Conchas (Mexican Sweet-Topped Buns)

Total Time
3hrs 20mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 20 mins

Concha means shell. Prep time is also part of the rise time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.
  2. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
  3. Beat until smooth.
  4. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  7. Place in a large greased bowl, then turn greased side up.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. The dough is ready if it leaves an indentation when touched.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare Flavored Topping Dough.
  11. Punch dough down; divide into 12 equal pieces.
  12. Shape each piece into a ball; place on greased cookie sheet.
  13. Flavored Topping Dough.
  14. Beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
  15. Stir in flour until mixture is the consistency of thick paste.
  16. Divide into 3 equal parts.
  17. Stir cinnamon into one part, vanilla extract into one part and orange peel into one part.
  18. Divide each part of dough into 4 equal pieces.
  19. Pat each piece into a 3-inch circle.
  20. Place 1 circle of Topping Dough on each ball of dough, shaping it down over the ball.
  21. Make 5 or 6 cuts across the topping, using a table knife, to form a shell pattern.
  22. Cover and let rise until double — about 40 minutes.
  23. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 celsius).
  24. Bake buns until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Most Helpful

LOVED IT!!!! I have been wanting these for years since my favorite bakery on the West coast closed some 15 years ago and use to make these. I bought one with a cup of coffee everytime I went in... sometimes several times a week. A few changes I had to make to this recipe to suit my palette: I split the butter requirement to 1/2 butter flavored crisco and 1/2 butter. I baked them on a silpat and made the buns 1/4 the recommended size so they were dinner roll size. PERFECT. And I added 1/4 cup of cocoa, 1 tsp of vanilla, and one pack of instant espresso to the topping mix 1 TBS of water. I had to lower the oven temp to 325 degrees and bake for 11 minutes in order to keep the bottoms from over baking on my silpat, and the topping from melting off or getting too crunchy from too high of heat. The topping should not be crunchy!!! Needless to say I had to throw away the first batch due to too hot an oven, but the subsequent batches were fabulous!! Took some to the neighbors since I had too many, and they devoured them ON THE PORCH! HAHAH! Super yum. Can't wait to make them again for family. TIP ALERT: THe longer they have to do the 2nd rise the better. I baked in batches and the 3,4 and 5th batch got better and better, puffier and pillowy soft. THANKS!!!!!!!!

5 5

AMAZING! My first time ever and they came out great. Making my second batch today and replaced the butter in the dough to lard (sounds nasty but us mexicans use it often) and i kneaded the dough a lot more. Also, the topping came out like a sticky paste..hope thats correct! i was able to spread it after dipping my fingers in a little bit of water. I got the approval of my abuelita and all my tias so this recipe was amazing. One of these with a cup of abuelitas hot chocolate and ive died and gone to heaven! Simple and amazing recipe. THANK YOU!

5 5

I made these today and they turned out great. Much better tasting than the bakeries. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix the ingredients and then switched it to the dough hook. I let the dough rise for the amount mentioned. I prepared the topping about 30 minutes prior to the completion time of dough rise. I divided the dough into 12 equal parts and covered each of the dough balls with the paste/dough type topping. Instead of placing the ball on the dough and pressing down as mentioned, I rolled the topping dough into ball in my hand and then pressed it down while I had it on my hand, I then covered bread dough with it. I scored the top and let it rise on the cookie sheet for about 40 minutes. I was surprised to see that in fact the topping does indeed separate as the dough rises for the final time. I have a convection oven so I had the temparture about 300 degrees because my oven tends to run hotter. The sweetbread baked in about 15 minutes. The sweetbreads are still soft now even after 3 hours out of the oven unlike the bakery kind that turn hard right away. The topping was not too sweet but I will add more sugar next time as I would've liked the topping to have been sweeter. This was a great recipe and thank you for sharing. Will be making these a lot more often.