Easy Churros with a 5 minute batter are wonderfully easy to make with pantry ingredients and fly-off-the-plate delicious!
Churros with perfectly crunchy outsides, tender insides and cinnamon and sugar all over. These fried morsels are positively addicting and will be the hit of every party (hello Cinco de Mayo)! I’ve included tips and tricks, problem solving and how to make photos for the best homemade churros ever!
I have loved churros ever since I was a little girl wandering the streets of Tijuana. Growing up in San Diego, Tijuana was less than an hour away and a favorite day trip destination bursting with the colorful splendor of street vendors selling jewelry, purses, sandals, trinkets and of course, churros. The glorious churros with their crispy exteriors and dusting of cinnamon and sugar served straight out of the greasy bag will forever be one of my favorite Tijuana memories – and now a delicious memory you can make at home!
If you have never made homemade churros before, you are going to be amazed – and ecstatic – at just how easy they are! While they are not quite as simple as my Churro Bites, from-scratch churros only require a few simple pantry friendly ingredients but deliver outrageously delicious results.
This homemade churro recipe is elevated by the luxurious dark chocolate dipping sauce but you can also serve it with dulce de leche or no sauce at all. Truth be told, I ate almost the entire first batch while they were still piping hot – sans dipping sauce – because they are just that good – and just that addicting. Make these churros for Cinco de Mayo or, a fun family night or any company, and I can guarantee everyone will love them – and you – and them.
Where were Churros Invented?
With my experience of churros every time I visited Tijuana, I thought churros came from Mexico, but churros actually come from Spain! Some say they were invented by Spanish shepherds because they only require flour, water and oil and were easy for them to cook in frying pans over fire. Conquistadors later introduced them to Latin America where every region seems to have their own spin from different shapes, to different fillings such as dulce de leche and even cheese!
Do Churros Have Eggs In Them?
There are many churro recipes online that have eggs in them BUT authentic Spanish churros do not have eggs in them. They are a simple mixture of flour, water, oil, and sometimes sugar and salt. The absence of eggs makes authentic churros wonderfully characteristically crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside – not light and fluffy. Churros with eggs in them can be fluffy and even taste “eggy.” I also prefer the eggless version because the dough can be made in minutes!
How to Make Churros
Churros are SO easy to make! The key is to get the temperature of your oil right for YOUR perfect churro. Hotter oil will yield crispier churros with softer insides, cooler oil will yield crispy churros though and through. You might want to work in a practice batch in order to perfect your churro making, but really, you can’t go wrong! My husband and I couldn’t keep our hands off the “practice batch.” Here are some tips and tricks for successful homemade churro making:
- Whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a long, shallow dish or you can even use a brown paper bag. You want to prep the coating first because we don’t won’t to take the time to prep it later and let our churros cool or else the cinnamon and sugar won’t stick.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add vanilla, oil and boiled water and mix with a spatula just until combined, DON’T OVERMIX. It will be wet, thick and sticky. If your dough is runny, you may need to add more flour. This could be the case in more tropical areas.
- Whether you boil your water in the microwave or on the stove, you will want to start with more than 1 cup (about 1 ¼ cups) because some of the water will evaporate. Once boiling, measure out 1 cup.
- Transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (I have more details on this below).
- Add oil so it is 3-4 inches deep in a large deep sided skillet. You want to use a deep sided skillet so it’s easy to snip the churro dough, otherwise if you use a large pan like a Dutch oven, you are snipping too high and the churro dough will fall into the oil and splatter.
- Heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F. You may need to turn oil down to LOW if your stove runs hot. I heated my stove on medium then cooked on low because my stove runs hot.
- Working in batches of three, pipe 4-6″ lengths of dough into the hot oil, snipping with scissors at the end to release it into the oil. You don’t want to cook more than 3-4 at a time because too many will lower the temperature of the oil. When snipping the churro dough into the oil, snip it away from you and stand back to avoid any hot oil splatters. If your churro dough is curved while cooking in the oil, you can use tongs to gently straighten it out but I wouldn’t worry too much about it – the curves add character!
- Fry churros until golden, rotating a few times so the churros cook evenly. Transfer churros to prepared paper-towel lined plate, dab excess oil then immediately transfer to cinnamon and sugar and roll until evenly coated. You want to coat your churros pretty much immediately otherwise the cinnamon and sugar will not stick.
- Make the chocolate sauce while the last batch of churros are frying or just after the last batch is completed because the chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools. If it does thicken, you can stir in 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and heat for 10 seconds, whisk and heat again if needed.
- I would recommend doubling the recipe for anyone wanting to serve more than 2-3 people as they are ADDICTING and go down super easy.
Do you have to use a pastry bag and tip to make churros?
Yes and No. If piping your churros, you definitely need either a cloth pastry bag or heavy-duty plastic pastry bag. I have tried making churros with just a Ziploc freezer size bag and it started out fine but split with the heat and pressure – so I tried again – same results with multiple strands of churro dough splattering into the hot oil from the multiple holes. No bueno.
You CAN roll your dough into thin strips by hand, as if rolling play dough, if you don’t have piping bag/tips but they will not taste the same. Smooth churros tend to flatten when frying and they will be more dense and chewy. The ridges created by the star tip give the churros a higher surface-to-volume ratio, which provides structural stability and a crunchier crust.
As far as piping tips go, I recommend the Wilton #2110/1M. You should be able to find this pretty much anywhere. It might seem small but the dough puffs up as it cooks and in my experimenting, it ended up being the perfect size for evenly cooked churros – not too small, not too big and cooked just right.
If you only have larger or smaller tips, just be prepared to adjust your cooking time – and your expectations accordingly. Larger churros will be more chewy and smaller churros will be more crispy.
Homemade Churros Problem Solving
The texture of your churros can pretty much be controlled by the temperature of your oil. Most problems are caused by the oil being too hot so when in doubt, turn down the temperature of your oil. Slow and steady at 350 degrees and you’ll get a perfect golden color and evenly cooked churro every time. Here are some problem solving tips:
If your dough is raw/underdone on the inside but your churro is done on the outside, you need to lower your oil temperature because the outside of the churro is cooking faster than the inside and giving you the impression that it’s done.
If our churro is chewier than you would like, you need to cook them longer so the outside is crispier. If cooking them longer will produce a burnt outside then you need to lower your oil temperature.
If your churro is brittle, your churro is overcooked. You either need to cook your churros for less time, just until it’s golden or lower your oil temperature.
If you can’t stop eating your churros, make another batch.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
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