New Mexican-Style Sopapillas with Honey


New Mexican-Style Sopapilla

Last week I spent a few days in New Mexico (whole re-cap coming soon!) and one of the best things I ate during my trip were sopapillas. Have you had a sopapilla before? There are different iterations; before last week, the only version I have had were South American and Tex-Mex versions, but the puffy ones you see pictured are vastly different.

The New Mexican-style sopapilla is almost like a cross between a South American sopapilla and a Native American fry bread. Think of them like that. They’re soft and fluffy and puffy. You’re supposed to dust them with lots of powdered sugar, pinch off a corner and drizzle honey inside them. They leave you licking your fingers with a bunch of powdered sugar all over your face but you won’t care, trust me.

New Mexican-Style Sopapilla

New Mexican-Style Sopapilla

The best version I had (and I had a lot and in savory contexts too!) was at El Paragua Restaurant in Espanola, New Mexico, which is about an hour south of Taos. It was a meal we ate while we were headed to Albuquerque and it was AMAZING. I got the combination plate. It was simple: one enchilada, one tamale, rice, beans and pazole. I’ve had a lot of enchiladas in my day but seriously it was the best enchilada I might’ve ever had. Same with the tamale.

The sopapillas were to die for. When I got home, the first thing I did was research recipes.

Most recipes I found used shortening in the dough. I’m not big on using shortening but figured this might be the exception. I ended up buying non-gmo shortening and guess what? I didn’t like them. They weren’t right. They were crispy, not puffy and lacked flavor. Luckily I found this video, which uses no shortening (yay!). I played with his recipe, adding more salt and figuring out the technique that works best. (Them puffy up is all about the temperature of the oil and the thinness of the dough.)

New Mexican-Style Sopapilla

The milk in this recipe (most recipes use water) result in a much softer sopapilla. The version I liked from El Paragua was suuuuper soft on the inside but the exterior was awesomely crispy. These are the same. I tried to mimic their version as closely as possible since they really were the best I had all week.

I can’t wait to share my re-cap with you because New Mexico is sooo beautiful and all the food I ate (and I ate A LOT!) was so good and full of history. But for now, sopapillas with honey.

Just a heads up: The New Mexico Tourism Board is giving away a full-paid trip to New Mexico. Enter here!

New Mexican-Style Sopapilla

New Mexican-Style Sopapillas with Honey

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 18 sopapillas

New Mexican-Style Sopapillas with Honey


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Shortening, canola oil, peanut oil or lard, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Next, create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the honey and whole milk. Using a spoon or your hands, mix the dough together until it forms a sticky mass. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes.
  2. I know frying this is a bit of a bummer but I’ll say that with these it’s needed and worth it. Since I had shortening leftover from my first batch of dough, I used it to fry these sopapillas; canola oil or peanut oil or lard will also work. In a cast iron skillet (or medium pot), add enough fat so it reaches 3-inches up the sides of the skillet/pot. Heat up your oil to around 300 degrees. (Right before we fry them off, we’ll heat it up even further.)
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. If the dough is at all sticky (it shouldn’t be after it rested) feel free to sprinkle it with a bit of flour so it doesn’t adhere to the surface. Dump the dough onto the counter and roll the dough into a thin (1/8-inch thick) square. (It doesn’t have to be a perfect square either, just do your best.) Cut the sopapillas into 4 x 3-inch rectangles. Again, the measurements don’t have to be exact, you can definitely eyeball this.
  4. Before you fry them up, be sure to get your powdered sugar and honey ready. Line a baking sheet or plate with a few layers of paper towels. Heat the oil up again to 375 degrees F. Drop the sopapillas in the hot oil, frying two to three at a time, for about a minute, flipping them over at the halfway point. (If they don’t puff up, they’ll still be tasty! But it may mean the dough isn’t rolled thin enough.) They should be lightly golden brown—not too crispy. Transfer them to the bed of paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining sopapillas.
  5. These taste best straight from the fryer to a plate to being consumed but if you want, you can keep the sopapillas warm in an 200 degree pre-heated oven while you fry up the rest. Dust them with powdered sugar and serve them alongside some honey and apricot preserves.
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  • Reply Belinda @themoonblushbaker May 13, 2015 at 2:26 am

    So true! As bad as it is nothing beats shortening for crispy fried goods. If I am going eat that many calories in one sitting; I better make it worth it. These look seriously good; I can almost taste them with that crisp pastry, smooth honey and tangy jam.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 13, 2015 at 4:09 am

    Mmm mmm straight deliciousness right here! Yum!

  • Reply Mollie May 13, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Oh wow I haven’t had a sopapilla in years! Need to have one ASAP now!

    xoxo Mollie

  • Reply allison May 13, 2015 at 7:41 am

    this makes me so happy. flat enchiladas with an egg and puffy sopapillas with honey – comfort food from new mexico! can’t wait to read about your time there!

  • Reply Jennifer May 13, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I love your food blog! Please check out mine and let’s connect?

  • Reply Matt Robinson May 13, 2015 at 9:55 am

    That was my favorite food in NM too, absolutely can’t stop thinking about them and I’m so glad you are sharing this!

  • Reply Ashley Nathalie May 13, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I’ve never had a sopapilla but these look so damn good! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Ileana May 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    New Mexico is on my short list of places to visit. These look wonderful. Looking forward to the post about your visit!

  • Reply Food Love | A Cookie Named Desire May 16, 2015 at 8:51 am

    […] New Mexico-Style Sopapillas with Honey via A Cozy Kithxen – These look so nommy!!  […]

  • Reply francesca May 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    oh this is right up my alley.

  • Reply Where to eat in New Mexico May 18, 2015 at 9:05 am

    […] we stopped at El Paragua Restaurant and had my favorite meal of the entire trip. It inspired these sopapillas. When we walked in, a woman was cooking tortillas on this super old […]

  • Reply todd wagner May 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Everything about this post is perfection…almost too pretty to eat.

  • Reply Donna Walters May 21, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Aside from being an avid fan of dishes made from dry aged beef, I also have a sweet tooth. I love chocolates, candies and honey. Luckily you have a recipe for Sopapillas glaze with honey. The cooking instructions seem easy. Can’t wait to have my own version of this sopapillas!

  • Reply Carol May 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    In New Mexico, sopaipillas are eaten with honey, but at the same time as the savory dish. It’s a hot/sweet/meat combination that can’t be beat.

    They are not considered dessert, and they are never dusted with powdered sugar.

    Thay also need to be eaten right out of the fryer, wait 1/2 an hour and they are bland and chewy. That’s why they bring them at the same time as the entree.

    Yeah, in NM we are weird but delicious!

  • Reply Donna Walters May 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Oh really, I taught it was dessert because you’re using honey. Haha! By the way thanks for the tips.=) And I like your cooking styles, I guess it will really blend in my expertise which is Asian cuisine. Also, do you have some recipes in cooking dry aged beef because I’m planning to cook for my colleagues this weekend!

  • Reply New Mexico – We Los Pueblos May 1, 2017 at 1:09 am

    […] The Sopapillas Image retrieved from: […]

  • Reply Tom Vette October 27, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I grew up eating sopapillas, we often stuffed them with beans and cheese like fry bread, also we mixed honey with whipped butter to enjoy these morsels from heaven

  • Reply Aileen March 23, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I did it for my husband and he ask for more:) Amazing recipe!

  • Reply steve April 5, 2018 at 10:32 am

    New Mexican here. Don’t ever put powered sugar on my sopapilla

  • Reply Phoebe Gibbs May 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Hi and thank you!- I grew up in New Mexico – I ate these torn open on the corner and the honey poured in (at the table) and squished around so there is a smear throughout the inside of the hot sopapilla – then you can dip it in the chile of whatever dish you are eating – so true about the hot and savory with the sweet! Also is helpful when your chile is super hot -takes a bit of the edge off!

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