Alicia Becerra Shows Us How to Make Oreja Cookies at Home

This article was originally published on December 10, 2015 and has been modified and updated for our new website.

“Quieres una oreja?”

If you grew up learning Spanish in school, then you might be wondering why someone would ever ask you if you want an ear.

But if you grew up in a Mexican household, you know this question is not as scary as it sounds and you’re probably about to visit the sweetest place on Earth, la panadería.

La panadería is a Mexican bakery filled with colorful sweet breads known as pan dulce.Some of the most popular and widely-known types of pan dulce include churros and conchas, but Mexican sweet bread actually comes in a variety of different flavors, shapes, and sizes. 

And yes, that includes a cookie that resembles the shape of an ear. An oreja is a delicious puff pastry that simultaneously crunches and melts in your mouth when you take the first bite. 

Sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, you’re bound to get crumbs all over you, but you’ll also smile from ear to ear knowing that you just tasted one of the best breakfast pastries of all time.Alicia Becerra, a painter and baker who lives in San Diego, has designed a series of pan dulce cookies to promote her love for the Mexican breakfast pastries and luckily for us, she also agreed to teach us how to recreate her oreja cookies so you can make them at home.

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Alicia’s cookies contain typical ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. And though they don't taste like the actual food items that they represent, she says it would be fun to try one day.For the step-by-step instructions on how to make Alicia’s oreja cookies, scroll down below.


I used a heart shaped cutter for the cookie and cut off the bottom. I then used that same cutter to cut the rolled out fondant and then adhere it to the cookie with royal icing. 



With a ball sculpting tool, I engrave the swirls to mimic the oreja layers.


Using edible brown paint (food color gel mixed with vodka) I paint in the swirl. Then with a lighter brown paint, I add color to the rest of the cookie.

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Now that the cookie is painted and still wet, I immediately add a mixture of sugar and cinnamon to the cookie. Make sure to spoon it on heavy so that you cover the entire cookie. Then, knock off the loose sugar over a plate.


Now, you have an oreja sugar cookie to enjoy!

what is your favorite pan dulce?

Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Luisa Navarro

Mexican-American journalist, former national news producer, and graduate of Boston College and Columbia University School of Journalism. Her mission is to shed more light on the beauty and traditions of Mexican culture. This website is dedicated to her grandmothers, Tita Susana and Tita Lupita, who taught her to be proud of her heritage and to always remember where her ancestors came from.

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