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How to Make Mexican Donuts (Quick Recipe)

When you think of iconic Mexican cuisine, savory delights like tacos and enchiladas may come to mind. However, Mexico’s culinary creativity extends beyond the traditional, giving rise to a mouthwatering treat that’s both familiar and uniquely Mexican – the Mexican donut. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of these delectable confections, exploring their origins, flavors, and guide you through a quick and easy recipe.


The origin of Mexican donuts, often referred to as “donas” or “buñuelos,” can be traced back to the country’s rich culinary history. While the traditional Mexican sweet bread known as “pan dulce” has long been a staple, the concept of fried dough treats can be attributed to both indigenous practices and Spanish influences. Over time, these influences converged to create the beloved Mexican donut.

Buñuelos have a rich history rooted in traditional Mexican cuisine. These crispy, sweet treats have been enjoyed for generations, especially during festive occasions such as Independence Day. Their popularity extends across Mexico, with regional variations that make them even more intriguing.

Mexican donuts come in a delightful array of shapes, sizes, and flavors. From the classic “buñuelos,” crispy and coated in cinnamon-sugar, to the more intricate “churros” – long, ridged donuts often filled with delectable sauces – the range of options is as diverse as Mexico’s landscapes. Some variations even incorporate unique ingredients like chocolate, cajeta (caramelized goat’s milk), and tropical fruits.


No exploration of Mexican donuts would be complete without diving into the world of churros. These golden-brown, crispy delights have become an international sensation, celebrated for their irresistible combination of textures and flavors. Whether enjoyed as a street food snack or a dessert in a restaurant, churros hold a special place in Mexican cuisine and are often accompanied by rich, velvety chocolate for dipping.

Mexican donuts are more than just a treat; they’re an integral part of cultural celebrations and gatherings. From festive occasions like birthdays and weddings to religious holidays like Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Las Posadas, these treats symbolize joy, unity, and the sweetness of life. Sharing Mexican donuts among family and friends is a cherished tradition that brings people together.

The Donut Carts of Mexico

In Mexico, street food vendors play a vital role in bringing the flavors of Mexican donuts to the masses. Donut carts adorned with colorful displays attract locals and tourists alike, offering a tantalizing variety of fried treats. The sizzle of dough hitting hot oil and the aroma of cinnamon-sugar create an experience that’s not just about taste, but also about embracing the lively spirit of Mexico’s streets.

As culinary creativity evolves, so do Mexican donuts. Chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with innovative twists, infusing traditional recipes with contemporary ingredients and techniques. From churro ice cream sandwiches to gourmet donut shops that offer artisanal flavors, the world of Mexican donuts continues to evolve while staying rooted in its cultural foundation.

This recipe for making a Mexican-style donut known as “Buñuelos.” which are round crispy pastries often drizzled with syrup or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. This recipe makes about 12 Buñuelos.


For the Buñuelo Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For Coating and Topping:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey (for drizzling)


  1. Prepare the Buñuelo Dough:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the warm water, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and the egg.
    • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s smooth.
  2. Shape and Fry the Buñuelos:
    • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
    • On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a thin, flat circle (about 6 inches in diameter).
    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or pan over medium-high heat. You’ll need enough oil to submerge the Buñuelos.
    • Carefully place a rolled-out dough circle into the hot oil and fry until it puffs up and turns golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.
    • Use a slotted spoon to remove the Buñuelo from the oil and drain it on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough circles.
  3. Coat and Serve the Buñuelos:
    • In a shallow bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.
    • While the Buñuelos are still warm, coat them with the cinnamon sugar mixture by rolling them in it or sprinkling it over the top.
    • Drizzle honey over the Buñuelos for an extra touch of sweetness.
  4. Serve Warm:
    • Buñuelos are best enjoyed while still warm and crispy.

Mexican Donuts (Buñuelos) are best served fresh and can be enjoyed as a delightful dessert or snack. Their sweet and crunchy texture pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.

Tips on Frying and Storage

Cooking Tips to Ensure Success

  • When frying, make sure the oil is hot enough to create a crisp texture. This will prevent too much oil being absorbed by the donuts.
  • Customize your Buñuelos by adding powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, or even a drizzle of honey.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

You can prepare the dough in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Fry the Buñuelos just before serving to retain their crispiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Donuts similar to sopapillas?

While both Donuts and sopapillas are fried pastries, there are distinct differences between the two. Donuts (Buñuelos) are often thinner and crispy, coated in cinnamon sugar or syrup, while sopapillas are typically thicker and softer, sometimes served with honey for dipping.

What sets Donuts (Buñuelos) apart from sopapillas?

The primary difference is in the texture and preparation. Donuts (Buñuelos) are rolled thin and fried until crispy, creating a delicate crunch, while sopapillas have a soft and fluffy interior. Additionally, Donuts are often flavored with ingredients like anise, while sopapillas are plain or lightly sweetened.


In conclusion, this Traditional Mexican Donuts (Buñuelos) recipe offers a delightful journey into the heart of Mexican culinary tradition. These crispy and sweet treats, rooted in history and beloved during festive occasions, bring the rich flavors of Mexico to your kitchen.

As you craft the dough, fry to golden perfection, and immerse these Buñuelos in the fragrant Piloncillo Syrup, you’re not just preparing a dessert; you’re creating a connection to a time-honored culture. The balance of textures—crispy on the outside, tender on the inside—makes each bite a celebration of flavors and traditions.

Whether enjoyed as a dessert, a snack, or alongside a warm cup of Mexican hot chocolate, these Buñuelos will surely add a touch of magic to any occasion. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the art of making Mexican Donuts, and savor the sweet memories they bring to your table. Buén provecho!