It may be cliché, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make churros in time for Cince de Mayo.  Over the past year or so, I’ve become slightly enamored with them thanks to the fantastic churros at XOCO, one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants in Chicago.  Really, fantastic isn’t an adequate word to describe them.  They deserve their own superlative.  A simple piece of fried dough coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and dipped in ice cream or chocolate sauce.  Holy moly, they are deserving of the hype.  When we are in Chicago, we always make time for XOCO, even if we’re only there for less than 24 hours.  I was excited at the prospect of making these at home, and I was also curious to know whether they would be difficult.

As it turns out, these are actually easier than most other doughnut-like things.  The batter is mixed and since it isn’t yeasted, it’s pretty much ready to be used right away.  Piping the dough into the hot oil was a bit of a guessing game as to how the shapes would turn out, but I was able to make pretty consistent U shapes without too much trouble.  I almost never make fried things at home but these were worth it.

Have you ever made churros?  Or if you have at least eaten them, what do you like to dip them in?  I think the vanilla ice cream is totally the way to go, but Ben likes the chocolate sauce.  I know some people dip them in hot chocolate, which also sounds pretty great.  I hope you all enjoy some amazing Mexican food this weekend.  I know I will!


For the churros:

  • 4½ tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Canola oil, for frying

To coat: 

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the chocolate dipping sauce: 

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature


  • 01

    In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, sugar and salt over medium-high heat.  Stir frequently.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor (a stand mixer would also work.)  Add in the flour.  With the feed tube open to vent steam, pulse (or mix) briefly to incorporate the flour.  While continuing to mix, gradually pour in the eggs in a slow, steady stream until fully incorporated and the mixture is just smooth.

  • 02

    Heat a large pot of canola oil (at least 2-3 inches deep) to 375˚ F.  While the oil is heating, transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with decorative tip.  When the oil has reached the desired temperature, pipe lengths of the batter into the oil, using scissors to snip each length off into the pot.  Keep the churros only in a single layer and avoid crowding them.  Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from the oil with a slotted skimmer and transfer to a rack lined with paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  Be sure the oil returns to 375˚ F before adding a new batch.

  • 03

    In a shallow bowl or plate, combine the sugar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean pod.  Massage together until the vanilla bean is evenly distributed in the sugar.  Stir in the cinnamon.  Dredge the cooked churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, shaking off the excess.

  • 04

    To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand 2 minutes.  Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.  Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.  Reheat as necessary to keep liquid for dipping.

  • Mmmm! It looks sooooo good…

  • Junglewife

    Just in time! We are having a Cinco de Mayo dinner with some friends on Saturday night and my hubby really wants churros! I tried out one churro recipe last weekend just to see how they would be, and they got an “okay, but not great” from my hubby. Your recipe actually looks pretty similar… it’s almost like a cream puff dough. The ones I made last weekend were cooked on the outside, and not really doughy on the inside, but still seemed not really cooked all the way through. I do have some experience with frying things – have made lots of doughnuts, etc, so I am not sure if something went wrong with these, or if that is just how they are supposed to be. How were yours cooked on the inside? Like the inside of a doughnut (kind of dry-ish), or more moist? Just wondering if mine came out the way they were supposed to, or if I should try frying them longer.

  • Miss Kim

    That looks so yum!! Lovely pics…I just wana reach into the screen and grab some of those churros

  • annieseats

    You know, I had a similar issue with those in later batches but I felt it was a combination of the oil temperature dropping slightly and also the diameter of the pastry tip I used was pretty large. I think a smaller diameter would help the most with ensuring a proper texture all the way through. The ones at XOCO are smaller than what I made, so next time I’ll use a smaller tip (that’s what I didn’t specify an exact tip size here).

  • I love churros with chocolate. Never made them myself though. But I guess I will give them a try. Doesn’t sound that hard.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Wow! You make these sound really simple, I will definitely have to try them soon

  • Ahh these look amazing…I’ve never made churros, but here in NYC there is a tiny restaurant called La Churreria where you can get churros filled with crema or dulce de leche. So good!

  • Girl, I tried a recipe last night – and it was bad. I’m thinking because the recipe called for veg oil instead of butter. Say whaaa? Looking forward to trying this one for our Friday night treat!

  • LOOKS SO GOOD! Wow! I need to make these today! LOL

  • as a born and raised kentucky girl, i immediately thought you made your churros in the shape of horseshoes to combine cinco de mayo and derby! i’ll pretend that’s the case rather than happenstance U-shapes. :) they look amazing! now if only i could overcome my fear of deep frying…

  • I’ve been craving something fried. Also, I have a deep fryer and all of these ingredients. Perfect.


    love churros! these look delicious! I want to make them asap!

  • Jackie

    My hubby is Mexican and adores churros and I made them last year for his birthday….different recipe but they turned out great :) And we don’t dip them in anything…just the cinnamon and sugar! One of our favorite things about going on vacation to Mexico is the fresh churros every morning at breakfast!

  • Veronika

    I lived in Spain for a year a few years ago and loved to eat churros at the churrerías, especially dipped in chocolate sauce! I’ve never thought about making them at home but I might just have to try this out! :)

  • These are all over the internet right now and are driving me wiiiild! Yum!

  • disqus_7cmDW6KYYD

    In Mexico I bought churros from a street vendor that were filled with strawberry sauce :) SO GOOD!

  • Those look incredible! I would love one to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

  • Caroline L.

    Simply amazing! My favorite churros in Palo Alto are at this restaurant called Joya & they serve them with chocolate sauce… SO GOOD.

  • Angela

    Yum! I love the churros at XOCO! I also had the pleasure of having churros at San Ginés when I went to Madrid and they served them with a very thick (almost pudding-like) hot chocolate that was absolutely amazing! I will be trying these this weekend! Thanks for sharing.

  • it’s not cliche! it’s delicious :)

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Can you believe I used to walk by XOCO every morning on my way to an internship and never stopped for a churro? Next time I’m in the city I will have to go and have one! Yours look delicious!!

  • Trysha Ortiz

    Best place for churros is Disneyland. They don’t taste the same anywhere else. ;)

  • Its never cliche to make churros. these look light and fluffy and perfect for the occasion

  • Ellen Reed


  • erin mansfield

    BARcelona Tapas (downtown Indy) has really great churros for desert. They are filled with strawberry and caramel and served with chocolate sauce. SO good – you have to try it sometime!

  • Omg YUM! I love churros! I’ve never made them because the thought of frying terrifies me but I really want to give it a go! I love dipping churros is salted caramel sauce, chocolate sauce AND vanilla ice-cream, so good! If only we had a large enough Mexican population to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Australia for an excuse to eat Mexican all weekend!

  • annieseats

    Good to know, thanks!

  • Kathryn Nelson

    These look great! I am in charge of dessert for our annual large group camping trip. We are going with a Mexican themed group dinner this year and I was thinking of making these. How do you think they would be if made a night before serving? I’m nervous about them getting soggy or something.

  • Annie

    These were AMAZING!! Thanks for the recipe! And for the record, My husband and I use caramel sauce to dip. Delicious!!

  • sweetsugarbelle

    This is why you are my hero!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed them! Caramel sauce is a fab idea. I wish I had tried that!

  • annieseats

    These are really the kind of thing that are best made fresh, unfortunately. I would save this for another time when that is an option.

  • I had churros for the first time on Saturday, they were served with chocolate dipping sauce and cinnamon ice cream. Amazing! I rarely fry things at home but I may have to for these.

  • I tried these yesterday but the dough was so thin there is no way it would’ve piped out of a pastry bag! Did I miss something? I had to re-do the second batch with only 2 eggs and twice as much flour, and it was still really runny. Today as I was looking around, I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe – which is exactly like yours, except no water at all. I wonder what you did differently??

  • annieseats

    Hmm, I’m not sure what went wrong. But multiple other readers have made them successfully so I’m guessing it was a mismeasurement issue for you. I didn’t use Martha’s recipe so a comparison to that isn’t really meaningful. Hopefully you’ll have better luck next time!

  • These look so good, Annie – definitely worth the frying. I’ve had some great churros, but never made them.

  • Jennie

    I had the same runny batter problem, but I just added an extra 1/2 cup flour and they worked out (and were DELICIOUS).

  • Liz N.

    Hey Annie! These churros look amazing. One of my childhood faves, growing up in So Cal. Family is moving to Chi-town next month and XOCO is on my list of places to eat! Hubby surprised me with an email saying we have dinner reservations at The Girl & The Goat (James Beard award winner Stephanie Izard’s restaurant) in July. I hope to make this churros recipe before our stuff gets packed up for the move!

  • ali

    my mom-a native of Sevilla-used to make churruos when i was little-she served them with a cup of the best hot chocolate ever-to me it was always a special treat-thanx for this recipe-i don’t have a family so i’ll make them for my friends-muchas gracias-

  • Tricialee

    Make sure you bring the butter mixture to a good boil. If you don’t, the batter will be too runny.