Bunuelos is a traditional New Year's dessert.



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice, milk or water, heated slightly
  • 4 eggs

Anise Syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 scant teaspoon aniseed

Honey-Brandy Syrup

  • 1/3 cup thick honey
  • 2 tablespoon brandy

Orange-Cinnamon Syrup

  • 8 ounces piloncillo or 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground canela (cinnamon)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water

Wine Syrup

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Madeira or Port wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Grated peel from 1/2 orange or lemon
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. Pastry: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, oil and eggs. Then add warm orange juice, water or milk and knead gently to combine all the ingredients. You may need to add a small amount of flour if the dough is extremely sticky. Let rest for 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut rounds, strips or any shape desired, and fry in deep fat at 375 degrees F until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or drizzle syrup over them. Bunuelos may be fried in advance. They will keep for several days, as long as the initial frying produces a crisp result.
  3. Anise Syrup: Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat until the sugar has melted, then bring it quickly to a boil. Let the syrup boil for about 20 minutes. By then it should have reduced to about 1 1/4 cups. Set it aside to cool. Pour warm syrup over hot bunuelos.
  4. Honey Brandy Syrup: Melt the honey and brandy together.
  5. Orange-Cinnamon Syrup: Combine piloncillo and canela in a small, heavy saucepan. Add orange juice and water and simmer over medium heat until the mixture thickens and forms a light syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside. Pour warm syrup over hot bunuelos. Re-warm if necessary before serving time.
  6. Wine Syrup: Combine brown sugar, wine, water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil until the syrup just begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the grated peel and raisins. Keep warm. Pour warm syrup over hot bunuelos.