Churros are a delicious cinnamon-sugar coated fried pastry dough dessert. They are surprisingly simple to make at home and are the perfect party treat.
Along with this recipe, I’m sharing two dipping sauces: a shortcut dulce de leche and a dark chocolate sauce.
Most people believe churros originally came from Spain, and they are one of those amazing foods that have been assimilated into nearly every culture. There’s nothing better than walking down cobblestone streets with a hot churro and chocolate sauce in hand (either at Disneyland or in Spain).
Although they may seem intimidating to make at home, they’re actually quite simple. With few ingredients and a couple of kitchen tools, you’ll be a churro-making-master in no time.
First thing first, if you’ve never made homemade churros, you might be wondering what are in these magical cinnamon-sugar coated treats.
Churro dough is a mixture of milk, water, sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla, flour, and eggs. While a lot of traditional recipes call for fewer ingredients, I like adding a few more flavor enhancers. The vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon in the dough make it more flavorful and the milk makes the dough richer.
After they’re cooked, they’re rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and white sugar. I like to add a little brown sugar to the mix for even more flavor!
Now that we’ve talked about what’s in the dough, you might be wondering what these end up tasting like. If you’ve never tasted a Churro, you are in for a treat!
What does a churro taste like?
Churros are a cinnamon-sugar deep fried pastry. (Yes, they are as delicious as they sound). If you’ve ever had Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal, you can compare the flavor of Churros to that.
They are generally served with dipping sauces and are very best served while they’re still warm and soft.
Are churros soft or crunchy?
They have a relatively crisp outside and soft inside. The cinnamon sugar crystallizes from the heat of the fried dough and creates an addictive sugary and crispy exterior.
Texture-wise, they taste like a chewier, denser, and slightly crispy donut.
How long do Churros last?
They’re best eaten fresh, while still warm and fresh. I highly recommend eating them minutes after they’ve been fried and coated in the cinnamon sugar. (They really don’t store or last very long!) That said…
- Make ahead: Churro dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day before frying. When you’re ready to fry them, let the dough come to room temperature.
- If you are frying the dough ahead of time, don’t roll the fried dough in cinnamon sugar. Allow the fried dough to cool completely and then store in an airtight container at room temperature (not in the fridge). Reheat the Churros on a tray at 350 degrees F for about 3-5 minutes or until crisp again. Then roll in the cinnamon sugar. (Fried ahead of time is best consumed within 1 to 2 days).
Why are my Churros raw inside?
- If the Churro is chewier than you’d like, it needs to cook longer to get that crispier exterior. That said, if cooking longer will burn the outside, this means the oil temperature needs to be lowered.
- If the Churro is too crispy or brittle, it was over-cooked (or the dough was over-worked/mixed). Either cook them for less time or lower the oil temperature.
What piping tip is used for Churros?
Tips for this recipe
- Number One tip: use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil; I’ve said this already, but I do think this is the number one key to success. Knowing the oil temperature is crucial for the perfect churros.
- Only fry 3-4 Churros at a time. If the oil is over-crowded with dough, it will lower the oil temperature.
- Roll the fried Churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture immediately after draining off excess oil; otherwise the sugar won’t stick.
- Sauces: I recommend making the dulce de leche sauce before making the Churros and making the chocolate sauce during the last batch of frying. The chocolate sauce gets very thick as it cools. If it thickens too much, place it back in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and/or thin with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.
- Don’t over-mix the dough; this will cause tough Churros instead of soft, light, and fluffy ones.
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Churros are delicious cinnamon-sugar coated fried pastry dough desserts that are surprisingly simple to make at home and are the perfect party treat. This Churros recipe is our favorite!
- 1/2 cup (130g) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (110g) water
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 113g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract (or plain vanilla extract)
- 1 and 1/4 cup (160g) white all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- 3/4 cup (150g) white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (46g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate (or semi-sweet)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Tiny pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup full-fat, regular sweetened condensed milk
In a medium-sized pot, combine 1 cup cream and 1 cup dark brown sugar. Heat to medium. Stir while sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a slow boil. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces down to 1 cup (~10 minutes)
Once it has reduced, mix in 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and stir until everything is well combined. Let stand at room temperature to continue to thicken while making the Churros. Serve the sauce warm and re-warm it in the microwave if it starts to get too thick.
In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, combine the 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 8 tablespoons butter. Mix until the butter is melted; bring the mixture to a rolling boil. As soon as the mixture boils, add in the 1 and 1/4 cup flour. Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously for 30 seconds to a minute and then remove from heat.
Using a rubber spatula, continue to mix pressing out any lumps, until the dough is smooth, another 30 or so seconds (don't over-mix dough). Let dough cool for 5 minutes and then add in the vanilla and one egg. Stir. It will seem hard to mix and gluey, but mix until it comes together. Add another egg and stir until incorporated. Add the final egg and again, stir until incorporated. The dough is thick and gluey, but keep stirring and it will come together. Again, avoid over-mixing the dough. As soon as it's cohesive, stop stirring.
- Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with an open star tip.
Preheat a deep fryer (or heavy bottomed large pot over medium heat) to 350 degrees F. Fill with oil -- about 3 cups (you may need to add more as you fry). I highly recommend a candy thermometer to ensure the oil heat stays consistent; this is the best way to tell if Churros are frying evenly.
While oil is coming up to temperature, stir together the 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl, Set aside. Set out a large plate lined with a few paper towels.
Pipe 3-4 Churros at a time into the deep fryer or pot. Pipe the dough and then use kitchen scissors to cut the dough from the star tip into the oil -- do this carefully to avoid oil splattering and burning your arm.
Allow the Churros to fry until they are golden brown, flipping about halfway through the cooking time for a total of about 2 minutes per side. I like to use a wire skimmer to remove the Churros. Transfer to paper towels to dry briefly (but don't wait long) and then transfer to prepared cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll to generously coat.
Repeat with remaining dough, being careful to not add more than 4 Churros to the pot at a time and watching the thermometer closely to ensure even/consistent 350 degree temperature.
Enjoy while hot with chocolate sauce and/or dulce de leche. Churros are best enjoyed right after being fried.
Add all of the chocolate sauce ingredients to a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst, until melted and smooth. Stir until silky smooth. Serve the chocolate sauce warm and re-warm it in the microwave if it starts to get too thick.
- Number One tip: use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil; I've said this already, but I do think this is the number One key to success. Knowing the oil temperature is crucial for the perfect Churros.
- Only fry 3-4 Churros at a time. If the oil is crowded with dough, it will lower the oil temperature.
- Roll the fried Churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture immediately after draining off excess oil; otherwise the sugar won't stick.
- Sauces: I recommend making the dulce de leche sauce before making the Churros and making the chocolate sauce during the last batch of frying. The chocolate sauce gets very thick as it cools. If it does thicken too much, place it back in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and/or thin with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.
- Don't over-mix the Churro dough; this will cause tough Churros (instead of soft, light, and fluffy ones).
These calories are for the Churros and cinnamon sugar coating. Dipping sauces will vary in calories.