Sopapillas

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This restaurant-style sopapilla recipe is easy to make at home with pantry ingredients and always a crowd fave.  Sprinkle your sopapillas in powdered sugar or dip in cinnamon-sugar — up to you!

Sopapillas

Have you ever tried making a batch of homemade sopapillas?

If not, I say it’s time! ♡

These irresistibly soft and sweet fry breads (also known as sopaipillas) are surprisingly easy to make with just a handful of everyday pantry ingredients.  No yeast needed!  Simply mix together a quick dough, roll and cut it out into your desired shapes, fry until puffy and golden, and then serve immediately while the sopapillas are nice and hot.  I always grew up eating sopapillas that were also sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar, which I highly recommend.  And while we’re already at it with the sugar-and-carbohydrate bomb, you should definitely go ahead and serve them up New-Mex/Tex-Mex-style with lots of honey for dipping or drizzling too.

Sopapillas are the perfect fun dessert to serve with New Mexican, Tex-Mex or Mexican food.  (Variations are also served with Argentinian, Chilean and Uruguan food too!)  And when served hot and fresh outta the fryer, look out, because they are downright irresistible.

Let’s make some sopapillas, friends!

Sopapillas Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Sopapilla Ingredients

Sopapilla Ingredients:

Different countries and cultures around the Americas all tend to make their sopapillas (pronounced: soh-pah-pee-yahs) a slightly different way.  But this is the sweet donut-y version — inspired more by Tex-Mex and New Mexican cuisine — that I grew up loving and have made at home a few times over the years.  To make these sweet sopapillas, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Flour: Just basic all-purpose flour.  (I have not tested this recipe with other flours, but if you do, feel free to leave a note in the comment section below!)
  • Baking powder: To help them bubble up into little pillows in the fryer.
  • Fine sea salt: To bring out all of those delicious flavors.
  • Coconut oil: Traditional sopapillas are typically made with shortening, which you are welcome to use, but I prefer to use coconut oil or butter instead.
  • Warm water: To bring the dough together.
  • Oil: Any high-heat oil that you prefer for frying.
  • Sugar: Either powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar (1/2 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon) for sprinkling or dipping.
  • Honey: For drizzling or dipping once the sopapillas are served.

How To Make Sopapillas

How To Make Sopapillas:

Here is a basic overview of the steps to make sopapillas!  Full instructions included in the recipe below.

  1. Make the dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients, cut in the coconut oil, then mix in the warm water until a loose dough forms.
  2. Knead and rest the dough. Use your hands to knead the dough for 2 minutes or so, until smooth.  (I usually just do this in the mixing bowl itself, but you could turn it out onto a floured surface to knead if you prefer.)  Then form it into a ball, cover and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough. Roll the dough out evenly so that it is about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into 2.5-inch squares, triangles, or whatever shape you prefer.
  4. Heat the oil. Meanwhile, as you are rolling out the dough, heat your oil until reaches 375°F.  (Then keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, lowering the heat if needed to maintain that temperature.)
  5. Fry the dough. Once the oil is hot, very carefully lay a dough square in the hot oil.  It will sink for a moment then rise to the surface and will likely immediately bubble up.  (If it doesn’t, just add a spoonful or two of hot oil on top of the dough, and it should bubble up within a few seconds.)  Fry for 30-60 seconds, or until the bottom of the dough is lightly golden.  Flip and cook on the other side until lightly golden.  Then carefully transfer the sopapilla to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough squares.  (I typically fry a batch of 3 at a time.)
  6. Sprinkle and serve.  Sprinkle (or dip) the cooked sopapillas with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  Then serve while they’re still nice and warm and enjoy!

Homemade Sopapilla Recipe

Possible Variations:

Want to customize your sopapilla recipe?  Feel free to…

  • Omit the extra sweetener: No need to sprinkle/dip the sopapillas in extra sugar.  You can just dip them in honey and call it good!
  • Use a natural sweetener: Alternately, feel free to use coconut sugar (or any other more natural sweetener) in place of powdered sugar or granulated sugar in the cinnamon-sugar.
  • Add extra spices: For a warmer spice twist, feel free to use pumpkin pie spice (in place of cinnamon) in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Add flaky sea salt: Omit the salt from the dough and instead sprinkle a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt on each sopapilla too.
  • Make them vegan: Omit the honey and be sure to use coconut oil or vegan butter in the sopapillas.
  • Cut out larger, smaller, or different shapes: I cut out 2.5-inch squares for the batch of sopapillas photographed here.  But you could make the squares larger or smaller, if you prefer.  Or you could opt to cut out rectangles, triangles, or any other shape that you would like!  As long as you roll the dough out to even thickness, different shapes should still bubble up well.

Sopapilla Recipe

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Sopapilla Recipe

Sopapilla Recipe

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 25-30 sopapillas 1x

Description

This restaurant-style sopapilla recipe is easy to make at home with pantry ingredients and always a crowd fave. Sprinkle your sopapillas in powdered sugar or dip in cinnamon-sugar — up to you!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • oil, for frying (see notes below)
  • powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, for topping
  • honey, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the dough. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.  Use a pastry cutter or a fork to briefly cut the coconut oil into the dry ingredients mixture until combined.  Gradually add in the warm water and stir the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon until a rough dough begins to form.
  2. Knead and rest the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough in the mixing bowl for 2 minutes or until the dough is smooth, sprinkling on some extra flour if needed to prevent the dough from sticking.  Form the dough into a ball.  Then cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface.  (At this point, go ahead and begin heating your oil, as directed in Step 4.)  Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out evenly until it is about 1/4-inch thick.  Then use a pizza slicer, pastry cutter or a knife to cut the the dough into 2 to 3-inch squares (or whatever shapes you prefer).
  4. Heat the oil. Meanwhile, just before you begin rolling out the dough, fill a large saucepan with 1.5 to 2 inches of oil.  Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375°F, then reduce heat to medium (or whatever temperature is needed) to maintain that temperature, more or less.
  5. Fry the dough. Once the oil is hot, very carefully lay a dough square in the hot oil.  It will sink for a moment then rise to the surface and will likely immediately bubble up.  (If it doesn’t, just add a spoonful or two of hot oil on top of the dough, and it should bubble up within a few seconds.)  Fry for 30-60 seconds, or until the bottom of the dough is lightly golden.  Flip and cook on the other side until lightly golden.  Then carefully transfer the sopapilla to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough squares.  (I typically fry a batch of 3 at a time.)
  6. Sprinkle.  Sprinkle the cooked sopapillas with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  (Or you can dip them in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.)
  7. Serve. Serve warm with honey and enjoy!

Notes

Oil for frying: Feel free to use any high-heat-tolerant oil for frying that you prefer, such as avocado oil, canola oil, coconut oil, or vegetable oil.  I recommend measuring the temperature of the oil with a cooking thermometer.  But if you do not have a thermometer, just dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil.  If lots of little bubbles begin to form around the wood and float up, the oil is ready to go.  If there are no bubbles, it’s too cool. If it bubbles furiously, it’s too hot.

How to make cinnamon-sugar: Just whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon until combined.

Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Food.com.

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6 comments on “Sopapillas”

  1. Can these guys be cooked in an air fryer?

  2. Ahhh, real sopapillas! In another life I lived in a small town in northern New Mexico and I’d order these. Pipping hot in a paper bag with confectioners sugar and honey.

    I’m totally making these tomorrow! Thanks!

  3. We’ve already been saving a few sections of your homemade tortilla recipe and have been making sopapillas from them!! So fun to have an actual recipe now. LOVE the tortillas and sopas!! Thanks for the great recipes – it’s been getting us through quarantine.

  4. Holy cow!! These are so, so, so amazing! My husband said they are the best he’s ever had. High compliment!! Thank you!

  5. I just made these and they are so, so good! My Tween daughter told me, “once again, you’ve made something incredibly delicious!!!”

  6. Delish! But not all of mine poofed up as much as much as I’m used to when I get them in restaurants in New Mexico – is there a solution to that? I tried spooning the oil over but it didn’t do much.