Cookies Desserts Recipes

fried dough roses covered in powdered sugar

Fried Dough Roses Recipe – Carnival Roses

Fried dough roses, also known as carnival roses, are crispy little layers of buttery dough you can serve as a sweet or savory dish. They can be filled with fruit preserves, soft cheese, or whatever you like. These are easy to make with just a few ingredients and no eggs or baking. It is just fried dough in the shape of a lovely rose, which is how it got the name carnival rose. You should also try our classic Sopapillas and Rosette cookies, deliciously crispy and sweet.

This delicious dessert is also known as Khaja or Gaja. It was originally an Indian deep-friend pastry filled with fruit, soaked in syrup, or coated with sugar. Some say it was first made in the Mexican town of Silao but many more believe that it originated in Ancient India around 500 BC by the Magadha Empire. There are other versions made from the same ingredients in Kakinada Andhra Pradesh more recently but shaped differently.

Ingredients needed:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt will do.
  • Melted butter: You can use salted butter, for a savory version.
  • Water: Water hydrates the gluten-forming proteins to activate them for hydration and shaping.
  • Cornstarch: Used to keep the layers from sticking together.
  • Oil: You can use coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or whatever kind you like to cook with.

How to make crunchy fried dough roses from scratch?

  1. Mix up all the ingredients: First, mix flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl until crumbly. Add water and stir until completely mixed.
  2. Knead the pastry dough mixture: Next, knead until it is half smooth. Cover and let it rest for five minutes.
  3. Divide the dough: Now, knead again, for three minutes or until soft and smooth. Cut into four equal pieces, roll into balls, and put them back in the bowl in a single layer. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll it out: After, sprinkle your work surface with cornstarch and roll out the soft dough to length, lay plastic wrap on top of it, and leave for five minutes.
  5. Roll it up: Then, roll it again until it is 31 inches long, 5 inches wide, and only about one millimeter thick. Cut off the ends and sprinkle with cornstarch. Roll until you get to the end. Then brush the end of the rolled dough with water to get it to stick.
  6. Slice and press: Now, cut into one-inch pieces. Press each one down in the center with your finger and roll it out until the center is almost flat.
  7. Fry your roses: Next, pour about an inch of oil into a deep frying pan and cook on medium heat until hot. Then turn it down to medium-low heat and fry the rose-shaped pieces for about a minute on one side and then turn sideways to fluff out the rose petals. Continue cooking until they are golden brown on both sides. Place finished roses on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Just fry a few at a time to not crowd the pan.
  8. Serve: Finally, serve rose crisps as a sweet or savory dish, however, you like.

Recipe variations:

  • Make them your size: Whether you want larger circles or a small ball, this recipe will still be delicious.
  • Sweet: Sprinkle your carnival rose with powdered sugar or icing sugar to make them sweets.
  • Filling: Feel free to use your favorite fruit filling if you like such as lemon custard made with lemon peel. Just spread a tablespoon onto the dough before you roll it up into a log. You could even fill it with chocolate or vanilla frosting.
  • Add fruit: You could also add a candied cherry or strawberry to the rose after frying. Whatever flavor you like.
  • Other shapes: Instead of squishing the center to make these look like roses, you can shape it any way you want.
  • Different flavors: Serve with several kinds of dip so everyone can choose their flavors. You can use melted chocolate or fruit sauce for sweet lovers or try barbecue or hot sauce for savory tastes.

Frequently asked questions

Are carnival roses the same thing?

Although people call them carnival roses, the traditional carnival roses were made into more intricate flowers. These are like the Italian version of a fried rose crisp. But they are made by cutting the dough into flower shapes with cookie cutters and layering them. They are fried and coated with powdered sugar and then decorated with pastry cream and candied cherries.

What is the difference between Khaja and Gaja?

They are actually about the same except for the layers. Before frying, the Khaja is rolled up tightly and sliced so it has a lot of thin layers such as in this recipe for crispy dough roses. However, Goja is thicker and not rolled into layers. It is rolled into a hollow cylinder and has a sweet filling in the center made with icing sugar.

How can I make lemon custard?

If you want to fill the center of your rose-shaped dough with lemon custard, it is easy to make your own. Just boil milk and lemon peel and then remove it from the heat. Let it sit for two hours. After, remove the lemon peel from the milk, and reheat it. Then, whisk eggs and sugar, and pour the warm milk into the egg mixture. Finally, reheat while stirring until it is thick. Or follow this lemon curd recipe for the best results.

How to store leftovers:

  • Store: You can store your leftover fried dough roses in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature.
  • Freeze: Freezing is not recommended.

More delicious desserts to try:

Fried Dough Roses

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time10 MIN
  • Servings 20 roses

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup water cold
  • cornstarch about 1 cup
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for serving

Instructions

  • Add the flour, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl, and mix until crumbly.
    pouring melted butter over flour
  • Add the water and stir until fully combined. Knead the until it is somewhat smooth. Cover and let it rest for five minutes.
  • Now, knead the dough until smooth, for a few minutes, and slice it into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and add them back to the bowl in a single layer. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Next, sprinkle your work surface with cornstarch, take one dough ball, shape it into a rectangular, and roll it out to length. Cover with plastic wrap on top, and leave for five minutes.
  • Then, roll it again until it is 31 inches long, 5 inches wide, and only about one millimeter thick. Cut off the ends and sprinkle the dough with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  • Take one of the ends and fold it about just a tiny bit, this way, keep rolling the dough until you get to the other end. Then brush the end of the rolled dough with water to get it to stick.
    a log of rolled dough
  • Now, that your dough resembles a log, start slicing it into one-inch pieces. Use your finger, to press each piece down, to flatten it. After that, roll it out until the center is almost flat.
    uncooked carnival roses on a cutting board
  • Next, pour about an inch of oil into a deep frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot turn it down to medium-low heat and fry the dough pieces for about a minute on one side and then turn sideways to fluff out the rose petals. Fry until they are golden brown on both sides.
    frying carnival roses
  • Place finished roses on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  • Arrange them on a serving plate and dust them with powdered sugar before serving. Serve with caramel or chocolate sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Facts

Cooking tips:

  • Drop a small piece of dough into the grease to see if the oil is ready. If it fries, it is ready.
  • Work in batches, just frying a few at a time. Take your time to form the flowers so they look as amazing as they taste when served.
  • Let us know in the comments if you tried this recipe. We love reader interactions.
  • You can use a food processor to mix the first three ingredients.
  • Whether the fried dough roses are served sweet or savory, they are tasty finger food for a party or family get-together.

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Comments

(12)
Tisha

Tisha

This sounds so good! And absolutely adorable.

April

April

These were so fun to make! Not only do they look beautiful, they taste great!

tweenselmom

tweenselmom

Looks like a very easy recipe to try. All the ingredients are already in my cupboard. I'd love to try making these dough roses on Valentine's Day.

Christy G

Christy G

These are so cute. I never thought of making roses with dough before. I’ll have to try this recipe I’m sure my son will love it.

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