I’ve learned the hard way that a good churro can be hard to find. About half the time I buy churros I get a batch with a weird aftertaste or overly sweet batter – so I’ve resorted to making my own! This Homemade Churros recipe is super easy to make and also features a homemade chocolate-orange sauce for dipping (although caramel sundae sauce is a delicious alternative).
If you’ve never had a churro, they could be best described as “cinnamon sugar funnel cake fries.”
Okay, so maybe that’s a confusing description but they are basically a fluffier funnel cake formed in sticks and coated in cinnamon-sugar when they are fresh out of the oil. Because the batter is cooked before it is fried, it is more similar to an actual cake than the fluffy pancake texture of a funnel cake.
I had my first batch of churros at Rick Bayless’s famous XOCO in Chicago and it was such a let down. The churros had obviously been cooked in the same oil as something savoury and had an unpleasant aftertaste for a dessert – and apparently, this is not uncommon! I was travelling with a few friends and we passed a churro stand in the airport. I commented how amazing it smelled but that I hadn’t liked it when I had tried them and all but one friend agreed – and that one friend was so stunned by our churro-hater status that she bought a batch and insisted we try them.
Luckily, this batch was completely different – perfect cooked, fluffy “cake fries” with a not-too-sweet cinnamon sugar coating and no aftertaste. It doesn’t sound like a lot to ask for from a churro, but apparently it is – so making them at home can help ensure a delicious churro experience, especially if you live in an area like I do with only seasonal churro carts. (No churro shortage in the winter here!)
These are pretty easy to make but it does involve cooking in oil so kids should only help with mixing the batter and coating the churros in cinnamon-sugar after they are done frying up. I think anytime is the perfect time for churros but they would be especially great for a party or family movie night. I shared a recipe here for a chocolate-orange dipping sauce which is a bit more traditional, but I’m a fan of dipping my churros in caramel sundae sauce – if anything. The churros themselves are delicious on their own so you don’t really need a dipping sauce – but more options are always fun!
PS – if you are heading to Chicago and want some good restaurant recommendations, check out my Top 10 Chicago Restaurants for Foodies with Kids here.
Ingredients for Churros
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
For Chocolate Sauce:
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup AHC drink mix
- Orange zest, optional
Tip: you can use a piping bag or a funnel to form the churros – use whichever you feel most confident using.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Funnel or piping bag
- Dutch oven or large frying pot
- Small saucepan
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to Make Homemade Churros
In a large, heavy bottom pot, over medium-high heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil, uncovered, until it reaches 350F. While you wait for the oil to heat, continue to prep the remaining ingredients.
In a shallow bowl, create the cinnamon sugar by mixing together ½ cup sugar with the cinnamon. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the remaining tablespoon of sugar, with the salt, butter, water, and orange zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and add flour all at once. Stir constantly until a ball forms, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and beat in the eggs, one a time, into the mixture.
Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 4 inch strips of dough into hot oil, cooking about 7 to 10 strips of dough per batch, to keep from overcrowding the pot. Turn the dough as it browns, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides.
Remove churros from oil, quickly drain on paper towels, and immediately roll churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve with warm chocolate sauce for dipping.
For Chocolate Sauce:
In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together the cream and drink mix. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl, or individual cups, for serving with churros.
Pin this Homemade Churros Recipe with homemade chocolate sauce:
Grab your free printable for our easy homemade churros recipe:
Have you ever tried churros? If you had a similar bad first experience as I did, I definitely encourage you to give this recipe a try!
This recipe was provided to me by American Heritage Chocolate.