Amazing delicious pumpkin churros may seem exotic and out of reach, but the truth is, if you’ve made donuts at home, you can make churros, too. In fact, I find churros easier to make and much more delicious. Even though they are made in a similar way, churros have a very unique soft inside and a distinct lightly crisped crust, unlike any other pastry.
You may think you have to travel to a world-famous theme park to get a good churro, but you can have your own Instagram-worthy specialty churros right at home with only a handful of simple ingredients and a willingness to get just a little bit messy. I say specialty because these are not ordinary churros.
These churros have that lovely pumpkin spice combination we all love this time of year. Plus, they perfectly embody the type of seasonal gourmet treat you would likely pay way too much to “experience” and have a blast while doing it. This is a really fun recipe to make and enjoy with family and friends, so it may even become a new holiday tradition in your house!
Making the Dough for Pumpkin Churros
Pumpkin churros get their start with the right blend of seasoning and spices. In a boiling pot you’ll want to prepare a flavorful mix of salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s really important that the cinnamon you include is a cinnamon stick. It will impart the most flavor and the stick can later be removed before you continue on with forming the dough. You remove the stick at the same time you remove the boiling pot from heat. Then you simply add flour until you have dough!
Combining the flour with the spiced water takes about 4 minutes to complete. It’s after the dough is formed that you add the egg and pumpkin puree to give your churros that seasonal flare! The best way to pipe the churro dough is with a star tip. You have to get those authentic ridges in order to drive home that full churro effect. More on the piping bag and how long to make your pumpkin churros in just a minute. First, there is a curious step in making this treat, that I want to share with you.
Flash Freezing Pumpkin Churros
If you’ve imagined how the process of making your own homemade churros might go, you probably didn’t picture freezing the dough. You might have guessed that you pipe the dough directly into the heated skillet or pot. But, if you have done this before, you know that it’s tricky business. If you love your churros fresh, directly piping into the fryer is the best way. However, if you prefer your churros to have a more standard form, freezing is the easiest and best way.
You will make churros the length you desire (make sure they fit in the fryer), then freeze the dough to make it hard enough to transport from the baking sheet to the skillet. There are times to get a hang-up over freezing prepared food, but this isn’t one of them. Baked goods are usually not negatively affected by freezing them, even if they are already cooked.
The Length of Your Pumpkin Churros
In this recipe, I specify a length of 6 inches. You may prefer longer churros or smaller churro bites. For bites, I recommend sticking to the six-inch length and chopping them up once they are done. For longer churros, just make sure they fit in whatever skillet or dutch oven you want to fry them in. I have found 6 inches to be the ideal length for creating efficient batches and making good use of the amount of dough this recipe will produce.
How to Fry Churros in Batches
When you fry pastries in batches it’s important to create a clean environment and set up the proper stations. You also need to set a good rhythm. The great thing about this type of cooking (besides the tasty treats it produces) is that it is very rhythmic and predictable. It takes about the same length of time for each batch. Just remember that the more churros you fry at once, the longer it will take for that batch to cook through and brown properly. If you don’t put enough churros in, they will fry faster, but it will take a long time to get through them all. Ideally, you can begin eating them soon after you fry them up. So try to find a balance between shorter cook time and fewer batches.
Coating Your Pumpkin Churros
Part of making your churros in batches is coating them when the frying is complete. In order to properly cover the churros with the cinnamon sugar, you have to strike while the iron is hot. Don’t let the churro cool down or dry off before rolling it around in cinnamon sugar goodness. You want to use the oil to help the mixture cling to the entire surface of the churro. Master this and you can have a batch of hot crispy and fluffy churros covered in spicy sugary goodness!
Dipping Sauce and Other Pairings
Some people love to dip their churros in some kind of sauce. Chocolate sauce is popular. In my opinion, a good fresh churro is enough. Sauces only help when the churro is not as fresh as it could be. However, I’m not one to just disregard the implementation of a dipping sauce if it will enhance what you’re eating. Pumpkin churros can be dipped, just like regular churros. Traditional chocolate is fine, but you can also make it a little more interesting with warm maple syrup.
Other ways to enjoy this treat are alongside a beverage such as spiced hot cocoa, or a cranberry juice cocktail. If you don’t want to add too much sweetness, coffee makes an excellent pairing. For the best match to pumpkin spice flavorings, pick a nice bright light or medium roast. It will compliment the nuttiness of the pumpkin and the cinnamon spice!
Ingredients Needed to Make Pumpkin Churros
- Vanilla extract
- Cinnamon stick
- All purpose flour
- Large egg
- Pumpkin puree
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
How to Make Pumpkin Churros
Step 1: Prep
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow container or bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
Step 2: Making the Dough
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add water, salt, vanilla and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle flour into saucepan and stir until combined and a dough is formed, approximately 3-5 minutes. Let mixture cool and then add pumpkin puree and egg to batter, mix well.
Step 3: Making the Churros
Transfer dough once it has cooled to a large piping bag or pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Can spoon dough into a large baggie, and snip the corner with scissors, if needed. Pipe dough into 6 inch long strips onto prepared baking sheet. Flash freeze for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Cooking the Churros
Using a large skillet or frying pan, heat oil to 400°. Remove baking sheet from the freezer and place frozen churro dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3- 5 minutes, flipping often. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels, then immediately roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Try These Homemade Churros Today
Looking for More Pumpkin Recipes?
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes – These mini cheesecakes are the best of both worlds, with a creamy cheesecake layer topped with a pumpkin pie layer all baked on a graham cracker crust. Definitely a family favorite pumpkin recipe.
Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies – These deliciously soft and chewy, pumpkin snickerdoodles are the perfect fall cookie recipe. Always a favorite and great for Christmas cookie exchange parties.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Pecans – This cheesecake is so rich and so decadent, you’ll never look at cheesecake the same way again. Made with a graham cracker crust, topped with a layer of cheesecake and another layer of pumpkin pie, then finished off with candied pecans.
This recipe was inspired from Julie’s Homemade Mexican Churros over at Table For Two. Make sure to click over and check out all of her delicious recipes too.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2¼ cups flour
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Oil for frying
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter.
- Add in water, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and remove cinnamon stick.
- Add in the flour and stir until combined well and a dough is formed. Approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Let mixture cool and then add in pumpkin puree and egg and mix well.
- Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Set aside.
- In a shallow dish, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
- Pipe 6 inch long dough logs onto prepared baking sheet. Flash freeze for 10 minutes.
- In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat oil to 400°.
- Remove churros from freezer and place frozen dough into the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, flipping often.
- Remove from oil with tongs and place on paper towel, then immediately roll into cinnamon sugar.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough.