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Cilean Picarones with Chancaca Syrupe Recipe
Cilean Picarones with Chancaca Syrupe Recipe

A very popular Chilean recipe, picarones with chancaca are an ideal dessert for winter days, to enjoy at any time, replenishing, sweet and warm while sharing with family.

How to make Chilean picarones?

Chilean picarones are a traditional recipe of sweet fried dough, which is then bathed in a delicious chancaca syrup flavored with orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves.

Nutritional Information

Category: Desserts
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 400
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 60 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Homemade Chilean Picarones Recipe


1. Picarones dough

  • 500 g flour
  • 250 g ground pumpkin
  • 200 ml milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

2. Chancaca syrup

  • 500 g chopped chancaca
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 pieces of orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • 1 liter of water


  1. In a large bowl, add the cooked and mashed pumpkin, sift the flour and baking powder, add the lemon zest, sugar, and milk, mix and incorporate all the ingredients until a semi-liquid and homogeneous dough is formed.
  2. In a large pot or deep frying pan, add enough oil and heat to 160°C (320°F).
  3. Moisten your hands and take a little of the pumpkin mixture, kneading gently and giving the picarones a donut-shaped round, incorporating more flour if necessary. There are also molds with the desired shape that can be used without problems.
  4. Once the picarones are formed, carefully place them in the hot oil without overlapping and fry for a few minutes until golden on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper and reserve warm.
  5. In a medium pot, add the water, crumbled chancaca, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, boil over medium heat and constantly stir until the ingredients are dissolved and integrated.
  6. Finally, add the cornstarch dissolved in a little water and keep cooking over low heat until slightly thickened.
  7. Serve the picarones immediately, hot, bathed in chancaca syrup and/or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

What is chancaca?

Chancaca, also known as panela, rapadura, or piloncillo among other terms, is a typical sweet of South American and Asian gastronomy, made from the broth, syrup, or unrefined juice of sugarcane.

History of picarones

Picarones are a preparation resulting from the influence of Spanish cuisine associated with buñuelos, on a base dough with sweet potato and squash from Inca cuisine, a hybrid that incorporated wheat flour and sugar from Europeans, the technique of fried cooking, and its classic donut shape.

This preparation was passed down from generation to generation, especially among the Afro-descendant family cooks in Peru in Lima, and then spread during the Colonial era to other countries such as Bolivia (known as Bolivian buñuelos) and Chile, where it was adapted and evolved based on local ingredients

Chilean picarones

The oldest record of picarones in Chile was recorded by composer and politician José Zapiola Cortés, who described in his memoirs “Recuerdos de treinta años (1810-1840)” that during the administration of Governor Francisco Antonio García Carrasco, picarones were one of the typical foods sold in the Santiago de Chile’s Plaza de Armas.

The Plaza de Armas was not paved. The Plaza de Abasto, a filthy shed, especially in the winter, was on the eastern side. The rest of the square, up to the fountain, which occupied the same place as now, but from where the “rollo,” its inseparable companion, has migrated more than thirty years ago; the rest of the square, we say, was occupied by sellers of mote, picarones, huesillos, etc., etc., and by the horses of the butchers (sic).


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