Sopaipillas, a New Mexican specialty,  are a treat I make whenever I’m missing home.

My grandmother only made them during Lent, but if I had a craving any other time of year I could  stop by almost any neighborhood restaurant for my fix. Although fried, good sopaipillas are not greasy, they are slightly crisp on the outside and yield a pillowy, slightly stretchy dough beneath a pocket of air.

I serve them alongside beans and New Mexican Green Chile for a hearty meal or douse them in honey for a sweet-tooth satisfying treat.

Cook Time: 3 minutes per sopaipilla
Total Time: 1 hour
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup warm water
oil or shortening for frying

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Using the tips of your fingers cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles course meal.

Gradually add in the warm water and mix until it forms dough, if needed add more warm water a teaspoon of warm water until a soft, smooth dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes and then cover and set aside for about 30 minutes.

Separate the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch-thick circle. Cut into quarters, like a pie.
Fry in hot oil until brown on each side. If oil is the correct heat, the dough should puff up within a few seconds. Place on a paper towel covered plate. .  Repeat with each of the other 5 pieces of dough.

Serve warm in place of tortillas alongside a meal or with honey.

*makes about 24 medium sopiapillas

10 Responses to “Sopaipillas”
  1. Victor says:

    Muy bueno tu blog, te felicito, hay te cuento como me fue con la receta.

  2. perudelights says:

    I just found your blog and think it´s amazing. I write about Peruvian cuisine, but love Mexican cooking as well. Sopaipillas are one of my favorite treats, so I´m heading to the kitchen to prepare some. I can´t wait.

  3. Amelia says:

    Hi Gabrielle,
    I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! I live in Australia and we don’t have the same vegetable shortening as you do in the US. Can I use butter instead for the part of the recipe where it says to cut it into the flour? Or what would you recommend?
    Many thanks!

    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Hi Amelia, Thank you! I think that butter would be a fine substitute. You may have to adjust the salt and water in the recipe (butter has a bit more water than shortening, and decrease amount of salt if using salted butter). Let me know how they turn out, shoot me an email or tweet at me with the results, I’d love to hear them 🙂 xogabrielle

  4. Eliana says:

    Oh these look like the perfect accompaniment to just about anything! Love them.

  5. Where have you been hiding chica? Missed you!

    Oh yum! I love Sopaipillas! I never heard of stuffing them until I visited New Mexico. We always used them as a ‘tortilla’ or dessert with honey. I’m trying to keep away from carbs and these photos are killing me. Mmmmm!

  6. anni says:

    oh yum! haven’t had these since i visited new mexico 12 years ago, but i remember eating tons of them during my short visit. i’ll have to try this recipe out once it’s not so hot out.

  7. Angelica says:

    I haven’t had sopaipillas in years…maybe even decades (2, I’m not too old). And I just bought tons of Hatch chiles. Did you just serve with chiles alone, or did you make something with the chiles?

    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Hi Angelica, I served them with a fresh bowl of pinto beans and NM green chile stew. I think later this weekend I may make another batch and stuff them with ground beef, beans, cheese, chile, lettuce and tomato for a stuffed spoaipilla. Enjoy!

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