Brazilian Rain Doughnuts

Saturday afternoon, after a bbq with my family (ahhh… how much I enjoy moments like this), it starts that smooth rain outside. We didn’t have to say it twice before all the women hanging out in the kitchen stood up and decided to make what? “Bolinhos de Chuva”, which can be translated as rain doughnuts.

It is one of those recipes that every person has a different version and my grandma used to call it “spoon doughnuts”, just because you drop the dough into the oil with a spoon. They go really well with some tea or coffee (if you like coffee) ūüėČ

Brazilian Rain Doughnuts


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • oil for frying
  • caster sugar and cinnamon to roll the doughnuts


  1. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the milk, sugar, salt and beat until well combined. Add the flour  little by little until all mixed. Add the baking powder and mix until you have a smooth dough. The dough will be firm, but still able to drop from a spoon.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan. With a spoon, take half spoonful of dough and drop in the oil to fry. Fry until golden brown all over. Remove from the oil and drain it in kitchen paper.
  3. Mix some sugar with cinnamon and roll the doughnuts over. It’s ready to serve.

Yield: about 20 doughnuts



You know what I¬†miss most¬†being¬†away from Brazil¬†(besides my family¬†and friends, who I deeply miss all the time)? It is going to a¬†caf√© or a snack bar (known as ¬†“lanchonete”) in the middle of the afternoon¬†and order a coxinha. Every time I’m at the airport, either arriving or leaving Brazil, I eat a “coxinha” and guaran√°. The only thing I don’t like is having to pay R$10 for it… and that is expensive compared to what you would pay anywhere else.

But you must be wondering, what is coxinha? Well, “coxa” means chicken thigh (drumstick) in Portuguese and “coxinha” means “little thigh”, thus the shape. It’s a fried dumpling filled with shredded chicken. Originally coxinha was made with chicken thighs and that’s where the shape comes from, however it’s common to use chicken breast now.

It’s common in Brazil to make cocktail size coxinhas and serve them in birthday parties, but that you would just buy from some lady who sells them by hundreds. Since I don’t have these ladies around, I had to make my own coxinhas. I have to tell you they can take quite some time to make, but you can freeze them and fry whenever you feel home sick =) Give it a try!

1) Dough after kneaded 2) Coxinhas filled and shaped as drumsticks 3) Frying coxinhas in hot oil 4) Ready to serve


Recipe from here Nestlé (in Portuguese)


  • 4 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 kg chicken breast
  • 3 medium potatoes (about 300 g)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 150 g butter or margarine
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs
  • enough oil to fry



  1. Dissolve 3 chicken cubes into 2 cups of boiling water. Place the chicken breast and potatoes into a medium saucepan, add 4 cups of water and the 2 cups of chicken stock. In a medium heat, simmer it until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool. Drain the potatoes and reserve the stock. Mash the potatoes and reserve. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and measure 5 cups, which will be used in the dough. Shred the chicken and reserve.
  3. To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions until slighty golden. Add the shredded chicken, the remaining chicken cube and sauté until well combined and dried. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set this aside and let it cool.


In a saucepan, add the mashed potatoes, 5 cups of stock, butter and bring it to the boil. Sprinkle the flour, stirring constantly until well combined and you have no sign of raw flour. Cook for few minutes stirring firmly. Pour the dough into a surface and smoothly knead the dough (it will be hot, so be careful) until it cools to room temperature.


Take a small portion of dough and make a ball, then flatten it on your hand. Add some of the filling and bring all the edges together, shaping it as a drumstick (see picture 2 above). After they’re all shaped, coat them with breadcrumbs, then the beaten eggs, and again with the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil until it is golden. Remove from the oil and drain in kitchen paper.

We can freeze the unfried coxinhas coated in breadcrumbs. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Fry them straight from frozen, but control the temperature of oil so it’s hot enough to fry them not too fast or they will brown on the outside but will still be frozen inside.

Yield: 40 medium size coxinhas