Simple Churros Recipe

It's part dessert, part snack. We're talking about the beloved churro! With its origins possibly in Spain, the sweet treat is now a staple at any theme park or county fair. What seems utterly simple is the perfect combination of carbs and sugar, resulting in an explosion of flavor. In its best form, the crusty exterior topped with sugar and cinnamon gives way to a soft, pillowy inside. Luckily, these treats no longer have to be reserved for a fun-filled day at the parks or an exotic Euro trip. You'll be happy to know they are shockingly simple to make at home, even for the novice cook. They were even one of the highest-ranked recipe searches in 2020. 

Laura Sampson is a chef, mother of three boys, and writer of the blog, Little House Big Alaska. On her site, she brings accessibility to classic foods, perfect for the busy parent looking for no fuss — approachable dishes sure to please the entire family. It was nostalgia that inspired this busy mom to whip up a recipe for classic churros. Sampson tells Mashed: "I was actually dreaming of my last trip to Disneyland and how I was delighted to find out I LIKE CHURROS! I started looking it up and realized it was going to be easy to make them, so here we are." If you've ever experienced a Disneyland churro, you get it! We hope you're ready for a sugar rush as you enjoy our recipe for classic churros, no theme park admission required!

Gather the ingredients for simple churros

You'll begin by gathering all your ingredients and preparing the vegetable oil, which is best for frying. This recipe calls for salt, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, flour, egg, and cinnamon, all ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. This is also a crucial stage in your recipe as you prepare the frying oil. Using either a Dutch oven or deep fat fryer, you're looking to get the frying temperature between 350 and 370 degrees. Chef Sampson explains: "The amount of oil you need would be dependent on how big of a pan or deep fat fryer you have. I think several quarts work for most regular-sized pans or fryer. You want the oil at least 2 to 3 inches deep." Making sure the oil is deep enough in the pan is essential to an evenly cooked-through churro.

Create the mixture for churros

To form the churros, you must create the dough mixture first. Using a small saucepan, you'll bring the water, salt, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to a boil over medium-high heat before lowering the heat to add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, you'll mix until it comes together in a ball. Before moving on, you must let this mixture rest and cool for about 5 minutes. This is to ensure it will properly form as a churro. You'll also want to continue to check on the oil and make sure it reaches the desired temperature.

Next up, line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Then you're going to add the egg slowly into the flour mixture, half at a time, and beat it with the wooden spoon to ensure the egg is incorporated evenly throughout the mixture.

Form the churros

You may be nervous for this next step, but we promise that we can guide you through the piping experience and you'll be an expert in no time, thanks to a few tricks we have up our sleeves. You're going to take your dough mixture and load it into the piping bag. Sampson explains: "You'll first drop the nozzle for piping into the piping bag. Leave the tip of the bag on for now and load the dough into the bag; THEN cut the tip of the bag off so the tip can slide down." You'll then pipe churros to your desired length onto the parchment paper. If you're going for the standard theme park churros, that would be about 8 inches in length.

You can make them any size, even mini — just know that the longer and bigger the churros are, the longer they will take to cook. You'll cut the parchment paper around each individual churro. This will be very helpful in the next step of frying your churros.

Fry the churros

When the oil has reached between 350 F and 370 F, you are ready to fry those churros up! Chef Sampson explains: "I think getting the oil right is the biggest part of good fried food." We suggest beginning by cooking just one churro to ensure you find the appropriate cooking time. You will slide the churro that's already on the parchment paper into the hot oil. That's right, both churro and paper go on in. The churro will naturally float off of the parchment paper and you can go ahead and use tongs to remove the paper once it does. This method makes both piping and frying super easy.

Sampson uses a 1-inch star tip and forms the churros into approximately 8 inches in length. A churro of this size should cook in approximately 6 to 8 minutes. If your churros are smaller, just cut down on the cooking time. Halfway through, be sure to turn the churro over to ensure it is properly cooked throughout. Your churro should be ready when it turns golden brown. You'll use tongs to remove it from the oil and place it onto a cooling rack over a baking tray. After you have mastered your first one, go ahead and cook the remaining churros in batches of 2 to 3 at a time.

Sprinkle with sugar, and enjoy

That's it! In almost no time, you've created fresh and delicious churros. While they are still warm, sprinkle with granulated sugar or a cinnamon-sugar mixture and serve immediately. One bite, and you'll be instantly taken back to fun-filled times with the family. Delicious on their own, Sampson also suggests pairing them with a chocolate ganache or even dipping in them into hot fudge. Any sauce or even jelly would work based on your sweet tooth preference.

We hope you're hungry, because churros are best when eaten immediately. When asked about how to keep leftovers, Sampson explains: "Um, I have not encountered this problem but I have teen boys so leftovers are not a problem. I would say cook them and serve them immediately. Most deep-fried things do not taste great the next day." We'll call this your free pass to having a calorie fest!

Simple Churros Recipe
5 from 73 ratings
We've got a delicious, mouthwatering recipe for simple churros that you can whip up in no time!
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
8
minutes
Servings
8
churros
close-up churros with cinnamon sugar
Total time: 18 minutes
Ingredients
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons + ½ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
Optional Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Directions
  1. Begin heating the oil for frying before you make the dough for churros.
  2. In a separate small saucepan, bring the water, salt, butter, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla extract to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Lower the heat and add the flour all at once after the water has boiled. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball. Remove from the heat and cool for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, check on the oil. The temperature should be between 350 F and 370 F.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  6. Mix the ½ cup of sugar and cinnamon, if using cinnamon.
  7. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add about ½ of the egg to the flour and beat with the wooden spoon. Add the remaining egg and beat again until the egg is incorporated.
  8. Drop the nozzle for piping into the piping bag. Leave the tip of the bag on for now.
  9. Load the dough into the bag, and then cut the tip of the bag off so the tip can slide down.
  10. Pipe the churros onto the parchment paper, about 8 inches in length. Cut the parchment paper into pieces, with each churro on one piece of parchment.
  11. When the oil is hot enough, slide one piece of parchment with the churro on it into the hot oil. The churro will float off and you can use tongs to pull the parchment out of the oil and set aside.
  12. Cook the churro 6 to 8 minutes, turning it over halfway through. When it's browned, remove it from the oil to a cooling rack over a baking tray.
  13. Check the first churro for doneness. You're looking for it to be crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
  14. Cook remaining churros 2 to 3 at a time in the hot oil and drain them on the cooling rack.
  15. Sprinkle with sugar or the cinnamon-sugar mixture while still warm. Serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 209
Total Fat 10.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 31.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 14.9 g
Sodium 155.2 mg
Protein 2.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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