Sopapillas. Fried pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar and served with honey! This restaurant quality recipe is easy to make at home using items from your own pantry.
These sweet treats come together with minimal ingredients that you most likely have in your own pantry. No yeast is needed! These are made with a quick dough, similar to making flour tortillas, then rolled and cut into a small square shape. Fry them up and sprinkle with your preferred sugar and serve with sweet honey!
What are Sopapillas?
Sopapillas, or sopaipillas (so-pah-pee-yahs) are a fried pastry dessert, similar to a fry bread, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. They are served drizzled with honey or syrup. These sweet treats are popular and served in Mexico, New Mexico and Texas. Different countries and cultures will tend to have their own methods and recipes, this particular recipe is based on what you will find in Texas. They make a great dessert to serve after your favorite Tex Mex meals!
Sopapilla Ingredient Breakdown:
- Flour: all purpose flour is my go to and what I keep in my pantry. I haven’t tried this recipe with other flours, so I can’t comment on a substitution.
- Sugar: a small amount is added to the dry ingredients to add just a hint of sweetness to the dough itself.
- Baking Powder: this is what is going to make these puff up like little pillows when fried.
- Salt: just a small amount to balance out the flavors.
- Oil: vegetable or avocado oil are great options. Coconut oil can be used if you don’t mind the coconut flavor that comes with it. Also lard or shortening can be used.
- Warm Water: this helps bring the dough together. Plus if you are using lard or shortening my favorite method would be to melt the lard into the warm water, this helps disperse it completely through the dough.
- Oil for Frying: any high heat oil will work. Vegetable oil or canola options are the least expensive option.
- Cinnamon Sugar: combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.
- Powdered Sugar: sift powdered sugar over the tops.
- Honey: drizzle or dip the sopapillas into the honey for a complete treat!
- Syrup: can be used instead of honey if desired.
How to make Sopapillas:
- Make the Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour the oil into the water, then pour into the dry ingredients. Using the stand mixer mix and knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and a ball of dough is formed. Knead with your hands for another 3-4 minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. Divide the dough into two balls, this makes it easier to roll out.
- Rest: Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut: After resting, take each ball of dough, and roll it out into a rectangular shape. Cut into 2 inch squares. Let these squares rest again before frying.
- Fry: While the dough is resting the second time, heat the oil to 375℉. Carefully place 3-4 squares of dough into the hot oil and let them fry until golden on both sides. Will take about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve: sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar and serve with honey or syrup.
Tip: Make sure your oil stays at 375℉ for best results.
How to Store:
Sopapillas can be made ahead of time and stored in dough form or cooked.
- Refrigerator: wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring back to room temperature before rolling out to cut the dough.
- Freezer: wrap with plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. Let the dough thaw and come to room temperature before rolling and frying as instructed.
Storing Cooked Sopapillas:
Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 2-4 days.
To reheat: place sopapillas on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 300 for 5-7 minutes until warmed through.
More Tex Mex and Mexican Dessert Recipes:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- In a medium size bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix together with fork.
- Add the oil to the warm water and pour into the dry ingredients, mix together with hands, dough will be sticky. Continue to work dough in the bowl until dough ball forms.
- Lightly sprinkle flour onto a clean work surface, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes until smooth, if still sticky, sprinkle a small amount of flour on the dough. Divide the dough into two sections (this helps with rolling out later) and form the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough balls into the bowl previously used, cover with a clean towel and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangular shape using a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick.
- After rolling, cut the dough into 2 inch squares (or preferred size). Let the dough rest another 10 minutes while preparing the oil.
- Pour the oil into a large cast iron skillet or large dutch oven (my preferred for frying, it cuts down on splatters and makes clean up easier.) should have about 2 inches of oil in the pan.
- Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375℉.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with a cooling wire rack on top and set to the side, this is where you will place the sopapillas once fried.
- Once oil is heated, carefully place 3 sopapillas into the oil and fry until golden on both sides. (Dough will sink briefly in the oil, then will rise to the top and puff up while frying, if this doesn’t happen, then the oil is not hot enough).
- Remove the sopapillas from the oil and place on the cooling wire rack. Allow the oil to come back to temperature before adding more dough to continue frying.
- Continue until all sopapillas have been fried.
- While the sopapillas are still warm, dip them into the bowl of cinnamon sugar to coat if desired.
- Serve sopapillas warm, coated with cinnamon sugar OR sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with honey.
Photography by KJandCompany.co