These churro bars are incredibly easy to make, take less than 30 minutes, and can even be made and frozen in advance! They are deliciously sweet with caramel and cinnamon undertones. And, with their chewy and crunchy texture, they make wonderful accompaniments with custards, ice creams, and creamy sauces.
What Are Churros Bars?
Churros bars are one of the most famous and beloved Cinco de Mayo dessert recipes to this day. It’s an extremely simple Mexican dish that not only is super easy to make but won’t take you the entire day!
And another reason I am obsessed with these types of traditional Cinco de Mayo desserts is that they can usually be made in advance. This churro bar recipe holds up extremely well at room temperature and can even be frozen for a couple of months!
This makes it one of the most convenient desserts to make, especially during busy holidays or celebrations.
What Do You Need To Make This Churro Bars Recipe
Cinnamon churro bars are made with a dough that is very similar to a cake recipe. The ratios are what give it a firmer consistency and ultimately, its unique crumbly-cakey texture.
I only use unsalted butter for this recipe. If you want to use salted butter, only add a pinch of salt, not 1/4 teaspoon.
It’s also crucial that you make sure the butter has been softened at room temperature. This ensures that the ingredients will mix together seamlessly to form a lump-free dough.
This is another ingredient I don’t substitute at all. You can use granulated white sugar instead, but you will lose the unique caramel-like flavor that pairs well with the cinnamon.
Always use large eggs for recipes. If you don’t, the mixture may come out stiffer or too runny as the liquid volume of the egg changes.
And as with the butter, make sure the egg is at room temperature. It helps the ingredients mix together a lot easier.
Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, And Cinnamon
These are the dry ingredients that help give the churro bar dough a firm, pliable texture.
You can use cake flour, pastry flour, or all-purpose flour. Just don’t use bread flour. It will give the bars a tough consistency.
And, if you are looking for a gluten-free alternative, take a look at these options. Just keep in mind that the ratio may need to change.
If you don’t have baking powder on hand, make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. This will give you 4 teaspoons of DIY baking powder.
The salt and cinnamon are simply there to give flavor to the dough. Most of it will come from cinnamon sugar.
And finally, no churro dessert would be complete without cinnamon sugar. I like to make bulk cinnamon sugar and always have it on hand.
Tips And Tricks For This Churros Dessert Bars Recipe
- These Mexican dessert bars can be served warm or at room temperature. Just keep in mind that it will change their consistency and texture.
- To store these bars, simply place them in an airtight container. Place a layer of wax paper or baking paper between the layers of bars to prevent them from sticking to each other. Store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 5 days.
- As I’ve mentioned before, this churro dessert recipe can be made ahead of time. If you want to freeze them, place them in a freezer-safe container. Again, separate the layers with a sheet of wax paper. But, as I always recommend for frozen goods, eat them as soon as you can, preferably within 3 months.
- It helps to wrap the freezer-safe container with aluminum foil. This prevents excessive freezer burn that ruins the texture of the churro bars.
How To Serve This Mexican Cinco De Mayo Dessert
Now, these churro bars are INCREDIBLE on their own. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve them with accompaniments.
Some of my personal favorite add-ons are caramel drizzle, melted semi-sweet dark chocolate, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or chocolate shavings.
They also pair really well with fruit like grilled peaches or fresh berries. You can even make a topping like an apple compote, which adds some texture, juiciness, and a ton of flavor.
A common question I am asked revolves around baking dish conversions. Because, let’s be honest, collecting baking equipment is an expensive hobby. If you don’t have a 9×9 baking pan, use a 10-inch round pan, an 11×7-inch rectangular pan, or a 9×5-inch loaf pan. You can also use a couple of smaller pans.
Dry churro bars can be caused by many problems, but it’s most likely due to one of these two. The first reason is that you measured the ingredients incorrectly. If the ratio of wet and dry ingredients is off, it could result in dry, crumbly churros. The second reason is that you could have baked the churro bars for too long or at too high a temperature.
Yes! These bars will be slightly chewy thanks to the brown sugar. But they should not be tough. That’s why you should also use cake flour, which helps create a softer texture.
The Best Crunchy, Flavor-Packed Mexican Churro Bars Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- To start, preheat the oven to 350⁰F (180⁰C). Line a 9×9-inch baking dish with non-stick baking paper, or grease it with some butter or cooking spray. If you are making a double recipe, use a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set it aside.
- Mix together the softened butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat the ingredients together very well until you have a uniform, creamy, lump-free mixture.
- Add the egg and mix it in well.
- Next, add the sifted flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Again, mix the ingredients well until you have a uniform dough.
- Press this dough-like mixture into the lined baking dish. Make sure it is shaped into an evenly thick layer.
- Then, in a small separate mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle your homemade cinnamon sugar over the dough. Evenly distribute the mixture over the whole area.
- Finally, bake the churro bar cake for 25 minutes or until the center is no longer gooey.
- Once baked, remove the bars from the oven and leave them to cool at room temperature. Cut them into pieces and serve them within a couple of days.