Dessert / International / Recipe

Churros Recipe (Spanish Doughnuts)

The simplest and very best Spanish churros recipe. This churro recipe is great for anytime of the year and perfect served with chocolate dipping sauce.

The simplest and very best Spanish churros recipe. Great for any time of the year and perfect served with chocolate dipping sauce. |

New York is the city that never sleeps (and I can’t sleep because I’m day dreaming about this churros recipe); it is a melting pot of sizzling cultures packed into five boroughs– the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island. New York City is my home. It’s where I grew up enjoying churros, and it’s where my obsession with cooking and baking began as a young child.

I have always traveled around NYC using the preferred method of transportation- the subway, which is used by most New Yorkers on a day-to-day basis. Being a born and raised New Yorker, using the subway becomes something that has been etched into my blood.

To keep it real, trains are always packed like a can of sardines and never smell like freshly baked these or hot chocolate. There is usually a noxious odor permeating through the air as you sit in a train car trying so hard not to make any facial expressions at the man sitting next to you who’s sweating like he’s about to give birth to a 20 pound watermelon and smells as if the last time he showered was 2 months ago. You just sit there… Reading, listening to music, staring at people, or just begin to stare into space. You pray to God, begging him to make the stinky man’s stop come up. After 5 stops, mister stinky leaves, you take a deep breath, and you let out a sigh of relief thinking, “THANK GOD!”

Suddenly, your train car sees daylight and is heading towards Jackson Heights; a door in the rear of the train car opens and an elderly hispanic woman is screaming over the noise of the train, “Churros. Churros…” She is pushing a cart with a baking sheet piled high with churros that are carefully covered in shrink wrap. This is not the first time you’ve seen one of these ladies selling this famous latin american doughnut, so you give in and buy two churros off of the sweet elderly woman. She returns three singles back from the five dollar bill you gave her and hands you the two churros in a paper bag. You immediately begin devouring one of the churros. She smiles and pushes her cart to her next customer.

Brown paper bag - Sophisticated Gourmet

It’s your stop on the train. You save the paper bag from the churros (to recycle!), and proceed to walk home. When you finally get home you wish you had saved one of those churros for some late night snacking. An idea pops up in your head to make homemade churros. A churros recipe! Brilliant. You do a simply Google search and get nothing that pops out to you. Food Network recipes are good, but you’re tired of “twisted” versions of things, so you almost give up. This is where I come in and say to worry no more. This is the ultimate churros recipe! This famous “subway treat” can be made at home and enjoyed with a nice cup of hot cocoa or dipped in a luscious fudge sauce. So regardless if you’re from New York City or not, all you have to do is go into your kitchen and pull out a few simple ingredients necessary to make these treats! Churros are super simple to make and can be made to any size and shape that you’d like!

Ingredients for this Churros Recipe

This churros recipe has a few components: the cinnamon sugar, the churros themselves, and my very best chocolate fudge sauce for dipping (if you feel inclined; it really is the best though!).

  • Cinnamon sugar – simply cinnamon and sugar; this is not only perfect for rolling the churros in when they are right out of the oil, the leftovers are perfect on buttered toast (just saying!).
  • Water – cold to luke-warm works just fine.
  • Unsalted butter – you don’t need anything special here; you can feel free to use salted butter to help balance the flavors a little more. It won’t make the churro batter salty.
  • Granulated sugar – white or natural cane is fine here. This helps caramelize the churros and it ensures the batter is also flavorful.
  • Lemon zest – finely grated. This transforms the churro batter into something flavorful and magical. Trust me, you don’t want to leave this out! Feel free to experiment with orange zest, clementine, or tangerine zest instead.
  • All-purpose flour – bleached or unbleached works fine here. I wouldn’t experiment with any other flours other than maybe whole wheat pastry flour for some added flavor.
  • Egg – you’ll only need one egg for these churros. This magical ingredient is what binds the choux pastry dough together.
  • Sunflower oil – feel free to use any neutral tasting oil for frying the churros. Canola, vegetable, soybean, or peanut oil work just fine here.

How to Make Churros

This churros recipe starts off with some water, butter, sugar, and a bit of lemon zest– all of this is brought to a boil.

Broken egg in carton - Sophisticated Gourmet

After your water mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the stove and add in your flour. Mix it on medium heat until the dough forms into a smooth, uniform ball. After the ball is made, you have to wait a few minutes until the dough has cooled enough so when you add the egg (make sure it is at room temperature), it doesn’t curdle. After the dough has cooled for about 3 minutes, put the dough into a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the egg and mix (the mixture will look coagulated and slimy at first, but then it will mix into a beautiful, shiny, smooth dough.

Churros Recipe Dough in Pastry Bag / Churros Recipe Batter in Pastry Bag

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. For this churros recipe, any size is fine, just as long as it is a star tip. I couldn’t find my huge star tip, so I used the small star tip that came with my disposable piping bags. Once the mixture is in the bag, heat up some oil (in this case, the more, the better because you don’t want the churros touching the bottom of the pan) until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375ºF.

Chopsticks for frying - Sophisticated Gourmet

When frying the churros, I find it easier to hold the pastry bag a few inches above the oil and I try not to over crowd the pot. You can shape the churros by moving the pastry bag in circular motions. I  just let them do their own thing… If they curl, they curl. While frying the churros, you’ll need to flip them over, using heavy-duty chopsticks to flip them over works well, but you can use tongs too!

When these babies are out of the oil, drop them in some cinnamon sugar mixture, tap the excess cinnamon sugar off, and place the churros in a bowl lined with paper towels.

The churros can sit out for up to about an hour and a half without really softening up too much, but they are best served immediately with a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Other Delicious Recipes

Yield: Makes 24 Churros

Churros Recipe

Churros Recipe | Sophisticated Gourmet

The topping possibilities for this churros recipe is endless. Instead of dropping the churros in cinnamon sugar, you can drop them in vanilla sugar, slather the churros with a couple spoonfuls of nutella, or dip the ends of each mini churro in melted chocolate. So heavenly!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1/4 cup / 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Churros Dough

  • ½ Cup / 120 ml Water
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon / 13 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • ½ cup / 60 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Sunflower Oil for frying (or any neutral tasting oil works best)


Make the Cinnamon Sugar

  1. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl. If you’d rather not top the churros with cinnamon sugar, read the headnotes to see other possible things you can do with the churros.

Make the Churros Dough

  1. Bring water, butter, sugar, and ½ teaspoon of lemon zest to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat, and stir in flour. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until dough forms a smooth ball, about 1 ½ minutes. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and let cool for 3 minutes.
  2. With the mixer (standing or hand-held) on medium speed, add the egg, and beat until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes. The churros dough will look curdled and weird at first, but just keep beating the mixture until it becomes smooth; the dough will be sticky.
  3. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until it registers 375ºF on a deep-fry thermometer. (A deep-fry thermometer isn’t necessary; just make sure the oil is hot, but not too hot that it will scorch the churros).
  4. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip (any size is fine, depending on how thick you want your churros).
  5. Hold the pastry bag a few inches above the oil, and pipe six to eight 5-inch lengths, moving bag in circular motions while piping to create decorative shapes if desired.
  6. Cut dough with an oiled knife.
  7. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  8. Drain oil off, then toss in cinnamon sugar mixture (if you decide to top them with that).
  9. Repeat with remaining dough, then serve immediately and enjoy!


Make Ahead:

The Churros dough can be made up to a day ahead. Simply place it in the piping bag in a large jug or cup and push the tip into itself to prevent any batter from coming out. Be sure to let the dough come to room temperature before frying the churros.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Page 210, December 2008

Nutrition Information:


24 Churros

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g


  • kamran
    January 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Jennifer, I would if I could, but they’d most likely get all soggy after an hour or so… I don’t know about you, but I don’t like soggy Churros… I’ll see if I bring something else!

    Natasha, thanks! You’re very sweet!

    The Duo Dishes- haha! This reminds me when I first made them- my mom said that I should just start my own business selling churros! LOL. You can start one in LA and I’ll start one here… Hehe

  • Kristen
    January 7, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Maybe I will have to take the subway to JH one day just for those churros ;)

  • katiek@ kitchensidecar
    January 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I love churros, and these look out of this world – but fyi, these look Mexican to me. Spanish churros don’t have any sugar or cinnamon on the outside. The are made in yard long concentric spirals and served with thick hot chocolat. These eat them for breakfast or during feria. Swoon…

  • kamran
    January 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

    katiek@kitchensidecar- thanks for the comment. I am highly aware that these are not Spanish churros, as my grandfather was from Spain. Churros are known as Spanish Doughnuts (because they originated in Spain). Nowhere in the post did I mention that these were authentic Spanish churros. If I did, the recipe would have been properly titled, “Authentic Spanish Churro Recipe,” and my post would have been entitled something similar to that, as well.

    Additionally, if these were authentic Spanish churros, I would have served them with a chocolate bisque, used an entirely different tip on my pastry bag, and I would have most likely used potato dough or wheat flour to make the churro dough. Churros are found all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal, France, and even the Chinese have something similar to Churros, which they call “You Tiao.”

    These are more of a Mexican churro, which are generally topped with cinnamon sugar and served with a cup of hot chocolate (as mentioned in the closing lines of the post).

    Again, thank you for the comment.

  • Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef
    January 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Mmm, I love churros. My friend from Spain brought me a block of chocolate especially for dipping them!

  • Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)
    January 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Wow I just ate churros for the first time recently.. actually the first thing I ate this year!! And here you go making a post on them. They look delicious, and I wanted to make and post these too, but circumstances intervened! I shall make them soon enough though! :)

  • tia
    February 13, 2010 at 1:05 am

    omg.. you are amazing and so are these I bet.

  • Jennifer
    April 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Love your site. As a former self proclaimed cooking hater; I have seen the light! I am changing my evil ways of eating out every meal and have been cooking for at least a year now! I have been inspired by food network but had truly yet to find something as inspiring until today! I live on the Mexican/USA border (talk about drama) and I really love the churros. What is not to love? I wanted to try making them myself and voila! Great great great! I will say that mine came out looking nothing like what I am use to seeing although I think I appreciate the abstract artsiness of my sinful curly fries look a likes. Now I just need to find a recipe for the perfect carmel type dipping sauce. I know, I know that in Spain it is chocolate and I LOVE Chocolate however this needs something different for me.! Thanks for such an awesome website.

  • Tiffiny Felix
    February 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Happy Friday! I wanted to let you know I’ve included this recipe in my “5 Recipes I would love to make” Friday round-up. I’ve had your churros bookmarked *forever* but I don’t dare make them! Unless I can have a group of people over to help eat them…then maybe… ;) Please let me know if you’d like me to remove the picture and link from the round-up. Thanks! :)

  • Lola
    December 4, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Kamran i just have a quick question, im planning on cooking these for work on thursday, however i was planning on making them the night before.. do you think they’ll be soggy the next day?

  • Melanie
    February 27, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Please people, try the recipes before reviewing , so it helps others

  • Fran Cooper
    June 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Kamran. I would like to make these in big qauntities and was woundering if it is ok for the batter to be cold when pipping it into the hot oil?? and how long can we keep batter for before it gets fryed??
    warms regards
    The Whipped Baker

  • Meghan
    June 20, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Had churros for the first time this past weekend and knew I needed to find out how to make them. I can’t wait to try these bad boys this weekend! Thank you!

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