Vegan orejas are a classic Mexican treat known for their ear-shaped, flaky pastry. You can make them using just a vegan puff pastry sheet and granulated sugar. In just 15 minutes in the oven, you can transform simple ingredients into golden, crisp pastries.
About this Recipe
Pan Dulce Orejas is a traditional Mexican pastry similar to French Palmiers. Their ear-like shape is a fusion of European baking traditions with local flavors, reflecting Mexico’s cultural blending. Today, Orejas are famous around the world, bringing smiles to many different countries.
What are Orejas? Orejas is a type of Mexican sweet bread that’s almost impossible to resist. I used to love them so much when I was young. Basically, these treats are like the Mexican version of French palmiers. They’re made by layering puff pastry and then they’re covered with sugar to give them that crisp and sweet exterior. If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out on a delicious little bite of Mexico!
Appearance: Shape Resembling an Ear As their name suggests, ‘Orejas’ translates to ‘ears’ in Spanish. True to this, each piece of this pan dulce is ear-shaped, with delightful curves and a golden-brown hue that makes them as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.
Flavor: Flaky, Buttery, and Sweet Orejas have a flaky and buttery texture, and taste sweet and caramelized. Sometimes, a bit of cinnamon is added to them, which makes them smell really good and gives them a spicy taste. All of these flavors and textures come together to create an amazing dessert!
- Puff Pastry
- Optional: cinnamon and melted butter
How to choose vegan puff pastry?
- Read the Ingredients: The key is to look for puff pastry that doesn’t contain butter, a common ingredient in traditional recipes. Check the ingredients list!
- Look for ‘Vegan’ Labeling: This removes the guesswork from reading ingredient lists. If you see a vegan label, you’re good to go!
- Check the Fat Source: Vegan puff pastries often use plant-based fats like margarine or oil. Ingredients like coconut, sunflower, or soy-based margarine are common in vegan pastries.
- Explore Health Food Stores: Big supermarkets have started selling more vegan stuff, but if you’re after a really good selection of vegan baking products, especially puff pastry, you should check out health food stores.
- Online Options: If your local stores have limited options, online grocery stores or specialty vegan shops may have what you need. They often stock a variety of vegan puff pastry brands.
- DIY Alternative: If you’re up for it, making vegan puff pastry is another option. You’ll need a good recipe and vegan-friendly fats, but it’s a great way to ensure your pastry is 100% vegan.
How to make orejas pan dulce
Preparation: Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Prepare the Puff Pastry. Unroll the thawed puff pastry onto a clean surface. Lightly brush the pastry with melted butter for a rich flavor if desired. Evenly sprinkle half of the sugar on the mat and place the puff pastry over. With a rolling pin stretch, the puff pastry until it has an even shape. Do not stretch too much; you don’t want to lose its thickness. Turn the pastry puff sheet, sprinkle more sugar, and lightly press it with the rolling pin.
Fold the Pastry. Fold the long sides of the pastry inward to the center. Fold the sides again towards the center so they meet. Finally, fold one side over the other, creating a long, narrow, layered pastry strip.
Cut and Shape the Orejas. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry strip into ½-inch slices. Place the slices cut side up on your prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart as they will expand while baking.
Bake the Orejas. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they puff up and turn golden brown. Halfway through baking, you may want to flip the Orejas to ensure even browning on both sides.
Cool and Serve. Remove the baked Orejas from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, the Orejas will be delightfully crisp and ready to be enjoyed!
Tips and Variations
- Adding Other Flavors
- Chocolate Twist: For a chocolatey touch, drizzle some melted chocolate over your Orejas right after they come out of the oven. Add cocoa powder to your sugar mixture for a deeper chocolate flavor.
- Vanilla Infusion: A few drops of vanilla extract with your sugar sprinkle can give your Orejas a sweet, aromatic lift.
- Nutty Addition: Before folding your dough, scatter a handful of your favorite chopped nuts – almonds, pecans, or walnuts work great – for an added crunch and flavor.
- Different Shapes
- Heart-Shaped Delights: For a sweet twist, shape your dough into hearts. Perfect for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or anniversaries!
- Starry Treats: Kids will love Orejas shaped like stars. Use a cookie cutter for fun and uniform shapes.
- Crescent Charm: For a moon-like allure, shape the dough into crescents. This shape is also great for a festive look during holidays.
- Freezing for Later
- Prep Now, Enjoy Later: You don’t have to bake all your Orejas simultaneously. Prepare and cut your dough, then freeze the unbaked Orejas for up to 3 months.
- Thaw and Bake: When ready to enjoy them, thaw your Orejas overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as usual. Fresh, homemade Orejas with no hassle!
Making Orejas is easier than it seems. This guide will help you make delicious Orejas with a simple recipe. Even if you’re a beginner baker, you can master this Best Pan Dulce recipe with just a few ingredients and basic baking techniques. Orejas are beautiful and versatile. Whether you like them classic or with a twist, these homemade Orejas will be a great addition to your baking repertoire.
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Vegan Orejas Recipe (Mexican Palmiers)
- 1 Silicon Mat
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 sheet of vegan puff pastry thawed
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of melted vegan butter
- Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the Orejas from sticking.
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a clean surface. If it’s not perfectly rectangular, you can gently roll it out a bit to even it out.
- If you’re using the melted vegan butter, brush it lightly over the pastry. This step is optional but adds a rich flavor.
- Mix the sugar with cinnamon (if using) and sprinkle this mixture evenly over the puff pastry. The cinnamon adds a warm flavor, but you can skip it for a more traditional taste.
- Fold the long sides of the pastry toward the center. Then, fold them again so the two folds meet in the middle of the dough.
- Finally, fold one half over the other half, like closing a book. You should have a long, narrow strip.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into slices about 1/2 inch thick. These slices will expand during baking, so don’t make them too thick.
- Place the slices cut side up on your prepared baking sheet, ensuring they have space to expand.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until they puff up and turn a light golden brown. For even browning, you can flip them halfway through baking.
- Once baked, remove the Orejas from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Serve once they’re cool enough to handle but still deliciously warm.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.