Guatemalan Buñuelos Recipe


photo credit: JC i Núria via photopin cc


Growing up in Guatemala buñuelos were always one of my favorite foods.  I can still remember the sweet smell of the anise syrup floating in the air every time we when to a “feria”.  I was lucky because my Nana made them at home so I didn’t have to wait for it to be a special day to enjoy them.

 Buñuelos Across Latin America

Buñuelos are bits of fried wheat-based dough, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  All throughout Latin America there are many different versions of buñuelos;  they can be round, flat or even a twisted strip of dough.  In Colombia the dough is made with white cheese curd, in Mexico they add brown sugar, guava and cinnamon syrup.  In Nicaragua yucca is added to the dough and in Guatemala the buñuelos are covered in white sugar and served swimming in a light syrup with a hint of anis.

The History of Buñuelos

Buñuelos where brought to America by the Spanish but according to Oaxacan historian Ruben Vasconcelos the buñuelos actually reflect Arab heritage of the settlers in the Iberian Peninsula.
hint of anis.

Guatemalan Buñuelos Recipe


•            3 cups water
•            1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
•            1 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds



•            I cup water
•            1/4 teaspoon salt
•            1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
•            3 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
•            3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
•            2 large eggs
•            1 teaspoon baking powder
•            Peanut or vegetable oil (for frying)


In a medium saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, and anise seeds. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Regulate the heat so that the mixture is simmering, then cook for about 20 minutes, until it has reduced to about 1 1/4 cups. Set the syrup aside to cool.

Stir together flour, baking power and salt.In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, anise seeds and lard and bring to a boil. When the lard has melted and the liquid is boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the flour mixture all at once. Return to the heat and continue stirring for a minute or 2 until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Again remove from the heat and add the eggs, beating well after each addition. The dough should be very soft and only just hold its shape.

In a large heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of oil until it is smoking. Flour your hands well and break off a piece of dough. Roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Carefully slip them into the oil. Be sure not to crowd the skillet (cook separate batches, if necessary.) Drain on paper towels until you have finished cooking them, sprinkle white or confectioner’s sugar on them.  Serve warm and drizzle the syrup over them.
How are your buñuelos different?  Share your thoughts and your buñuelo recipes.

¡Buen Provecho!

I love posting recipes authentic recipes from my home country of Guatemala. If you have any suggestions or would like a specifiGuatemalanan recipe let me know in the comments section.

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6 thoughts on “Guatemalan Buñuelos Recipe”

  1. Gracias Paula, estaba buscando la receta en Inglés para compartirla con compañeros de trabajo que no hablan español. Es perfecta.

  2. Paula, gracias por la receta, mi hijo está en 3er grado y esta semana tenían que hacer un reporte del país de descendencia, hoy todos los niños llevaron un plato típico y receta del país correspondiente, mi hijo llevo buñuelos 🙂 tu receta. A los niños les gustaron mucho, cuando regresamos de la escuela mi hijo me pidió que hiciera MAS!


  3. this is a great receipe. I will be trying it for the first time. I am Guatemalan but I do not know how to make any of the dishes from my country. when we came to America I was too young and I am glad I am now finding these. wish me luck and I look forward to more receipies.


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