How to Make Sopapillas From Scratch




About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Sopapillas are a menu item in almost every New Mexican restaurant across the state. They are a fried bread usually a dessert smothered in honey and butter. They are also served as an entree stuffed with refried beans, meats, cheese, onions and peppers. I read where in the US they originated in Albuquerque in the late 18th century. This tutorial will show you how to make them. I will be making the traditional dessert sopapilla with options of honey, cinnamon or powdered sugar. I like them with the powdered sugar because they aren't too sweet but my husband likes them with honey. If you wish to wow your dinner guest you just can't go wrong with this delicious pastry.

It is interesting to discover that sopapillas are a chemical reaction by yeast converting sugars into CO2.

Step 1: Ingredients


  • Active dry yeast
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey

Step 2: Utensils

Kitchen Utensils:

  • Rolling pen
  • Bowl
  • Dry measuring cup
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Pastry blender
  • Knife not shown

Step 3: Sopapilla Recipe:

  • 1 Package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Honey
Here is where I found this recipe: .

Step 4: Measuring Dry Ingredients

  • Measure the dry ingredients.
  • Combine the flour and salt.
  • Set aside.

Step 5: Mixing the Cinnamon Sugar

The cinnamon and sugar:
  • Measure 1/4 cup of white sugar and add:
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon.
  • Mix well.
For the powdered sugar coating:
  • Measure 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
Set aside the sugar mixtures until ready to use.
  • Set aside a small dipping bowl of honey if desired.

Step 6: Measuring Wet Ingredients

  • Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for five minutes.
  • Add the butter and 1 Tablespoon sugar to the yeast/water mixture and let it set 5 minutes.

Step 7: Adding the Wet and Dry Ingredients

  • Slowly add to the flour and salt.
  • Knead for two minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Step 8: Let It Rise

  • Rise in a covered, greased bowl for one hour or until dough is doubled in size.
  • After dough has risen, punch it down.

Step 9: Rolling It Out

Shaping the dough:
  • On a floured surface, roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
  • Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut out 3 inch squares, and then cut squares on the diagonal into triangles.

Step 10: Frying the Sopapillas

  • Heat up three inches of oil in a big pot to 375 degrees.
  • Fry a few triangles of dough at a time in the oil for one minute on each side. The dough should puff when it hits the oil.
  • Lay fried sopapillas on some paper towels to absorb the oil. I used coffee filters because I don't usually buy paper towels.

Step 11: Adding Sugar

  • Drain, and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or roll them in the sugar mixture.
  • Serve hot with honey if desired.
  • Makes about 18 sopapillas.

Step 12: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

This was a superb recipe. I was very happy with the results and the extra time to allow it to rise was well worth the wait! I almost forgot how delicious they were! Again my husband liked the honey and cinnamon ones best and I liked the powdered sugar. I don't know why but I have discovered men seem to like things a little sweeter. I made these a few years ago and this recipe was much better.

I used a couple of different sizes of cookie cutters to see if they would still puff up and wow! I loved the way they turned out! A perfect idea for the upcoming holidays!

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    24 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thongs are definitely more exciting, but less apt to get burned using tongs!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the comment. I always appreciate a little humor when pointing out a necessary correction. Have a great day~

    Maybe this will upload now, the honey is from SD, a beekeeper brings his bees to Sulphur Springs, Tx down the road from us, and we buy his wonderful stuff. After we had the wonderful sopapillas in San Luis, I came home & ordered these 2 little pitchers from Thanks for the memories and the recipe, I'm through searching!

    3 replies

    Beautiful picture! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and the beautiful story! How precious! So happy you found a great recipe to try! Have a splendorous night!

    thank you Sunshiine my hubby said vote for you! I tried to upload a photo for you but it wouldn't let me :( I will try to send you a pic some other way. This is a much better recipe than the other 2 I tried. I mixed cinnamon w my honey & warmed it together. Delicious! We thought we were in San Luis for a moment! lol

    1 reply

    trying this tonight!!!!!! we do mission work in Mex and it is hard to find anything comparable in North Texas-
    also ate the best we had ever found 2 yrs ago at a little Mexican restaurant in San Luis, Colorado when we visited the Stations of the Cross. They were irregular-shaped and came with little ceramic pitchers of warm honey & melted REAL butter- wonder if that place is still there. It is such a small town I'm sure that was the only Mex place. Actually maybe the only restaurant lol

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello Sunshine, Thank you for this recipe and the photos, looks so delicious! I just want to add a little story here. When I saw your photos, I immediately recognized it as something we do back home. Where I come from we cook exactly the same pastries or Sopapillas. Somehow the pioneers who brought this recipe to your and my country came from the same place of origin a few hundred years ago. The recipe is the same in general, but people vary it to get different results. My family love the one’s that pop-up and become hollow inside. We usually then cut the one side open and fill them with grind curried meat or as you mentioned, some sweet stuff like syrup or honey. I am going to try your version!
    Kind regards

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Somehow I missed this comment! Thanks for sharing! I hope they turned out wonderful!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Mine turned out more like doughnuts, but they were still super good.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Those look delicious. I can tell by the color you put some diligence and love into cooking these. I've only seen them white bit I'd give these golden critters a try.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh my goodness onrust you must try them! They are delicious! Thanks for commenting and have a beautiful day!