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A Step-by-Step Recipe for Cuban Bunuelos

Cuban bunuelos are a deliciously sweet crunchy pastry with a soft pillowy centre, flavoured with vibrant anise, cinnamon and vanilla.

March 2, 2021
Cuban BunuelosPhoto By Petite Gourmets
Difficulty Medium
Servings 4-6 people
Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 60 mins

Cuban Bunuelos Recipe Video



  1. Peel and roughly chop the yuca then place into a saucepan of water. Set the saucepan on the stove at medium heat and bring to a boil, season with salt. Cook the yuca for 20 minutes until softened.
  2. Strain the cooked yuca through a colander and allow to steam dry for 5 minutes. Then return the cooked yuca to the saucepan and mash until smooth.
  3. Transfer the pureed yuca to a mixing bowl and add the all-purpose flour, egg and salt. Mix and bring together into a rough dough, adding more flour if needed.
  4. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for 2 minutes until a smooth uniform ball has formed.
  5. Next divide the dough into twenty equally-sized balls, begin by rolling out one piece of dough into a long strip. Fold the dough to form a figure of eight and seal the ends with water, repeat this process until all of the bunuelos have been rolled.
  6. Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil has preheated to 375F, lay the bunuelos into the pan to fry, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  7. Fry the bunuelos for 3 minutes then turn and cook for a further 3 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Remove the bunuelos from the frying oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper, continue to fry in batches until all the bunuelos are cooked.
  9. Drizzle the bunuelos with the cinnamon and anise syrup, serve immediately as a sweet treat.

Bunuelos Syrup Recipe

Bunuelos Syrup

Bunuelos Syrup Ingredients

Bunuelos Syrup Directions

  • Begin by preparing the syrup, place a saucepan on medium heat and add one cup of water, caster sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks and vanilla extract.
  • Bring the syrup to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes to thicken and infuse the aromatics.
  • Allow the syrup to cool then strain into a jug and set aside.
  • Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 1 Cuban Bunuelos
    Serves 4-6
    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Cholesterol 33 mg11%
    Sodium 569 mg24.7%
    Potassium 41 mg0.9%
    Protein 4.5 g9%
    Total Fat 48.7 g62.4%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


    • Bunuelos can be folded into any shape which you prefer, in this recipe we have chosen the traditional figure of eight which signifies the symbol of good luck.
    • To add variety to your bunuelos add boniato, malanga, sweet potato, banana or chocolate into the base of the dough, complimentary seasonings also include ground anise and ground cinnamon.
    • Bunuelos are not limited to only sweet varieties, for savoury fritters the dough can be stuffed with cheese, ham or mushroom and served as a savoury side dish.
    • For an adult version of bunuelos add a quarter cup of rum to the syrup to provide a boozy kick to the pastry.
    Rate This Recipe

    A simple fritter which is popular throughout the world and can be found in many variations. The popularisation of bunuelos is thanks to the versatility and adaptability of the dish, most countries have their own version with the basic recipe of bunuelos needing just flour, egg and water. Bunuelos are a favourite sweet snack with an inviting crisp crust which encases a light doughy centre, perfect for serving a crowd. Follow our simple guide below for clear instructions in how to make classic Cuban bunuelos. Then serve this irresistible sweet treat with coffee, dipped in hot chocolate or at the end of a meal.

    What are Bunuelos?

    A buenuelo is a sweet fried dough fritter traditionally served at celebrations including Christmas, Ramadan and Hanukkah. The snack is served at celebratory occasions as bunuelos are seen as a symbol of good luck, shaped as a figure of eight symbolising infinity. Made from a lightly risen dough flavoured with anise which is deep fried and finished with a sugar or syrup topping.

    Where are Bunuelos from?

    Spain is believed to be the birthplace of the first bunuelos, a creation by the Morisco people who were influenced by their Arabic origin and Spanish settlement to create the irresistibly sweet snack. Variations of doughnuts and fritters can be found throughout the world with bunuelos having spread through Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

    Bunuelos are known across the globe by names including bimuelos, bermuelos, burmuelos, bunyols and birmuelos. The sweet crisp dessert became popularised in America through colonisation, especially through Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Cuba.

    How to make Cuban Bunuelos?

    Bunuelos come in many forms of varying shapes, fillings and toppings, with desserts such as doughnuts, churros, waffles, puff puff and cream puffs using a similar sweet dough which is fried to form a crisp, crunchy exterior and light fluffy centre. Cuban bunuelos are distinctive in their shape and flavour, fried in a figure of eight with optional ingredients including yuca and malanga.

    The Cuban root vegetable malanga provides a nutty flavouring when used for bunuelos which complements the anise in the dough. To finish the Cuban bunuelos are topped with a caramel sauce infused with anise and cinnamon as a sweet, sticky drizzle.

    What is the difference between Sopapillas and Bunuelos?

    Cuban bunuelosPhoto By Canva

    Sopapillas and Bunuelos are both forms of crisp fried dough which are popular in South America. As each pastry can be prepared in many shapes, such as a ball, cylinder, pancake or doughnut, it can be difficult to see the differences.

    The essential difference is that bunuelos are a form of fritter which is deep fried and typically served cool with a lighter texture. In comparison sopapillas originated in New Mexico as a form of fry bread and are made from leavened dough which is flash-fried to form a pocket of air in the centre of the pastry, served hot.

    Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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