I’ve enjoyed eating churros ever since I was a child—they’re delightfully sweet and doughy, perfect for carboholics like myself! If you haven’t tried them before, churros are essentially fried dough coated with cinnamon sugar; basically the Spanish and Latin American version of the donut. Delicious!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a dessert recipe, and with Cinco De Mayo coming up fast (tomorrow!) I immediately thought of churros. Being raised in California, I remember school-hosted Cinco de Mayo celebrations where we’d enjoy a plethora of Mexican delicacies including this cinnamon sugar dessert! While traditionally deep fried, I wanted to try my hand at a less-guilty baked version.
And so my weekend baking project commenced; perfect timing, too, since I needed to think of what to bring for a Central Park picnic I was going to attend! Picnic foods can be pretty tricky—salads, pastas, and pies require too much utensilware and certain foods (like chocolate) have a tendency to turn into a melted mess very quickly. But churros don’t require any utensils and are safe from risk of melting!
I was able to whip these babies up in just under an hour from start to finish, not including camera time. The dough is simple and easy to work with, requiring a few minutes of stovetop prep before mixing together the other ingredients. I had a few flubs with piping so I’d recommend making sure that you have the right coupler if using a pastry tip, and use a real pastry bag or thick storage bag; I didn’t have either and ended up having to recoup some dough that spilled out from holes in my makeshift pastry bag :(. It happens…
Despite all that, the churros were a hit! All of my taste testers at the picnic agreed that this was a winning recipe. No one could tell it was baked as opposed to fried, and the bite sized portions made them easy to transport.
- 1 c water
- 1 c flour (I used 1/2 c all purpose, 1/2 c whole wheat white flour)
- 1/2 c unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- Add water, salt, brown sugar, and butter to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- While waiting to boil, beat eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Take off heat when water-butter mixture has boiled, and add in flour(s) and stir until well combined.
- Add egg mixture to saucepan and combine well (I used the help of an electric hand mixture).
- Line baking sheets and preheat oven to 400°F; prepare a piping bag with a large star piping tip (I used Wilton #1M).
- Scoop prepared dough into pastry piping bag; pipe dough out onto baking sheets into long strips, leaving 1-2 inches of room between each piped churro strip.
- Bake for ~ 12-15 minutes until ends start to just turn brown, then change to hi-broil setting for the last 5 minutes to give the churros their iconic golden-brown color.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before rolling.
- In a small bowl, mix together granulated sugar with cinnamon. Transfer cinnamon sugar to an appropriately sized bowl or container and roll churros to coat. I chose to cut churro strips into thirds (~4 inches) to make more snack-friendly sizes, in addition to it being easier to roll and transport.
- Serve while hot!
- Other dipping/filling ideas include berry jams, melted chocolate, hot chocolate, nutella, custards and puddings.
- Leftover churros can be reheated in an oven, and re-rolled in cinnamon sugar to taste as good as it did fresh out of the oven!