Whether flakes, orellas, orelletes, beignets or carnival ears , among many other names, surely you know in depth or have heard of this fried, crunchy and addictive sweet , typical of these dates and which owes its most popular name to a curious story.

The recipe is that of a simple dough in its preparation , although it requires a certain grace or mastery, which is achieved by practicing!, so that it is thin and has the shape that you want to give it. But before explaining how to make carnival ears , let's go with a bit of its history.

History of carnival ears

The ears receive this name for their peculiar appearance, similar to that of pig ears. This curious form has an explanation, which is related to Lent , the period between Carnival and Easter, and the slaughter of the pig.

The carnival celebrations take place just before the Christian Lent. This week was traditionally a festive time of excess. Once the festivities were over and for the next 40 days (until the beginning of Holy Week), a time of abstinence from meat began, which coincided with the slaughter of the pig.

Thus, starting from portions of a mass with allowed ingredients and within the reach of all the inhabitants, they were shaped like ears; some pig ears that could be eaten without sin.

This dough, based on flour and eggs , and to which sugar is also added, is flavored to the taste of each house in which it is prepared. Whether with rum, aniseed or sweet wine , it is a simple and quick dough to prepare, which requires a certain amount of rest, and which, once fried in the shape of an ear (or whatever it turns out to be), is ideal for accompany the after-dinner meal or liven up the afternoon.

Now it's time to start practicing; so here you have the recipe so you know how to make Carnival ears .

Carnival Ears Recipe


For the mass

  • 250 g bread flour (T55 wheat flour)
  • 4 ML eggs, or 5 if they are small (you require about 240 g of eggs)
  • 20 g of cream (with 35% mg)
  • A splash of rum (or the liquor or aroma of your choice)
  • 11 g chemical yeast, type "Royal"
  • 80g of sugar
  • Mild oil, for frying
  • Icing sugar, to decorate

Preparation of the ears of Carnival in a traditional fryer

  1. In a bowl, mix the eggs, cream and rum.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing with a whisk.
  3. Add the flour and yeast. Mix everything to form a ball with the dough.
  4. Cover with transparent film or with a silicone lid , and let it rest for at least one hour at room temperature.
  5. After the rest time, go removing pieces of dough and form the ears. You can make small balls and roll them very thinly with a rolling pin, or make thin strips about 3-4mm thick and pinch the ends together.
  6. Heat a large amount of smooth oil in a saucepan or high iron skillet.
  7. Fry the ears at 170 °C, turning them halfway through cooking.
  8. As they are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a cooling rack .
  9. When they have tempered, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Very bon appetit and very happy Carnival!

Carnival Ears Recipe

Carnival ears in air fryer

Instead of using the traditional deep fryer or skillet, you can also make them without oil in an oil-free air fryer . It is not the most traditional way of making them, but with this type of dough, the truth is that the result in this type of fryer is very interesting and adequate.

  • Prepare the dough as you see it detailed above. Once the rest time has passed and the ears have formed, arrange the ears in the basket of your air fryer , brush them with oil and bake for about 6 minutes at 200 ºC . Remove when you see them golden.
  • In case of making the carnival ears flat (without the ear shape, but simply stretching the dough and making carnival ears more cake-like), they will be done more quickly in the air oven, and in about 4-5 minutes the you will have lists


  • It is important to use a mild oil to fry the ears (sunflower, for example). If we use a stronger oil, it will be the flavor of the oil that we will notice when tasting them.
  • You can give them the shape you want , but the important thing is that they are as thin as possible, since in this way they will be much more crunchy. It is also common to see carnival ears stretched, flat, cake-like, and with only the corners raised.
  • The oil must be hot, so that when you add the ears, they are well fried and crispy. It is better to add them one at a time, to prevent the oil from cooling (this can happen if we add a few at a time).
  • It is important to let the dough rest , at least for the indicated time, to allow the flour particles to hydrate.
  • Flavor the dough as you like. Rum is indicated in the recipe, but you can put anise or the liquor you prefer, vanilla, cinnamon... Do it to your liking!
  • As with everything, the secret is in the practice. So, so that you have ears with the shape that you like the most, I recommend that you do them many times. And tell me how it went!
  • The most typical thing is to sprinkle icing sugar when serving, but you can also pour a little honey on them.
  • You can eat them alone, dipped in hot chocolate, with your favorite drink or accompanying them with a shot of the liquor you prefer or sweet wine. The important thing is that you enjoy them!


Claudia said:

Hola Carmen, gracias por tu aportanción! Ciertamente toma varios nombres, pero no las Ourellas do Entroido, y me animas a desubrir esa receta particular, investigaremos, gracias! :)

Claudia said:

Hola Ana María y Susana, gracias por preguntar! Hemos añadido el paso a paso con freidora de aire ahora en la receta, y lo veréis indicado en el texto, pero básicamente son unos 5 minutos a 200 ºC (pueden ser 4 minutos si estiras la masa, o unos 6 si formáis las orejas como tal y están algo más gruesas). En cualqueir caso , a la que veáis que están doraditas, las retiráis… y recordad pincelar las orejas con aceite para que queden crujientes y bien. ¡Gracias y a disfrutarlo!

Susana B said:

Excelente 😊 también estoy interesada en la versión para Air Fryer .. temperatura y tiempo.
Gracias y Feliz Carnaval 🥳

Carmen said:

Pueden ser hojuelas, orelletes, o beignets, pero esa receta no se corresponde con la receta de las Ourellas do Entroido gallego.

Carmen said:

Pueden ser hojuelas, orelletes, o beignets, pero esa receta no se corresponde con la receta de las Ourellas do Entroido gallego.

Ana María said:

Muchas gracias por la receta. Por favor, ¿Podrías decir temperatura y tiempo para freírlas en la freidora de aire?

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