Churros

These churros are based on the Spanish and Mexican classic that comes together with ingredients you already have on hand. The resulting fried dough is crisp on the outside, airy on the inside, and irresistible through and through.

A plate of churros with a cup of hot chocolate in the background

“If you like less dough and more crunch, these are the doughnuts for you,” says Swedish food writer Jonas Cramby of churros. Cramby, who spent some time exploring Mexico and its street food brilliance, explains they’re a “traditional Spanish pastry adopted by the Mexicans.” Traditionally coated with cinnamon sugar and served with homemade hot sauce or hot chocolate for dunking, they’re commonly a breakfast staple, although we’re not so certain the cinnamon-sugar inflected sweet shouldn’t be accessible all times of day. His interpretation veers toward a slightly lighter, less dense iteration, which makes it all the easier to indulge without a second thought.–Renee Schettler

Churros

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 15
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Special Equipment: Piping bag fitted with 1/4-inch (6-mm) star-shaped tip or a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off

Ingredients

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  • For the churros
  • To serve (optional)

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, butter, salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar and bring to a boil.

Add the flour to the pan all at once and cook, stirring vigorously, until stiff but smooth, about 4 minutes. (Enjoy the biceps workout while you’re at it!) Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Whisk in the egg until the dough is very smooth.

Fill the prepared piping bag or resealable plastic bag with the dough. The 1/4-inch [6-mm] star-shaped tip may look too small, but trust us, the dough will swell when it fries and the star-shape will leave nice ridges on your churros. (You can refrigerate the dough in the piping bag overnight if you like. Bring the chilled dough to room temperature before using so it will squeeze more easily.)

Mix the cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar on a large plate.

In a large, heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm). Place the saucepan over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350°F (180°C) on an instant-read thermometer. The oil is ready when a small drop of dough sizzles and falls to the bottom of the saucepan only to immediately rise to the top again.

Working carefully, hold the piping bag over the hot oil, squeeze out a few 6-inch (15-cm) lengths of churros dough, cut it off with clean scissors, and fry, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t overcook or the churros will lose the creamy interior that makes them so irresistible. (This particular churros recipe is designed to have more crunch and less cake-like interior.) Fry the churros in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Use tongs to transfer the fried churros to paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain briefly. Toss the warm churros in the cinnamon sugar while still hot and turn to completely coat them. 

Serve immediately, with warm caramel sauce or hot chocolate for dipping, if desired. Originally published April 30, 2019.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Churros may not be the best recipe to test the day before making the visit to the doctor with the evil scale, but the combination of cinnamon, sugar, and fried dough did give me something more pleasant to concentrate on.

The recipe was easy and produced a nice crispy fried treat that went well with my morning coffee. There was, however, little difference between this recipe and numerous others on the internet. Still, it’s a relatively quick production made with items already on hand and suitable for those mornings or afternoon tea times when you either forgot or never knew you had guests coming. As such, it earns a place in my recipe file.

This recipe made 12 churros, which produced 4 servings. We did not dip. Rather, we simply enjoyed the churros with cinnamon sugar.

A good churro isn't always easy to find. Oftentimes they’re overcooked and taste oily and heavy. I never realized how easy they are to make at home with a much better result than many restaurant versions. These churros were a wonderful little treat that were super easy to put together with basic pantry staples with the added bonus of a bicep workout in the process! The final result was crisp and golden brown on the outside while being soft and almost creamy in the center. The dough, once fried, had a pretty neutral flavor but the cinnamon sugar added just the right amount of sweetness. I served the churros just with cinnamon-sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It took about 4 minutes (and some arm strength!) for the batter to smooth out all the lumps of flour.

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Comments

    1. Violet, we didn’t test it that way so we can’t give you a definitive answer. But pastry flour has far less protein content then all-purpose flour. That means it’s more delicate. I think for churros it would cause them to be too fragile. You need the gluten so they can stand up to the shaping and frying.

    1. Debbie, we have not. We test all our recipes before putting them on the site to ensure they’re as magnificent as possible and deserving of your time, ingredients, effort, and expectations, and so we don’t want to promise this will work without having tried it ourselves, although I’m guessing if you use your fave gluten-free flour blend it should work fine giving how closely most blends lately mimic all-purpose flour. And these are so skinny, unlike, say, a loaf of bread which tends to have a drier crumb from the lack of gluten, that I think it should be perfectly fine. If you try it, kindly let us know! And thanks so much for asking and for your interest. You may also wish to check out our entire array of gluten-free recipes that we HAVE tested and tweaked to perfection.

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