Picarones is Peruvian dessert that is commonly sold on the streets of Peru.  The squash and sweet potato are puréed and mixed into a dough, which is then deep fried into doughnuts, and served with a syrup made from molasses.  The flavor is so unique due to the squash and sweet poato, and its sweetness is very subtle.

We made Picarones during our Peruvian Cooking Class – Dinner.


Picarones (recipe courtesy of Sky Kitchen)

Yields: 6 servings

Dough Ingredients:

  • 250 g flour
  • 125 g pumpkin
  • 125 g sweet potato
  • 2 tsp anise
  • 7 g dry yeast or 20 g fresh yeast

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 80 g block of sugar molasses or 120 ml sugar syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • optional: green fig leaves or dried figs

Also will need plenty of vegetable oil for frying


Peel the pumpkin and the sweet potatoes and cut into pieces.  Boil them in a pot together with 1 cup of water and the anise for about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool then put the contents of the pot into the blender until you get a smooth mass. Put the mass into a bigger bowl.


Dissolve the yeast in 2tbs of water and add to the bowl.

Add the flour and knead the dough until you get a homogeneous mass. Put a towel over the bowl and place in a warm place.  Let it sit for 1 or 2 hours.


Meanwhile prepare the sauce in a small pot:

First cut the sugar into smaller pieces and put into the pot. Add one cup of water, the cinnamon, cloves and the fig leaves.  Cook the contents for at least 30 minutes on low fire until all the sugar is dissolved. The sauce should have the texture of honey.


Heat some vegetable oil in a saucepan (at least 1cm) or in a deep fryer.

Wet your hand in a bowl with salt water and take 2 or 3 tbs. of the dough using four fingers of your hand (fingers except the thumb).  Make a hole into the dough using your thumb so that it forms a ring.

Put the ring into the saucepan slowly.


Fry for about two minutes on each side and put on a paper towel.


Pour the sauce over the rings and enjoy!


2 Responses to “Picarones”
  1. One of my favorite deserts…well done!

    • jdubs says:

      It was such a unique flavor — loved it! Do you have any similar recipes to this:? Would love to try them out!

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