Sopapillas are baked pastries with an appearance of a puffy and crisp exterior. They are prepared by deep-frying flattened dough, which traps air in the pastry, leaving it moist and creating a deliciously flaky texture!
However, can you replicate the characteristics of sopapillas by using air to fry them?
How do you prepare air-fryer sopapillas? Sopapillas that are air-fried follow the same recipe as deep-fried sopapillas. However, they are cooked and leavened with hot air. This could create a more crisp and flakier cake than deep-frying. The only issue is that air-fried sopapillas may not expand as much compared to deep-frying them.
Find out how to make sopapillas, cook them in the air, and ensure that you get the best puffy pastry made of nothing more than hot air!
What Are Sopapillas?
Sopapillas may be considered shortbread, typically baked until golden brown and puffy.
The pastry is usually served with sweet sauces; however, it can be used in numerous savory meals.
Sopapilla, in essence, is simply a mixture consisting of all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, oilsand water. Do these ingredients look familiar.
They should because these are the same ingredients used to make bread! In reality, in many regions, sopapillas are believed to be a kind of bread that has been fried and is excellent breakfast food.
The most traditional method of making sopapillas is to make the dough by mixing all of the ingredients before kneading the dough.
The entire portion is then fried in hot oils until pastry pieces expand and develop a golden-brown hue after being cooked; the pastries are taken off the flame and left to cool for about 2 minutes to give them the characteristic crisp texture.
When ready, they can be enjoyed with toppings such as honey, syrup, fruit, and much more!
Air Frying Sopapillas
Air-frying these sweets is an excellent option to cut down on calories and make healthier breakfast items as opposed to deep-fried sopapillas; however, there are some points to be aware of!
The puffed-up shape of these cakes results from baking soda and hot oils. When heated and oil, the baking powder reacts with the oil and releases carbon dioxide, increasing the pastries’ size from inside to outside.
The air in the pastry heats it from the inside while hot oil heats up and cooks the outside of the pastry.
This double-cooking effect confers sopapillas with their distinctive flakiness and helps them keep their shape longer, even when cool.
For air fryers, it is the intention that hot air is circulated to the food items to make the food cook like deep-frying. It may seem to be a difficult task, but trust us, it’s much simpler and much more practical than deep-frying!
Before we start, we need to dispel a myth: most people believe that baking powder is only activated when food is exposed to hot liquids like oil. It’s not true!
This is because the baking powder has been “activated” or, more accurately, undergoes a decomposition process after exposure to temperatures.
The heat is what breaks baking powder into remaining components, one of that includes carbon dioxide. This gas aids in expanding the pastry, while the moisture that escapes locks the shape, making it crisp!
How To Make Air-Fried Sopapillas
After we’ve got your taste buds acclimatized, Here’s a complete step-by-step guide to cooking sopapillas using an air-fryer.
- 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Favorite toppings (ex., fruit, syrup, honey, etc.)
- The air fryer should be heated up to 375degF so that the sopapillas can fluff in the best way possible.
- Within a bowl, mix the baking powder, flour, and salt. Separately mix boiling water and cooking oil.
- Mix the wet ingredients into your dry ingredient in tiny portions. Be sure to mix until you have dough.
- With your hands, grab the dough and then knead for 5 minutes. Then, roll the dough into one large ball and divide it into four smaller balls. The dough balls should be placed in a bowl and put in the bowl to sit for about 20 mins.
- Pick a small dough ball, and with a rolling pin, make the dough flat up to 1/4 inch in thickness. The dough is then divided by cutting it horizontally and vertically. You should have 4 equal pieces of the flattened dough.
- Spray cooking oil into the air fryer basket preheated with a small amount on both sides of the sopapilla. Keep in mind that oil can trap heat and aid in helping the pastry cook and expand faster!
- Check that the oven has been set to 350 degrees F and cook the sopapillas for 3-4 mins per side, or till they’re golden brown. That’s it!
- Repeat the steps above for the remaining dough balls, and make as many as you like. Ensure you don’t overload the air fryer basket while adding the dough in its raw form!
Air Fryer Sopapillas
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes
Sopapillas are sweets that are baked and have a puffy, spongy, and crisp exterior. They are cooked using deep-frying (now air-frying!) The dough is flattened, trapping air within the pastry, which makes it flaky and delicious. It is also golden brown.
Add a variety of toppings such as fruit, syrup, or honey. Then, enjoy!
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 1 tsp salt
- Half cup of hot, boiled water
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Favorite toppings (ex., fruit, syrup, honey, etc.)
- Preheat the air fryer up to 375degF so that the sopapillas can fluff in the best way possible.
- In a bowl, Mix 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix 1/2 cup of hot water and 1 tbsp in cooking oil.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the mix the dry ingredients in smaller portions. Keep mixing until the dough forms.
- With your hands, take the dough and work it for 5 minutes. Then, roll the dough into a big ball, and divide the ball into four smaller balls. Place all the dough balls in a bowl, and put them in the bowl to relax for at least 20 minutes.
- Pick a small dough ball and with a rolling pin, make the dough flat up to 1/8-in thickness. Divide the dough by cutting it horizontally and vertically, and you will have four equal pieces of dough that have been flattened.
- Spray cooking oil into the air fryer basket preheated with a small amount on both sides of the sopapilla. Be aware that the oil will hold in the heat, which will aid in helping the pastry cook faster and expand more!
- Check that the oven has been set to 325degF. Cook the sopapillas 3-4 minutes per side, or till they’re golden brown. That’s it!
- Repeat the steps above for the remaining dough balls, and make as many as you want. Ensure you don’t overload the air fryer basket while adding the dough in its raw form!
Tips And Tricks
Here are some suggestions to make more delicious sopapillas using your air fryer:
- The addition of Sugar to the recipe above will result in even more delicious sopapillas. It may also make the sweets caramelize because of the Sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar caster (or according to the amount needed) to make a sweeter and more delicious sopapilla.
- While not mandatory, apply a thin layer of oil with your finger across the sopapillas to help them expand and cook better. It is also possible to apply pressurized oil similar to PAM; however, regular oil is more effective when applied evenly across the sopapillas.
- Be aware of the expectations when you air fry sopapillas. Be aware that you’re using lesser oil and cooking conventionally to prepare your sopapillas instead of direct heat, as you would deep-frying. You’ll likely encounter some differences between these two kinds of sweets.
- If you don’t have baking powder in your home, it is possible to use baking soda instead. You can use 1/3 teaspoon baking soda for each teaspoon of baking powder. Too much baking soda can cause the sopapillas to tear open or not allow them to grow fully.
- The sopapillas can be cooked at a more high temperature. However, you’ll need to be attentive to the time of cooking. A higher temperature will be able to cook pastry on the outside but not give sufficient time for it to cook through the steam that is inside. Ensure not to cook the sopapillas for more than 2 minutes per side at higher temperatures.
- Let the sopapillas sit for about 3-5 mins after removing them from the oven fryer. Sopapillas will begin to crisp when excess moisture is evaporated after cooling.
Air-frying sopapillas are the perfect way to have the most of both. You can not only take pleasure in this delicious and addictive sweet treat, but you can enjoy it without guilt because air-frying can drastically reduce the extra calories!
If you’re now aware of what to do to make sopapillas with air fryers, we have a list of related concerns.
Do you have the ability to fry multiple sopapillas using the air-fryer?
The size of your air fryer determines the number of sopapillas you are able to cook at once. A bigger air fryer could be able to accommodate 1-2 sopapillas at one time, whereas smaller ones may be able to accommodate 1.
Be aware that sopapillas expand when they cook — If you crowd them too much and they don’t cook as well.
Also, do not pile the sopapillas, as this could result in not cooked and unleavened cakes!
Do you have to air-fry frozen sopapillas?
Yes. Although frozen sopapillas can require a few more minutes to cook, let the sopapillas be able to thaw prior to adding them to your air fryer.
Food that is frozen generally requires longer cooking time because of the additional moisture. This can affect the overall taste and texture as well.
Can it be stored in air-fried sopapillas?
Air-fried sopapillas need the same storage procedures as sopapillas fried.
The leftover sopapillas can be kept inside an airtight bag. Make sure to use a big bag that can accommodate the entire sopapillas and not compress them. Refrigerate at 40°F for 48 hours and eat within the next day to get the most delicious texture.
It is also possible to freeze sopapillas for later use, but we wouldn’t advise this since it could affect their texture and flavor.
In general, puffy light pastries such as sopapillas should be served warm and crisp. When they are exposed to the elements, they begin to soften and eventually go through a period of loss of crispness when they are stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
Heya, I’m Norah! The foodie editor here at YummyTasteFood! I love absolutely everything to do with food, baking, and eating! I earned my stripes in the hospitality industry as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. I’m now a freelance writing nomad. I do not miss the hospitality industry! Be sure to join our Facebook group – it’s free to access!