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Bunuelos Recipe with Piloncillo Syrup

Bunuelos - light, crispy, sweet, flat disk fritter fried to golden perfection  and drizzled with a homemade Piloncillo syrup and/or dusted off with cinnamon sugar. This Mexican favorite is a holiday staple that can also be enjoyed year-round as a dessert or snack!
Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword dessert, fried snack, fritter, quick and easy, snacks
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 - 13 bunuelos
Calories 165kcal
Author Imma



  • 1 cup or 240 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp or 2 g anise , (optional)
  • 3 cups or 375 g all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp or 6 g (6 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp or 5 g salt
  • 1 tbsp or 12 g sugar
  • 1 tsp or 4 g (4 g) vanilla extract
  • ⅓  cup or 83 ml melted butter
  • oil for frying

Piloncillo Syrup

  • 1 large piloncillo cone, (about 8 ounce)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp or 1 g anise
  • 3 cups or 720 ml water
  • ½ tsp or 2 g vanilla extract



  • Start by making anise water by placing 1 ¼  cup of warm water in a small bowl with anise. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Strain and set aside 1 cup of water for dough.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar . 
  • Form a well in the center, pour in melted butter, anise water and vanilla extract. Knead until a soft and smooth dough forms - about 2 minutes or less.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest while you clean up and prepare the working surface. No time required. As soon as you are done preparing your surface you may proceed with the next steps.
  • Flour your working surface and divide the dough into 12-13 small balls and cover.
  • Roll each dough on floured board in a circular motion  until thin. Be careful not to let the dough tear. For crispy dough, roll super thin. Repeat with remaining dough until all the dough has been used up. (Tip: Place on top of bowl to let it air out. This step helps bunuelos absorb less oil.)
  • Heat up skillet or cast iron with vegetable oil, enough to cover it, with 2 inches of oil. Heat should be approximately 350 Degrees F.
  • Place dough in oil and fry until golden brown - this step will take about a minute or less, depending on the thickness of the dough. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve bunuelos warm or at room temperature with Piloncillo syrup (recipe below) and/or   sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Piloncillo Syrup

  • In a small saucepan, add piloncillo cone, cinnamon stick, star anise and pour in warm water over piloncillo and let it boil. Stir piloncillo sugar mixture until it is dissolved.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook stirring occasionally until syrup thickens. This might take about 8-10 minutes. Add vanilla extract. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools .
  • If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve warm, or cool completely before storing.


  1. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1bunuelo | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg