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Sopapillas Recipe

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this easy sopapillas recipe! Discover how simple it is to make these light, airy, and sweetly satisfying treats at home.

Sopapillas with powdered sugar on top.
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Perfect Homemade Sopapillas

Sopapillas are the perfect dessert for Cinco De Mayo! With their light, airy texture and irresistible sweetness, these fried dough treats are the perfect companion to many Cinco de Mayo recipes.

Whether you’re new to the art of fry bread or a seasoned pro, this homemade sopapilla dessert is bound to become one of your family’s favorites!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simplicity at its best: With just a handful of pantry staples and a straightforward process, whip up an easy sopapillas recipe in no time even if you’re new to frying homemade dough.
  • Easily customizable: Whether you’re in the mood for the classic sweetness of cinnamon sugar or opting for a savory filling, sopapillas are a perfect canvas!

Sopapilla Recipe Ingredients

It’s easy to keep these simple pantry ingredients on hand so you can enjoy making its sopapillas recipe any time!

Sopapillas ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour works the best for the perfect dough consistency. 
  • Shortening or softened butter: I like to use shortening to get that tender and flaky texture. 
  • Baking powder and salt: These pantry ingredients help the dough rise and add flavor.
  • Warm water to bring the dough together into a soft, workable texture.
  • Oil for deep frying: Vegetable oil works best as you can get it to the right temperature without it smoking. Canola oil or peanut oil both work, too.

Substitutions and Variations

Try these twists on the basic sopapillas recipe!

  • Butter makes a rich alternative to shortening, adding depth to the dough’s flavor.
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the freshly fried dough, offering a sweet nod to the beloved churros.
  • Stuff with whipped cream after frying and serve with fresh fruit and honey.
  • For a savory version, stuff the dough with taco meat or shredded chicken fajita meat.

How to Make Sopapillas

It takes about 30 minutes to fry up a batch of these delicious Mexican sopapillas. It’s important to let the dough rest for 20 minutes before frying, so make sure you don’t skip this step.

Showing how to make sopapillas in a 4 step collage.
  • Prepare the dough. Start by mixing your dry ingredients, then incorporate the shortening, followed by warm water to form a soft dough.
  • Cut into squares. Let the dough rest, then use a rolling pin to roll it out thin and cut it into squares, ready for frying.
  • Fry them until golden. Use a large Dutch oven to fry the sopapillas in hot oil until golden and transfer them to a wire rack.
  • Sprinkle and serve. Serve warm with your choice of sweet or savory toppings. We are partial to drizzling them with honey and drizzling with powdered sugar.


  • Ensure the oil is at the right temperature for frying to avoid soggy or overly greasy sopapillas.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot when frying; cooking in batches ensures each sopapilla cooks evenly.
  • Letting the dough rest is crucial for developing the texture, so don’t skip this step.
Sopapillas on a baking sheet.

Recipe FAQs

What are sopapillas?

They are a traditional Mexican dessert made from simple dough, fried until puffy and golden, and typically served with powdered sugar and honey.

Can I make a sopapillas recipe without shortening?

Yes, softened butter is an excellent substitute for shortening in this recipe.

What to serve with sopapillas?

They’re versatile! Enjoy them with sweet honey, powdered sugar, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, or Nutella for dipping. If you’re going with a savory option, you can serve them with ground beef tacos, or cheese enchiladas.

Can I make sopapillas in advance?

You can make the dough the day before and do a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight. Bring the dough to room temperature for 30 minutes before frying.

How to store and reheat sopapillas?

Although they are best enjoyed fresh, sopapillas can be stored in an airtight container and gently reheated in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Drizzling honey on top of sopapillas.

More pastry recipes to try include New Orleans beignets, apple turnovers and maple bacon donuts.

Mexican-Inspired Dessert Recipes

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Sopapillas on a plate.

Sopapillas Recipe

5 from 4 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this easy sopapillas recipe! Discover how simple it is to make these light, airy, and sweetly satisfying treats at home.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more or less as needed
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening , or softened butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup warm water (100℉)
  • Vegetable oil , for deep frying

For serving: powdered sugar, honey


    • Make the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and use a pastry cutter to blend it until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the warm water and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough feels sticky, sprinkle a little more flour. Knead the dough 1-2 minutes.
    • Rest the Dough: Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
    • Prep: Set a wire racks over a baking sheet and place it next to the pot of oil along with tongs. Alternatively line a plate with paper towels.
    • Roll: Lightly flour your countertop and roll out dough about 1/8-inch thick (the thinner the better). Cut the dough into 12 squares and cover with a tea towel while heating the oil.
    • Heat: Fill a large 4-quart Dutch oven pot with a few inches of oil. Heat over medium heat to 350℉. Fry the sopapillas, in batches, about 1 minute per side, or until golden brown. Using tongs, transfer the beignets to the first wire rack.
    • Serve: These are best served warm on the first day. Top with powdered sugar and honey.


    Dipping sauces:
    Make-ahead: You can make the dough the day before and do a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight. Bring the dough to room temperature 30 minutes before frying.
    Reheat: These taste best the same day, but you can do a quick reheat in the microwave for 10 seconds, if you like. 


    Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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