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Easy Sopapillas Recipe

This easy sopapillas recipe is a fantastic way to create a classic Mexican and South American dessert that's easy to make and absolutely delicious. These golden, pillow-like treats are crispy on the outside, soft and airy on the inside, and perfect for satisfying any sweet tooth.

You can enjoy them as a simple dessert dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, or take them to the next level with a drizzle of honey or a creamy powdered sugar glaze.

Sopapillas on a plate with a sugar-cinnamon topping.

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Making sopapillas at home is a breeze, and all you need is pantry staples like flour, baking powder, salt, warm milk, and a touch of shortening or vegetable oil. After a short rest, the dough is rolled out, cut into squares, and fried until beautifully golden and puffed to perfection.

One of the best things about this recipe is how customizable it is. You can add cinnamon sugar to the dough itself, or make a more traditional, neutral base for your toppings by leaving it out.

Speaking of toppings, the options are endless when it comes to dressing up your sopapillas. A classic dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar is always a hit, but don't be afraid to get creative.

I also like to drizzle them with honey, dip them in chocolate sauce, or even serve them alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Sopapillas set out on the counter.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour creates the foundation of the dough.
  • Baking Powder: This gives the sopapillas a light and airy texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Warm Milk: Binds the dough together and keeps the sopapillas moist.
  • Shortening or Vegetable Oil: Helps create a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying: Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point for the best results.
  • Sugar and Cinnamon: Optional but highly recommended for giving the dough a hint of sweetness and spice.

How To Make This Sopapillas Recipe

In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. If using the optional sugar and cinnamon, add them at this stage.

Sopapillas dough in a glass bowl.
Sopapilla dough in plastic wrap.

Melt the shortening (if using) and combine it with the warm milk. If using vegetable oil instead, simply mix it with the milk without melting. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms, about 3-5 minutes.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag and let it rest for about 20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making the dough more pliable and easier to roll out.

As the dough rests, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to 350°F (175°C). Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil reaches the proper temperature.

Sopapillas dough ready to roll out to make squares.
Sopapillas dough cut into squares.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 16-20 squares, depending on your preferred size.

Carefully drop a few dough squares into the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds, flipping them once halfway through.

Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the Sopapillas from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Sopapillas topped with powdered sugar, and sugar-cinnamon served on a wooden serving board.

While the Sopapillas are still warm, sprinkle them generously with your choice of toppings, such as powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, honey, or a simple powdered sugar glaze made by mixing 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 cup of milk or water and a splash of vanilla extract.

Serve the Sopapillas warm and enjoy the combination of crispy, sweet, and indulgent flavors!

Make Ahead, Storing and Freezing

Make ahead: Prepare the dough up to a day in advance, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to fry, allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling it out.

Store: Store leftover Sopapillas in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in a 300°F (150°C) oven or an air fryer for 3-5 minutes, until warmed through and crispy.

Freeze: Freezing is not recommended for this sopapillas recipe as it will negatively affect the texture. 

Recipe Tips

  • Ensure the oil reaches the correct temperature (350°F) before frying. If the oil is too cool, the Sopapillas will absorb excess oil and become greasy. If it's too hot, they'll brown too quickly on the outside while remaining doughy on the inside.
  • Use a candy thermometer to get the perfect temperature. 
  • Fry the Sopapillas in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. This allows them to puff up properly and cook evenly.
  • If making a powdered sugar glaze, let the Sopapillas cool slightly before drizzling it on top. This prevents the glaze from melting off completely.
Sopapillas topped with powdered sugar.

Serve these as a special dessert along side Cod Fish Tacos or this Shrimp Fajitas Skillet.

This easy sopapillas recipe allows you to make the flavors and textures of this classic dessert right in your own kitchen! Perfect to make for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Sopapillas topped with sugar and cinnamon on a plate.

Easy Sopapillas Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This easy sopapillas recipe makes delicious golden, pillow-like treats that are crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Dough Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 14
Calories 167 kcal


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cups warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening, (Crisco) (you can also use vegetable oil)
  • vegetable oil for frying

Additions: (Optional)

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon


  • In a large bowl or mixer bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt.  If adding sugar and cinnamon, add it now.  Whisk ingredients together.
  • Melt shortening (if using vegetable oil, there is no need to melt it) and add warm milk. Add to flour mixture and mix until it comes together into a dough, about 3-5 minutes. Let the dough sit for about 20 minutes in a plastic bag or plastic wrap.
  • Heat about 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F.
  • Roll out the dough so it’s thin, 1/8”, and cut into 16 - 20 squares (depending on how big you want them).
  • Cook in batches. Carefully drop the dough in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds, flipping them once.
  • Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to drain.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them or sift powder sugar of sopapillas right away before they cool.


Make A Glaze: A powdered sugar glaze can be made by mixing 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 cup milk or water and a little vanilla.  If you are covering the sopapillas with glaze, let them cool a little before adding glaze.


Calories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 44IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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