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Picarones (pumpkin donuts) with panela sauce

  • Author: Carolina Rojas


  • 400 g (14 oz) of pumpkin, cooked and mashed
  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) of flour without baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 kg (1.1 lb) of panela
  • 56 cloves
  • Orange peels
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, dissolved in a little bit of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, dissolved in a little bit of cold water
  • 3/4 liter (25 fl-oz) of cold water


  1. Once the pumpkin is cooked, put it through a masher tool, and mix it with the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and the whole egg. Work the dough with your hands, and add more flour if necessary. Form a soft dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  2. Let the mix rest for half an hour.
  3. Ideally with cold hands, form some dough balls, and with the help of the fingers make a hole in the center. Meanwhile, heat-up a frying pan with plenty of oil.
  4. Begin to fry them, and remove them when they are lightly browned on both sides.
  5. Let them drip, and put them on a plate with some absorbent paper to remove the excess oil.
  6. We also prepare the sauce, by placing in a pot the panela, orange peel, cloves, sugar and cold water. Let the panela to start dissolving, and stir occasionally.
  7. When the sauce begins to boil, add the cornstarch (already dissolved in a little bit of water) and finally add the coffee, which gives a special touch and significantly improves the taste.
  8. Serve the picarones bathed in the panela sauce.