Peruvian Picarones Recipe

In the month of October, the Lima tradition of the Lord of Miracles rules, time to treat yourself to a sweet treat and what better way than to do it with some delicious Picarones . Well, nowadays Picarones are consumed at any time of the year and it is in my opinion the most praised dessert among Peruvians.

How to prepare Picarones

Whoever tries the Picarones for the first time will not be able to resist that sweet taste and smell coming from the three main ingredients that give it that unique flavor, I am referring to the squash (pumpkin), the sweet potato (sweet potato or sweet potato) and the chancaca honey (panela).

🔪 Prep Time 30 minutes
🍲 Cook Time 2 hours
⏲️ Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
🍽️ Servings 10 servings
🔥 Calories 280 calories


For the Picarones:

  • 15 g of active dry yeast, for example Royal
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 kg pumpkin
  • 1/2 kg orange sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon of anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 kg of flour
  • Salt

For the Chancaca Honey:

  • 400 g of chancaca (panela). If it is not possible to access this ingredient, replace it with sugar in the same amount.
  • 225 g (1 cup) brown sugar (depends on the country)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Zest of 1 large yellow lemon, 1 lime (small green) and 1 orange
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of anise
  • 1 fig leaf. Although I know that it is very difficult to obtain abroad. If there is not, we are satisfied without it.


For the Picarones:

  1. First, peel the pumpkin, the sweet potatoes, cut them into squares so that they cook faster and put them to boil in a pot with 3 cups of water together with the anise, the cloves and the cinnamon sticks.
  2. When the pumpkin and sweet potato are cooked, put them in a container, separating them from the other ingredients. Then you have to puree them, for that you can use whatever you have on hand and is easier for you, such as a fork, potato masher or blender.
  3. Now make sure that the remaining cooking liquid is lukewarm (only two cups), put it in a glass container (preferably) and add the yeast, 4 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt, mix well and let stand for 15 minutes. minutes approximately. The result after this time should be that the yeast has grown.
  4. Let’s go with the dough, in a bowl add the pumpkin and sweet potato puree, then the previously prepared yeast and mix strongly until completely mixed.
  5. Then add half of the flour and the remaining liquid from the pumpkin and sweet potato puree, mix vigorously until you have a sticky consistency, after a while add the other half of the flour and if you prefer a little water to facilitate mixing . It is possible that you feel that you lack a little flour, if you think it convenient add a little more but little by little without going over. The end result is a sticky dough that doesn’t stick easily to your hands.
  6. Cover the dough with a cloth or fabric and let it rest for approximately 2 hours.
  7. Now take advantage of this time to prepare the Chancaca Honey, the recipe is below.
  8. After 2 hours the dough should have grown. Then heat a frying pan and generously pour oil, remember that the Picarones should float while you fry them.
  9. The oil should be hot but not too hot because the Picarones fry quickly and if you have it too hot it won’t give you time to add and remove it.
  10. Prepare a bowl with water and put it nearby so you can wet your fingers between bites and bites.
  11. To fry, first dip your fingers in the water, then take a little dough between your fingers, approach the pan and create a circle with a hole in the center (like a doughnut) and place it in the hot oil very carefully. not burn you If the hole does not appear or does not come out well, you can help yourself with a wooden spoon to do it.
  12. Make sure they don’t burn because they fry quickly, when you see that they turn a little brown, turn them over. But don’t just stare! ? she prepares another picaron and add it to the pan. It is up to each person to pick up the rhythm between putting and turning without burning. I am sure that with practice you will become a “picaronero master”

For the Chancaca Honey:

  1. Place two cups of water plus all the ingredients in a pot and cook for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. The time depends on the type of cooking and the strength of the fire, keep in mind that the honey should not be too thick or too liquid.
  3. When it is ready, let it cool for about 5 minutes and place it in a container previously using a strainer so that only the liquid remains.

down here I leave you two important tips so that your Picarones come out even richer.

Tips and tricks

  • It may cost you a lot of effort to prepare the dough because it is not easy, it takes a lot of strength and patience. If you prefer you can use a hand blender, it will be faster?
  • And the second advice is related to the previous one, use while beating 3 eggs, this will give it a good consistency and will also help it grow. Luck!

Additional information

The Picarones are born once more from the fusion of Peruvian and Spanish cuisine . Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards to the Inca Empire, meals were already prepared based on pumpkin and sweet potato typical of the land. Then came from Europe the wheat flour and sugar that were put together to create this delicious dessert.

This recipe is attributed to the Africans and descendants who lived on the coast of Peru and who created this dessert especially to be enjoyed during the celebrations of the Lord of Miracles (October of each year) and which is also similar to the spanish fritters .

Nowadays they are consumed at any time of the year and we can find them in street food carts even in a restaurant with Michelin stars.

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