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Spanish Pumpkin Fritters Recipe - Bunuelos de Calabaza


Spanish Pumpkin Fritters - Bunuelos de Calabaza

Spanish Pumpkin Fritters - Bunuelos de Calabaza

(c) 2012 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com Inc.
Bunuelos, or fritters in English are popular in Spain and all over Latin America. Like all traditional dishes, there are many different kinds of bunuelos. Some are simple round balls, while others are traditionally shaped like a doughnut or ring. This type is generally shaped like a doughnut, and includes pumpkin or squash in the dough. It is typically eaten in the city of Valencia during Las Fallas Festival with a cup of thick Spanish hot chocolate. Vendors line the streets of the city frying and selling bunuelos and hot churros to the crowds who gather to watch the ritual burning of the huge sculptures each Spring.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Rising Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2-3 dozen small fritters


  • 18 oz (532 ml) warm water
  • 1.76 oz (50 gr) fresh yeast or .56 oz (16 gr) dry yeast
  • 4 cups (1/2 kg) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (175 gr) roasted squash or pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) granulated sugar for coating


Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and stir until yeast is dissolved in the water.

While stirring with a fork, gradually add the flour a little at a time. Add the sugar and stir. Mix with your hands if necessary. The dough will be sticky. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen, out of any draft. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, uncover the bowl and add the pumpkin or squash and mix with a wooden spoon or well-oiled hands.

In a large, heavy-bottom frying pan, pour oil to 1/2-inch depth and heat. When oil is hot enough to fry, pinch off a small piece of dough a bit larger than a golf ball. Using your hands, poke a hole in it, making a doughnut shape. Carefully drop it into the hot oil. Fritters will immediately expand. Fry on one side, then turn over to cook on both sides. Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels in a single layer. Don't stack or fritters won't drain excess oil.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar before serving with a cup of thick Spanish hot chocolate.

Tip: Dip your hand in cold water when forming fritters with your hands. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Many Spanish housewives keep a small bowl of cold water next to the bowl of dough for this purpose. Just be careful not to drip the water into the hot oil, or it will pop and splatter you with hot oil.

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