Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (2024)

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Bunuelos are a festive Mexican fritter sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Once fried, this golden-brown snack has a light and airy texture with just the right amount of crispiness. Serve it on its own or with a warm beverage for the perfect holiday treat!

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (1)

Christmas season festivities aren’t the same without some bunuelos and vegan champurrado! Much like our popular vegan churros, these light, crispy treats are coated in a mouthwatering blend of cinnamon and sugar that everyone always loves.

Table of Contents

Why I love this recipe

Bunuelos mexicanos are synonymous with Latin American cuisine, especially around the holidays. My version will show you how to perfectly recreate this holiday treat at home with simple step-by-step instructions.

Using pantry staples like flour, baking powder, and a touch of coconut oil, these light-as-air fritters are just as budget-friendly as they are delicious. It takes less than an hour to make, but the result is sweet, crispy, and incredibly satisfying!

Whether you’re throwing a party or celebrating a special holiday, bunuelos cater to all ages. Seriously, who can resist the comforting aromas of fried dough mixed with cinnamon and sugar?

Ingredient notes

The great news is that this bunuelos recipe doesn’t require many ingredients. Find a breakdown of everything you’ll need below!

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (2)

All-purpose flour
I recommend using all-purpose flour in this recipe. It gives the dough a sturdy yet tender texture, making it easier to stretch than other types of flour.

Substitute: You can try replacing all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. One brand I suggest is King Arthur Baking Company, but Bob’s Red Mill should work too. Note that the dough will be less pliable.

Sugar
Most bunuelos are dusted with granulated sugar, which I think adds the perfect sweetness. Opt for unrefined cane sugar or organic granulated sugar to keep the recipe vegan.

Coconut oil
I prefer flavorless coconut oil since it adds a rich texture, similar to lard or butter, without overpowering the other ingredients.

Substitute: Feel free to use regular coconut oil if you don’t mind a more prominent taste. You can also use avocado, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.

Cinnamon
While not included in all bunuleos recipes, I love to add another layer of sweet spice and warmth with cinnamon. Omit it if you’re not a fan, but make sure to use Ceylon cinnamon if you include it!

For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to the recipe card.

How to make

Learn the most efficient way to make bunuelos with my step-by-step instructions. You’ll find tips in green throughout this section to make your life easier. Also, you can watch my video tutorial down below!

Cooking

Step 1
Sift the all-purpose flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the salt. Combine the melted coconut oil and warm water with the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.

Sifting the flour and baking powder provides a smooth, lump-free dough, which is essential in creating the signature delicate texture of bunuelos.

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (3)
Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (4)

Step 2
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should be slightly sticky but not overly adherent to your hands.

Proper kneading develops gluten, giving the fritters structure. To correctly knead dough, press it with the heels of your hands, pushing it away from you, then fold it back over itself, giving it a quarter turn each time.

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Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (6)

Step 3
Divide the dough into roughly 8 smaller pieces, rolling each piece until smooth and then flattening it slightly. Let the pieces rest under a damp towel for 30 minutes.

This resting period allows the gluten to relax, making the dough more pliable and easier to work with when stretching.

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Step 4
On a lightly floured surface or in a tortilla press lined with plastic, roll out each piece of dough into a thin disc. The dough should be stretched until almost transparent, which you can do over the bottom of a large bowl or even your knee.

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Step 5
Heat 1-2 inches of neutral vegetable oil, like canola or peanut, in a large stockpot to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry each bunuelo for 30-45 seconds per side until golden brown. As it fries, press down on it with a spoon or spatula to control large bubble formation.

Maintaining the oil temperature is key. Too hot, and the bunuelos will burn. Too cool, and they’ll absorb too much oil and become greasy. I recommend using a deep-fry thermometer to measure the temperature accurately.

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (9)

Step 6
After frying, transfer the bunuelos to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Sprinkle each side generously with the cinnamon-sugar mixture while they’re still warm to help the sugar mixture adhere better, then enjoy immediately. Happy eating!

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Expert tip

It’s critical to stretch the dough as thinly as possible to yield a characteristic light, crispy bunuelo texture. Step one is to take your time kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic, which forms gluten bonds.

Once the gluten bonds are formed, the next most important step is to let the dough balls rest. They need time to relax so you can properly roll and stretch the dough out.

If you don’t give the dough enough time to rest, the bunuelos will spring back on themselves and form a small, thick disc that doesn’t fry properly.

Cooking tips

Dough hydration: Humidity and flour type can affect how much water your dough will require, so go off how it feels. It should feel slightly tacky but easy to work with.

Frying in batches: Fry the bunuelos one at a time to maintain a consistent oil temperature and to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Testing oil readiness: If you don’t have an oil thermometer, drop a small piece of dough into the oil to test if it’s ready. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is at the right temperature.

Keep them fresh: If you’re not serving them immediately, keep the bunuelos warm and crispy in a 250-degree Fahrenheit oven. Avoid stacking them, as this can make them soggy.

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (11)

Frequently asked questions

How long do I have to let the dough rest?

You need to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. This helps relax the gluten bonds that you’ve formed with kneading. It will make rolling easier, resulting in thinner, crispier bunuelos!

Why are my bunuelos too soft?

The texture of bunuelos can vary based on how thinly they’re rolled out and the frying temperature. Keep your oil at the right temperature (350-375 degrees Fahrenheit), roll them as thinly as possible, and cook them for long enough.

What if my bunuelos aren’t forming bubbles while frying?

If bubbles aren’t forming, your oil might not be hot enough, or your baking powder may be expired. Let the oil reheat between batches, and check your leavening agents on a regular basis.

Storing reheating

Bunuelos have the crispiest texture when they’re freshly made, but it is possible to store and reheat these fritters. Let them cool completely first to maintain their crispiness, then follow these tips.

Room temperature
The fritters can be stored at room temperature, covered with a tea towel, for up to 3-4 days to best preserve their crispy texture.

Fridge
If you’d rather store them in the fridge, do so in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Just remember, your fritters will lose some of their crispiness.

Freezer
Cover the uncooked dough with saran wrap and keep it in a freezer-safe bag or container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before dividing, shaping, and frying the fritters.

Reheating
Reheat bunuelos in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to wrap them in foil so they don’t dry out. Alternatively, microwave them in 15-second intervals. You won’t achieve the same level of crispiness, but they’re still delicious!

Serving size

Making 8 bunuelos is perfect for a cozy family dessert. But come Christmas, when the house is full, you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed the whole crew.

Just keep the oil and sugar coating ready, and you’ll have a festive favorite that disappears as fast as you can make them!

Watch how to make it

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (12)

More Mexican desserts

Plátanos Fritos

Mueganos

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Recipe

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (16)

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients)

Justine Drosdovech

Try bunuelos sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar for a festive treat! Once fried, this golden-brown fritter has a light and airy texture with just the right amount of crispiness.

5 from 54 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Rest time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 55 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine Mexican, Vegan

Servings 8 bunuelos

Calories 226 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls

  • Tortilla press or rolling pin

  • Large pot

  • Tongs

Ingredients

US CustomaryMetric

Bunuelos

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
  • cup warm water

For frying

  • 1-2 cups neutral vegetable oil (canola, peanut, corn, etc.)

Coating

  • 6 tablespoons cane sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

Dough

  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and whisk together. Add the melted coconut oil and water to the dry ingredients and mix.

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead it to form a ball that's sticky enough to stay together, but not coming off on your hands. Keep kneading for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  • If the dough appears too crumbly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too sticky, similarly add a little flour while continuing to knead.

Rolling

  • Cut the ball of dough into ~8 smaller pieces. Roll each piece of dough in between your palms until smooth and then flatten slightly. Once they are rolled and flattened, cover with a towel to rest for 30 minutes.

  • In the meantime, line a tray or plate with paper towel, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, and add 1-2 inches of neutral vegetable oil to a large stockpot for frying the bunuelos.

  • If you have a tortilla press, line it with 2 pieces of plastic. Lightly flour each side of a dough disc and place it in the center of the press. Press down to form thin tortillas. Alternatively, use a rolling pin on a floured surface. Finish stretching the buñuelo on a clean tea towel over your knee or the bottom of a large bowl until it is almost see-through.

Frying

  • Heat oil to 350-375°F, or until a piece of dough sizzles and floats to the top. Add one buñuelo at a time and fry for 30-45 seconds per side, or until golden brown. Push down on the buñuelo with a spoon or spatula while it's frying to keep the bubbles from expanding too much.

  • Transfer the cooked bunuelos to the paper towel-lined plate or tray to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle each side with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat until all the bunuelos are cooked, then serve immediately. Happy eating!

Notes

Dough hydration: Humidity and flour type can affect how much water your dough will require, so go off how it feels. It should feel slightly tacky but easy to work with.

Frying in batches: Fry the bunuelos one at a time to maintain a consistent oil temperature and to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Testing oil readiness: If you don’t have an oil thermometer, drop a small piece of dough into the oil to test if it’s ready. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is at the right temperature.

Keep them fresh: If you’re not serving them immediately, keep the bunuelos warm and crispy in a 250-degree Fahrenheit oven. Avoid stacking them, as this can make them soggy.

Sifting the flour and baking powder provides a smooth, lump-free dough, which is essential in creating the signature delicate texture of bunuelos.

Proper kneading develops gluten, giving the fritters structure. To correctly knead dough, press it with the heels of your hands, pushing it away from you, then fold it back over itself, giving it a quarter turn each time.

This resting period allows the gluten to relax, making the dough more pliable and easier to work with when stretching.

Maintaining the oil temperature is key. Too hot, and the bunuelos will burn. Too cool, and they’ll absorb too much oil and become greasy. I recommend using a deep-fry thermometer to measure the temperature accurately.

Nutritional information is a rough estimate and should not be taken as health advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1buñuelo | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.3g | Protein: 3.2g | Fat: 9.1g | Saturated Fat: 4.9g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 172.6mg | Potassium: 35.9mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 9.1g | Vitamin A: 1.5IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 24.6mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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Note: I’ve updated this post to include new information and helpful tips about the recipe.

Justine Drosdovech

Food writerat Broke Bank Vegan | Website| + posts

Justine Drosdovech is a food writer, photographer, and one of the founders of Broke Bank Vegan. She is a self-taught plant-based chef but uses her healthcare background to craft dishes that are both delicious and nourishing.

Easy Bunuelos Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients) (2024)
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