How To Make Mexican Sweet Buns (Conchas)

These sweet buns (conchas) are soft and cottony at the center with a crunchy sweet coating, and (this is important) they're darn cute, too.


The sugar paste topping is made with margarine; this yields a crunchy, flaky texture. If you don’t have margarine, shortening will yield a similar result.


  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water, 105 to 115°F
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Sugar paste topping

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Assorted gel food colors


  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add the milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of flour. Stir together until just combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment.
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