Quick and Easy Sopapillas Recipe

Ever had sopapillas? If not, you need to stop right now and re-evaluate your life. Seriously, these little golden nuggets of awesomeness are one of my family’s all-time favorite breakfasts. We love to eat them with honey or syrup for dipping.


A little history (very little! Google didn’t tell me that much….): Sopapillas are thought to have originated from New Mexico or maybe Chile. They’re not as popular in Mexico as they are in South America and New Mexico. They’ve been around for 200-300 years and are eaten all over the world. Sopapillas are very similar to the fried bread, or bannock, made by Native Americans and served with wojapi (a fruit sauce made from fresh berries), so it’s possible they all originated from the same sources.


Sopapillas are basically fried pastry-slash-bread dough. That’s it! They can be served for breakfast like the ones I’ve made here, or you can coat them in cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, icing or glaze, dip them in chocolate, or do about a million other things to change them up or make them more snack- or dessert-worthy.



Today I’m sharing a super-simple sopapilla recipe you can use to make a yummy breakfast for your family in about 15-20 minutes, give or take. Plus, they don’t require any special ingredients. You could whip up a batch of sopapillas right now with just your regular pantry staples.


Sopapillas Recipe (serves 4-6)


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp butter, softened (or lard if you have it — you pie-makers may have some on hand)
  • 1-2 cups water



  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add softened butter (or lard), cutting in with a fork until it’s mixed in well.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and mix well. You may need to add another 1/2 to full cup of water (I usually add a total of about 1.5 – 1.75 cups of water total). Mixture should be a consistency that you can roll it out and it should not be sticky. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour until it’s soft, but not sticking to your fingers.
  4. Roll out small amounts of dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Then, cut it into four pieces. Or, if you’re impatient like me, roll out a big bunch of dough and cut 1 to 2 inch stripes across it one way, then cross them diagonally. You want to end up with pieces of dough that are 2-4 inches in size. The shape really doesn’t matter. You could make triangles, squares, rectangles, or whatever! It all tastes the same so it’s your preference.
  5. Fry the pieces of dough in hot oil (medium high heat). I use vegetable or canola oil and I pour the oil into a frying pan to about a 1/4- to 1/2-inch depth. It usually only takes about a minute or two per side. When the dough puffs up well it’s time to flip them over quickly.
  6. Remove to paper towel as soon as they are golden brown. Mostly golden, really.
  7. Serve with honey or syrup (or apple butter, marmalade, jam, or your favorite sweet stuff).



My Favorite Dessert Sopapillas:

As I mentioned above, sopapillas can be served with all kinds of toppings or syrups/sauces. The way I love to serve them for dessert is to dust them with sugar and a dash of cinnamon right after removing them from the hot oil, arranging a few on a dessert plate, and then dressing them up with chocolate sauce (or even better, heated hot fudge sauce!), whipped cream, and a cherry on top. Heavenly.


What About Using an Air Fryer?

I haven’t tried this yet, but I want to. If you were going to make the plain recipe (e.g., no sugar coating), I think it really wouldn’t make any difference whether you “fried” these in an air fryer. The oil does add a hint of flavor, but not much: it mainly helps to make the outsides crisp and keep the insides fluffy.


Have any of you made sopapillas in an air fryer before? I’d love to hear how they were. In the meantime, I plan to whip up a batch of sopapillas this weekend, so I’ll do half in the oil and half in my trusty GoWISE Air Fryer so I can compare. I’ll let you know how they turn out! If they do taste the same, I may switch over to air fryer frying with these all the time: cutting out oil frying would be a way for me to justify serving these a lot more often. πŸ™‚



  1. Hi! Did you ever try these in your air fryer? How did they turn out? My Albuquerque-born wife has requested I make these.

    • Hi, Brady. I did try them in the air fryer and they’re good, but they turned out more like what I call “dough nuggets” than sopapillas. Check out this blog post about them with photos so you can see what I mean: https://everydayteacherstyle.com/2017/08/sweet-and-savory-air-fryer-dough-nuggets-2/ Like I said they were very good…just not really sopapillas. I have thought about spraying them with oil before putting them into the air fryer as a way to get those golden edges that sopapillas have, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know how yours turn out if you make them! ~ Jenny

    • I think you could – I’ve never tried doing it, but it might work. That sounds really good actually. Let me know how it goes if you try! ~Jenny

      • Those are empanadas. The sopaipillas are Chileans, we eat them as an appetizer before eat asado (grilled meat). We put on them different sauces. Regards.

        • Hi, Leo. I always thought empanadas were filled with something and sopapillas were just fried dough. Thanks for letting me know — I learn something new everyday! Have a good weekend! ~ Jenny

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