How to Make Churros
Learn how to make authentic churros with this easy to follow step-by-step tutorial! Crisp and golden on the outside, airy, tender, and light on the inside.
Hey there! I’m bringing you another fabulous Cinco de Mayo recipe today!
I’ve been on a real Cinco de Mayo kick these last few days. We’ve talked about how to make a classic margarita, an easy dulce de leche recipe, and I’ve got a few more great Mexican dishes still to come. But today it’s all about churros!
They are SO good. Light, crisp, and so melt-in-your mouth delicious. Nothing is better than a real, authentic churro, fresh from the fryer and coated in sweet cinnamon sugar. Except maybe one that’s been dipped in chocolate glaze!
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to make the best churros, step by step, with pictures. You’ll be a churro-making pro!
WHAT ARE CHURROS?
Churros are a beloved breakfast, dessert, or snack in Mexico, Spain, and all throughout Latin America.
They’re basically just fried dough, and they usually start with a classic choux pastry. For more info on choux pastry, click here: Simply Perfect Pate a Choux.
So the dough is squeezed from a pastry bag right into the hot oil, and the churros are fried until crisp and golden. Then, they’re tossed in cinnamon sugar and eaten warm.
They’re incredibly light and airy, and such a sweet and delicious treat. A great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
HOW TO MAKE CHURROS
To make authentic churros, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Oil (for frying; more on that below)
- And cinnamon sugar for the coating
THE PASTRY DOUGH
This dough is like no other. The way it comes together is really unusual, and there might be a few moments where you wonder if this could really be right! But if you follow these steps carefully, your churros will come out amazing.
Start by placing the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a small pot.
Place this over medium-high heat, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to simmer.
Next you want to dump in the flour, all at once. I know! It looks like a mess but I promise you it WILL come together.
Stir it all together, while continuing to cook on the stove. It doesn’t take long before all the lumps of flour are gone, and you have a “roux” that looks smooth and has gathered itself into one big mass.
Now just take this off the heat and plop it into a mixing bowl.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. At first the mixture might look kind of grainy or curdled, but as each additional egg gets incorporated, it will smooth out, take on a deeper yellow color, and become kind of stretchy.
Just make sure you allow each egg to become fully incorporated into the dough, before adding the next one.
And that is your choux pastry made! It doesn’t take long and it’s pretty easy, despite the odd way it all comes together.
HOW LONG WILL CHURRO DOUGH KEEP?
If you don’t want to fry your churros right away, the dough will keep in the refrigerator (tightly covered) for up to 3 days.
HOW TO FRY CHURROS
To make these churros, you will need to squeeze the choux from a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
This way, the exterior of the churros will have those signature ridges, and all the little crevices will hold onto their cinnamon sugar coating.
WHICH OIL TO USE FOR CHURROS?
You can use any kind of neutral-tasting oil that has a high smoke point and is good for deep frying. My top choice is vegetable oil.
As for the pot, it’s important to use a large pot that has a heavy bottom. An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven would be perfect. The size is right, the enamel coating makes it easy to clean, and these heavier kinds of pots really help to keep the temperature consistent.
Fill the pot about halfway full of oil, and clip a candy thermometer onto the side so that you can keep an eye on the temp.
It’s really important to keep that temperature steady. It will go up and down as you are frying (when the churros go in you’ll see the temperature drop, and then it will slowly come back up). Try to keep it between 325 and 375 degrees F. You may need to adjust the heat on your burner to keep things within that range.
Pipe the churro dough into long strands (about 6 inches long) right into the hot oil. It’s best to work in batches of only 4 to 6 churros at a time, so that they have some room to groove and aren’t packed in so tight that they steam rather than fry.
You’ll notice that the churros puff up and get bigger as they cook. Keep this in mind as you’re piping them!
Allow them to fry (turning them frequently) until golden and crisp, then toss them in cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of the hot oil, so it really sticks.
CAN CHURROS BE BAKED?
If you just can’t bear the thought of deep frying, you can make baked churros instead. They’re easy and mess-free, and they taste darn good.
Find the recipe here: Baked Churros.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHURROS
Churros are amazing fresh from the fryer, with just their cinnamon sugar coating. But they are even better when served along with a dipping sauce. Here are a few of my favorite options:
I’m showing them with dulce de leche and chocolate glaze in the pics you see here. So yum!
HOW TO KEEP CHURROS WARM
I think churros are best eaten right as they come out of the hot oil. At this precise moment, they are truly at their best!
But if you’d prefer to make a big batch and serve them all at once, just place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and pop them in a warm oven (170 degrees F). This should keep them warm and crisp for about 30 minutes to an hour.
CAN CHURROS BE MADE AHEAD?
Any churro is a good churro, as far as I’m concerned. But they are definitely WAY better when they’re freshly fried than they are after they’ve been sitting.
As they sit they tend to lose that crispy exterior, so I’d recommend enjoying these as quickly as possible!
If you seem to be having trouble getting the result you’re looking for, here’s some added insight:
WHY ARE MY CHURROS DOUGHY/RAW INSIDE?
If your churros are coming out raw or doughy inside, try frying them a little longer. A 1/2-inch diameter churro will need about 5 minutes in the hot oil.
If they seem too dark on the outside and still raw on the inside, it’s probably because your oil is too hot. Allow the temperature to come down a bit before continuing with the rest of the batch.
WHY ARE MY CHURROS NOT CRISPY?
If you crowd the pot, your churros might steam instead of frying. This will result in a soggy churro.
Fry the churros in smaller batches of 4 to 6 at a time.
You could also have this problem if your oil is not hot enough. Allow it to heat up a little more, before continuing on with the rest of the batch.
WHY ARE MY CHURROS HOLLOW INSIDE?
You may notice that your churros are hollow on the inside, or maybe they just have a lot of big air pockets. Don’t worry- this is a good thing!
They are meant to puff up and be really light and airy. If you see a lot of holes, you’re doing it right!
I hope you’ll treat your loved ones to a big batch of authentic Mexican churros! They’re a truly special thing to make, and I bet they will never forget it!
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How to Make Churros
For the churro pastry
To make the churro pastry
- Place the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is simmering.
- Add in the flour all at once, and continue to cook, stirring vigorously, for about 5 minutes, or until the dough gathers itself into a ball and a film begins to form on the bottom of the pot.
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed.
- Drop in the eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat. Allow each egg to become fully incorporated, before adding the next (about 30 seconds to a minute).
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a jumbo French star tip.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, until it registers between 325 and 375 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Pipe long strands of the dough into the hot oil, about 4 to 6 at a time, and fry in batches (turning frequently) until golden brown.
- Remove from the hot oil with tongs, allowing excess oil to drain away, and toss the fried churros in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
To make the cinnamon sugar coating
- Place the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine.