Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters)

These golden, crispy-sweet, tortilla-like fritters are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or topped with syrup. My grandma made these treats but never called them “buñuelos”. My grandma’s recipe was basically the same as her flour tortilla recipe and we drizzled them with miel virgen (honey). I still remember licking my sticky fingers wanting more.

While in college I remember seeing them in a Mexican grocery store around the holidays and said, “Hey, my grandma makes those!” I didn’t know there was a specific name for them.

Now my mother has come up with her very own recipe and is adding them to her wonderful gift giving treats for Christmas this year. I think I gained about five pounds in the Muy Bueno test kitchen sampling three different recipes. The recipe below was the clear winner and we invite you to make these tasty treats for your family and friends this Christmas season.

Like tamales, buñuelos are a part of our table at Christmas time. Enjoy with a cup of warm champurrado.

Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters)

Yield: 20 Buñuelos


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Sugar coating

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In a saucepan heat milk, butter, and vanilla and bring to a boil.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, then add the beaten eggs to the warm milk mixture and whisk quickly.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 2 to 3 minutes until smooth.
  6. After you knead the dough, divide into 20 dough balls. With a rolling pin, roll out thin tortillas.
  7. Lay out all the thin tortilla flats on a tablecloth and let them dry. Turn them over once to ensure drying on both sides. This helps remove most of the moisture before frying.
  8. Heat one-inch of oil in a skillet wide enough for the tortillas to fry flat. Deep-fry tortillas until golden brown, turning once. Remove from pan; stand vertically in a bowl lined with paper towels and drain excess oil.
  9. While warm, sprinkle fried tortillas on both sides with sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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  1. Pingback: Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters) (via Muy Bueno Cookbook) | Ninny's Nest

  2. These look delicious!

    How long do you let them dry before frying them? Can the tortilla flats be made ahead, then fried right before serving?

    • Hola Michelle! Drying time is not a necessary step, so it can be skipped. My mom says its just best because the tortillas don’t puff up/bubble as much. You can totally let them sit out as long as you want. The last time we made them we let them sit out four hours. Best of luck with them!!!

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  5. this recipe sounds about right but an extra tip add freshed squeezed orange juice and orange zest. It adds so much flavor

    • Angela: The orange juice and orange zest sound fantastic! I will give that a try next time and suggest it to my mom. Wish I would have seen this on NYE when I made them last. Thanks for your comment and I will keep in touch next time I make them 🙂

  6. My grandmother use to make every Christmas and New Year but she use to dunk them in a syrup. Have you heard of that? Do you happen to have a recipe for the syrup?

  7. I wanted to let you know I was directed to this site from the Pioneer Woman’s site. I made these bunuelos last night and they were wonderful! I also added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and poured a little bit of honey on top! My husband couldn’t get enough of them! Also, instead of flattening all the balls out (by the way, I couldn’t find my rolling pin and had to used a floured wine bottle) I put about 10 of them in a zip lock and refrigerated in hopes they will be fine to fry up later.

    • YUM!!! With ice cream and honey…that sounds delicioso! I bet that was magical!!! I have never thought of using a wine bottle as a rolling pin. Genius! My 2 year old son often runs away and hides my rolling pin – He calls it his drums. Now I have myself a tortilla press and the next time I make bunuelos I will be using my handy dandy press 😉

  8. Oh! And one more thing….the bracelet…Perfect! I have some similar and SO wish I had worn them yesterday for Cinco de Mayo.

  9. me encantan los buñuelos con mucha miel de piloncillo! 🙂
    Me encantaron sus recetas 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. I also use a wine bottle as a rolling pin – thought I was the only one! I haven’t had bunuelos since I was a young child – will be trying these on Christmas Eve (you just brought back so many memories!).

  11. My father’s birthday was January first and every new year’s eve my mom would make bunelos and hot chocolate. They have both been gone for many years now but I miss the tradition. I think I will bring it back this year. Thanks so much for the recipe. I can smell them now. Merry Christmas and happy new year.
    Rebeca Wallace

  12. I just made them an hour ago, but I was given an older receipt that includes 1 tbsp of sugar in the dough in 2 cups flour. Did you forget the sugar in your receipt? Or it doesn’t need it?

    • Muy Bueno Cookbook

      We don’t use sugar in our recipe but you are welcome to try it. Let us know how it turns out. There are so many versions of this recipe and this is just how we make them. We like the sugar to be on the outside with the cinnamon. Happy cooking!

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  16. My Sister in Houston, Olga Gonzalez Garcia prepared the most delicious meals this Christmas Eve past and she included the traditional Bunuelos pastry. I have had them since early childhood with grandma, mamma, y hermanas…..

  17. Just found your wonderful website last week when my husband and I were looking for a recipes for bunuelos. Found the recipe easy to follow we celebrate a very late Christmas holiday with some relatives and my husband said we would bring desert. We both work together on the dough I ended up rolling them out and he did all the frying , leaving me to sprinkle them with the sugar. They came out perfect when the other guest saw them they shouted out wow, yummy who made the bunuelos. Thank you so much for your website. I’m making a list right now for your tortilla soup one of my favorite.

    • Linda, we are glad you found our site too. It’s always great to hear that our recipes are easy to follow and that you get the same delicious results we do. Bunuelos are always a fav at our house too. Let us know how your tortilla soup turns out. Bienvenida amiga to all that is muy bueno….


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  20. I like to make these and let them melt in my mouth and drip down my throat. Anyway to increase my pleasure?

  21. Hola!
    Me encanta bunuelos(:
    I am currently a freshman in high school, and making these was an extra credit assignment in my Spanish I class. Unfortunately, I didn’t make them but later that night decided to try the recipe for myself and my family.
    We all LOVE them!!!(:
    Muy rica!!!(:

  22. Pingback: From the Kitchen: Buñuelos {Mexican Fritters} « {love+cupcakes} Blog

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  26. My dad made bunuelos every year for Christmas when I was young… He gave me his recipes (his version of “You get flour, add baking powder…. ) no measurements .. Pretty sure he just made it off the top of his head? I also remember laying them out on table cloths to let them dry… Plan on making my husband some for Christmas. Im gonna Try & start the family tradition all over again now that I’m married.

    • Sounds like a great tradition to bring back to your family. We love making our bunuelos every year, and yes, laying them out to dry overnight helps them cook quicker. They also get a perfect crunch when you do this. Feliz Navidad and please post pictures on our facebook page with your bunuelos and renewed family tradition.

  27. Pingback: Students share Christmas traditions | The Merge

  28. I just made these for Christmas Eve and they turned out AMAZING!!! Thank you for the great recipe!!!

  29. Great recipe! It’s the first recipe I try and it’s definitely a keeper. My grandmother would make them for Christmas but unfortunately I never learned how to make them. I was intimidated at first because I remembered they are a lot of work but they’re so worth it. They were a big hit with my family, they liked them a lot. Thanks for the recipe and also for putting El Paso on the map with your great recipes. I read the article on the El Paso Times about your book and can’t wait to get it after going through some of your recipes on this site. They look and sound delicioso.

    • Hi Sandra, welcome to all that is muy bueno! We are delighted to hear that your bunuelos turned out well and that everyone loved them. Look forward to hearing more about any other recipes you try. Happy Holidays!

  30. I was just telling my husband I wish I had learned how to make bunuelos like my grandma did ever New Years Eve, I remember she used to put the sugar & cinnamon mix in a brown paper bag then added the bunuelos and gently coated them. Thanks for the recipe, hope they come out like Ama used to make!! 🙂

  31. Just found your website last. I made the bunuelos this evening and they came out delicious. My kids loved them, especially since it was my first time making them. I remember my mom always making them for us when we were young and Ive always bought them. Thank you…for sharing your recipe!

  32. OMG!!!! Made this buñuelos today. They are do delicious! They puff up beautifully!! My family loved them. They are so light and crispy’

  33. Hi, I came across this recipe and decided to make these for my boyfriend. The recipe was simple and easy to follow. They came out absolutely perfect. My boyfriends mother gave me a recipe for a brown sugar syrup that tastes amazing with the bunelos. I will definitely be making these again. Do you have a recipe for Atole?

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  35. How long does this take to make?

    • Hi Amy, if you make them the traditional way we have posted you need to leave the rolled out dough over night. However, if you are in a hurry and want to make them immediately it is possible. You should count on at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours from start to finish.

  36. I will be making these this weekend to suprise my husband. I am so excited. His abuela makes these every Christmas and she makes so many that we have them drying all over the place. Lol. We recently moved and he is kind of home sick so I want to give him a taste of home.

    • Keep us posted Ashley. Your hubby is one lucky guy. Such a super sweet gesture 😉

      In the summer we top them with dulce de leche, mangos, and strawberries. Its a great summer option.

  37. I was born and raised in El Paso and I never paid any attention to how my grandmother made her recipes. They were delicious! Then she passed away and took her knowledge with her. I’m happy to have found your blog with El Paso recipes! Other places have mexican food and recipes but they just don’t taste like “HOME”. I love your blog!

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  40. I’m so glad to have found your site.

    I’m going to make these this NYE. My husband’s grandma used to make them and the recipe that her daughter-in-law (my mother-in-law) gave me didn’t turn out at all. I thought it would be nice to make these for my children!

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  43. Just found your website after a web search. Great find, thank you! A happened to come across a box mix for “Bunuelos” in my small local market in Northern New Mexico and was shocked. I had thought that my childhood memories of “Bunuelos” (in Chula Vista, South of San Diego) were something I had mixed up. Now I know that they really do exist and I’ll quit frying up flour tortillas with the hope of something similar. I wish I had come across your site earlier. I’ll try the box mix for a practice run, as not to waste it and then make your recipe for the real deal. I can’t wait to check out the rest of your recipes.

    What were your thoughts on using the tortilla press vs a rolling pin?

    Thank you so much for sharing your memories, recipes and expertise!

    • Hi Heather,

      So glad you found Muy Bueno too! As far as a tortilla press that only works for corn tortillas. With flour dough you have to use a rolling pin.

      Hope that helps.

  44. How long do they stay fresh for? Especially when they have the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them?

  45. This will be my 2nd or 3rd year using your recipe and let me tell you it is my favorite!!!!I grew up in Texas and have tried lots of variations of this recipe. My husband and his mother were stunned at how awesome they tasted and how much better they were than the ones his grand ma used to make. Thank you so much, the children are now learning this recipe and hopefully one day they will carry it on. God bless and Merry Christmas

  46. Delicious! Next time will try them with a killer caramel sauce that a relative makes. Have had bunuelos at a local Mexican restaurant topped with melted vanilla ice cream. So heavenly.

  47. Thanks for sharing. Mom is 94 years old and she forgets which ingredients to use 🙁
    She still makes them once in awhile, but not like she use to.  I’m keeping up tradition and now that I have a complete recipe, I think she will be happy that someone else can take over!  Grandkids dig these!

  48. Pingback: Celebrating Las Posadas: “Enter Pilgrims; I Did Not Recognize You.” - Busted Halo

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