Cardamom and Brown Sugar Churros

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  22 churros
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  20 minutes

Cardamom and Brown Sugar Churros

Cardamom in the dough and mixed in with the sugar coating give this traditional Latin American treat an entirely new dimension.


¾ stick (⅜ cup/85 grams /3 ounces/6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (12 grams) roasted ground cardamom, divided (see Kitchen Tips)

2 cups (260 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour  

2 eggs

2 to 3 (430 to 645 grams) cups olive oil, for frying

1 cup (204 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (204 grams) dark brown sugar


  1. Bring the butter, salt, vanilla, half the cardamom and 2¼ cups water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour all at once and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a ball of dough and coats the bottom of the pan.
  2. Transfer the dough to a bowl and add the eggs; stir quickly and vigorously until the dough is smooth. Scoop the dough to a pastry bag fitted with ⅜-inch star tip and set aside.
  3. Pour the oil into an 8-quart Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inches; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer dipped into the oil  reads 375°F.  Meanwhile, combine the sugars and the remaining cardamom in a baking dish and set next to the stove. Line a platter with paper towels. and place it near the stove as well. Have your kitchen shears ready.
  4. Carefully pipe a 6-inch length of dough into the oil, cutting it off with the kitchen shears; hold the pastry the bag at an angle to avoid splattering yourself with the hot oil. Repeat to make 3 more and fry for about 2 minutes, turning often with slotted spoon or kitchen spider, until golden brown. Transfer to the prepared platter to drain briefly, and then quickly roll in the cardamom-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 22 to 24 churros.  (For optimum frying, be sure to work with only about 4 lengths of dough at a time; don’t crowd the pan.)

Kitchen Tips

  1. To toast spices, pour the ground or whole seeds into a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Toast for 10 to 20 seconds, or up to 1 minute, until fragrant. Watch carefully so the spices do not burn.
  2. This recipe was adapted from Saveur magazine.

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