Today we make famous sopaipillas, also known as Mexican beignets. These tasty flaky fried sweet treats are extremely easy to make if you use my recipe. And they make quite a lot!
You can serve them stuffed, filled, or simply dusted in sugar. And they make fantastic savory and sweet bite-sized treats.
Give them a try! I can all but guarantee that they’ll become your new favorite quick-fried Mexican dessert recipe!
What Are Sopaipillas?
Sopaipillas, also commonly spelled sopapilla or sopaipa, is a traditional sweet fried pastry. These pastry pockets closely resemble beignets.
They can be filled with a thin or runny ingredient (like honey). But, more often than not, they are simply dusted in cinnamon sugar or served with a simple garnish like cream, syrup, or fresh berries.
This pastry is traditionally made with quick bread dough. This basically means it isn’t a leavened dough that takes hours to make. It’s as simple as using the correct leavening agent and cooking technique to get the fluffy, puffy texture.
How Do You Make Sopaipillas?
Now, for virtually all of these recipes, you will need the same ingredients. Their quantities and ratios may just differ.
A basic sopaipilla dough consists of a leavening agent (usually baking powder), wheat flour, shortening, salt, and water.
These are all very basic ingredients you will already have in your pantry. What makes this dough unique is the ratios. You may even find that it is similar to many beignets and non-yeast donut recipes.
Once the sopaipillas dough has been made, it can be rolled into a circular sheet roughly 10-20cm in diameter. The difference in size depends on how you want to serve them. For dessert, they can be smaller. But for the main course (as a stuffed savory dish), they can be made larger.
This disc is then cut into 4 triangles. The pieces are fried in hot oil where they will puff up beautifully.
Once they have been drained on paper towel (to remove any excess oil) and left to cool a little, they can be stuffed or garnished in any way that you’d like.
What can you serve with Mexican beignets?
You can garnish these with a cinnamon-sugar dusting, powdered sugar, honey, or savory filling.
Powdered Sugar: Powder sugar is a fantastic combination and is one of my favorites.
Honey: Honey and sopaipillas make a fantastic combination, especially if they’re still hot and slightly crispy on the outside. It adds a hint of sweetness and can be served inside, on the side, or drizzled on top.
Cinnamon-Sugar: Cinnamon sugar is a gently sweet and delicious combination. Just combine 1/2 cup sugar with 2 Tbsp of cinnamon and mix it well.
You can also add a pinch of nutmeg for extra flavor, but this is optional.
Savory Filling: If you’re having these as your main course, you can stuff them with savory ingredients like cheese, black beans, beef, vegetables, and more.
They are also incredibly tasty with whipped cream and fresh berries. I am also a big fan of serving Mexican sopapillas for breakfast alongside something like Banana Chia Seed Pudding or a Breakfast Oatmeal Smoothie.
Tips And Tricks For These Fried Mexican Sopaipillas Pastries
- You have to rub the shortening into the flour mixture. This technique is essential to create a flaky dough that doesn’t need to rest or rise. It helps create small fat globules that are coated with flour. Ultimately, it creates layers of dough. Not one smooth piece.
- Avoid using too much water which will make the dough sticky and very difficult to work with. Not to mention, it ruins the flaky texture you just spent a bunch of time developing.
- While portioning your dough, keep the already-shaped pieces under a damp cloth. Do not use a wet cloth! It will make the dough wet and cause it to splatter in the oil.
- To keep the cooked sopaipillas warm while you are frying the remaining raw pieces, place them in an oven at 200ºF (94ºC). Put them in a container that has a lid or foil covering to ensure they don’t dry out in the oven.
What’s the difference between Sopaipillas and beignets?
Beignets are generally made from a more bread-like dough that is denser and chewier. Sopapillas are made from a light and flaky dough that is better suited for desserts. Both can be made from the same ingredients, but the ratios differ, which creates different textures.
Why did my sopaipillas not puff?
The most common reason may have to do with the oil temperature. It may not be hot enough, or it could be too hot. Always use a thermometer to ensure your oil is at the correct temperature. Also, don’t overload the fryer with dough pieces or it will significantly drop the cooking temperature.
Are sopaipillas hollow?
Technically they should be. Even though they aren’t commonly stuffed or filled, the type of dough and cooking method does make it puff up, creating a hollow center.
More Desserts You Will Love
Sopaipillas – Easy Authentic Mexican Beignets Recipe
For the sopaipillas
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup warm water + 4 tbsp
- 3 tbsp shortening
For the toppings (optional)
- Cinnamon and sugar mix
- Powdered sugar
- Whipped cream
Make the sopaipilla dough
- To start, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make sure there are no lumps in the ingredients.
- Next, rub in the shortening. Keep incorporating the fat until your mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Once your mixture is ready, slowly add the water while working the crumbs with your hands or a spoon. Keep adding water until the dough just comes together.
Shape the sopapillas
- Roll the dough into a ball. Then, divide it into 5 equal pieces. Shape them into a ball as well.
- Then, roll each ball into a disc that is roughly 8 inches in diameter.
- Cut the disc into 4 triangular wedges. Obviously, one side of the triangle will be curved, and that's perfect!
- Continue the process until all of your dough has been portioned.
Finish off the sopaipillas
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large pot. You can heat it to 360ºF (180ºC).
- Then, add a couple of wedges to the hot oil. Leave them to fry until they start to puff up. Turn them over, and leave them to cook until they are beautifully browned on both sides. This will take a couple of minutes per side.
- Remove the puffed dough pieces from the oil. Place them on paper towel and allow the excess oil to drain.
- While they are still warm, dust them in cinnamon sugar. You can also leave them to cool completely before stuffing or filling them.
- Repeat the frying process until all your dough pieces are fried, drained, cooled, and garnished.