George Mendes’s Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts

George Mendes’s Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts

Sonhos translates to “dreams” in Portuguese. That’s how ethereal these pastries are: straight out of the fryer, they’re as light as air! Chef George Mendes serves cinnamon-sugar doughnuts at his New York restaurant Aldea with a selection of dipping sauces. We think they’re perfect with the honey or jam from the Portugal Box.


  • ½ tsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp. plus ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • Canola oil
  • Casa da Prisca honey or RARE by Quinta de Jugais jam, for serving


1. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with ¼ teaspoon sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring until the dough becomes stiff and begins to puff and a thin layer sticks to the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the dough on medium-low speed to break up the ball. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until the mixture is completely smooth. Once all the eggs have been added, increase the speed to high and beat 1 minute more. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the cinnamon and remaining ¼ cup sugar. Fill a saucepan with the canola oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat to 300°F over medium-low heat.

4. Using a cookie scoop or measuring spoon, carefully drop a few balls of dough into the hot oil. (Do not crowd the pan.) Cook until the doughnuts float and become golden, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the doughnuts from the hot oil and transfer to the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Serve hot or warm with the honey or jam.

This cinnamon-sugar doughnuts recipe is adapted from George Mendes’s My Portugal, published by Abrams Books in 2014. To purchase the book and discover more recipes by Chef Mendes, visit your local bookstore. The book will also be available on Try The World’s Shop soon!

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