispy, fried buñuelos that are covered in cinnamon and sugar. I don’t know who I was trying to kid there!
What Are Buñuelos?
Buñuelos is a Mexican dessert made of dough that is flattened into a tortilla shape and then fried. Sometimes they are topped with cinnamon and sugar, but they’re also topped with piloncillo syrup—a simple syrup made with unrefined whole cane sugar, which has a more caramel, earthy taste than other sugars.
Buñuelos came to Mexico thanks to the Spaniards, but they have transformed from the original recipe. Spanish buñuelos are more of a pastry, a fluffier fritter, almost like a donut hole! While Mexican buñuelos are also made into a ball shape, I’ve seen them more in the shape of a flat disc (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments!), which I think is lovely because of the crunch.
What You Need To Make Mexican Buñuelos
How To Make Mexican Buñuelos
Making buñuelos is perfectly simple, so don’t be afraid to make a dough and get to frying! Here is how you make delicious Mexican Buñuelos (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below.)!
- Boil the water and combine it with the anise seeds. Let it steep until the water cools but is still warm. Strain out the seeds and then discard them.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg, butter, and vanilla. Then, knead this into the flour mixture.
- Add the warm anise tea, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the dough until a soft and smooth dough is formed. You won’t need all of the tea. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
- As your dough rests, mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Once the dough has finished resting, divide the dough into 12 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll the dough as thinly as possible. Stack the rolled portions between sheets of parchment paper, so they don’t stick together and you don’t have 12 discs all over your kitchen!
- Heat about 1-inch (3cm) of oil in a frying pan and set up a baking sheet, either lined with a wire rack or paper towels, on the counter next to the pan. Place the bowl of cinnamon sugar nearby.
- Once the oil is hot (if you have a thermometer, it should be around 350°F/180°C), fry the buñuelos for a minute or two, pressing them down into the oil until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side for an additional minute or two until golden brown.
- Transfer the buñuelos to the rack/paper towels, let drain for a minute, and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still hot. Repeat with the remaining buñuelos.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Buñuelos
- Anise is a traditional flavor in buñuelos, but if you can’t find anise seeds, you can use warm water in place of the anise tea.
- Roll the dough out as thinly as possible to be sure you get a nice, crispy result.
- Frying oil is HOT! Never walk away from oil that is heating on the stove. If you are a child, please get a grown-up’s help when frying!
- Be sure to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the buñuelos while they are still hot; otherwise, it won’t stick.
- Bunuelos are often served with piloncillo syrup. To make it, combine 3 cups (24floz/675ml) water with 1 piloncillo cone, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of ground clove in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until the piloncillo cone is dissolved. Store any extra syrup in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
- For a less traditional twist, serve these buñuelos with a drizzle of homemade chocolate ganache or spiced rum caramel sauce!
How Do I Store Buñuelos?
Buñuelos are best eaten straight away, but you can store any leftover cooled buñuelos in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Make More International Recipes!
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Full (and printable) recipe below!
Mexican Buñuelos Recipe
- 1 cup (8floz/225ml) boiling water
- 1 tablespoon anise seeds
- 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon (½oz/14g) butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Canola oil (for frying)
- ¼ cup (2oz/57g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Combine the boiling water and anise seeds and let steep until the water cools but is still warm. Strain out and discard the seeds, reserving the tea.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, butter, and vanilla, and then knead into the flour mixture.
- Add the warm anise tea, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft and smooth dough is formed (you won’t need all the liquid). Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- While your dough is resting mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
- After the dough has rested, divide it into 12 equal portions and on a floured surface, roll the dough as thinly as possible. You can stack the rolled portions between sheets of parchment to prevent sticking.
- Heat about 1 inch (3cm) of oil in a frying pan and set up a baking sheet lined with a wire rack or paper towels on the counter next to the pan. Place a bowl of cinnamon sugar nearby.
- When the oil is hot (about 350°F/180°c), fry the buñuelos for a minute or two, pressing down into the oil, until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side for a minute or two, until golden brown.
- Transfer to the rack or paper towels to let drain for a minute, and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still hot. Repeat with the remaining buñuelos.
- Best enjoyed straight away! Store cooled buñuelos in an airtight container for up to 3 days.