Easy Sopapilla Recipe

Sopapillas are a New Mexico original — one that What's Cooking America says can trace their origins back at least two centuries to the Albuquerque area. While these fried dough puffs can be savory, they are most often drizzled with honey and served as a sweet dessert dish. Recipe developer Kate Shungu has crafted an easy sopapilla recipe, and it stays true to the classic sweetness of the dessert. "The sopapillas taste similar to a funnel cake," Shungu describes.

Shungu notes that traditional, scratch-made sopapillas begin with making the dough, but for this quick and easy version she says she "take[s] the shortcut of using flour tortillas" instead. "I love how easy these sopapillas are to make," she says, adding that "it's a great recipe to make for a get-together [since] freshly fried desserts always impress people!" What she likes best about this quick and easy shortcut, though, is the fact that "you don't even have to make the dough. Just cut the tortillas and then these are ready to fry!" If you're looking for an easy, decadent treat to whip up, this sopapilla recipe has you covered!

Gather the ingredients to make easy sopapillas

Before you can make these easy sopapillas, you'll want to be sure that you have the right ingredients. For starters, you'll need some flour tortillas. When tortillas are served on the side with a Mexican meal, you may be offered a choice between flour and corn, but corn tortillas really don't lend themselves quite so well to a dessert preparation such as this one — so flour it is! You're also going to need some vegetable oil to fry the tortillas. And, to make these sopapillas into a true dessert, you'll need plenty of powdered sugar to sprinkle them with.

Prepare the tortillas

Before you fry the tortillas, you'll need to cut them into quarters. To save time, you can stack a few on top of each other and  use either a sharp knife or scissors to cut through the layers. "I like using smaller tortillas so that these are bite-size," Shungu explains of her opting for street-sized tortillas. She does note, though, that "you could also use taco-size tortillas," these being the ones that are about eight inches across. If you only have 10-inch tortillas on hand, then Shungu says you could make those work as well. "If you don't mind square shapes instead of triangles, you can use burrito-size tortillas and cut them into 2-inch squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife," she says.

Fry the sopapillas in batches

Pour the oil into the frying pan until you have about an inch of it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot, being careful that it does not overheat. "The oil should be approximately 375 F to make the sopapillas puff up," Shungu advises. Any hotter than that, and they are likely to burn. Fry the tortilla pieces in  batches, adding about four to six pieces at a time to the hot oil and frying on one side until golden-brown and puffy, then flipping over and frying on the other side. The cooking time given for the recipe is for all of the tortilla pieces, but each individual batch shouldn't take more than a few minutes to fry. Once each batch finishes cooking, remove it to paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Sprinkle the sopapillas with powdered sugar before serving

Once all of the tortilla pieces are cooked, you can sprinkle the sopapillas with powdered sugar before serving. They need something sweet, or else what you've got are flour tortilla chips instead (although you could always use them as such). "Cinnamon sugar would be a great topping for these," Shungu notes of a potential substitution. She also suggests chocolate syrup, or you could go New Mexico-style and serve them drizzled with honey.

"I like serving these fresh out of the fryer," Shungu says of serving these sweet little treats. "They are definitely the most delicious while they are still warm!" She suggests them as a taco night dessert or for a TV or game night snack. Of course, you could also whip up these easy sopapillas for a simple dessert for one!

Easy Sopapilla Recipe
5 from 53 ratings
Recipe developer Kate Shungu has crafted an easy sopapilla recipe, and it stays true to the classic sweetness of the dessert.
Prep Time
Cook Time
hand holding sopapilla
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 12 street-sized flour tortillas
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Cut the tortillas into quarters.
  2. Heat a 1-inch layer of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  3. Place 4 to 6 tortilla pieces at a time into the hot oil and fry until puffy and golden.
  4. Flip the tortilla pieces and fry on the other side until golden.
  5. Remove the sopapillas from the hot oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Sprinkle the sopapillas with powdered sugar before serving.
Calories per Serving 371
Total Fat 30.8 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 272.8 mg
Protein 2.9 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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