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How to Make Churros: A Crunchy and Decadent Spanish Dessert

Published: December 5, 2023
Churros are a traditional Spanish and Latin American pastry, made from a dough of flour, water, and salt, which is extruded through a star-shaped nozzle, deep-fried until golden, and often coated in sugar or cinnamon. (Image: Manos Angelakis)

Madrid’s gastronomic landscape wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a traditional early morning treat of hot chocolate and churros, especially after a spirited night in the city. This culinary tradition is epitomized by the renowned Chocolatería San Ginés, a beloved establishment located a stone’s throw from Plaza Mayor.

The Chocolatería, which is nestled among Madrid’s historic dining gems like La Bola, Casa Alberto, Cervecería Alemana, and Sobrino de Botín (established in 1725 and holding the title of the world’s oldest operating restaurant), has earned its fame as a favorite spot. It was once frequented by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.

(Image: Manos Angelakis)

My own experience in 2015, alongside Anthony Bourdain, included visits to these iconic locations. Our journey began at Cervecería for albondigas, boquerones, and beer, followed by a delightful stop at Chocolatería San Ginés. After attending the Gastronomika Conference in San Sebastian, we returned to Madrid, indulging in baby eels and roast suckling piglet at Sobrino de Botín, before a final visit to San Ginés to complete our culinary adventure.

(Image: Manos Angelakis)

The popularity of Chocolatería San Ginés is evident in the crowds it draws, particularly in the early hours, despite its 24/7/365 operation. Their signature churros, coated in sugar and cinnamon and fried to a perfect crunch, are a Madrid staple. Whether paired with hot chocolate or a thick chocolate sauce, they’re a delightful homemade treat.

(Image: Manos Angelakis)

Churros Recipe: A Taste of Madrid

Thanks to my friend Alexandra Domínguez, a native Madrileña, I have an authentic churro recipe passed down from her grandmother.

Ingredients (Serves 4):

For the Churros:

  • 8 oz. whole milk
  • 2 oz. sweet butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 9 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Canola oil for deep frying

For the Cinnamon/Sugar Coating:

  • 3 oz. granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

For the Chocolate Sauce (optional):

  • 8 ½ oz. heavy cream
  • 9 oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 oz. sugar
(Image: Manos Angelakis)


  1. In a saucepan, simmer milk, butter, salt, and sugar. Add flour, stirring over low heat until a soft dough forms. Let cool slightly, then incorporate beaten eggs until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F. Use a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe dough into hot oil, cutting each churro with scissors. Fry until golden brown, then drain and coat with cinnamon/sugar while hot.
  3. For the chocolate sauce, cook half the cream with chocolate over medium-low heat until melted. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining cream, whisking into the chocolate with sugar. Cook until thickened (5-10 minutes), then whisk until smooth.
  4. Serve churros on a plate with sauce in ramekins or, alternatively, with a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Enjoy this taste of Madrid’s culinary heritage!