Anytime is the right time to enjoy Sopaipillas, especially when they are so easy to make, with simple pantry ingredients! 

A plate full of sopapillas dusted with powdered sugar.

I love these sopapillas for the same reason I love homemade crepesscones, and buttermilk biscuits.  They can be enjoyed sweet or savory, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert!  The options are endless. They’re warm and comforting too!

Sopa….what?

Sopaipilla, sopapilla, sopaipa, or cachanga are all terms used to describe a fried pastry (similar to a donut or beignet) and are popular in Hispanic culture particularly in New Mexico and South America.  A sopapilla is often served as dessert, topped with honey, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar, however, they can also be served savory style and stuffed with meats and cheeses.

Sopaipillas look really similar to French beignets and taste similar to American donuts.  All three pastries are made from deep fried dough but beignets are made from a more bread-like yeast dough where sopapillas are a little more light and flaky.

How to Make Sopaipillas:

1. Make the dough: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening and cut it in with forks or a pastry blender.  Gradually stir in water until the mixture comes together.

2. Knead and rest: Add some flour to your hands and knead the dough in the bowl for several minutes until it comes together in a nice smooth ball. Cover the bowl tightly and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, add about 1-2 inches of oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat.

3. Roll the dough into a square (doesn’t need to be perfect) about 1/8-inch thick. Cut three strips vertically and horizontally to make 9 pieces.

4. Fry.  Once the oil is lightly bubbling, lay a square of dough very carefully onto the hot oil. It will sink to the bottom and then begin to float to the top of the oil. Once it floats to the top, lightly drizzle hot oil over the top of it as it cooks, which will help it to pillow-up. Cook for about 30 seconds and then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Four process photos for making, rolling out and frying the dough for sopapillas.

5. Serve dusted with powdered sugar and a drizzle of honey or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Freshly fried sopapillas on a wire rack with powdered sugar being dusted on top.

Tips to ensure they “pillow” up:

  • Allow the dough to rest!
  • Drizzle a little oil over the top as they cook

Freezing Instructions:

  • To freeze the dough (recommended method): Make the dough (follow step 1-2 in the recipe card) and store the dough in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter until it comes to room temperature, then roll out the dough and fry as instructed.
  • To freeze fried sopapillas:  the cooled pastries can be frozen for up to 2 months.  To reheat, allow them to thaw completely and bake at 300°F for about 5-8 minutes (turning halfway through) until warm.

Honey drizzled on a pile of sopaipillas on a plate.

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Recipe

A plate full of sopapillas sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar and honey OR cinnamon sugar , for serving

Instructions
 

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening and cut it in with forks or a pastry blender.
  • Gradually stir in water until the mixture comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl for a few minutes until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add about 1-2 inches of oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Roll the dough into a square about 1/8-inch thick. Cut three strips vertically and horizontally to make 9 pieces.
  • Once the oil is lightly bubbling, lay a square of dough very carefully onto the hot oil. It will sink to the bottom and then begin to float to the top of the oil.
  • Once it floats to the top, lightly drizzle hot oil over the top of it as it cooks, which will help it to pillow-up. Cook for about 30 seconds and then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Serve dusted with powdered sugar and a drizzle of honey, or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
  • Store leftover sopapillas at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Notes

*Recipe can easily be doubled to make more!
Freezing Instructions: 
  • To freeze the dough (recommended method): Make the dough (follow step 1-2 in the recipe card) and store the dough in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter until it comes to room temperature, then roll out the dough and fry as instructed.
  • To freeze fried sopapillas:  the cooled pastries can be frozen for up to 2 months.  To reheat, allow them to thaw completely and bake at 300°F for about 5-8 minutes (turning halfway through) until warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 130mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

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*Calories are calculated before frying.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m really glad I found this recipe my mom use to make this and I don’t know where her recipe got too. So you can’t imagine how happy I was to found this. So thank you for putting this recipe out there where it was easy to found after I figured it out.