Delicious peruvian dessert that you can make at home.

Picarones is a Peruvian dessert that originated in the colonial period. Its principal ingredients are squash and sweet potato. It is served in a doughnut form and covered with syrup, made from chancaca (solidified molasses). It is traditional to serve picarones when people prepare anticuchos, another traditional Peruvian dish. Picarones were created during the colonial period to replace Buñuelos as buñuelos were too expensive to make.



  • 1.2 lb Sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1.2 lb Squash, peeled
  • 1.2 lb Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons aniseed
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
  • Oil, necessary amount for frying
  • Syrup

  • 2 Cups molasses
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Allspice
  • Peel of 1 orange, cut into thick large strips
  • 4 Cups water


  • Fill water in a large pan with cinnamon, clove and aniseed. Boil for 10 minutes, approximately and strain reserving water. Cook sweet potatoes and squash in the reserved water until tender. Remove from pan and force through a strainer. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid. Allow to cool.
  • In a small size bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and reserved cooking liquid. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Place strained sweet potatoes and squash in a large bowl. Add salt, yeast mixture and eggs. Stir vigorously until combined. Fold in flour and continue stirring until a soft and smooth and elastic dough is formed. Dough will not stick to fingers. Cover with a damp cloth and leave dough to rise for 1 hour or until mixture doubles its volume.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet until hot. Take a small quantity of dough and form a ring. Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides. Repeat the procedure until all dough is used. Wet hands in salted water frequently to make dough rings more manageable.
  • Remove picarones from hot oil and drain in kitchen paper.
  • Serve immediately with syrup.
  • Syrup

  • Combine molasses, sugar, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, allspice and water in a medium size saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over low heat until mixture thickens to a syrup (200 °F / 110 °C). This process will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.