Are you familiar with the bunyols de l’Empordà? These doughnut-like pastries are a typical dessert in our area, made with flour and deep fried, served with liquor and eaten especially during Lent and Easter, although it is becoming increasingly common to find them in bakeries all year round.

What are the origins of this traditional dessert?

It is difficult to determine when bunyols date back to. They are said to be a centuries-old invention by the friars from l’Empordà, who might have created a very similar product to what we know nowadays, but with honey and grenache instead of sugar, as the latter did not exist as such.

Traditionally, bunyols were homemade exclusively during Easter, on Holy Wednesday or Maundy Thursday. With time, bunyols went on to become a bakery product, acquiring a more commercial format and a more refined recipe.

Nonetheless, the tradition of making them at home has not been lost, and for this reason, Porcel Advocats’ Costa Brava blog wants to share with you the bunyol de l’Empordà recipe as made by the programme Cuines de TV3.


625 g flour 150 g sugar 7 g salt 15 g matafaluga (anise, powder or seed) 65 g lard or butter 4 eggs 12 g lemon zest 35 g compressed yeast 250 ml lukewarm milk


  1. 1. Combine the flour, sugar, butter or lard, compressed yeast and salt.
  2. 2. Infuse the anise into a quarter litre of milk. Optionally, we can mix in 10 grams of coriander and half a stick of cinnamon.
  3. 3. Strain the infusion and while still warm, add it to the dry mix.
  4. 4. Add the lemon zest, 10 cl of grenache wine and 10 cl of orange flower water. If you add the two latter, it is important to subtract those 20 ml from the milk; otherwise, the dough will be too liquid.
  5. 5. While still kneading, add the eggs one by one until the dough is homogeneous. Let it sit in a warm space without airflows.
  6. 6. In about two hours, it will have risen to twice its original size. With wet or floured hands, create balls about the size of a golf ball.
  7. 7. Heat up oil in a deep pan. Wait until it’s very hot and drop the bunyols in. Do not flip them until they are golden brown on the first side. Remove them when they are dark golden.
  8. 8. Immediately coat them with sugar. The sugar will not adhere to them if they are cold.

Are you going to follow the recipe this Easter? Remember that you can dip them in anisette, Moscatell sweet wine or Grenache sweet wine. Bon appétit!