Donuts, or “rosquillas” in Spanish, are a beloved treat enjoyed by people all over the world. These sweet, fluffy pastries come in various flavors and shapes, but one variation that stands out is the anise donut, or “rosquilla de anís.” In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, and step-by-step process of making this delightful Spanish delicacy.

The History of Anise Donuts

Anise-flavored treats have a long history in many cultures. Anise, a plant native to the Mediterranean region, has been used for centuries for its distinct licorice-like flavor. In Spain, anise-flavored pastries have been enjoyed since ancient times.

The tradition of making anise donuts in Spain can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Monasteries and convents played a significant role in the development of these pastries, as they were often responsible for creating new recipes and preserving culinary traditions. The anise donut quickly became a staple in Spanish cuisine and remains a popular treat to this day.

The Ingredients

To make a batch of delicious anise donuts, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Additional sugar for coating

These ingredients can be easily found in most grocery stores, making it convenient to whip up a batch of anise donuts whenever the craving strikes.

The Recipe

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making these mouthwatering anise donuts:

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well to ensure all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, olive oil, and anise seeds. Gradually add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until a smooth dough forms.

Step 2: Let the Dough Rest

Once the dough is well mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and the dough to become more manageable.

Step 3: Shape the Donuts

After the dough has rested, lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a donut cutter or a round cookie cutter to shape the donuts. If you don’t have a cutter, you can also use a glass to cut out the donut shapes and a smaller round object, like a bottle cap, to create the center hole.

Step 4: Fry the Donuts

In a deep pan or a fryer, heat oil to a temperature of around 350°F (175°C). Carefully place the donuts into the hot oil, frying them for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can lower the oil temperature and result in greasy donuts.

Step 5: Coat with Sugar

Once the donuts are fried to perfection, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. While they are still warm, roll the donuts in a bowl of sugar until they are evenly coated. The sugar adds a delightful sweetness and a touch of crunch to the finished donuts.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Your homemade anise donuts are now ready to be enjoyed! Serve them warm with a cup of coffee or tea for a truly delightful treat. These donuts are best consumed on the day they are made, as they tend to lose their freshness over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use anise extract instead of anise seeds?

Yes, if you don’t have anise seeds on hand, you can substitute them with anise extract. Use about 1 teaspoon of anise extract for this recipe.

2. Can I bake the donuts instead of frying them?

While frying is the traditional method for making anise donuts, you can also bake them if you prefer a healthier alternative. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the donuts for approximately 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

3. How should I store the leftover donuts?

If you have any leftover anise donuts, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, keep in mind that they are best enjoyed fresh.

4. Can I freeze the dough for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the dough for future use. After the dough has rested, shape it into donuts and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the donuts until they are firm, then transfer them to a freezer bag or an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply thaw the frozen donuts in the refrigerator overnight and fry or bake them as usual.

5. Are anise donuts suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

Anise donuts contain gluten, eggs, and dairy, making them unsuitable for individuals with celiac disease, egg allergies, or lactose intolerance. However, there are gluten-free and vegan variations of donuts available that can accommodate these dietary restrictions.


Receta de Rosquillas de Anís, or anise donuts, are a delightful Spanish treat with a rich history and a unique flavor. By following the simple recipe outlined in this article, you can recreate these delicious pastries in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you enjoy them with a cup of coffee in the morning or as an afternoon snack, anise donuts are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and transport you to the vibrant streets of Spain.


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